Please help me finding the name of this movie I partially watched as a kid

It was an animated movie.

The style was way more dark than a Disney movie, it was more like a Don Bluth film.

The movie plays in a dark world with monsters, most certainly fantasy, lots of brown/dark color tones.

I just vaguely remember this scene:

There is some sort of eating contest between one of the monsters and the protagonists. The monster somehow cheats (magically, some kind of illusion I think) and the protagonists figure this out. The whole scene plays out in a feast/revelry of the monsters.

The movie scared me as a kid, I think, and I didn’t watch the whole movie.

When was this? Could it have been 1986’s Valhalla?

That must be it! Thanks!

And that is the scene I remembered:

I’ve never seen a film version of it, but the fantasy classic The Roaring Trumpet by Camp and Pratt has a similar story. Mjollnir is stolen and Thor, Loki, and a human from our world who’s crossed into the realm of legends try to retrieve it. The giant’s castle is riddled with illusion–Thor wrestles an old woman but cannot beat her (she’s actually Death), Loki loses an eating contest to a lean giant (who’s actually Fire) and so on.

Sounds like the makers of the film were aware of the story, since the myth it’s based on is rather different.

There’s a memory that I have from when I was very young, of being in a dark theater and being terrified by some sort of animated Balrog-looking motherfucker. I seem to remember it looking Bluth-style, and it being some sort of dark lord laughing in a lava cavern. I’m almost certain it was a dream, but every so often (usually when I read threads like this, with people discussing half-remembered weird scary animation) I wonder if it has some factual basis.

When was this? Could it have been Chernabog from Disney’s Fantasia?

I also have memories of some animated superhero TV movie from decades ago that I haven’t been able to find. When The Incredibles came up I was reminded of it again, as one of the heroes in it was also a “strong-only” type without a cape. At one point he was captured inside a safe (a standalone type, not a vault) and had to knock his way out with repeated hits (he eventually succeeded and broke out). I seem to remember there were other superheroes in it, but I can’t remember the plot at all.

It would have been mid 80s, and that’s plausible, but I’m pretty sure I never saw Fantasia in the theater. I might have seen it at school, though, and subsequently dreamed about it and only the dream stuck with me.

Alright, since everyone else has weirdo cartoons from their childhood… Sometime in the late 80s I caught a movie on cable that was a really trippy sci-fi cartoon with an early seventies aesthetic. More hippy than Heavy Metal. Creepy in a way I couldn’t tell was intentional or not. The scenes I can remember had people getting zapped by robots so they fell unconscious…? And then collected up by the robots? There was little to no dialogue in the parts I saw. Could have been foreign. I couldn’t look away. But I only saw the middle, so I had no context for what was happening.

Now I’m wondering if I’m getting these scenes mixed up with that fantasy cartoon with the guy with the face in his chest, the name of which I can’t remember, but is definitely not this movie.

Gandahar (mildy NSFW maybe) has people getting zapped by robots so that they turn to stone and can be collected up by the robots, but also has a guy with the face in his chest. Could that be it or is that the one that it definitely isn’t?

Not Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings, surely?

Hahahahaha no. It didn’t look like a rubber-suit alien from the original Star Trek.

And it probably wasn’t Hexxus from FernGully (which didn’t come out until 1992) either, right?

No, 1992 is way too late. I have no idea of the exact time, but I was born in 1981, so I don’t think it could have disturbed me any later than 1988 or so.

Valhalla is incidentally a long running and iconic comic book series (the cartoon film is essentially based on a couple of the first comics). Good stuff making the Norse legends accessible to children.

Bumpity bump.

I’ve decided to relive a whole mess of traumatic experiences inflicted upon me by the 80’s animation industry (maybe I’ll write about it, if anyone cares). I’m looking for something that terrified me but don’t have much to go on.

I think it was an animated sci-fi of some description - it’s possible it may not have been a movie but series of some sort. Also a small chance it was actually an anime but my gut tells me it wasn’t. I’ll put the very early '90s as the cutoff point for original release year for it as there’s no way I’d be scared of anything like this following getting my grubby little paws on Doom - one loses the ability to feel fear after being mercilessly spawncamped by their chainsaw-hogging dad at the tender age of 10.

The main sequence that upset me is that there’s basically a cave with a bunch of (black?) tentacles in the roof of it, maybe close to the cave mouth? The tentacles are concealed somehow - the characters that enter the cave didn’t seem to notice them, and of course the tentacles reach down at some point and grab one of them unexpectedly (and/or maybe one of the creatures they were riding?). I vaguely recall a bit where we see a two-way radio belonging to one of the characters lying amongst said tentacles or whatever later on.

After a lot of, uhm, graphic search results for ‘cartoon tentacles’ I finally found it! It’s a 1982 French/Hungarian animation called Les Maîtres du temps (connoisseurs may recognise Mœbius’ style here) . It was dubbed by the BBC and aired in 1987 & 1991 as The Masters of Time.

It’s on youtube!

I’ve set the time to the moment in question - a disturbing depiction of strangulation (I think the quietness makes it all the worse, really). Pretty intense stuff for a 4-8 year old.

Yikes, even freaky for a 55-year-old! If I had been a child and seen that scene of the Birdo Beast being taken by cave tentacles, I probably wouldn’t have even needed to see Jaws to live a life fascinated by horror movies. :)


This all because of that manga thread making me feel so nostalgic about Nausicaä. So this is sorta about horror but mostly about wanting to reflect upon my fondness for what I’ve (very generically) called elsewhere ‘weird sci-fi’. I loved - loved - Nausicaä when I was little and remember practically all of it, and it fits my ill-defined criteria, though it had its moments of horror too (that warrior god sequence at the end where it melts and there’s bones and stuff poking out of the gore - brrrrr).

The other stuff I saw back then I’ve been less clear on - I saw Nausicaä countless times whereas The Masters of Time was definitely a ‘just the once tyvm’ sorta deal (though those freaky tentacles have surfaced in my mind countless times over the decades, without home, without name, until now). It’s somewhat difficult to remember the exact sequence of when I saw things but I think the first ‘weird sci-fi’ film that I watched which absolutely freaked me out was the 1986 Transformers Movie.

It was part of two cartoon movies recorded to the same worn VHS tape I watched at my aunt’s house when my parents were busy working and she’d take care of me and my [literally] baby brother. One of the movies on the tape was what I was ‘supposed’ to be watching (The Care Bears Movie, yawn) but I guess I lucked into a double feature recorded for my much older cousins.

Transformers was terrifying in places - the opening moments see a horrifying megastructure-sized deathbot roaming the galaxy and devouring the first populated planet it comes across. For a 5(ish) year old with barely any grasp of death as a general concept, seeing genocide perpetrated against an entire species just for snacking purposes was… kind of… a lot. One member of that species survives but gets eaten alive by robopirhanas later in the movie anyway (blimey this movie is bleak). I didn’t have much to do with Transformers before or after so bits like Optimus Prime dying were kinda lost on me - the main sequence I recall really upsetting me was near the end where a bunch of robots are being conveyed into a giant vat of acid. I remember that sequence being much longer - and graphic - than it actually was. Horror thrives in the imagination above all else.

Anyway, at least with Jaws The Shark, all I had to do to avoid certain doom was keep to the shallow paddling bits of the pool at our local leisure centre. I could run out pretty quick - I practiced - enough so that I was very confident in my plan for survival.

However, I had no plan on what to do if some unknown cosmic horror just decided on a whim to devour the Earth. And I still don’t.

Cool scene! I can definitely see why it lodged in your psyche. :)