Original Fairytales Versus Disney Adaptations

Original Fairytales Versus Disney Adaptations

These original versions are much more gruesome, violent, and depressing than the one's depicted in the classic Disney cartoons.
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Walt Disney Studios is known for their "happily ever afters" and magical tales. However, the original fairy tales weren't always so perfect and magical. They're actually much darker and much grimmer than Disney likes to portray.

The Little Mermaid

Originally written in 1836 by Hans Christian Anderson, "The Little Mermaid" story has a much darker tone than the one Disney portrays. We all know the classic cartoon tale: girl wants something bigger than her ocean home and dreams of walking on land, has a fight with Dad, swims off to a sea witch and sells her voice for legs, meets her prince who's put under a spell, there's a cruise ship, a fight, a marriage, and then they all live happily ever after. That's the whole story, right? Wrong.

In Anderson's story, our favorite little mergirl dreams of going above the water, and on her 15th birthday she does just that. She sees a ship with the prince, and a great storm rolls through, the ship is destroyed, and she saves the life of the prince. She leaves him on a beach, just like in the Disney tale, but this is where the story begins to change tracks. The prince is found by a girl whom he cannot get off his mind, but the little mermaid is still in love with him, and she gives up her voice to the sea witch to gain human legs. Every step she takes feels as if she is walking on knife blades. She is taken in by the prince and is loved by him, but then the prince is set to marry a princess of a neighboring kingdom. This princess turns out to be the same girl who found him on the beach, they marry, and the little mermaid's heart breaks after she refuses to kill the prince to save herself. She dies and turns into sea foam but is given a chance at the kingdom of heaven if she spends 300 years as a daughter of the air.

This version is filled with much more sorrow, pain, heartbreak, and death than the Disney version. It makes sense why they gave it the "happily ever after" stamp for the kiddies.

Sleeping Beauty

Here's a name not many recognize: Giambattista Basile. Basile is the man who originally wrote the story "Sun, Moon and Talia" in 1634. This story is the basis for the Grimm's "Sleeping Beauty" (1812), and from the Grimm's tale Disney created their version of "Sleeping Beauty."

So, what happened in "Sun, Moon, and Talia" that makes it so different from the Disney version? Talia, the sleeping beauty character, had her fortune told when she was a baby, and it was said a great peril awaited her from a piece of stalk. The King ordered all such things out of the kingdom to keep her safe, but she still wound up being enraptured by an old woman and her spinning wheel. A piece of stalk went underneath Talia's nail, and she dropped dead. Out of grief, her father set her body up under a canopy in the castle and left to forget all of the misery that had befallen him there. Now, the King from another land happened upon this place and found the dead Talia, and finding himself so struck by her beauty, he had intercourse with her before leaving the palace. Talia gives birth to twins named Sun and Moon. While trying to nurse, one of the babies sucked on Talia's finger and sucked the stalk from the nail bed. Talia awakens and is really confused by what happened.

The King returns to find Talia awake and with the twins. He falls in love with them all, and when he returns home, the names Talia, Sun, and Moon are always on his lips. The Queen becomes jealous and suspicious of her husband. She orders for him to be followed, learns of Talia and the children, and orders the cook to kill the twins and serve them as a meal to the King. The cook takes pity on them, saving them and giving them to his wife, and he prepares two other children to feed the King. The Queen is still not satisfied and orders to have Talia burned alive. The King sees Talia in his home and finds out the truth. The Queen is killed instead, and Talia becomes his new wife.

At least the King, Talia, Sun, and Moon ended up together for a somewhat happy ending. Even though the King raped Talia while she was pretty much dead, and that is not okay. No wonder Disney had to make some serious changes to the cartoon version.

Peter Pan

Learning that every child has to grow up eventually is the main theme behind Disney's "Peter Pan." With catchy tunes, pixie dust, and a magical, colorful place called Neverland, the story of Peter Pan is any child's dream.

But Disney left out some rather morbid facts in their retelling. In the original "Peter Peter" by James M. Barrie (1904), Peter was a boy who lived with fairies and would accompany dead children part of the way to wherever they would go. Mrs. Darling sees Peter in the nursery one night, unlike in the cartoon where the parents aren't even important characters, and she is able to catch his shadow, roll it up, and keep it in a drawer so that she can try to catch the boy. She vaguely remembers this boy from stories told in her youth.

When Peter returns for his shadow on an evening when the parents are away, he accidentally wakes up Wendy. He tells Wendy about Neverland and the Lost Boys, who were babies that had fallen out of their carriages and were never found again. Wendy and her brothers fly with Peter to Neverland, and jealous Tinkerbell convinces the Lost Boys to shoot down Wendy with an arrow. Wendy is thought to be dead, but the kiss around her neck had saved her. When Wendy, John, Michael, and the Lost Boys plan to return to the Darlings' home, the pirates (fully grown men) capture the kids and want to make Wendy their mother. Peter finds out and begins to kill off the pirates one at a time. Captain Hook winds up throwing himself off his own ship to kill himself and he is eaten by the crocodile.

The kids return to the Darlings' house, except for Peter, and the Lost Boys are adopted by the family. Wendy visits Peter once a year to clean his house and tries to convince him to see her as more than a mother. As Wendy gets older, she loses her ability to fly and cannot go with Peter anymore. She has her own daughter, Jane, who flies off with Peter for spring-cleaning now. When Jane grows up, her daughter Margaret takes over the cleaning and also continues to tell Peter the stories he likes hearing so much.

Cinderella

This is another classic Disney fairy tale that was changed from the original Brother's Grimm story "Ashputtel" (1812). The Disney retelling is not all that different from the original fairy tale, except for a few minor details.

In the version by the Grimm Brothers, there is no fairy godmother but a wishing tree that had grown from Ashputtel's mother's grave. The father is also still alive and still allows the treachery his new wife and step-daughters put Ashputtel through.

When Ashputtel wants to go to the three-day feast held by the King, she has to complete all of her chores first, which she does with the help of doves, not mice. Her step-mother still won't allow her to go because she doesn't have a dress, but Ashputtel receives a silver and gold one brought to her by her bird friend from the branches of the wishing tree. She goes to the feast all three days and dances with the Prince. When he wishes to take her home and see where she lives, Ashputtel slips away and hides from him first in the pigeon-house in her backyard and then in the pear tree in her family's garden. The third time she slips away, she loses her golden slipper (that's right, it's not glass in this version) on the stairs of her home. The Prince talks to Ashputtel's father to see if the shoe fits any of his daughters.

Ashputtel's step-sisters are so desperate to marry the prince that one sister cuts off her big toe in order to fit in the golden slipper and the other saws off her heel. The dove in the wishing tree is the one who warns the prince that the sisters are lying and to ask again for a third daughter. Ashputtel is finally given the chance to come forward and try on the shoe, and, of course, it's a perfect fit.

Snow White

"Little Snow White" by The Brothers Grimm was originally written in 1812, and then later re-written with many changes in the 1819 version. Although most of the original story is similar to the Disney depiction, the cartoon left out the more horrific details.

The Evil Queen was originally written as Snow White's biological mother, and she still wants to kill her (in the 1812 version). Later on, though, the Grimms rewrote it as her step-mother (the 1819 version). The Evil Queen wants the Huntsman to cut out Snow's lungs and liver so she can eat them. The Prince doesn't kiss Snow White to awaken her. Instead, his servants are forced to carry her coffin back with him. One of the servants strikes the maiden out of anger for having to carry her around, and this causes the poison apple piece to become dislodged from Snow's throat (1812). In another version, the servant stumbles while carrying the coffin, and the poisoned apple is dislodged (1819). Also, the Evil Queen is punished by being forced to dance in red-hot iron shoes until she dies.

Other Tales Worth Noting:

"The Adventures of Pinnochio" by Italian Carlo Collodi (1883)

One of the first major differences is that Jiminy Cricket is killed. Pinnochio steps on him, but he still reappears later on in the story as a ghost. Another difference is that when the puppet first meets the Blue fairy, she tells him she's actually dead and waiting for a hearse. With all his troubles and poor choices, Pinnochio is left to die quite a few times. The original version seems to have many more talking animals than the cartoon and it, of course, has more violence.

"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" by Victor Hugo (1831)

Far from the happy ending of the Disney retelling, the original story ends with Esmerelda being hanged by Frollo, Quasimodo killing Frollo, and then he starves to death over the body of Esmerelda. Other differences include Quasimodo actually being deaf from how loud the bells are that he rings (which makes sense) and the fact that he is really mean to everyone because everyone else treats him so poorly. Frollo is actually a priest who made a deal with the devil, which Disney had to change because of the problems that could have caused with intended audiences.

"The Fox and the Hound" by Daniel P. Mannix (1967)

There is no adorable friendship between this fox and hound. Tod actually from exhaustion after being chased by Copper, and to make things even worse, Copper is shot by his master when his master moves to a nursing home.

All in all, it's fascinating to learn the original stories of some of the most classic Disney films children have grown up on, even if the originals are rather disturbing and violent.

What other retellings have you heard about?

Cover Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Popular Right Now

35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."
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Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."


3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."


4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.


"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.


“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.


Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."


25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.


"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.


"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."


30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.


"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"


32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."


34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."


35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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The Zodiac Signs As Bath And Body Works Scents

Just in case you want to know what scent you are!

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Bath and Body Works fans could be considered to be part of a cult. The scents draw you in as if calling your name, if you ever
wondered what your scent should be based on your zodiac sign, here it is!

Aries: Country Apple

The rather impulsive Aries takes their time picking and choosing the scents from Bath and Body Works. The soothing scent of a fresh apple orchard is just what they need on a daily basis to keep up with their shenanigans.

Taurus: Japanese Cherry Blossom

The personality of a Taurus is stubborn, or what I like to say, is stuck in their ways. When they first discovered this scent in middle school, this was it. This is the only scent you will find anywhere around a Taurus.

Libra: Pink Chiffon

Pink Chiffon is another cult classic. This best selling scent went out of style for a hot second but is back and bigger than ever.

Leo: Thousand Wishes

Thousand Wishes is a purr-fect scent for a Leo. The light scent adornes the wearer just the right amount to get the desired reaction from those around them.

Aquarius: Be Enchanted

The rather cold personality of an Aquarius is counteracted by the loving scent of Be Enchanted. The scent is just enough tenderness for the wearer to be relaxed.

Gemini: Moonlight Path

Gemini's constantly change their favorite scent and are in and out of the store almost weekly to by new lotions, candles, and body washes. You will never see a full empty bottle of anything, however, Moonlight Path is the scent they keep coming back to again and again.

Virgo: Sea Island Cotton

The clean personality of a Virgo must be matched with the clean scent of Sea Island Cotton.

Capricorn: Cucumber Melon

Another clean scent of Cucumber Melon is the exact thing a Capricorn needs. The balance and calming scents are what make this scent so attractive to a Capricorn.

Scorpio: Paris Amour

The light scent is what you would expect from an extreme sign like a Scorpio. The scent lightly washes over the wearer in almost a cloud that

Sagittarius: Cashmere Glow

Cashmere Glow is a perfect scent for the winter sign. The vanilla and golden peach scent is just the mixture that creates the perfect accessory in the chilly months.

Pisces: Warm Vanilla Sugar

This lovely scent accentuates the lovely personality of a Pisces. They can never get enough of this scent so they just keep buying and buying until they have a full stockpile.

Cancer: Velvet Sugar

Velvet Sugar is the perfect blend of red velvet and strawberries and a Cancer is always changing their mind. The wearer can tell if it is a more red velvet or strawberry kind of day, and that is the balance that they need in their lives.

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