Ah childhood, what a time to be carefree and binge-watch television shows. Life was so simple when we lived for Saturday morning cartoons. Now as adults, we reminisce those days and see those shows in a different light. So much so that we stop and think how some characters slipped past us. We'd like to chock it up to the fact that we didn't know better or know more now that we've matured; but some of the antagonists in our favorite shows might've been made for an older audience.
Just about every story has a protagonist and an antagonist and it's clearly a bit hard to decipher when we're young. Now that we look back or see reruns on the television, it's a bit easier to see that some of these villains had a deeper motive and weren't children-friendly after all. Take a look at the 20 children's cartoon villains below and decide once and for all if these characters should've come with a censor.
20 The Other Mother (Coraline)
It's not a secret that this character is questionable when it comes to its censor rating. The movie Coraline is about a little girl who wishes she had a different family. One day she finds a secret door and finds another world with her "other" parents.
Once she finds out that the grass truly isn't greener on the other side, her "Other Mother" turns into this terrifying creature. Even as an adult this is creepy, so we're not sure how this character is child-friendly.
19 Freaky Fred (Courage The Cowardly Dog)
There were some weird characters on Cartoon Network's, Courage the Cowardly Dog, but Freaky Fred takes the gold medal for creepiest. As Muriel's cousin, he comes to visit the desolate house and straight away Courage knows he's not normal.
He carries around hair clippers that he, to put it lightly, has a slight obsession with. His smile is off, his interest in taking all of Courage's hair is unsettling, (except his tail of course) and really as a cartoon villain all around, he should've come with a warning.
18 Hexxus (Ferngully)
We may lose a few youngsters to this villain above, but bear with us. FernGully is a classic story about an untouched, beautiful fairy land that man destroys. In order to fully comprehend just how toxic man's machines are, the writers of this film decided to create Hexxus. He sings, he's slimy and he gets very upset when the fairies rally against him. Once an oily looking creature, he turns into a terrifying skeleton that grows in size as he gathers strength. This is straight nightmare fuel even for an adult today.
17 The Witch (Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs)
One of the first Disney movies ever made, this OG villain is quite scary. Our little minds didn't fully understand what a poisoned apple would do to Snow White, but looking back, we've realized this is quite traumatizing. With her claw-like hands, her menacing look, and crooked walk, it's safe to say The Witch in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had a deadly wish for the beautiful lead in the story.
16 HIM (The Powerpuff Girls)
From his name to his demeanor and the hints of who "he" really is, it's without a doubt that "Him" is the top choice for inappropriate cartoon villains. This character acted sweet at times, but had a plan for destruction when it down to it. He'd always pop up unannounced and say one-liners like the one above that maybe shouldn't be on a children's show. Alas, we're sure kids didn't even realize what he represented and why he wore red so well.
15 Jafar (Aladdin)
This one might be a stretch, but let us explain. In Aladdin, Jafar was a self-centered villain that only had one thing in mind: power. That seems like quite the typical villain, but his methods were questionable. He hypnotized the king, dressed his daughter up in lingerie and threw her in a cage. He then tried to hypnotize her so she would take a liking to him. We see this now, but as children, we were probably still singing "A Whole New World" and waiting for the genie to reappear.
14 Professor Ratigan (The Great Mouse Detective)
We all know the story of a villain in a movie or television show that wants all the power of his supposed kingdom and will stop at nothing to get it. He has his band of thugs and a sidekick that will do anything for him. This seems atypical and all, but the way he goes about punishing his victims isn't for the faint of heart. He uses his beloved cat to take out people that fail or cross him and it makes us think twice about our own pets.
He doesn't do failure well and won't hesitate to tell it like it is before his victims are no more. All of these things add up to a less than child-friendly character that is self-involved and quick to act.
13 Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians)
When most of us think of puppies, we get happy and want to run to the next shelter to scoop one up. In the case of Cruella de Vil, she had an extremely different outlook when it came to furry pooches. 101 Dalmatians was a classic, but now that we're older, we realize how inappropriate this character was for children everywhere. She basically wanted this poor family's litter of puppies so she could use them for fur coats. We don't know about you, but if we really thought about it as kids, we would've turned it off and ran for the hills.
12 Judge Doom (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?)
Baron von Rotten A.K.A "Judge Doom" was a vicious villain in the classic, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? movie. Although only half of the film was a cartoon, it's enough to haunt our dreams. Judge Doom had a strong dislike towards the toons of ToonTown and would take pleasure in punishing them for the smallest mistake.
He rocked a black trench coat, yellow-tinted glasses and a sword stick as a cane in real life, but when he took to his toon form, he was even more of a nightmare-fueled villain. So much so that his toon character stuck with us since 1988.
11 Big Boy (Rugrats)
Rugrats was a staple in most of our lives back in the 1990s and for those of us that haven't seen it, it's a must. There were a lot of really good life lessons inter-weaved throughout the series, but there were also some questionable episodes as well. One in particular was the episode where Angelica was scared that her parents were going to have another baby and leave her behind. It then turned into night terrors for her and "Big Boy" emerged. He was big, he had an ominous voice and chased her down the hall like a scene straight out of A Nightmare on Elm Street. No thank you.
10 Madam Medusa (The Rescuers)
It isn't hard to tell that Madame Medusa is evil. Just one look at her and we know she's up to no good. Since 1977, she's been haunting us with her unstable antics and schemes to get what she wants. Her appearance is a little questionable and her sketchy pawn shop job lets us in on her swindling ways. This is all acceptable, but not when she gets a child involved.
9 Rasputin (Anastasia)
Just one look at this next villain and we know he's an evil guy. He's based on the real-life Russian psychic Rasputin, but much, much more menacing. He's banished from Russia, sells his soul to the underworld and comes back for vengeance. He then sets out on taking out Anastasia's family, except for her and her mother. What's so malevolent about Rasputin is how he tackles Anastasia (a young girl) and viciously grabs her. This isn't something a child should see, much less experience.
8 Oogie Boogie (The Nightmare Before Christmas)
Oh Oogie Boogie, how we love you and are afraid of you at the same time. Although Halloweentown is full of terrors and monsters, this guy is the baddest of them all. He's a gambler and doesn't like to lose. He captures Santa Claus and taunts and teases him with his machines and gadgets and some of them involve guns. We all know what those look like, even as children, but our society is much more sensitive about those things now.
7 The Skull (The Last Unicorn)
Talk about an oldie but a goodie, The Skull is a villain we don't want to mess with. To start, he signifies the dead, he likes his drink and can get testy if challenged. If someone doesn't have a libation for him, he doesn't want to help them at all. Basically, if there's nothing in it for him, he doesn't bother.
This movie might be before a lot of kids were born, but they can still appreciate the movie and how scary this guy is above.
6 Mr. Hitcher (Tiny Toons: How I Spent My Vacation)
The Hitcher might've only made a brief appearance in this Tiny Toon movie, but he was memorable in all the wrong ways. This goes to show kids at a young age how important it is not to pick up a hitchhiker, but their favorite characters do it anyway. He also kind of reminds us of a real-life monster that's out to hurt the toons and really, kids don't need that kind of negativity in their lives.
In the end things work out, but showing this to children might be a bit too much for their young minds.
5 The Hunters (Bambi)
This one is a little unconventional, but we think it deserves a spot on this list. Another oldie but goodie on this list, Bambi stands the test of time for one of the most classic Disney movies out there, but the beginning of the movie made us never want to watch it again.
We don't deserve animals in the first place, but when Disney depicts a hunter wanting to hurt Bambi and his mother. As we all know, Bambi's mother is unlucky and we're thinking it was too early to show kids how devastating this kind of situation is.
4 Sid (Toy Story)
We've all met a spoiled kid or two, but Sid is one of those characters you believe is rotten to the core. We know he's unhinged once we see his collection of toys, but we're even more assured when he gets his hands on Buzz and Woody. He tries to burn a hole in Woody and that might give others kids the mindless idea to do the same in real life.
We all want kids to treat their toys with respect, but Sid definitely missed that memo. He got what he deserved in the movie, but showing kids how awful he was to his toys might've been a little much.
3 Chernabog (Fantasia)
Disney movies drive us to use our imagination and believe in happy endings, but there are some films that are darker than others. Fantasia was a delightful mash-up of stories and adventures, but when Night on Bad Mountain appeared on our screen, we probably hid under the covers for a few days. Depicting another underworld character, we're not sure why producers had such a fascination with showing kids this type of villain. Chernabog stayed with us into adulthood and we'll never forget it.
2 The Horned King (The Black Cauldron)
It didn't matter what the backstory of The Horned King was, just one look at him and we knew we were in trouble. With his claw-like hands, glowing red eyes and an army of immortals, he's without a doubt too much for kids. We get where the creators of the villain were coming from, but combined with his intentions and personality, he's one of the scariest Disney villains out there.
He's cold and calculated as villains are, so there's no surprise there; but just his look gives us all shivers up our spine and that's enough for us to ask for a better censor.
1 Ghost Clown (Scooby Doo)
This last villain isn't a shocker, as a lot of us are extremely scared of clowns. Once deemed as funny and harmless, Hollywood has changed the game of how we perceive these characters. We're thinking Ghost Clown was one of the first dark clowns to grace our television screens and he might even be inspiration for villains such as "It" or other evil clowns that aren't making balloon animals for kids.
There was a lot of creepiness going on with Scooby and the gang, but this guy wins for the scariest in our eyes.