5 Disney Movies With Not-So-Magical Origins
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5 Disney Movies With Not-So-Magical Origins

Number 3 might surprise you!

5 Disney Movies With Not-So-Magical Origins
Screenshot from Disney+

If you are anything like me, you probably grew up with Disney movies that have left an imprint in your life. I have always loved Disney, and I still do! However, there are some stories that existed before Walt Disney added his own "bibbidi bobbiti boo" to the mix. Before the Disney era, people wrote fairytales to have some sort of moral meaning, which are more commonly known as the Grimm Fairytales. Unfortunately, the authors did this by scaring children into compliance, which is where some of those loved Disney stories originated. That being said, here are five Disney story origins that will change the way you see some of your favorite Disney classics.

1. Cinderella

This story, as almost everyone knows, is about a young girl named Cinderella who has a wicked stepmother and two stepsisters. After Cinderella's father dies, the rest of her stepfamily abuses her and essentially makes Cinderella the household maid, just without the paycheck. While that is true in the original story, Cinderella is a lot less magical than Walt Disney let us see. In the original story, the prince sees Cinderella at a few different royal events, and each time, Cinderella must leave abruptly before midnight. Instead of the prince going to several houses all over the kingdom, he follows this mysterious girl home and is led to believe that he saw one of the stepsisters.

Now, this is where it gets a little... Gross.

Each of the sisters gets their chance with the prince. You know how it goes. They get to try on the shoe, and if it fits, the prince marries the girl. Instead of the sisters just trying the shoe and failing, each sister cuts off part of her foot to make it fit. I know, disgusting right? It gets worse. At the end of the story, a crow comes and pecks out each sister's eyes!

Walt Disney did a lot of work to make this story one of those classics we all love. Could you imagine if that version was made into a movie?

2. Pinocchio

This next story was written by a man who tried to tell parents how to raise their kids when he didn't have any children of their own. Pinocchio is a puppet who gets himself into all sorts of mischief and is portrayed as a bratty, ungrateful child. Unlike the Disney version, the original story of Pinocchio has no redemption, no matter how many chances he gets offered. In the end, Pinocchio puts his trust in the Fox and the Cat, who are untrustworthy. They betray Pinocchio and hang him from an oak tree where he dies.

I know. That is definitely not the story that we all know and love. Jiminy Cricket is nowhere to be found, who is by far my favorite character. I never imagined that the story of Pinocchio would be so dark and hopeless. Walt Disney did a number on this story, and I am ultimately grateful for the change in plot. Children are portrayed in such a negative light, which is so inaccurate in real life.

3. Rapunzel

When I heard about the original story of Rapunzel, I almost didn't believe it. Locking a girl in a tower for 18 years was enough for me, but it turns out that detail is only scratching the surface of the original storyline. In the story, Rapunzel is visited by a prince, who manages to get Rapunzel pregnant. Unfortunately, she does not realize she's pregnant until her clothes don't fit her anymore. Crazy, right?

Then, to make matters worse, Rapunzel is put to shame by the woman who held her captive in a tower for 18 years as if child imprisonment isn't worse than pregnancy out of wedlock. Without going into too many details (this portion would be a whole book if I did), Rapunzel is forced to give birth to twins in the desert, and the prince ends up being blind for the next several years after that. You're thinking it couldn't possibly get any weirder, right?


After several years, Rapunzel and the twins run into the prince again, and Rapunzel's tears turn out to be the magic cure for the prince's blindness. This is pretty accurate to what happens in Disney's Tangled when Rapunzel's tears heal Flynn Ryder's wound at the end. This story is a much bigger rollercoaster ride than I ever could have imagined. I'm pretty thankful that Walt Disney changed this one up, too.

4. Peter Pan

This story actually didn't surprise me as much because of the TV show, "Once Upon A Time." Most of us know Peter Pan as a little boy who never grows up and lives in Neverland. He fights pirates and goes on all sorts of fun adventures with his Lost Boys. Peter Pan has always been that light-hearted movie to remind people of all ages what it means to be a kid at heart. However, that was not the original intention of the story of Peter Pan.

Peter Pan was originally written as a villain who kidnapped children from their homes. This is not much different from the Pied Piper, who kidnaps children with soothing music. The creators of "Once Upon A Time" took an opportunity to explore the Peter Pan character as a villain, and it makes sense why that would be the original intent of the character. What shocked me the most was finding out that Captain Hook was added as a distraction. His character was used as a way to enhance scene changes (Peter Pan was actually a live performance as well as a book).

I definitely want to go back and read the entire Peter Pan story to see just how different the original story is from the movie I grew up with.

5. Snow White

The last story I'll mention is Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. As any hardcore Disney fan can tell you, Snow White was the first Disney movie to be released. In the Grimm fairytale, "Little Snow White," the storyline is very similar to the Disney version until Snow White finds a house in the woods. All of a sudden, it sounds a lot like Goldie Locks and the Three Bears. However, instead of bears, Snow White comes across the Dwarves' house. The story goes through the whole song and dance of trying seven different chairs before one is "just right."

The original story is also different because there is less emphasis on the prince and true love. In the Grimm fairytale, the prince actually doesn't save Snow White with a kiss. It is actually the dwarves that drop Snow White's coffin and the apple in her throat comes out, reviving her. It's a crazy story, but it actually doesn't differ too much from the Disney movie we all know and (sorta kinda not really) love.

At the end of the day, Disney has definitely been responsible for changing a lot of the stories that were born in a different culture. It is crazy to see how morbid some of these stories were before Disney manipulated it, but it also makes me feel so grateful for stories that provided so much hope during my childhood. If I heard the real stories of Cinderella, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Rapunzel, and Snow White, I don't think I would be the same person I am now.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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