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Top Animated Horror Films And Shows

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Who Ever Said Cartoons And Other Animated Features Weren’t Scary?

The 1990’s and early 2000’s were a time filled with iconic animated works, from Disney’s enchanting Aladdin (1992) to more unsettling works like Coraline (2008). During this time, parents were concerned with the amount of dark and scary themes throughout animation, leading many producers and directors to remind society that animation is not only for children, and horror is not only for adults. While modern society tends to associate animated films and shows with children and lighthearted fun, there are several animated works that have been produced throughout the years containing horrific, dark themes. Even for adults, many of these works tend to be frightening, making one wonder whether animation is really just for children. After all, animated works were originally meant for adults viewing feature films in theaters. This list contains the scariest animated TV series and films for all ages, and will leave everyone creeped out.

Courage the Cowardly Dog Show (Animated TV Series, 1996)

While Courage the cowardly dog is a lovable and extremely enjoyable animated character, who brings lighthearted feelings and love throughout the Cartoon Network show, the majority of the themes presented to the audience are downright creepy, some even terrifying. The dark purples and blues used to animate the backgrounds and farmhouse that Courage lives in with his owner Muriel, and her husband, Eustace bring up unsettling feelings within the audience. Coupled with the strange electronic music and oddly terrifying episodes consisting of aliens, strange murderous cats, and con-men, the show leaves even adults in terror and shock about the occurrences on screen. The loneliness and isolation presented through the show, and the strange backgrounds, highlight the horror themes and are reminiscent of German expressionism. Some episodes are so dark that younger viewers may be frightened, leaving this show one of the scariest on the list.

The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (Animated TV Series, 2001)

The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy released in 2001 by Cartoon Network follows a young boy and girl, Billy and Mandy, and their everyday adventures growing up. The audience follows the oddball pair that befriends the Grim Reaper and aids him in his adventures throughout the show. The animated TV series, originally produced for children, highlighted several macabre themes, the most prevalent, of course, being death. However, some adventures follow other creepy themes, such as paranormal activity, dark humor, and revenge, making this children’s animated work one of the creepiest released on public TV.

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coraline animated

Monster House (Animated Film, 2006)

The American computer-animated film, Monster House released in 2006, follows three teens, who one day discover the dark secret that their neighbor’s house is really a living, terrifying monster. The teens are tormented by the demonic house and decide to enter it, while the house is sleeping. The film is extremely terrifying with the house coming to life at points throughout it, to terrorize and chase the children. The dark scenes and strangely distorted buildings pay homage to German expressionism, and the Tim Burton craze during the late 1990’s. The highly pitched musical score emphasizes the strange and disturbing themes surrounding death, lost love, and terror which are often associated with the horror genre. When the animated film was originally released, many critics reviewed the film negatively due to the terrifying themes presented in a child’s film. This film is a perfect movie for a true Halloween fright for all ages.

Coraline (Animated Film, 2008)

The children’s film adaptation of the novel Coraline explores several horrifying and frightening themes and images, that are likely to scare children as well as adults. The stop-motion animation may remind older audiences of the Tim Burton style and dreamscapes seen throughout the film. Coraline lingers in the dream-state atmosphere that is wonderfully unsettling and focuses on deep and complex feelings surrounding loneliness, isolation, and adolescence. While the animated story may be too scary for younger audiences, it is appropriate for older children and adolescents that are looking for a real fright. One of the most frightening scenes in the film includes buttons being sewn into Coraline’s eyes. This film has left older audiences disturbed with the witch feasting on the souls of children, and the neglect Coraline experiences from her parents throughout the film, leaving this film one of the most terrifying children’s horror movies.

Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated (Animated TV Series, 2010)

One of the newer adaptations of the Hanna-Barbera show Scooby Doo Where are You? (1969) released in 2010 by Cartoon Network, Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated is the most adult version of the show with the characters being more like actual people who can fall in love and feel fear. The unique animation style throughout the show emphasizes the spooky, paranormal events that occur throughout the shady town that Scooby and the gang live in, with dark colors faded by the shadow and fog. However, this animated version of Scooby Doo has a twist, leaving viewers entertained and spooked throughout the entirety of the story. The show also includes modern versions of classic gothic monsters that made the show so popular to begin with in the late 1960’s. Age appropriate for younger viewers and all ages, the new version of Scooby Doo is the perfect show for family horror night.

Frankenweenie (Animated Film, 2012)

While the core of the story Frankenweenie, released in 2012 by director Tim Burton, is a love story between a boy and his dog, the children’s horror film pays homage to classic German expressionism and gothic horror monsters, specifically Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The film is presented completely in black and white, which helps emphasize the loner vibes of Victor Frankenstein and the feelings of isolation and alienation associated with adolescence. The story focuses on Victor, who brings his dead dog back to life, due to loneliness and isolation, which is a common theme throughout gothic horror stories. While age appropriate for younger audiences, the complex emotions portrayed throughout the film may appeal more to older audiences.

Extraordinary Tales (Animated Anthology, 2013)

The animated anthology series of the famous late poet, Edgar Allen Poe, Extraordinary Tales, takes the audience through a unique experience of the poet’s horrific and sad poems and short stories. The anthology consists of five separate stories surrounding Poe’s shorts and his personal emotions of sadness, madness, and guilt. The entire series is told through an edgy animated raven and Death. Each story has a unique animation style that emphasizes the horror themes presented throughout the short stories, and Poe’s emotions, that are believed to be represented throughout these stories. Perfect for Halloween, or anytime of the year, this animated anthology series is terrifying and satisfying for any age but may be more appreciated by older audiences.

Love, Death & Robots (Animated TV Series, 2019)

Netflix’s sci-fi horror animated anthology series Love, Death & Robots focuses on themes of love, death, and not surprisingly, the terrors of technology and artificial intelligence surrounding robots. The series takes the audience on an artist animated journey through modern day troubles and issues, while critiquing modern society about the obsession of technology. This animated series at times is rather frightening, with images of horrific death and destruction occurring at the hands of technology and humanity. While some episodes throughout the series may be appropriate for children, the series is directed towards an adult audience and does not disappoint for frightening material.

Check out the trailer for the show, “Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated!”

Source: Dead Talk Live

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