Top Ten Disney Deaths
November 20, 2011
(The Nostalgia Chick is on her couch, reading a copy of Frank Hebert’s Dune. She drops the book in disgust and starts reading a copy of How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint. Nella comes and sits down on the couch in a huff.)
Nella: Lindsay. What’s a good method of murder?
NCh: Who do you want to kill?
Nella: That’s not important. I just need a way.
NCh: Wait, so you’re looking for a creative means of death with no traceable accountability.
Nella: Yes! Yes, it’s perfect!
NCh: Wait a minute, I have just the thing! (Nostalgia Chick pulls a big smiley face and holds up copies of various Disney and Pixar movies such as: The Great Mouse Detective, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Robin Hood, Aladdin and Enchanted.)
Nella: Of course. No Disney character ever dies of a natural death!
NCh: I know, it’s a veritable treasure trove of horrible ways to die!
(Cut to various animated Disney deaths)
NCh (VO): Impaling deaths, crushing deaths, death by gun. They can’t all die by gravity, so sometimes Disney needs to get creative with how to off their baddies. Or their baddies’ minions. Or sometimes their good guys. Death is a part of drama and Disney knows drama.
NCh: And so, just for the fun of being horrified by our treasured childhood memories, let us now countdown the top ten Disney deaths. And just a warning, this contains spoilers for... all of the Disney movies. Like, all of them.
The title “The Top Ten Horrible Disney Deaths!” pops up while a montage of Disney films appear whilst “Let's Sing A Gay Little Spring Song” from Bambi plays in the background. This will serve as the interlude throughout the countdown. Also note that for this transcript, examples from certain movies which correspond to the relevant Disney death will appear in brackets next to the title of said death.)
NCh (VO): Number 10: Getting Shot.
NCh: Getting shot goes pretty low on the list because, lets face it, in the animated world, there are a lot more innovative ways to go and getting shot’s among the least interesting.
(Clip of Kocum’s death from Pocahontas)
NCh (VO): America has a long proud history of shooting people; just look at how this country began.
(Clip of Kerchak’s death from Tarzan)
NCh (VO): Being shot seems to be among the more noble ways to go by way of Disney. Not to mention bloodless apparently.
(Cut to a clip from Bambi, where Bambi and his mother are running from the hunters)
NCh (VO): But it’s kind of dull, honestly I probably wouldn’t even put it on this list, but for one of the most iconic Disney deaths out there. Now Bambi is kind of like The Lion King if The Lion King didn’t really have a plot. But say what you want about Bambi, it’s a damn good looking movie and, if for no other reason than this, one of the most memorable...
(A gun shot is heard and Bambi’s mother is not seen following Bambi and... well you know what happens)
NCh (VO): The offscreen death is very effective, but honestly, my favorite thing about this scene is the transition.
(Cut to the transition, where it is now spring and everything is joyous and sunny and “Let's Sing A Gay Little Spring Song” plays RIGHT AFTER A POOR MOTHER DEER WAS SHOT DEAD!)
NCh (VO): La la la la, la la la la, la la, anyway moving on...
#9: Hanging (As seen in Tarzan) Edit
NCh (VO): Number 9: Hanging.
NCh: When it comes to the Disney animated canon, there’s only one movie that has being eviscerated by a large predator, getting shot and hanging among its ways to die. That I know of.
(Cut to the battle scene in Tarzan, where Clayton is tangled in the vines and he tries to free himself with his machete, but one vine gets caught around his neck and...)
NCh (VO): This particular death is a good example of absolving the good guy from having to kill by having the bad guy inadvertently and metaphorically do himself in in one of the more gruesome ways he could have,really. I mean, I guess he could have fallen on that machete, that would have been pretty intense. Instead, we get this...
(Clayton falls from the vines with one still tangled around around his neck. The vine snaps and hangs Clayton. His machete falls and Tarzan lands to the ground in a thump, as lightning strikes and the audience sees the shadow of Clayton’s lifeless body hanging from the trees.)
NCh (VO): Oh snap! Literally snap.
(Jane comes to comfort Tarzan)
NCh (VO): What a fucker huh, oh well.
#8: Electrocution (As seen in Oliver & Company) Edit
NCh (VO): Number 8: Electrocution.
NCh (VO): (Cut to a scene where Cheech Marin’s character Tito is electrocuted by car wires) As evidenced from this scene in Oliver and Company, electrocution in cartoons is very rarely the cause of death. (Cut to Who Framed Roger Rabbit, where Roger is humorously electrocuted by power points.) More often, it’s the cause of funny. Oliver and Company’s bad guy is the world’s worst loan shark, only he has dogs for thugs instead of thugs... for thugs. Speaking of which...
(Cut to the chase scene in the subway, where Roscoe is shown to be electrocuted and killed by the electrified third rail.)
NCh (VO): Yikes! Electrocution by that third rail. I keep hearing about that, but I never see it. I see rats on that damn thing all the time though.
NCh: So that's why the subway's always stopping: dead dogs are blocking the tracks.
NCh (VO): Not to mention all those damn dog musical numbers.
Dodger: (as voiced by Billy Joel) ...#Why should I worry? Why Should I Ca-a-are?#...
NCh: Yeah. Why should you care indeed? You’re not driving.
#7: Sucked Into Hell (As seen in Hercules, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Princess and the Frog and The Black Cauldron) Edit
NCh (VO): Number 7: Sucked Into Hell.
NCh (VO): Being evil, and the movies never wanting the good guy to have a direct hand in murder, being dragged into hell is a popular final destination for Disney villains. (Cut to Hercules, with Hades being pulled into the pool of death) Happens quite literally to Hades, though one must assume that, being a god, he didn’t die down there. Maybe just had a hard time getting out. (Cut to Frollo’s death in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where he falls of the edge of the church into the fiery mob down below) The very religiously themed Hunchback of Notre Dame, however, had its bad guy die by falling into a “symbolic hell” if you will. (Cut to the death scene of Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog, where the voodoo spirits drag him into hell) But for Princess and the Frog’s Dr. Facilier, it is the real damn thing when Tiana breaks the source of all his power and the evil voodoo spirits come to collect him. (Dr. Facilier is shown to be dragged into the graveyard and into the fiery pits below, as Tiana watches in horror) That’s dark.
NCh: Irrelevant point 1: I think people are too hard on this movie, irrelevant point 2: I really like his villain song.
(Cut to The Black Cauldron, where the Horned King is dragged and ripped into the cauldron, piece by piece.)
NCh (VO): But the worst, by-random-little-known-swept-under-the-rug-happenstance must be the Horned King. The cauldron at the end doesn’t drag him into the hell pit, it... rips him in. Holy shit! Holy shit! Uh, God, his ski...Uhhh!
NCh: Ew. Do we have anything that leaves less of a mess?
#6: Exploding (As seen in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Toy Story, Mulan, Oliver and Company and The Little Mermaid) Edit
NCh (VO): Number 6: Exploding.
NCh (VO): Explosion is a good kids movie way to go because it doesn’t leave any gross bodies. (Cut to the explosion of the submarine in Atlantis: The Lost Empire) The cast of Atlantis starts out in the hundreds, but it gets widled down to a couple dozen pretty quickly. (Cut to a scene where the surviving crew have a memorial) Rest in peace, y’all get a hat with a candle. Anyway, we’ve got a treasure to hunt down and a billion characters to develop. (Cut to Toy Story, where Sid blows up Combat Carl) There’s a Combat Carl we never meet in Toy Story, but being a soldier we can presume that he was probably a nice guy... (He blows up) Oh, body parts. (Cut to the battle scene in Mulan, between her and Shang Yu) With Shang Yu in Mulan, I feel like his death was a product of the writers sitting around and going: “What are really Chinese things? Hmmm..., the color red, forbidden city..., fireworks, let’s combine ‘em!” (Cut to Shang Yu’s death scene where he is pushed by a large firework into a tower full of other fireworks and blows up) Death by culture. Kaboom! (Cut to Oliver and Company’s subway chase scene) Let us not forget also about the heartless loan shark Sykes. Yeah, he’s kind of a dumbass. Loan sharking doesn’t have to leave much of a paper trail, but kidnapping? Are you a complete idiot? So if you are evil and kind of an idiot with no foresight, the public transportation of New York City will kill you. (Cut to Sykes’ death scene, where he is run over by an oncoming subway train that blows him and his car up) Ouch. (NChick suddenly notices the dog’s go-kart jumping up onto the bridge’s suspension wires) Wait, how the hell did that little go-kart jump up on the, and just, oh whatever.
NCh: But the blue ribbon for horrifying in this category, gotta give it to Flotsam and Jetsam.
(Cut to The Little Mermaid, where Flotsam and Jetsam are blown up by King Triton’s trident.)
NCh (VO): Eyeball! Eyeball and bits, so bloody bits! Ugh. Don’t think I’m gonna have sushi any time soon.
NCh: I thought I said I didn’t want messy!
#5: Getting Crushed (As seen in Hercules, Mulan and The Princess and the Frog) Edit
NCh (VO): Number 5: Being Crushed.
NCh: So being crushed is kind of a painful and horrifying way to go, especially if you’re so crushed that you’re not quite dead yet, but dying, but still not quite dead that you can still give a dying speech. So it’s odd that this is often a good guy way to go.
NCh (VO): (Cut to a clip of Hercules, with Megara being crushed by a column) In Megara’s case, it didn’t leave much of a mark, but that’s probably because she’s already so skinny. (Megara tries to give her dying speech) This little speech probably should’ve sounded a bit more like... (NChick make choking sounds). Usually a good guy death, (cut to Mulan and the Hun army charging at the Chinese) except for the entirety of the Hun army, which is crushed by Mulan, with an avalanche. Mulan: the only princess with a body count, in the thousands. (Cut to Ray the lightning bug in The Princess and the Frog) But the one that sticks out the most to me is probably Ray from The Princess and the Frog.
Ray: Don’t make me light my butt!
NCh (VO): Now I’m not wild about Ray as a character, but I was pretty legitimately surprised that this happened...
(Cut to Dr. Facilier crushing Ray with his foot. There are crunching sounds.)
NCh (VO): Oh, holy hell, there’s a crunch! And then he fluffs his jacket: like a boss. Y’know with that in mind, like Megara, it’s surprising that Ray doesn’t look flatter when he’s brought in for his goodbye speech. But unlike Megara, he actually stays dead, but by God, if he doesn’t get a big damn send-off.
(During Ray’s send-off, everyone looks up at the sky and sees another star next to “Evangeline”, symbolizing how Ray has finally joined her.)
NCh: And then no one was sad anymore. Moving on.
#4: Impaling (As seen in Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid) Edit
NCh (VO): Number 4: Impaling.
NCh: This one’s rarer than you’d think because it requires a good guy to have a hand,...
NCh (VO): (brief scene from The Little Mermaid) ...or a ship...
NCh: ...in murder. So that’s why when they get impaled, they usually turn into big scary monsters first.
NCh (VO): (Cut to Maleficent’s death in Sleeping Beauty) Maleficent was the original and I always thought that that was kind of a bogus way for such a badass character to go but, nyah, what are you gonna do? Chop that one off the evil overlord list. Number 26: I will not turn into a giant reptile. (Brief scene from Aladdin) It never helps. (Cut to Ursula’s death scene in The Little Mermaid) Same thing happens to Ursula when she gets turned into a giant herself. She’s cackling evilly, everything’s looking good until Eric steers a boat right into her. Not all that interesting really, but Ursula gets points for being so memorable. (A dead Ursula sinks into the ocean) Now who’s gonna clean that up?
#3: Eaten Alive (As seen in Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, Tarzan and The Lion King) Edit
NCh (VO): Number 3: Eaten Alive.
NCh (VO): (A couple of scenes play from The Rescuers, Peter Pan and The Rescuers Down Under play out to show examples of Disney Crocodiles/Alligators) There are few instances of Disney crocodiles and trapping people or chasing them offscreen or off a waterfall. But this probably didn’t end in death, well, except off that waterfall.
NCh: Oh no; there are plenty of instances where vicious non-speaking predators get the job done.
NCh (VO): (Cut to Coral’s death in Finding Nemo) Nemo’s mom and all of his hundreds of siblings: boom, one foul swoop. (Cut to A Bug’s Life, where Hopper is feed to baby birds) Hopper from A Bug’s Life, eaten not just by a bird, but a baby bird. His poor dignity and, well who cares; he’s dead. (Hopper is feed to the baby birds as the camera zooms into the bird’s mouth. Just after this, the camera zooms out of the ant’s snail horn, transitioning to the circus bug’s farewell) La la la la la: another Bambi scene transition. (Cut to Tarzan, where Sabor the leopard is shown to kill both Kala’s and Kerchak’s baby and Tarzan’s parents) And man, Tarzan is a cold movie. Not two minutes in, and we’ve got an adorable unnamed baby gorilla eaten by a leopard. At least Marlin’s eggs hadn’t hatched yet; that baby gorilla just got offed. Not just the baby gorilla though, Tarzan’s parents too and pretty gruesomely, it seems. Death by the most counterintuitive leopard ever; goes for the parents and not the defenseless baby. (Cut to The Lion King, where Scar is being eyed upon by the vengeful Hyenas) But the worst of them all has got to be Uncle Scar: ripped apart by angry, vengeful, starving hyenas. (Ed the Hyena starts laughing like a maniac as they all approach Scar) Yeah, I, I, think that one speaks for itself. (The Hyenas pounce on Scar, which can be seen in the shadows of the cliff as the fire engulfs them all.)
#2: Gravity (As seen in The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, The Great Mouse Detective, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Planet and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) Edit
NCh (VO): Number 2: Gravity.
NCh (VO): (Various gravity induced death scenes play) Ah yes, the most common of the Disney deaths. Percival C. McLeach, Gaston, Professor Ratigan, Mufasa, Frollo, blonde chick from Atlantis, this guy... this guy... w...like, lack of gravity. Guys, why do we always end our movies up on high places? (Cut to clips of the queen’s death from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) But for the pinnacle of this one, you gotta go with the very original: the evil queen from Snow White.
NCh: Pssst, yo, queen, y’know, why, why go after this yourself, you know, you’re a queen; delegate. I mean, I know it didn’t work out so well with the huntsman, but you could’ve like thrown his body up on the castle wall as an example or something.
NCh (VO): Point being, if you just hadn’t tried to crush those dwarfs, the lightning wouldn’t have hit that cliff as the god of this universe is extremely pro-dwarf and you should know that. And then, you wouldn’t have fallen to your death and then the boulder fell on you and then, (sees the vultures grinning at the queen’s corpse) ugh, vultures.
NCh: It’s the vultures that really make this scene.
NCh (VO): That and the look of: however this turns out, it’s gonna be a good night.
Honorable Mentions Edit
NCh: So what could possibly top gravity in terms of Disney deaths; the most, common, known and beloved of all the methods of dying? Well, we’ll get to that in a second, but first: some honorable mentions:
NCh (VO): (Cut to The Hunchback of Notre Dame) Quasimodo’s Mom: Death by Skull Crack. Yugh.
(Cut to Tangled) Mother Gothel from Tangled: Evaporates into dust a la the guy from Indiana Jones 3.
(Cut to The Incredibles) Syndrome: Sucked into a jet engine.
(Cut to Atlantis: The Lost Empire) And Rourke from Atlantis, I, um, he’s like a cr-crystal, and, I, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t really know what's going on here.
Milo: Thank heaven.
NCh (VO): Seven Eleven. OK, alright, he’s still, OK, I think the propeller got him. Well, maybe we could file this one away under an explosion, I, I, I don’t know what happened there.
NCh: There are a lot of horrifying deaths on this list, but most of them are quick and relatively painless. Number 1 is neither of these things.
Interlude plays without background music
#1: The Dip (As seen in Who Framed Roger Rabbit*) Edit
*Note: This pick still counts as technically, Roger Rabbit is owned by Disney and therefore, eligible for this list despite being released under the Touchstone Pictures label.
(Cut to the scene where Judge Doom introduces The Dip to Valiant and Santino)
Lt. Santino: Remember how we always thought there wasn’t a way to kill a toon? Well Doom found a way: Turpentine Acetone Benzene. He calls it “The Dip”.
NCh (VO): OK, so this one might be kind of cheating since I did say I was sticking to Disney animated features canon. And this one’s only half-animated and all “Zemeckis”, but, I don’t know, this one’s just, it’s too horrifying, too gruesome, it just has to be at number one. Plus, it applies only to animated characters: a race-specific tool of genocide, so it totally counts.
NCh: I couldn’t manage the whole way through Roger Rabbit ‘till I was 10 because of this scene.
NCh (VO): Gravity might be the most common Disney death, but this one wins for both originality and being the most traumatizing.
(Scene plays where Judge Doom slowly and painfully dips the shoe.)
NCh (VO): That shoe was an innocent! Maybe not a verbal shoe, but it clearly had shoe thoughts and shoe dreams! That shoe was murdered in cold blood! (Cut to Judge Doom’s demise) Judge Doom was at least often self-defense, although he did also melt horribly.
(Scene plays out showing Doom screaming and wailing while melting in Dip.)
NCh (VO): In some regards though, I feel like Judge Doom’s death was even worse because first we have to watch him getting flattened, regain his old state, only to be blasted with Dip and melt right where he stands.
NCh: So, I think that just about covers it. (To Nella) Which method is good for you?
Nella: Oh, I don’t even know yet, I’d just know I’d kill for a grilled chicken Greek salad.
NCh: You mean you don’t even know who you need to kill?
Nella: No, not really.
NCh: How ‘bout you write a strongly worded letter for your Greek chicken salad?
Nella: Can I use the word egregious?
NCh: I... guess?
Nella: (starts writing her letter, while NChick goes back to reading her Carbon Footprint book) To whom it may concern... the egregious, lack...
(End Credits roll as Nella continues to write her letter)
Nella (VO): ...of grilled chicken salad (She and Lindsay start to laugh) in my life is unfathomably redonkulous.