Disturbing Don Bluth: An Introduction

So for the past number of months I have been regaling you with tales of ‘Disturbing Disney’, finding the most disturbing Disney film moments I can remember and breaking them down in minute detail. Rest assured I have no plans of ending that series anytime soon (in fact I’m making plans to turn that series into a book, though that won’t come to pass for a while), but given how I still feel under the weather today, I thought I would take some time to introduce the subject of Disturbing Disney’s sister series: Don Bluth.

If you found any part of Disturbing Disney remotely disturbing or messed up, believe me when I say, you’ve seen NOTHING yet. It dawned on me somewhere around entry #10 that Don Bluth would require a series all his own to highlight the psychological torture he unwittingly put me through as a child.

For those who may not have seen the..imaginative…works of Don Bluth, allow me to make introductions. Don Bluth is, to be fair, a talented animator who originally worked for Disney, his first job as an assistant on Sleeping Beauty (1959). He returned to Disney full time in the 1970s and worked on Robin Hood, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, The Rescuers and he directed the animation for Pete’s Dragon. Not long after this, Bluth took 9 fellow Disney animators and set off to start his own animation studio, one that he hoped would rival Disney itself. Bluth was frustrated with how Disney was run at the time, and he wanted to revive the traditional animation that originally made Disney films famous.

Starting with The Secret of NIMH in 1982, Bluth directed a series of films that, though spectacularly animated, became the stuff of nightmares for children all over the world. And the biggest reason for this is due to Bluth’s philosophy on film: Bluth believed that children were capable of witnessing just about anything onscreen so long as the story had a happy ending that (in theory) cancelled out the previous trauma. In other words, Bluth wanted to go in directions that the Disney studio would not, considering that way ‘too dark.’

Disturbing Don Bluth will break down each of Bluth’s major films, all of which are full to the brim of Disturbing moments that, I assure you, will make Disturbing Disney look TAME by comparison. This series will look at films such as:

The Secret of NIMH (1982)

An American Tail (1986)

The Land Before Time (1988)

All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)

Thumbelina (1994)

That may seem like a short list, but in those films is contained more disturbing moments then I can count. For example, you’ll hear about how a young dinosaur nearly drowns in tar, a mouse is terrorized by a sea monster, a dog has a vivid nightmare of Hell (demons included) and one of the most traumatizing “death of a mother” scenes that I can remember (with one heck of a secret behind it).

I hope to be starting on this series very soon, and Disturbing Disney will also continue. I’m already feeling much better, so hopefully by Monday I will be able to resume a regular blogging schedule.

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4 thoughts on “Disturbing Don Bluth: An Introduction

  1. flickwatch78

    Great idea for a blog. Don Bluth is amazing. his animation is outstanding. You are completely dead on with it being disturbing though. The Secret of NIHM alone has some of the most disturbing things I have see in animation……

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Disturbing Don Bluth #1: The Secret of NIMH (Overview and Trivia) | Film Music Central

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