If you’ve spent enough time on the Internet, it will likely come as no surprise to you that the Disney animated classics we grew up with aren’t really telling the whole story.
Whether they’re a creation of the Brothers Grimm or the dark, twisted mind of Hans Christian Andersen, the fairy tales we know and love came from much darker original stories.
Although these far-darker original stories probably won’t be making it onto Disney’s slate in their full gory glory anytime soon, some fan artists have imagined what these stories would look like in various styles and forms.
1. Snow White
In the original ending of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it wasn’t a quick tumble off of a cliff that ended the life of the Evil Queen but some sweet revenge acted out by Snow herself.
Artist: Molly Ostertag
After her Prince helped dislodge the poison apple from Snow White’s throat, the two had their quickie wedding ceremony. The Evil Queen is invited, and not to be one to miss a good party, she attends. As an act of punishment, she is forced to wear hot iron shoes and dance until she died. Definitely not an ideal party favor.
Artist: Camille Rose Garcia
If you’ve seen Into the Woods, you’re already familiar with the sad(ish) story of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters. After hearing that the prince was looking for someone to fit his mystery woman shoe, one sister cuts off her toes, and the other her heel in an effort to try to fit into the tiny slipper. Obviously, the prince finds out about their plan and realizes that Cinderelly is the true owner of the shoe.
The two sisters attend Cinderella’s wedding, only to have their eyes later plucked out by birds. Moral of the story: If you’ve spurned the bridal party in any way, probably just don’t attend the wedding.
3. The Little Mermaid
Oh Ariel you poor, unfortunate soul. In the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, the little mermaid we all adore suffers a truly horrible fate and is a far cry from the story we know thanks to Disney.
For example, if she were to lose the bet she wouldn’t just be forced to return to the ocean like in the movie, she would just die. Since mermaids are basically immortal creatures, dying means turning into sea foam and not being able to live forever in a heaven-ish world after passing. Also, the fin-splitting wasn’t just a quick, glowing transformation from tail to legs. In the source material, she bleeds and every step she takes is like walking on broken glass. Her version of Prince Eric is really awful and forces her to dance through the pain laughing all the while.
If going through all of that wasn’t bad enough, Eric ends up leaving her for another woman. Ariel is given the option of killing him so she can live on as a mermaid, but she loves him too much. The story ends with the Little Mermaid turning into a little patch of sea foam. I guess life isn’t always better down where it’s wetter.
Another loose adaptation of the Brothers Grimm, but Rapunzel’s story is much closer to Into the Wood’s version than what we saw with Tangled. First of all, in the original story Rapunzel ends up being impregnated during one of the prince’s visits.
Sadly, Rapunzel lets it slip about his nighttime visits and the enchantress cuts off her long, golden locks, sends the young lady packing, and lays in wait of the prince’s return. Once he starts to climb her hair, he realizes that it is actually the enchantress and falls from the tower, gouging his eyes out on the thorns below. It all ends up being okay after he finds Rapunzel and their twins after a few years of blind wandering and his beloved’s tears somehow heal his eyes. Still, not quite the story we know today.
I know they’ve got a lot of live-action movies on their plates, but maybe somewhere along the line Disney can put out a really dark version of one of their animated classics. A horrifying Little Mermaid perhaps? Probably won’t happen due to it’s non-kid friendly nature, but a fan girl can dream.
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