8 Bizarre Children’s Fantasy Films That Will Give You Nightmares for Days.

I finally found it!

I spent my whole life having nightmares of being abducted by a gigantic floating beard, dead birds transforming into dead children, and an old man shattering into dust.

All from a movie I watched when I was six years old.


If you know which movie I’m talking about, screw off, because you weren’t any help in my 5-year internet search to find it  😡

I just came across this Yahoo answer after searching for “floating beard movie”.

The movie is called, Mio and the Land of Faraway (Mio, min Mio in Swedish). It was filmed in 1987 and is based on a Swedish novel from the 50’s.

Besides a floating beard, bird children, and pan-flute playing boys, it also features a super young Christian Bale as the hero’s friend and Christopher Lee as an evil knight (I guess he was practising for Saruman).

Here’s how the movie starts out.

“Now grab hold of my beard”  -words that every mother should teach her children to run away from.

The floating beard then takes little Mio into a cross-dimensional portal where he’s actually a prince and has to free a bunch of children slaves from an evil knight named Kato. How did they become slaves? Oh, you know, their hearts were ripped out and replaced with stones.

Now that I think of it, what kind of knight enslaves children? They’d make terrible slaves.

“Attack my enemies, children!”
“We die easily.”
“Then till my land and grow wheat!”
“It takes twelve of us to push a plow.”
“Build me a castle then!”
“We can’t do math yet.”

Dumb knight gets stabbed by a kid in the end, so I guess they’re somewhat useful. He needed some dying anyway.

In celebration of putting my mind to rest by rewatching this horribly nostalgic movie, here are 6 other effed up movies that still haunt me to this day.

1 . The Dark Crystal (1982)

The Dark Crystal is one of those super rare fantasy worlds where no detail is overlooked, thanks Jim!

The creepiest scene that replays in my dreams is when the podling gets his life essence sucked from his face.

Et, voila! Insta-slave!

Gosh, I don’t know if I’d rather become a slave by having my heart replaced with a stone, or having all the fat sucked from my face.

Fantasy world peasants sure have it tough!

2. Return of Oz (1985)

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, stop reading this post and watch it right now.

Every moment of this film is effed up in some way that will haunt your dreams. The creep begins when Dorothy is sent to an electo-therapy house due to her Oz hallucinations. She manages to escape with a chicken and ends up back in Oz, where everything tries to kill her.

The most terrifying thing about Oz is the evil witch who hasn’t heard of make-up, so she switches up her head whenever she wants to change her look.


On the other hand, the best part of this film is that it’s completely independent from the original. All the characters are re-imagined to look how L. Frank Baum originally intended them.

 Marvelous land of oz.jpg

3. Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1985)

Wizards of the Lost Kingdom Poster

For such an epic looking movie poster, this movie is a huge bore. I don’t even know how I got through it when I was young.

Here’s why it’s super creepo.

gQqIK-Look at this white thing standing off to the side.

What is it?

Where’s it’s face?

Why is it there?

All it does is stand. It actually gets pretty good at standing. By the end of the movie, it stands in a doorway and blocks a bad guy from stealing a ring. Way to go, standy white guy!

Here’s the thing. This creepy Chewbacca rip-off gets dirtier as the film progresses. Take a look at this shot. Now he’s all yellow and gross 😦


I don’t know why my 7 year old self was ultra-creeped by this dude, but now I dream about a stained, clumpy monster just standing around, looking at me without a face.

4. The Great Land of Small (1987)

Untitled.pngEver wondered how butterflies are made?

Old people slide down into a pit where a gigantic floating turd spits them out into butterflies.

It’s called, “being slimeod”


And that’s if you’re good. If you’re bad and slide down into the turd, it just kinda keeps you inside itself till you’re good again… I think… the movie isn’t really clear about the good/bad turd rules.

When I have kids, I’m going to tell them, “Be good, or a big turd will eat you.” Then I’ll show them this terrifying clip..

The movie is about a leprechaun losing his gold and two children helping him to get it back (I’d keep the gold if I were them, especially since the gold has magic powers).

While it appears to have a lot going for it, including the undiscovered-at-the-time Cirque du Soleil, please, please, please, DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM. It’s downright gruelling to get through. Save yourself the nightmares and watch paint dry.

5. The NeverEnding Story (1984)

No creepy kid movie list would be complete without The NeverEnding Story.

Besides frequent nightmares about the wolf and the nothing, this might be my favourite movie of all time. It just comes with one disclaimer:

You must watch it when you are 10 years old or younger.

It is absolutely not watchable as an adult. If you haven’t watched it yet, you did life wrong. You can’t go back.

Here are my favourite characters (which also have the most greatcellent names ever):

Falcor: Who else wouldn’t want a creepy-ass looking luck dragon to scare away your bullies?

Rock Biter: I always felt sorry for the guy, all he wants to do is eat rocks and his home is being destroyed.

Moonchild: How could you not be allured by her soft voice and sad eyes?

Engywook & Urgl: The disgusting, worm eating gnome people, who build wonderfully alchemistic contraptions.

Sexy Sphinx Ladies: Two humongous, nude, lady statues that shoot lasers from their eyes to kill unsure souls? Put them in every film!

There are even a bunch of Easter Eggs in the film. If you weren’t aware of them, check out this shot:


6. The NeverEnding Story 2 (1990)

The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter Poster

Because I wasn’t satisfied with enough nightmares from the first movie, I immediately watched the second (which lacks the story and charm of the first).

This is the scene that still haunts me, nearly 20 years later.


If you’re looking for nightmares, just dream about flying into a skeleton hand. It works wonders!

If you’re looking for improved home security, because a flying dog keeps landing on your roof, just add a bunch of lasers. They also work wonders!

Oh, and look at this piece of shit dude. He’s made of mud. Try dreaming about giving him a kiss.


And here’s a big, mean crab that has a chainsaw for a mouth. When I’m alone in bed and the house is silent, I swear I can hear the subtle ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch noise of its mouth.


This is a kid’s movie remember. So obviously it’s about something fun like an evil sorceress stealing Bastian’s memories of his dead mother. Ha ha ha, oh so jolly! Kids will love hearing a story about forgetting their dead mothers.

Good job, producers. You’ve effectively scarred me for life.

7. Watership Down (1978)

If watching bunny rabbits get ripped apart in a bloody mess is your thing, you’ll love Watership Down.

But all that blood and gore is just at the top layer. This movie’s themes cuts down deep, like nails scratching on the chalkboard of your soul deep.

After envisioning the entire land covered in rabbit blood, the main character forces his rabbitmunity (rabbit community) to safer grounds, at the expense of many of his rabbitfriends along the way. Finally the black rabbit of death asks him to die and his soul goes into the sun.

I just re-listened to the song “Bright Eyes“, which plays in the final scene, and excuse me while I go have insomnia for 3 weeks…

Oh, and here’s a wonderful collage of some of the beautiful scenes from the film. Feel free to print them off and hang them in your child’s bedroom.

Yes, that last image is a field being washed with blood.

Sweet dreams!

8. Mio and the Land of Faraway (1987)

Mio in the Land of Faraway Poster

Mio and the Land of Faraway is about…

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52 thoughts on “8 Bizarre Children’s Fantasy Films That Will Give You Nightmares for Days.

  1. Thank you for posting this! I’ve been trying to figure out this movie for years as well!!! All I could remember is this creepy giant white bearded floating head I saw on tv when I was 6 or 7. Now my search has finally ended and after seeing the clip of the head my nightmares can begin again. Haha!

    Also, I agree with all these creepy movies. I kind of want to watch them all and be creeped out again. My first grade teacher let us watch Neverending story! I had just turned 6. Pretty sure I never went in the basement or upstairs or anywhere in my house by myself for the next several years after seeing the wolf.
    Being a kid in the 80’s…the best


  2. I’ve been searching for the “pan flute” movie for over 30 years. Saw it when I was 7… thank you for finally finding it and telling me what the name is.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been looking for one of those weird movies from the 80s I believe,I’m pretty sure it was mid to late 80s
    .and PBS comes toy mind but not sure where I watch it and watch channel..but it had some sort of creepy snowman dude and it was somewhat of a magical movie..I watched it a couple times but can’t remember to actual name of it..I thought it was The Snowman but nothing comes up when I google it..and I can for the life of me remember any scenes that stand out to describe in a way for someone to remember as well..its a bummer..watching it ad a kid in the 80s was cool..and I want to see it again to see if those same feelings come back


  4. I’ve been searching for this movie since the internet. Are you surprised? It’s 2021, and thanks to your post I’ve finally rediscovered it, thank you!


  5. Hi you may be the person that can help me. I watched a movie when I was a kid , the movie is from the end of the 80’s- 90’s . It’s about this kid that find an sphere , inside of the sphere there is an old man living . The mysterious man tells him about this creatures that have taken the form of humans. The kid and her friend are able to talk to the old man that appears in the reflection on car mirrors , water ,etc. These creatures know now that the kid has this magic artifact and are chasing him. And nobody believes him. I posted on Reddit , a million google searches , science fiction fan groups . Do you happen to have an idea of this movie?


  6. The peanut butter solution. Watched that as a kid in the 80s and it scared me so bad. Years later I kept trying to tell people about it but I couldn’t remember the name & no one else had heard of it. Finally found the name after endless searching on the internet. It’s about a kid who gets dared to go into a haunted house and what he sees in there is so scary it causes his hair to turn white & fall out. Then some ghosts come to him & tell him to make this mix out of peanut butter and put it on his head & his hair will grow back. He does it & his hair keeps growing & growing. Then some people kidnap him to make paint brushes from his hair. Totally weird but I was terrified of it.


  7. The peanut butter solution. Saw it as a kid in the 80s and it terrified me. Years later I tried to tell other people about it but I couldn’t remember the name & no one recognized the plot. I finally found it after years of endless internet searching! It’s about a kid who is dared to go into a haunted house & whatever he sees in there is so scary that it causes his hair to turn white & fall out. It won’t grow back. Ghosts then come visit him at night & tell him to make this peanut butter potion to put on his head & it will make his hair grow again. He does it & his hair just keeps growing & growing. Then some lady kidnaps him bc she wants to make paint brushes out of his hair. So weird but it was really scary as a kid.


  8. I know this is an old post but I’m 42 and I have had that flute melody in my head my whole life. I could not remember the movie and FINALLY I can be at peace now. I YouTubed the melody just to make sure and sure enough every note but 2 I remembered. Now I have to watch it to remember why I liked it so much. All these movies were one’s I grew up with along with Gremlins and Willy Wonka too. Thank you so much for having Mio on your list.


  9. i just recall an old tv programme as a kid in 80-90ties, not sure if series or a movie. Can someone find out the name of it? There was an old brick house and a nearby swamp. Setting looked kind of british. There were children looking for some glowing stones/amulets that they needed to fend off some slime/snail people coming out of the swamp/house basement. they needed to hold those stones tight as they were giving off either red or blue glow


  10. We were looking for a different movie when we came across this article, what a gem! My daughter and I laughed so hard about the giant turd making butterflies, and about telling your kids to be good or a giant turd will eat you!!
    Anyway, I tried to find this article on my laptop by searching “creepy kid movie giant turd” because that’s all I could remember. I’m an elementary teacher and one of my students needed to check the search history for his civil war report. Well don’t you know 30 seconds later I hear “Miss H someone searched creepy kid movie giant turd on your computer” 😬
    Heh…. yah kid, it was me… your adult teacher searching for giant turd movies before the day starts…. Don’t worry about it! 😂
    Thanks for the laughs!


  11. A whole lot of Jim Henson going on here.
    My above and beyond anything – Eraserhead.
    After viewing, daytime hours, I remember staring out my br window, everything looked so dark, what was even the point of anything? I think I could see, hear, taste and feel “Depression” in my surroundings. Just horrible. I’ll NEVER watch that again.
    Look what happened to the star in real life. Ugh.


  12. Maybe you can help me with a search for a kiss movie I am looking for from that era, all I remember was it had a kid in it, and he fell into some water and it turned into a cartoon, there was a song that part of the chorus was “High high high high high clockalotum” I vaguely remember it. I cannot find it anywhere, and I know that is very little to go on.


  13. There is one that I have been trying to find it’s ether from the 80’s or 90’s it’s about this lunch lady who gets like mind controlled by radioactive frog eggs then she trys to get the kiss to eat it but I know mustard was the only thing that got rid of them


  14. I’ve been looking for decades for a movie I saw in the late 70s about 2 oriental kids on a wooden ship sailing through the universe with magic leachee nuts. It was the worst film we ever saw and the only movie we ever walked out of half way thru.


  15. Hey!

    My husband has been trying to recall a movie from his youth. Probably an 80s movie with a young boy living in a hotel (assuming); his parents leave him for the night and he enters the elevator which happens to take him to a fantasy world.


    1. Ok and did the movie had a giant spider at the end where the children had to fight it? Green blood came out. That and the elevator is also the only thing I remember. Are we talking about the same?


  16. There’s a movie that I remember watching in the late 80s and I’ve never been able to find out what it was. It’s some kind of children’s fantasy movie, or perhaps miniseries, and I think it’s similar to The Chronicles of Narnia. The only scene I can remember has some kind of magic court jester who’s talking to a kid and he says something about being a fool and then snaps his fingers and disappears. I believe the scene takes place outside, probably in a forest. This might be a made-for-TV movie. Any idea what it might be?


      1. Do you remember anything else about it? The only thing I remember is that scene with the jester snapping his fingers and disappearing. If you can remember anything else maybe it’ll help to find out what it was.


  17. Hello, everyone, I’m looking for a movie that I watched in the 90’s. It is a grandfather who tells his grandchildren that a family of little people live in the garden but that only people who believe in them can see them. Does this movie ring a bell? Thanks for your help


  18. I can’t find this movie that I barely remember from when I was little, but I remember this boy was in another world and at the end he returns home, I believe a toaster oven or something in his house blew up and firefighters were there to put out the fire. I’ve been searching on and off for years and remember less and less of the movie as time goes on.


    1. This makes me think I’m not going insane. I am 24 for and I have also been looking for this film(?) for at least 12 years. I can’t remember how old I was when I saw it and I’ve been starting to believe it was just a dream I had. I remember the exact same thing as you but the fire fighters were trying to take the boy away while he was shouting “don’t touch it” or “don’t touch the stone” and one of the fire fighters says “what do we have here then, a stone?” And then the memory ends. Please let me know if you find this film because it has been bothering me for so many years not being able to remember what it was.


      1. Hi, just signed up to hopefully answer your prayers – i believe the film you are trying to remember is ‘Time Bandits’


  19. Im going to give this a try, ive been trying to find a creepy program i saw in the late 70s early 80s about a little girl in a white house that has an imaginary friend who does bad things. Theres something about a blackboard and a dressing up party? Any ideas?


  20. I am searching for a TV movie from around 1976 that aired on CBS when I was around 10. As I recall the images, I see a rural area typical on movies made in California with hills and mountains in the background. In this small village the children were not allowed to play or have fun because if they did they manifested powers and began to float. A woman visiting the village, perhaps a teacher discovered this.


    1. I can remember watching a kids movie from around the 70s to 80s where a woman goes on a journey through a mythical place and there are ewok/carebear creatures who follow her and spy on her and the main villain is a skeleton Pterodactyl man


  21. Hi. This is a question please. I saw a movie (I think) about a small carnival where all the human performers were really captured animals whose spirits were kept in glass balls. One of the boys ( who was really a dog) kept trying to go back to a house that he thought was his. Anyone have any thoughts? I am not even sure how old it was or whether it was a tv special, but it’s bugging me!


  22. Looking for a movie/show/miniseries possibly. It wasn’t to much of a horror movie but did have that spooky eerie vibe. It started off with a family of four the siblings being an older sister and a younger brother. The parents are slowly forgetting about who their kids are and the little brother gets trapped in the basement floor by some spirits that’s when the parents realize who their kids are. Then it spins into another part where these teenagers go out to a old random cabin in a field possibly present time then they have a sleepover and kids start disappearing and they wake up in a different time era.

    Also there another movie I don’t remember to much about other than a boy who makes a wish his parents and all grownups are gone then the next day they find to be left alone and they joyride cars go to the mall and have some type of secret clubhouse in/beneath a tree and the kid has a crush on this one girl who seems to be the other main character in the movie.


  23. Hello, hoping someone can put me out of my misery – I have been trying for decades to remember a scary kids movie or tv film that I would have watched in the 1980’s as a kid, All I can remember is a scene where a girl is in her house, but she has been shrunk ( a bit like Alice in Wonderland), and she is either trying to escape from or is chasing an evil witch and she jumps on and rides on a toy train through the room. Sorry can’t remember anything other than that and it’s been stuck in my head for about 40 years ! I though that I had found it the other day as I came across a 1979 film called The Nutcracker Fantasy and it was the same sort of feel and dark vibe, but sadly I couldn’t find this scene in it, so it must be something else – here’s hoping someone else may know what this is from their childhood memories…


  24. I’m trying to figure out the name of this one live action movie about princesses and how one of them leaves the castle into the woods and find’s sorcerers or witches that are ugly and doing a ritual or something dressed in all black and her parents are trying to find her ?


  25. Trying to find out the name of an older movie probably around 1978-1982 about twin sisters, one was evil and she had a pet bird, at least I think it was her pet. She tries to harm, maybe even kill her sister but the bird ends up attacking the evil one. The evil sister has one or more scars on her face. I was five living with my grandparents in a farm house and watched it at 9:00pm scared me to death.🤣🤣


  26. i once saw a movie in my youth, i have no idea what it was, but unless i’m piecing together different ones, what i remember from it;

    it was a live-action movie
    two children (i think they were two) trying to save their parents from ogres/giants or something, and they were helped by some small kinda monsters, like trolls or ewoks i think,
    there was a forest-scene where they’re walking along a path, and one of the children stick their hand into a tree-trunk in, where his hand is trapped in some goo or the trunk try to eat his hand or something
    and when they were in an area with rocks, there was a stone they put on the ground and it started sliding though the sand to show them where to go, making a little line in the sand
    i think the parents were trapped in a cage made of bones, but i don’t remember for sure,

    i think i was 6 or so when i saw it, i think it was a VHS with the cover being yellow, i don’t know if the movie was older than when i saw it, but i watched it sometime during the mid-late 90s

    -this is probably the most lost movie of my childhood, since i keep remembering the details i posted here, but can’t for the life of me find it by googling.
    many thanks to anyone who might have ideas of what it could be.


  27. Been trying to find a movie/tv show I saw as a kid- a girl who had a curse and couldn’t look in the mirror ever. Think she had an evil stepmother (not sure)
    There was one mirror that was an ornate handheld mirror with a cross on the back that she used to break the curse and live happily ever after.


  28. Ive got 2:
    1. not sure how old live action movie: a man has a woman living upstairs who sews felt animals and scenery that come alive sometimes with stop-motion animation.
    2. From 1960s or 70s or early 80s: live action, not sure if tv or movie, but I saw it on tv as a child a couple times. A boy in a school uniform is being attacked by an animated chinese dragon. He has a briefcase-style book bag that he uses as a shield. NOT PETE’S DRAGON, dark & gritty ti my 10-yr-old self


  29. I was a kid in the 80s when I watched it but it could have been made earlier. All I can remember is it was a fantasy movie and one scene where a dark haired boy in blue striped (stripes are vertical) pyjamas is standing on this cloud landscape and there’s this iron bar elevator in front of him.


  30. 🙂😀😀. i spend years and years for searching a child book. and after i got it i realized that the book is crap. …so…

    thx for the movie Mio… i never heard about it. the other almost all but 1
    greetings f germany besides the original book called mio min mio (Swedish)
    germany : mio mein mio = mio my mio ✋


  31. I’ve been looking for a film they used to show us in school in the 1970s. It was in color and maybe had no or little dialog. It was a tall, lanky man in an apple orchard. Maybe he was running for something or hiding. I think he picked a lot of apples and ate them. Maybe there was a dark ending, I can’t remember. I feel like we both liked and dreaded this film. Anyone else remember this?


  32. I guess I don’t understand why you need to be 10 and under to watch The Neverending Story. It came out when I was 14 and still waited until it was on cable to watch it. It’s a favorite of mine. How did I do life wrong?


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