7 Creepy Original Source Details Disney Had To Change In Their Iconic Adaptations
We bet you never imagined that children's stories could be so brutal.
Disney has managed to become a global phenomenon by building its brand around classic fairy tales that get a beautifully packaged retelling. Today, it is hard to think of a year going by without a new Disney animated film being released, and even harder to imagine a Disney story without a happy and satisfying ending.
In the process of remaking classic stories into projects easily consumed by young audiences, the studio has had to cut and change some gruesome original details that could easily become the proper fuel for adult thrillers. Here are seven examples.
1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
The Evil Queen may die in Disney's first hit, but her fall off a cliff doesn't even compare to her spine-chilling punishment in the original Brothers Grimm tale. The Queen is forced to dance in red-hot iron slippers at the wedding of Snow White and the Prince until she succumbs to her injuries and dies.
2. Cinderella (1950)
While Disney spared Cinderella's stepsisters, the Brothers Grimm gave them a torturous story. First, their wicked mother made them cut off their toes and heels to fit into the glass slipper, and then, when their machinations were exposed, birds pecked out their eyes, leaving them blind.
3. The Little Mermaid (1989)
Hans Christian Andersen didn't stray far from his German colleagues. His tale of the Little Mermaid is extremely dark and gives the protagonist a horrible ending. When the witch rips out her tongue in exchange for new legs, the mermaid fails to impress the prince and turns into sea foam after watching him marry a princess.
4. Aladdin (1992)
Aladdin is based on a story from One Thousand and One Nights. And while in the story the protagonist gets the Sultan's daughter, he has to go to extreme lengths to protect their happiness. Aladdin becomes a murderer when he brutally kills the evil sorcerer who tries to break into the palace.
5. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
The movie has been criticized for its dark themes, but it is much happier than the original novel by Victor Hugo. Hugo's Esmeralda is hanged for witchcraft, and Quasimodo finds her body and stays with it until he starves to death.
6. Mulan (1998)
Disney's iconic film is based on the legend of Hua Mulan, which has seen many adaptations that have given the protagonist all sorts of gruesome fates. In Chu Renhuo's retelling, Mulan remains a soldier for many years, and when she returns home, she discovers that her father is dead and she must become a concubine. So the heroine decides to kill herself.
7. Tangled (2010)
This fan-favorite movie is based on another Brothers Grimm fairy tale, which gives the prince's arc a cruel twist. The witch makes him believe he will never see Rapunzel again, so the prince throws himself off the tower and falls into a bush, which blinds him with its thorns.