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The Horrifying Stories Behind the Disney Classics

Little Mermaid & More

By Amine OubihPublished about a month ago 4 min read
The Horrifying Stories Behind the Disney Classics
Photo by PAN XIAOZHEN on Unsplash

Do you recall a recent moment when you have grown to be a bit older, well above the age when you would watch your favorite Disney classic with difficulty tying your shoelace by yourself?Tightly hugging your mom, she sat next to you on the sofa and her face expressed expressions of both joy and disgust. And also, it was a very challenging time, when you were in the mode of “Doing everything yourself. ”Such were those seemingly unending days that littered my mind with countless memories and tails.

Telling them small child, Disney was so adorned that in most cases they received a happy ending, the agreement part. I am sure they were marketed to your age group, little kids growing up. Yet it is the pity they never believed the actual events, which were meant to be depicted through the nightmarish, overwhelming accounts, that you might have conserved your bowels and screamed in terror. By then, you must have done your in-depth research on how the spirit was much more complex and serious in the original versions compared to the ones you grew up watching. Moreover, in the past, children as the whole audience could be shown the full-on horror – violence, dungeons, and death, all the time.

Disney sanitized these tales, believing, "You can’t handle the truth!" Take, for example, one of our favorite Disney characters: Quasimodo, being deformed, alone, and unknown, his only support is the church, where the bells give him the hope of escaping his bitter life or committing suicide. He is the main character of Vincent of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but his original story, written by Victor Hugo, was more than just the clean and sanitized version that we are all familiar with.

From birth, the hump which was characteristic of his kyphosis and a wart on his eye were the inheritance that he could not escape. In the book Hugo “Hell on Earth” was deprecating from his birth. To start with Quasimodo was disposed of his Romani parents and he was substituted for Agnes, a newly born baby whose Romani mother believed that she has eaten her baby. This wasn’t the case in the animated version, where Quasimodo’s mother is shown to be chased to her death and he almost drowns in the hands of Frollo, a character who sharply contrasts the situation by raising him kindly like his own son.

The darkness of the book continues to show with Quasimodo’s life as an bellringer at the church of Notre-Dame and deafness making him deaf. As his infernal temper is as brutal as physical deformities, he locks his loving side under that harshness. Having someone else Frollo, who brought him up, being in love with Esmeralda, a Romani girl and Quasimodo tortured by him in order to kidnap her – a thing that is not mentioned in the new Disney’s version.

In the novel, it is Esmeralda who is falsely accused of murder and condemned to death, the tragic act Quasimodo ends with has to do with him and his love. He died impaled between the two graveyard stones clinging to his deceased lover's body until he starved. The Disney version, with its upbeat and comfortable ending, is diluted with these horrific facts.

In Disney's The Little Mermaid fairytale, Ariel, a mermaid princess, discovers romance with Prince Eric and beats an evil sea witch named Ursula to have the prince as her eternal husband. However, Andersen's 1837 version has a much more tragic storyline. At first, Ariel swallows a potion to get human legs that have a lot of pain, and then she has the chance of turning into sea foam when she doesn’t win Eric’s love. Although Eric was planning to marry another princess, Ariel didn't agree to kill him with a magic dagger and instead, sacrificed herself, becoming sea foam .

The United Disney's Tangled is based on Rapunzel whose life is regulated by her magical hair which helps Mother Gothel to stay young. The love between Rhapsody and then a vagabond male named Eugene builds, and they eventually live happily ever after. For that reason, the Brothers Grimm’s 1812 edition is distinctively sinister. After the prince kissed her, Rapunzel got pregnant by the sorcerer. Subsequently, she had a baby. The sorceress finds out about it and cuts off Rapunzel's hair hence rendering the prince blind by throwing him into thorns. The happy ending of the story brings the prince out of the woods where he still can't see until he finds Rapunzel, whose tears make him regain sight.

The ‘whitewashed’ Disney versions of these fables has never been near to the original, but extremely violent stories. Perhaps you would not have been able to have watched the new versions had you watched the old ones as a child, considering the chances of getting traumatized. These tales depict a world where children who had to deal with gore, blood, guts, death etc. are described. Maybe, it made them strong youngsters. The difference between the Disney’s fairy tales and the stories from their origins is pretty obvious, this is the way why specific stories evolve to match the audience. Perchance, Disney thought we could not handle the truth but, contrary to that, knowing the stories embellishes an insightful, though dark, lift to the tales that we grew up hearing.

Young AdultthrillerStream of ConsciousnessShort StorySeriesScriptSci FiSatirePsychologicalMysteryMicrofictionLoveHumorHorrorHolidayHistoricalFantasyFan FictionfamilyFableExcerptClassicalAdventure

About the Creator

Amine Oubih

🌟Amine Oubih🌟

📝 Writer | 🎨 Creative | 🌍 Explorer

Hello,I am a traveler and writer. Whether It's Real Or Fiction, I always find something interesting to write about, and I use this content to spark the desire to learn more in readers.

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    Amine OubihWritten by Amine Oubih

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