8 Disney Movies With Horrifying Origin Stories You Didn’t Know

For almost a century, Disney has been transporting us to dream kingdoms and wonderlands through their iconic films. From the first cartoon "Steamboat Willie" (1928) to the latest film "Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers," (2022), Disney has fascinated us with its vibrant animation, visual storytelling, and lovely music. And like many others, Disney films were inspired by the stories in real life, from classic fairy tales to Victor Hugo's books.
However, as a happy place for children, Disney changed almost the endings of the original stories that turn into happy endings in their films. From The Little Mermaid to Cinderella, the origin stories behind your childhood films are more frightening than you might think. Torture, hanging, and scorching feet are just a few of the gruesome details that Disney leaves away when adapting fairytales centuries-old for the film.
Here are some of the original stories behind your favorite Disney movies, but be warned: not all of them end happily in Hollywood.

#1 Snow White and the seven dwarfs

"Snow White and the seven dwarfs" was the first Disney princess film. We're all familiar with the story of Snow White, who was had to escape to the woods and live with dwarfs. A prince saved her from the witch’s poison apple, and they lived happily ever. However, in the Grimm Brothers' story "Little Snow White," the evil queen is killed by dancing in heated iron shoes until she fainted and died on Snow White's wedding.

#2 Beauty and the Beast

In Disney’s film, Belle had a happy ending with the Beast. However, in the original story of Beauty And The Beast, Belle's sisters were jealous with the lavish life she lives. They persuade Belle to stay longer, which infuriates the Beast.

#3 Sleeping Beauty

We saw Disney’s "Sleeping Beauty" and we know that a kiss can break the curse. But in fact, it doesn't in the original story, "La Belle au bois dormant." The prince does not kiss her; instead, he gets her pregnant and abandons her because he was already married. Many years later, when Aurora and her twins arrive at the palace the Prince's wife attempts to kill them. But in the end, they were reunited with the king.

#4 Cinderella

We all know Disney's "Cinderella". She married a prince and had a happy life together. But in the origin story, it went a little differently. When the prince comes, the stepmother forces her daughters to try on the glass slipper. To fit inside the shoes, the sisters had to hack off sections of their foot. But here's the greatest part: the prince didn't realize it immediately away.

#5 Mulan

In the Disney's version, Mulan defeated the Huns. But in reality, Mulan is defeated, and she flees. When she came back home, her father died, and her mother remarried. In the end, she killed herself because she wanted to be with her father.

#6 The Little Mermaid

The animared version of "The Little Mermaid" didn't change a lot from the origin story. But the terms and conditions of her curse were toned down in Christian's version. Instead of just losing her voice, her legs were painful to walk on, but she would still dance to please the prince. Therefore, she jumps into the ocean and turned into seafoam because the prince married another woman.

#7 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The original book was written by Victor Hugo, the same author of "Les Misérables," so you can imagine how happy it is. In the novel, Quasimodo fails to save Esmerelda. Instead she was hung. Quasimodo died of hunger near Esmeralda's tomb. And their skeletons turned to ashes.

#8 Pinocchio

"Pinocchio" is a story about a wooden boy who becomes a real boy. However, in the original story, Pinocchio had terrible behaviour towards his father and even he was angry. As a result, he died by hanging from a tree.
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