Today’s assignment tasks us with combing through comments that we’ve left on other blogs and picking one that might be worth expanding into a full post. As it turns out, I had just left a comment on a post by Nerd Nebula yesterday that fit the bill. Technically, it’s cheating of sorts, as it’s essentially a variation on the other post, but it is my own take on the same topic.
The original post was about scenes from cartoons that left you feeling traumatized and perhaps weren’t the most suitable for children. Dr. Slater of the Nerd Nebula talked about being freaked out by the Siamese cats from Lady and the Tramp. My comment was about the climax of The Little Mermaid, where Ursula the sea-witch grows to gargantuan size and terrorizes everyone during a storm, culminating in her getting impaled by a ship’s bow. To my young mind, that whole sequence was pure horror, and I had an aversion to The Little Mermaid for a while. Perhaps not the best thing to admit in a public space.
Of course, I was very sensitive as a kid. I remember watching some cartoon, most likely a Warner Brothers short (though I can’t remember the cartoon itself), where the main character died and, as his friends were mourning him, he came back to life. The details are a little fuzzy, so I don’t remember if the character was actually resurrected or was just playing dead until the right moment. What I do remember is bawling my eyes out over his ‘death’, and my mother attempting to tell me that it was just a cartoon and nobody was actually dead. It didn’t help. I was relieved when he got up, though.
Perhaps one of the most infamous death scenes in children’s animation is Mufasa’s death in The Lion King. This one actually didn’t affect me at all. Perhaps it’s because I was 12 and done weeping for animated corpses, or perhaps I’d gotten desensitized to that kind of thing by then (which is perhaps the topic of another discussion entirely). I remember reading how infamous it was and how it had driven children to tears in the theater. It had me worried. Should I watch The Lion King? Would it scar me for life (no pun intended)? Turns out, it didn’t. It did, however, lead me to discover my favorite Disney song of all time, ‘Be Prepared’ (I was an odd kid).
So there you have it. Cartoons that had a profound effect on me, and the big one that didn’t. How about you? Any cartoon horror stories from your childhood? Or, for the parents among you, is there any cartoon that’s had a surprising impact on your kids?