Disney films framed our childhood with endless wonder. Like many other things, Walt Disney drew inspirations from the work around them at the time. These include classical fairy tales like Snow White all the way to books by Victor Hugo.
But creating media for children isn’t an easy task, especially when you’re working with stories centuries old. Most of the fairy tales or stories Disney adapted were a lot more morbid than we originally thought. Here are the original twists you never knew existed in your Disney favorites.
1. Snow White’s wedding featured a live execution by dance
Walt Disney’s first animated feature put Snow White as the first Disney princess. In the fairy tale Little Snow White, the evil queen tries to kill Snow White in various ways. And she didn’t stop when the prince saved her. The queen tries to kill her again at her wedding, but she didn’t marry no fool. The prince saves Snow again and forces the queen to wear hot-iron slippers and dance to death in front of everyone.
2. Beast was punished for saying no
The Disney story tells us that the Beast was cursed because he turned away an old beggar woman who needed his help. However, in the original story of Beauty And The Beast, the old beggar woman was an evil fairy that had custody of the prince after his parents died. Upon the prince turning of age, she tries to seduce him. When the prince turns her down, she gets mad and turns him into a beast.
3. Peter Pan is actually horrible
Anyone who’s actually read the original Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie knows that Peter Pan wasn’t a saint. In the book, it’s insinuated in one chapter that Peter Pan would kick kids out of Neverland for growing up. He also fed a hand to a crocodile, which is the same one he frequently set off on Captain Hook to trigger his PTSD in the animated movie. So maybe Disney did justice to his character after all.
4. Rapunzel was kicked out for getting pregnant
Disney’s Tangled completely reinvented the fairy tale, and probably for the better. In the original tale Rapunzel, Dame Gothel cuts Rapunzel’s hair and casts her out to be a single mom to twins in the desert. Then, she convinces Rapunzel’s beau to jump out the window, which somehow blinds him. They eventually find each other, but talk about a strict mom.
5. Sleeping Beauty had two kids while asleep
In the Disney version, a kiss can break the curse. Except, in the original story, La Belle au bois dormant, it doesn’t. The prince finds Sleeping Beauty and gets to know her in her comatose state. She has twins while still asleep, and then somehow wakes up after the fact. Oh, and did we mention the prince just up and leaves? He comes back years later, delighted that he has kids and only then takes Sleeping Beauty to his castle, where his current wife tries to eat them all.