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Top 10 Terrifying Deaths in Disney Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Nick Spake. Chills and death?! Yes, these animated movies are for kids. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 terrifying deaths in Disney movies. For this list, we’re taking a look at the most horrifying deaths from Disney’s animation library that scarred children for life and left parents asking, “Was that seriously in a G-rated flick?” Special thanks to our users kenn1987, boondocks43, Andrew A. Dennison, PollsMan, Jessica Schmeler, Gamerchick21, Kyle Kurchak, Kyeju, DaJoe86 and Sebastian Butler for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Nick Spake.

Top 10 Terrifying Deaths in Disney Movies

Chills and death?! Yes, these animated movies are for kids. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 terrifying deaths in Disney movies.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the most horrifying deaths from Disney’s animation library that scarred children for life and left parents asking, “Was that seriously in a G-rated flick?” If you didn’t see a death you thought should be on the list, be sure to check out our videos on the Top 10 Darkest and Scariest Disney Moments, the Top 10 Cartoon Deaths in Film and the Top Saddest Cartoon Movie Moments. And obviously, SPOILER ALERT.

#10: Gaston
“Beauty and the Beast” (1991)

After an intense battle atop the Beast’s castle, it looks like maybe Gaston and the Beast might part ways without spilling any blood. Since the phrase “live and let live” is foreign to the egotistical hunter, though, Gaston literally stabs his prey in the back. This proves to be Gaston’s undoing as he loses his balance and plummets to his death. If you think Gaston could have miraculously survived the fall somehow, the animators ruled out this possibility by adding a skull and crossbones to his pupils. How subliminally horrifying!

#9: Scar
“The Lion King” (1994)

Being something of a Shakespearean villain, it’s only appropriate that Scar is given a proper Shakespearean sendoff. Unlike Gaston, Scar survives his fall after fighting the film’s hero. It’s what’s waiting at the bottom of Pride Rock that leads to his ultimate demise. Turns out that Scar’s hyena lackeys don’t appreciate being thrown under the bus. As fire engulfs the area, the hyenas surround their former boss, maul him to death, and likely devour his carcass as the camera pans up from the massacre. Ah well, circle of life.

#8: Professor Ratigan
“The Great Mouse Detective” (1986)

As hard as Ratigan attempts to present himself as a refined elitist, he’s really nothing more than a filthy rat. When his schemes fall apart, Ratigan lets the beast inside run rampant as he pursues Basil and little Olivia inside Big Ben. The use of sound and building music adds to the tension as Ratigan homes in on our heroes, practically ripping Basil to shreds with his claws. But as the clock bell tolls, Ratigan’s time on earth officially runs out, plunging him to an appropriate fate for a rat.

#7: Judge Claude Frollo
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996)

Frollo has deluded himself into thinking that he’s a righteous man and soldier of God when in reality, he’s committed every deadly sin in the book. Frollo’s lifetime of sinning and hypocrisy finally catch up to him atop Notre Dame. Before he can do Quasimodo and Esmeralda in, Frollo finds himself standing under a crumbling gargoyle. Staring a devil in the face, Follo drops to his final resting place in a sea of hellfire and molten copper. Talk about an ironic way to go out.

#6: Stegosaurus
“Fantasia” (1940)

This is definitely one of the most blunt deaths in all Disney movies. In the film’s “Rite of Spring” segment, the peaceful lives of the herbivorous dinosaurs are interrupted by a ferocious T-Rex. All the dinosaurs successfully flee, with the exception of one slow stegosaurus. Being a Disney movie, you’d expect something to come along and save the innocent creature. While the stegosaurus puts up a good fight, his predator naturally triumphs. It’s a truly grounded depiction of prehistoric animal nature and nature in general, never condescending to the audience.

#5: Maleficent
“Sleeping Beauty” (1959)

You’d be hard-pressed to find a Disney movie with a bigger, more exciting final showdown than “Sleeping Beauty.” In the film’s climax, the wicked Maleficent decides to bring her A-game to the table by calling on the powers of hell and taking on the form of a fire-breathing dragon in a garden of thorns. Thanks to the three fairies’ magic, though, Prince Phillip strikes Maleficent in her black heart with his virtuous sword. Thus, a ghastly villain meets her gruesome end, notably shedding some fairly graphic blood for a Disney movie.

#4: Doctor Facilier
“The Princess and the Frog” (2009)

Where Frollo only figuratively fell into hell, Dr. Facilier is literally dragged there in this scene from “The Princess and the Frog.” Facilier believes he has the upper hand with demonic powers on his side, but he underestimates Tiana and her sticky tongue. With his voodoo charm destroyed, Facilier’s friends from the other side appear to collect their debt. In satanic Mardi Gras fashion, an army of masks, dolls, and shrunken heads take Facilier to their world, whether he’s ready or not. The moral of the story: Don’t screw with voodoo.

#3: The Evil Queen
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937)

The Evil Queen might have succeeded in offing Snow White, but she soon learns that even monarchs can’t get away with murder. As the seven dwarfs race back to the cottage, the queen absconds up a nearby mountain and attempts to crush her pursuers with a giant boulder. When a lightning bolt strikes the cliff, though, the queen becomes the first of many Disney baddies to fall to their death. Even if the fall didn’t kill her, the boulder most certainly did, providing dinner for some lingering, hungry vultures.

#2: Clayton
“Tarzan” (1999)

This death seems more like something out of a “Final Destination” movie than a Disney animated feature. Sure, there’s no gore, but there might as well be. In the midst of a jungle brawl with Tarzan, Clayton finds himself tangled in a cluster of vines. Unaware of the vine wrapped around his neck, Clayton gets reckless with his machete and hangs his head in defeat. The only glimpse the audience gets of the body is via its shadow, which is almost as haunting as seeing the actual carnage.

Before we give our top pick the axe, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Scroop
“Treasure Planet” (2002)
- Mr. Arrow
“Treasure Planet” (2002)
- Kocoum
“Pocahontas” (1995)
- Mother Gothel
“Tangled” (2010)

#1: Ursula
“The Little Mermaid” (1989)

Ursula is already a pretty terrifying presence on her own. How can you make her any more intimidating? How about by having her grow like a hundred feet, giving her an all-powerful triton, and bathing her in a whirlpool of chaos! The only thing more frightening than Ursula herself is how she perishes as Prince Eric impales her with a ship, sending the sea witch to a watery grave. No matter how old you are, this is total scary overdrive and it was all brought to you by the dark magic of Disney.

Do you agree with our list? What Disney death terrified you the most? For more fatal Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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