8) The Toys Threaten Sid In Toy Story
One of Pixar’s darkest moments came right at the very beginning, with Toy Story‘s depiction of formerly friendly toys turning on a human – a kid, no less – that happens to be threatening one of their own.
Sid, one of Pixar’s most monstrous villains, is a sadist with a penchant for surgically torturing toys. Around the midway mark he gets designs on blowing Buzz Lightyear up with a firework rocket. It’s seriously not cool, but still…
Sure, Sid is an animal, but he’s also an actual child, with what appear to be some troubling emotional issues – does he really deserve the punishment that Woody has in store for him? Broken toys crawling out of the garden mud like zombies, heads turning 360 Exorcist-style, inanimate objects suddenly addressing their victim personally; it’s enough to make Sid understandably crap his pants in fear.
7) Hopper Gets Fed To The Birds In A Bug’s Life
It’s become something of a forgotten Pixar film, but A Bug’s Life is an early example of how sweetly innocent the studio can be when it isn’t telling stories about murderous sea creatures or toys dealing with existential questions of mortality. It’s a simple tale of an ant named Flik, just trying to make his mark in the world, and a group of circus bugs hired to protect Flik’s ant colony, Seven Samurai-style, from a tribe of grasshoppers. So far, so quaint.
For the film’s climax, however, things get a tad darker, as Flik is confronted by the head of the grasshopper gang, Hopper, for a final showdown. It’s all set up for Flik’s circus friends to happily save the day – then directors John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton decide to recognize the realities of the food chain, and have Hopper grabbed by a bird, which in turn feeds Hopper to its hungry children as he screams in agony. And so, the circle of life is – horribly – complete.