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12 Disney Movies That Have Horrifying Origin Stories

Rated "D" for dark.

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Cinderella contained blood and mutilation.

Disney

In Disney's version:

A princess who was mistreated by her stepmother goes to a ball and meets a prince, but has to escape before midnight and loses a slipper in her haste. Then the prince takes the slipper and has young ladies in the realm try it on to see if it fits. He finds Cinderella, whom it fits perfectly, and they live happily ever after.

Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed/ Disney

In the original story:

In the Charles Perrault version, when the prince arrives at Cinderella's house, the stepmother orders her two daughters to cut off their toes and put on their slippers. Her plan does not work, and Cinderella gets the prince and a happy ending. To add insult to injury, during the wedding, some pigeons devour the eyes of her already mutilated stepsisters.

Sleeping Beauty shouldn't even be a story for kids.

Disney

In Disney's version:

In Disney's version, a princess pricks her finger on a spinning wheel's spindle and succumbs to eternal sleep. A brave prince rescues her with a kiss, and they both live happily ever after.

Henry Meynell Rheam / Via commons.wikimedia.org

In the original story:

In the Giambattista Basile version, Aurora is not waken up with a sweet kiss, but with the birth of her twins. Oh, I forgot to mention that the prince doesn't kiss her here — he gets her pregnant and then leaves, because he's married. When Aurora and her children arrive in the palace, the prince's wife tries to kill them, but the king stops her and allows Aurora to marry the man who raped her.

Belle had very envious sisters.

Disney

In Disney's version:

Belle is kidnapped by a beast (hence the name Beauty and the Beast) and lives in a luxurious castle with talking utensils, until she discovers the monster's inner beauty. In love, she kisses him and saves him from the spell that made him ugly, because physical beauty does matter.

Anne Anderson / Via commons.wikimedia.org

In the original story:

In the original story by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, Belle convinces the Beast to let her visit her sisters for a week. Upon seeing her covered in jewelry and hearing about the luxurious life she leads, the sisters convince Belle to stay longer, with the intention that her delay will drive the Beast mad and he will devour Belle.

Snow White should have been directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Disney

In Disney's version:

Snow White's only crime was that she was the fairest of all women in the realm, and for that reason she has to escape to the woods, where she ends up living with seven dwarfs. It is there that a wicked witch poisons her, the dwarfs attempt to avenge her, and the witch falls to her death. While she's still asleep, a prince comes out of nowhere and revives Snow White, and of course they live happily ever.

Mjallhvít / Via commons.wikimedia.org

In the original story:

In the original story by the Brothers Grimm, the witch doesn't die under the rock. Her punishment for trying to kill Snow White is to dance in heated iron shoes until she faints and dies.

The Little Mermaid is actually a heartbreaking tragedy.

Disney

In Disney's version:

Ariel, the daughter of the king of the sea, exchanges her voice for some legs and goes to the surface to use forks as combs and look for love. She falls in love with Prince Eric, and together they kill the evil witch she made the deal with and live happily ever after.

In the original story:

In the Hans Christian Andersen version, the small print in the agreement is that Ariel's legs will hurt all the time, as if she were walking on knives. Since pain and seduction don't mix, in the end the prince marries another woman and Ariel throws herself into the ocean, where she turns into sea foam.

In real life, Mulan loses the war.

Disney

In Disney's version:

Mulan is a girl with a cricket and a dragon who pretends to be a man to fight in the Chinese army against the Huns. After showing her valor, Mulan wins the war and goes back home to play with her crickets.

He Dazi / Via commons.wikimedia.org

In the original story:

In Hua Mulan's poem, China loses the war. The Khan from the enemy lets Mulan live with the condition that she live with him, so Mulan escapes. When she arrives home, she discovers that her father is dead and her mother has remarried. Then she says: "I'm a woman, I survived the war, and I have done enough. Now I want to be with my father." And she kills herself.

Originally, Rapunzel married a blind prince.

Dreamworks

In Disney's version:

Rapunzel is a beautiful princess with long blonde hair who lives trapped in a tower. One day she meets a bandit, and together they have plenty of adventures that are not featured in the original story.

Johnny Gruelle / Via en.wikipedia.org

In the original story:

This is maybe the happiest Grimm Brothers story in the list. Rapunzel's parents were farmers who got her after exchanging a bit of rapunzel plant (rampion) for a salad with a witch when she was a baby. When she was 12 the witch locked her in a tower that had no doors or stairs and just a window. The only way to get to Rapunzel at the top was to climb her beautiful, long hair. One day, a prince walking by the tower hears her sing, so he goes up the tower. That same night, Rapunzel decides to marry him.

When the prince goes back for her, he climbs up her golden hair but finds the witch in the tower. She throws him out the window, and the prince falls on some spines that enter through his eyes.

He spends months roaming the prairies and woods of the realm, blind, until he hears Rapunzel's voice from afar. When he finds her, she has two children, and her magic tears give him back his sight. Rapunzel and the prince get married and live happily ever after.

Pocahontas had very little interaction with John Smith.

Disney

In Disney's version:

Pocahontas is a woman who talks with the trees, and her best friend is a raccoon. One day she falls in love with an Englishman and almost starts a war between the two peoples.

New England Chromo. Lith. Company / Via commons.wikimedia.org

In the original story:

In real life, Matoaka, better known as Pocahontas, was the daughter of Chief Powhatan, in the territory now known as Virginia. The natives kidnapped John Smith to exchange him for hostages, and she saved his life. That was the only relationship they had.

She was eventually kidnapped and held for ransom by settlers. At the age of 17, she married an Englishman and died at age 22 of unknown causes.

Hercules was a savage, killer, rapist, and genocida who was poisoned by his own mother.

Disney

In Disney's version:

Hercules is the young son of Zeus and saves Megara from the clutches of Hades to become a true hero and arrive in Mount Olympus.

Antonio del Pollaiolo / Via commons.wikimedia.org

In the original story:

Hercules was a savage, and a single post is not enough to explain the extent of his crimes, but let's talk about Megara.

Megara was the daughter of the king of Thebes, and Hercules took her in marriage almost by force. They had two children and lived happily ever after, until Hera, Zeus's wife, drove Hercules mad and he killed Megara and their children.

Tormented by guilt, Hercules still completed the same 12 tasks as in the film, but with extreme violence and disregard for life.

The hunchback of Notre Dame died of hunger in a cemetery.

Disney

In Disney's version:

Quasimodo is a young man born with disabilities who falls in love with a gypsy and saves her from being executed by the church.

Universal Pictures

In the original story:

In Victor Hugo's novel, Quasimodo fails to save Esmeralda (in fact, he unwittingly surrenders her to the authorities) and watches as she's hanged. Then Quasimodo goes to her grave, where he stays until he starves. Years later, when her grave is opened, someone finds both their skeletons, but when they try to separate them, they turn to dust.

Pinocchio never became a real boy.

Disney

In Disney's version:

Pinocchio is the son of an old carpenter who always wanted a son, so he made one out of wood. On his way to school, Pinocchio puts his father's life in danger, and in the end he becomes a real boy.

J.B. Lippincott / Via commons.wikimedia.org

In the original story:

In the original story by Carlo Collodi, Pinocchio is an asshole. Since birth, he behaves badly, he steals things, and even his father calls him a "wretched lad." One day, as a consequence of his actions, a cat and a fox hang him from a willow tree and watch him die while he swings in the wind.

Mowgli committed genocide.

Disney

In Disney's version:

Mowgli is a boy who has been abandoned by his parents in the jungle, where a bear and a panther teach him to sing songs and to forage for himself.

Maurice and Edward Detmold / Via commons.wikimedia.org

In the original story:

In Rudyard Kipling's book, after killing the murderous tiger Shere Khan, Mowgli discovers that his biological parents have been captured by a village of farmers. With the help of the wolves and the elephants, Mowgli destroys the village and kills its inhabitants. Later, he has to escape because the inhabitants believe him to be an evil spirit. Finally, Mowgli finds peace in a village governed by the English.

This post was translated from Spanish.

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