There are so many movies that we blindly let our children watch without taking the time to really understand the sinister subliminal messages inside of each film. Let’s look past all the cute animated animals and adorable dialogue and examine what's really going on.
1. Blank Check
What a cool movie! A kid gets a blank check and then gets to go on a giant shopping spree! That’s probably what you remember from Blank Check, isn’t it? What you don’t realize is that this movie is centered around a greedy, dishonest punk who gets away with several counts of fraud. Preston, the child criminal, gets the blank check after his bike is run over by a car. The man who runs it over gives him a blank check to be filled out by his father in order to replace the bike. What a kind gesture! But instead of using the check to replace his bike, he uses his computer to make it into a million dollar check! Now, of course, this is all justified because the man who ran over his bike is a criminal and the money is stolen, but Preston doesn’t know that. What if that person was you and you were kind enough to trust a child and replace his bike? Now you’re financially ruined, your credit is destroyed, and you’re probably going to lose your home. Real cool, Preston. I hope you enjoy bounce house because you could have destroyed countless lives in the process. Also, that relationship you have with a 35-year-old woman is pretty selfish. Thanks to you she's probably going to have to alert all her neighbors when she moves into a new neighborhood.
2. Finding Nemo
Pixar has a history of adding terrifying elements to their movies, but none go overlooked more than Finding Nemo. The movie starts out with Marlon, a small clown fish, and his wife enjoying their new home with their eggs. Since fish lay eggs, this is the equivalent of his wife being pregnant. So basically, a pregnant couple has just moved into a new home. Suddenly a predator, a shark, bursts into their home and starts attacking them. This is a kid’s movie so I’m sure it was just a scare and they all escape together as we learn the importance of sticking together, right? No, actually his pregnant wife and unborn children are ripped apart and murdered! The only shred of hope comes when Marlon finds one of their eggs uneaten, even though it’s been damaged. The next half hour of the film is Nemo, the lone surviving egg, treating his dad like garbage for trying to protect him and his gimp fin. “Hey sorry I’m a little overprotective of you, son. It’s just that since I had to watch your mother, brothers, and sisters murdered right in front of me in the security of our own home, I guess I’ve been a little precautious.” Cut some slack for your dad, Nemo, he’s been through enough already.
3. Mrs. Doubtfire
We all know this movie from the wacky antics of Robin Williams as he pretends to be a British nanny watching over his kids and his ex-wife’s home. If you take a step back, however, you’ll realize just how troubling this movie gets. Sally Field, who plays Williams’ wife, kicks him out of the house because he behaves like a grown toddler. Instead of trying to clean up his life, grow up, and earn her trust, he decides to dress up like an elderly old woman and become the family’s nanny. What was his long-term plan? Was he going to spend the rest of his life dressed like Bea Arthur to con his way into his family’s lives? Once the jig is up and he reveals his true identity, Sally Field lets him move back in! How messed up are those kids going to be for the rest of their lives? They’ll never be able to look at an elderly woman without wondering if it’s actually their father. Also, why would she take him back? That’s the most terrifying way this sociopath could have squirmed him way back into their lives. I pity that family and the years of therapy it’ll take to overcome this tragic event.
4. The Mighty Ducks
You probably remember The Mighty Ducks as the touching story of an unlikely coach leading a group of underdogs to hockey glory as they learn to love and trust one another. What you probably don’t remember is that our magical coach Emilio was assigned to coach the team after getting a DUI. That’s right, a judge said “Hey, here’s a guy who is wreckless, makes poor decisions, doesn’t care about others, and probably has a substance abuse problem. Let’s legally assign him to be alone with a group of children!” Why would a judge do this? In all likelihood Coach Bombay would have had Jesse and Charlie doing Jell-O shots in the penalty box while Terry snorted coke off the railing.
5. Home Alone
Everyone loves watching the adorable Kevin McCallister foil the plans of two thieves, but do you realize how many terrifying things happen in this movie? It’s numerous, but here’s one scene that horrified me as a parent. Once the parents realize their horrible mistake they made by forgetting Kevin at home, they call the police. The police officer just knocks on the door and when no one answers they say “Tell them to count their kids again.” WHAT? What if he’s choking or seriously injured? The parents have given you permission to search the home, go save that child! All of his horror could have been avoided if this officer had done his job and not swept it under the rug. Disgusting.
We could have gotten the point that the old man in Up was sad because his wife had passed away. The opening scene takes it from the story of a lonely old man, to something much more depressing. At one point we see the happy couple celebrating their pregnancy and rejoicing over the new addition to their family. Suddenly they go from decorating a baby’s room to crying in a doctor’s office while the pediatrician shakes his head. So, uh, she had a miscarriage? That’s going to be a fun conversation to have with your kids on the way home after the movie. “Hey dad, the movie was great! I love all the balloons and that funny bird. By the way, why did they have a baby’s room and then no baby? Can you explain to me in medical terms what happened?” Enjoy that conversation, parents!
7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka is a complete psychopath. He sets up a worldwide contest where the winner gets a magical trip into a candy covered wonderland. Instead of their dreams coming true, children are murdered one by one. If you don’t believe he planned that, consider the most terrifying fan theory that makes more sense than you’d ever image. According to the theory, Wonka makes his candy from kids. When the group reaches Wonka’s boat, there are no extra seats for Augustus and his mother. How did he know they wouldn’t still be there? Later, when the group reaches Wonka’s car, there are only four seats for the remaining children and parents. Wonka knew what he was doing, as he systematically murdered each child and the oompa loompas joyfully sing about it the entire time.
8. The Santa Clause
Sure Tim Allen is charming as Santa, but the method he took to get the job is absolutely horrific. He didn’t apply for it or decide to help out a tired Kris Kringle. He was minding his own business in the privacy of his own home when he hears a thud. Was it the sound of marshmallows splashing into a giant mug of hot chocolate? Maybe it was the sound of candy canes being dropped into the stocking of a good little boy or girl. No, it was actually Santa falling to his death from atop Allen’s home! How is this a kid’s movie? Someone had to go to a studio and say, “OK here’s the concept we’ve created. First off, Santa dies.” At that point how is there still a conversation? Once a beloved childhood figure suffers a horrible death by plummeting to the ground, I’m out. There are also a series of sequels, so I suppose it’s only a matter of time before this new Santa is murdered and a new victim is forced into the position.