Sometimes cinema audiences badly misjudge a film based on its medium and the way the studios market that film: the under-rated 2012 film Paranorman was a case in point - a far more adult flick than some parents might have expected promoted as a kiddies' Halloween-fest with bumbling zombies and colourful characters. And of course, being a cartoon, how could it not be appropriate for kids?
Those very young children who came out of the film scarred by the ghouls and ghosts, and the astoundingly good final sequence (a definite high-point for the stop motion medium) won't forget the film for a while, and though they might grow up with a perverse affection for it, that won't quite displace the initially jarring feeling of the scares involved. We're not talking The Shining here by any means, but there is a particular strength to a scare that comes from an unexpected place, and the idea of an animation - that most cherished of childhood mediums - packing in genuine fear is an oddly affecting one. Especially for kids.
So in this article, I'm celebrating the finest scary animations, which were for one reason or another marketed as appropriate for kids - whether by a conscious campaign by the film studio, or because of the fundamental error of judgement that removes adult concerns from supposedly childish mediums and techniques.