Cartoons That'll Scare the Kids


Among other legendary TV show intros, I posted the intro to PBS' Mystery! the other day, and the enthusiastic response from our readers who hadn't seen it in some time but remembered it fondly convinced me that we need more on the site in that vein, and stat. Unfortunately, that intro was Edward Gorey only animated piece; fortunately, there's plenty of material out there that either inspired Gorey or was inspired by him. Let's take a look.

The Tell-Tale Heart

This classic 1953 animated short features James Mason as the narrator (film buffs will remember him as the lecherous protagonist of Kubrick's Lolita, among countless other roles) and an understated, subtly creepy style that seems way ahead of its time. A classic rendition of a classic American story.


Tim Burton's breakout short film (well, besides Frankenweenie) was clearly inspired by Gorey, a stop-motion animation that seems to both hearken back to the old days of animation and foretell the coming of films like Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas (which he produced).

David Lynch's "The Alphabet"

OK, this isn't exactly inspired by Edward Gorey, but it's another macabre master's breakout short animated film, and I just had to share it. So experimental -- so creepy!