6 Kid Movie Scenes That Should Come With a Warning

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2When I saw a family with two young toddlers settle into the seats three rows ahead of me for the 7:30 showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, I thought for a second they'd gotten the date wrong. Rumor has it our small town single screen theater will be showing Winnie the Pooh in a few weeks, when I intend to return WITH my daughter in tow. But as we got deeper and deeper into the PG-13 movie, and I didn't hear a peep out of the tots, a worse thought came to mind. Are they simply immune to the violence and fear?


I know I'm not the only mom who has sat down to watch a children's movie with my now 6-year-old and suddenly found her in my lap, clinging to my shoulders out of fear. I suppose fear is a fact of life, kids have to learn about it sometimes. And you really never know what will set some kids off, while their little buddies or little siblings will remain completely unfazed.

But a project over at MSNBC that calls for parents to submit a detailed analysis of the movie scene that freaked out their kids the most intrigued me this week. I wondered, if we could keep tabs on the scary scenes, and at least know that they were coming, could we prevent some of the fallout in case our kids are affected? It could be a handy list to have! So I reached out to ask some of my friends with kids around my daughter's age to weigh in on the scenes that scared their kids the most (SPOILERS abound, so beware!):

Shrek: When Shrek and Donkey enter the tower to rescue Fiona, they encounter a dragon who chases them around, scaring the pants off of my friend Amber's daughter. "I tried to fast forward but wasn't quick enough," she says. "Now I find myself at 2 a.m. turning all the lights on and roaring in the hallways to scare it away!"

The Lion King: The fight scene between Simba and his Uncle Scar, when the king is perilously close to falling off the edge of the cliff and into the fire, haunted my friend Kathy's nephew.

Toy Story 3: My friend Trina's daughter isn't alone in shuddering when the toys find themselves headed straight toward an incinerator. Sitting a few seats down from me, in between her two friends, my daughter literally screamed out loud in the theater (and in typical 5-year-old boy fashion, her little friend clamped his hand over her mouth to shut her up!).

Beauty and the Beast: It's a beautiful story of how love can rescue the darkest heart, but when the wolves set upon Beast as he's rescuing Belle in the forest, my 6-year-old wants none of it. The characters she loves are getting hurt, and her heart goes out to them!

The Princess and the Frog: Sitting at a birthday party over the weekend, discussing scary movies, I learned that a friend's daughter refuses to open her eyes when Dr. Facilier is working his black magic. Proving my point about how it affects some kids and not others, I thought this scene would make my daughter jump when we took her to the theater, but she was so caught up in the magic of seeing her first in-theater movie that she didn't bat an eye.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Proving that scaring the pants off kids in children's movies is hardly a new idea, the moment Gene Wilder takes a bunch of kids into the tunnel on his psychedelic boat trip is a freak-out fest for kids. Come to think of it, I don't know many adults who are crazy about seeing a chicken killed ...

What movie scenes freak your kids out? Do you turn the films off entirely, or just try to work around the freaky scenes?


Image via Harry Potter

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