As children, Disneyland was our dreamland, and Disney's happily ever after was how we envisioned our future. We loved the characters of every film and dreamed of our Prince Charming, but we didn't know the dark Disney stories behind those dreams.
Disney is a brand built on magic, love, and dreams. It made us as children believe in happy endings, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes. But in the real sense, it is trying to sugarcoat how cruel and brutal the real world is, which is what the original stories didn't.
We all grew up watching Disney cartoons, and some of them still captivate us even as grown-ups. Yet, over the years, what will scar you is the true story behind these 'fantasies' and fairytales and their shocking endings.
The colorful and magical movies we watched as children were dark Disney stories with a nastier and gorier origin.
It is widespread information that Disney, as a rule, adjusted the original stories of these fairytales to make them more acceptable for children. From Sleeping Beauty to Mulan, the beginnings behind dark Disney stories are far twisted and scarier than you could envision.
Torment, rape, consuming feet, genocide – these are only a couple of the things Disney removes when rewriting centuries-old fantasies for our screens.
I apologize in advance for ruining your childhood memories forever, but here are seven dark Disney stories you never knew about.
The Little Mermaid
In the Disney rendition of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, Ariel makes Prince Eric fall in love with her, gets her voice back, and celebrates a delightful wedding on a boat encircled by her family and singing sea friends.
In the original story, things weren't so happy and blissful.
The story was, in fact, a pure tragedy. From Ariel's constant pain she felt in her legs as if she was walking on knives, to her true love getting married to another person, Ariel didn't even have a break at life's misfortunes.
The Sea Witch advises her that she will become a mermaid again and live if she kills the prince. Yet, Ariel decides to sacrifice herself, hurling herself entirely into the ocean, disappearing and becoming sea foam.
Among the dark Disney stories that needed rewriting is Mulan.
Unlike the female heroic icon Disney created, her story was more than evil eagles and fake dragons.
When Mulan assumes her dad's position in the military, she meets the king's warrior daughter.
They become inseparable, and when the king is defeated, they offer their lives in his stead. They are ultimately saved, however when Mulan gets back home, she finds that her dad has died and her mom has remarried.
With her female identity uncovered, Mulan is requested to turn into a courtesan; however, she kills herself instead of submitting to this destiny.
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was Disney's first animated film and is a number one classic.
Snow White didn't just enchant the hearts of the seven dwarfs but also the smiles of a thousand childhood memories.
Although the animated version was a bit on the dark Disney stories side, with an eerie atmosphere and scary witchy stepmothers and poisoned apples, it wasn't even close to how the real story ended.
While the film closes with the prince waking Snow White with a kiss and riding her down to his palace, in the first story, the prince notices the evil queen in their wedding and makes her dance in a pair of red-hot iron shoes until she faints and dies.
That is just totally disturbing.
Mowgli committed genocide in the original story. After he killed the murderous tiger, he discovered his biological family was being held by a village.
With the assistance of the wolves and the elephants, Mowgli attacks the town and kills its occupants. Afterward, he needs to escape because the occupants think him to be an evil spirit.
At long last, Mowgli discovers harmony in a town administered by the English.
Sleeping Beauty should never even have been a kid's movie. Today, the book's author would have been dragged on Twitter, and his book could have been tagged inappropriate on Kindle.
It is based on a story of a married king who finds a girl, Talia, in a deadly slumber from a cursed splinter and attempts to wake her but is unsuccessful, so he rapes her.
She gets pregnant and gives birth to twins. She and her children were taken care of by fairies (who suddenly disappeared when a rapist came but no problem).
The fairies helped Talia breastfeed her babies, then one time, one of them sucked the splinter from her finger, waking her up.
Talia and the king fell in love, but the king was still married. His queen discovered her husband's affair and ordered the twins kidnapped, cooked, and fed to the king for dinner.
Talia married the king at the end, who burned his first wife alive so they could be together.
The origins behind your favorite secretly dark Disney stories make you revisit your childhood with such a dimmer view, and Cinderella is one of them.
Disney did a total make-over for this story. From singing rodents to a dancing fairy godmother, the Cinderella we watch on our DVDs is a far cry from what the Grimm brothers first published.
And spoiler alert; her original slipper wasn't even glass!
When the prince comes in search of the slipper's rightful owner, her evil stepsisters cut some parts of their feet to make the slipper fit — one cuts off a toe, and the other cuts off her heel.
A few birds dipped in to show the prince the blood on the shoe, so he would not be tricked.
In the end, Cinderella and the prince got married and had her stepsisters as her bridesmaids. The doves who betrayed them earlier pecked their eyeballs out during the ceremony.
Beauty and the Beast
Like so many fairytales, this story has evolved and become more children friendly. Unlike many Disney fairytales, Beautyand the Beast did not stray too far from the original tale, but there was an unusual twist in the story.
In the first fantasy, the Beast allows a homesick Beauty to visit her family on the condition she returns in seven days.
When her jealous sisters hear of this, they show some sisterly love and attempt to get her to stay so that the angry Beast would eat her alive when she returns.
Here is the shocker. Beauty -who was also a half-fairy - and the Beast turned out to be cousins.