Heartbreaking Animated Films


For many, the Fox and the Hound was a nearly traumatizing experience when they watched it at such a young age. However, there exists a tier of traumatizing animated films created for the teenage or older range that were made around the same time. Adult animation is not always Family Guy or Rick and Morty. Sometimes it is horrific, weird, and sad films, typically made by the British. Here are five of the most traumatizing adult animated films of all time.


5. Animal Farm. Though not traumatizing emotionally, the horrors of Animal Farm land it a spot on this list. Anyone familiar with the book knows the tale of tyrant takeover and brainwashing. However, seeing these animals on a screen playing out the horrors of Soviet Russia make it hard to watch. As the oldest entry, and of course British, the visuals are striking. The age adds a creepy factor to the film that only amplifies the bizarre atmosphere. The ending also is such a frightening visual. It was one thing in high school to think about pigs being human, but too see the transformation is disturbing.


4. Grave of the Fireflies. The director of this masterpiece, Isao Takahata, recently passed away. His vision created a war drama to top all others. Though part of Studio Ghibli, this film is nothing like the light hearted My Neighbor Totoro. Brother and sister Seita and Setsuko must survive in World War II Japan as it is being bombed. Shortly into the film, their mother passes, leaving Seita in charge of his sister. As the duo tries to find shelter, food, and medicine, they share truly human moments. Devastating and emotional, this film truly breaks your heart. But that can you expect form a film that begins with the main character dying?


3. Felidae. Where to start with this film? A cat moves into a new neighborhood only to discover a weird lab in the attic and cat corpses showing up nearby. He enlists the help of new friends to solve the case of the murders. However, the visuals, slightly suggestive moments, and horrifying nightmare sequence make this film hard to watch at moments. The ending reveal is shocking, making you want to rewatch the film to see all that you missed.


2. Watership Down. This film is based of the popular book by Richard Adam. In tune with his bloody and violent narrative, the film is a gruesome experience. No punches are pulled as we follow the rabbits’ attempt to fight tyranny and create a utopian society. There is no secret of the struggles and deaths in this film. The atrocities that play out make sure this movie is not for children.


1. The Plague Dogs takes first place. A movie about animal cruelty and survival in the wild, there is nothing more traumatizing than watching these poor dogs fight for their lives. Plague Dogs follows Snitter and Rowf after they escape an illicit research facility. With Snitter's cognitive issues because of the experiments on his brain and Rowf's fear of the "white coats", the duo struggles after the facility warns that the dogs might carry the plague. The dogs have to avoid the military hunting them and humans unwilling to help them. The original book ending is very hopeful and happy; however, the film deters from this to create a more ambiguous and sad ending.


Some of these films are still on YouTube and can be viewed. Just make sure to have some tissues and a strong stomach. But, the beauty and lessons in each film make them must-sees.