Kids Films You Might Regret Sharing with Your Children





Courtesy of Betsy Bozdech:

  • Bambi
    Why you should watch out: Bambi’s mother’s death takes place offscreen, but it’s still the first thing most viewers remember, even decades later. Bambi’s subsequent frantic search for her is almost as upsetting. Read the full review.


  • 2
    Why you should watch out: Dumbo’s mother doesn’t die, but she’s cruelly separated from him after she’s provoked into a scary rampage. The follow-up scene in which she cradles him with her trunk through the bars of her cage window is gut-wrenching. Read the full review.


  • 3
    Finding Nemo
    Why you should watch out: Some parents we know just skip the first scene of this movie altogether until their kids are old enough to handle Nemo’s mom’s untimely demise at the jaws of a menacing predator fish. Read the full review.


  • 4
    The Land Before Time
    Why you should watch out: Young dinosaur Littlefoot’s mother is killed by an aggressive T-rex in this otherwise generally upbeat prehistoric adventure. Read the full review.


  • 5
    The Lion King
    Why you should watch out: Not only does Simba’s dad get trampled to death by a herd of stampeding wildebeests, but Simba unfairly blames himself for the tragedy. Read the full review.


  • 6
    Why you should watch out: This story about a family dealing with divorce and remarriage takes a tragic turn when the kids’ mom is diagnosed with fatal cancer. Read the full review.


  • 7
    We Bought a Zoo
    Why you should watch out: Here, the mom passed away six months before the movie begins, but the impact on her family is very much in evidence. Sometimes watching characters deal with grief can be even more painful than the death itself. Read the full review.


  • 8
    Why you should watch out: While Ellie isn’t a parent (which is another emotional aspect of the movie), her death at the end of an extremely poignant montage early in the film has a powerful impact. Read the full review.


  • 9
    Bridge to Terabithia
    Why you should watch out: Anyone who’s read the book that this touching drama is based on knows what’s in store for fearless, imaginative Leslie — misfit Jess’ only friend — but those expecting a fantasy adventure à la Harry Potter should be warned: Tragedy ahead! Read the full review.


  • 10
    Grave of the Fireflies
    Why you should watch out: Beautifully animated but unrelentingly sad, this heartbreaking WWII-set anime tale centers on two children — brother and sister — who sicken and die. Read the full review.


  • 11
    My Girl
    Why you should watch out: The unexpected death of preteen Vada’s best friend (by bee sting, no less) hits many kids very hard, especially since much of the rest of the movie has a sweetly nostalgic feel. Read the full review.


  • 12
    The Odd Life of Timothy Green
    Why you should watch out: Technically Timothy doesn’t die, but he disappears forever, causing pain for those who loved him, which can be just as hard for kids to deal with. Read the full review.


  • 13
    Why you should watch out: No, E.T. isn’t exactly a child, and no, he doesn’t really die — but for a few moments, it seems as if he has, and those few moments can be enough to send young fans of the spunky little alien into a tailspin. Also, plenty of kids who love the little alien are still afraid that he might be living with their stuffed animals in the closet… Read the full review.


  • 14
    Charlotte’s Web
    Why you should watch out: When Wilbur’s dear friend and constant champion weaves her last web after doing so much for others, many kids are caught unprepared. Read the full review.


  • 15
    Marley & Me
    Why you should watch out: Many families decided to watch this based-on-a-true-story tale because of ads featuring silly dog antics… and were left distraught by Marley’s sad death. Read the full review.

  • 16
    My Dog Skip
    Why you should watch out: Skip is another movie dog who ultimately dies of old age — but not before being bullied, beaten and nearly perishing in some very sad scenes. Read the full review.


  • 17
    Old Yeller
    Why you should watch out: Along with Bambi, Old Yeller is one of the most frequently-cited emotionally traumatizing movies for kids. After the brave, loyal dog has a run-in with a rabid wolf, his young owner must put him down himself. Devastating. Read the full review.


  • 18
    Where the Red Fern Grows
    Why you should watch out: Life is hard for everyone in the Ozarks in the 1930s, and raccoon hounds Big Dan and Little Ann are no exception. Their tragic end is bound to leave animal-loving kids in tears. Read the full review.


  • 19
    The Fox and the Hound
    Why you should watch out: The main animal characters in this movie don’t die, but they aren’t allowed to be friends anymore, either, and their enforced separation is really hard for young kids to take. Read the full review.


  • 20
    Why you should watch out: Another ’80s Tom Hanks classic, this PG-rated comedy includes a kid (Hanks’ character’s best friend) using “f–k,” plus a few “goddamn”s, “a–hole,” “bastard” and more. Watch out for a fair bit of smoking, innuendo (“I get to be on top!”) and even a scene in which Hanks — playing a 12-year-old boy trapped in a man’s body — touches his love interest’s breast. Read the full review.


  • 21
    Why you should watch out: Bill Murray‘s dialogue alone has plenty of double entendres, but the real eyebrow-raisers in this 1984 supernatural comedy are the scenes in which it’s implied that Dan Aykroyd‘s character receives oral sex from a ghost and in which Sigourney Weaver‘s character, while possessed, writhes around and asks Murray to have sex with her. Read the full review.


  • 22
    Why you should watch out: Most of the strong language in this perennial favorite is in the racy song “Greased Lightning” — from “s–t” to “p—y wagon” — but a lot of it is said/sung so quickly that kids might not pick it up. Characters also say “crap,” “ass” and “God” (as an exclamation). And then there’s all the smoking, flirting and virginity-mocking in this classic 1970s musical, as well as a teen pregnancy subplot that involves discussion of a broken condom and having a “bun in the oven.” Read the full review.


  • 23
    Why you should watch out: This 1989 Steve Martin comedy is about a big family and has lots of kid actors, but it’s rated PG-13 and there are plenty of references to sex — including between teens — as well as a very memorable scene in which the power goes out and someone grabs what they think is a flashlight but is definitely not. Read the full review.


  • 24
    Why you should watch out: The granddaddy of all spoof movies may be rated PG, but it’s from 1980, before the PG-13 rating existed. And it has plenty of innuendo — not to mention a scene with a brief glimpse of a topless woman. Read the full review.


  • 25
    Sixteen Candles
    Why you should watch out: Most of us probably do think of this as a teen movie, but lest you be tempted to put it on for younger kids due to the PG rating (another relic of the pre-PG-13 era), don’t forget about the scenes involving a teen girl’s panties going on display to a group of guys, a girl’s naked torso in the shower and the strong implication of drunken sex. Read the full review.


  • 26
    Beauty and the Beast
    Why you should watch out: From the angry mob storming Beast’s castle to the rooftop battle in the rain, there’s plenty here to keep kids on edge. Sure, it’s a Disney princess movie, but the scene in which everyone participates in the rousing number “Gaston” has a surprising amount of jiggly cleavage on display, courtesy of the buxom barmaids. Read the full review.


  • 27
    Why you should watch out: The climactic moments in which Annie flees from her captors by climbing up a raised railway drawbridge is the kind of peril that can leave young children cowering. Read the full review.


  • 28
    Why you should watch out: Pixar’s mother-daughter tale is beautifully animated, but the scenes that feature large, angry bears may leave you ducking for cover. Read the full review.


  • 29
    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
    Why you should watch out: This fantastical tale of a flying car features a supremely creepy “child catcher” character who could be the stuff of nightmares for sensitive kids. Read the full review.


  • 30
    Curious George
    Why you should watch out: George getting caged up and sent to the jungle might be too distressing for the youngest viewers. Read the full review.


  • 31
    The Great Mouse Detective
    Why you should watch out: When the father mouse gets kidnapped by a bat, your kid may run for cover. Read the full review.


  • 32
    Why you should watch out: Anything based on a book by Roald Dahl will have scary moments. Be ready for scenes in which kids who displease an evil principal are put in “the chokey” — a dark closet lined with nails and broken glass. Read the full review.


  • 33
    Why you should watch out: There are lots of grim scenes in this classic Disney movie: Pinocchio is kidnapped and caged, threatened with destruction and encounters an enormous whale. And then there’s Pleasure Island, where “bad boys” are turned into donkeys and sent to work in salt mines. Read the full review.


  • 34
    The Secret of Nimh
    Why you should watch out: Rodents are far from cute and cuddly in this serious, often dark adventure. There’s blood, a death, a murder plot, frequent peril, disturbing flashbacks to scientific experiments and more. Read the full review.


  • 35
    Toy Story 3
    Why you should watch out: The junkyard/incinerator scene is a truly harrowing sequence in which the toys seem headed for certain destruction. (And even the first movie had some pretty scary toys in Sid’s room!) Read the full review.


  • 36
    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
    Why you should watch out: In a movie that’s pretty trippy overall, the infamously psychedelic boat-ride-through-the-tunnel scene stands out as a “yikes” moment. (Like Matilda, this one is a Dahl adaptation.) Read the full review.


  • 37
    The Wizard of Oz
    Why you should watch out: Most people find the Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys extremely creepy, and the scene in which Miss Gulch turns into the witch in the tornado often frightens kids (as do the times she appears/disappears in a plume of red smoke). Read the full review.


  • 38
    The Goonies
    Why you should watch out: Kids and adults alike use “s–t” several times over the course of this exciting, Steven Spielberg-produced adventure, and you’ll hear “damn,” “goddamn,” “ass,” “hell,” “oh my God” and more, too. Read the full review.


  • 39
    The Bad News Bears
    Why you should watch out: Not only do the kids in this edgy ’70s baseball comedy swear (“s–t,” “goddamn,” “a–hole,” “bastard” and more), but they also smoke and are given beer by an adult. Read the full review.


  • 40
    A Christmas Story
    Why you should watch out: While the movie’s most memorable language-related moment actually centers on a word that isn’t said (“Oh, fuuuuudge!” “Only I didn’t say fudge.”), there’s lots of discussion about profanity, and a few other choice terms pop up: “ass,” “son of a bitch,” “hell,” “hot damn” and the like. Read the full review.


  • 41
    Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    Why you should watch out: True, Ferris is more for teens anyway (as are John Hughes‘ other classic ’80s teen comedies, all of which are pretty salty — especially the R-rated Breakfast Club), but given his long-lasting appeal, it’s worth a reminder that everything from “f–k” (said once) to “s–t” (used often) pops up. Read the full review.


  • 42
    Stand by Me
    Why you should watch out: Between the swearing (“f–k,” “s–t,” “a–hole” and more), the ultra-gross barfing scenes and the dead body at the center of the story, this coming-of-age classic based on a Stephen King novella certainly earns its R rating — but people tend to forget that, since it’s set in the ’50s and has a strongly nostalgic tone. Read the full review.


Click on the link to read How Life Changes When You Become a Parent (Video)

Click on the link to read How to Spend Time With Your Kids When You Have No Time

Click on the link to read The Meaning of Being a Father (Video)

Click on the link to read 24 Signs You Are a Mother

Click on the link to read A Father’s Priceless Reaction to his Son’s Report Card (Video)

Click on the link to read A New Way to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth



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