Disney – hiding the truth, creating false expectations from life, and shaping unreasonable grown-ups since 1923. The fun to watch animations made us think that a sweet princess or prince is waiting for every one of us, or that everything has a happy ending.
Disney used folk tales from which it removed the sinister, sad, or bloody details. That’s the recipe for a textbook brain-wash. Childhood ruined, here we come!
1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Disney distorted “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in such a way that the story barely matches the original novel written by Victor Hugo.
The fact that every male character is sexually obsessed with Esmeralda remains intact. However, the ending changed dramatically.
Disney utopic scenario sees Quasimodo accepting his place in the friend zone and blessing the relationship between Captain Phoebus and the gorgeous gypsy woman. The hunchback steps out of Notre Dame as a hero and becomes socially accepted.
Switching to the novel, Quasimodo betrays Esmeralda, which leads to her execution. Feeling guilty, the ugly man seeks redemption in an awkward and disturbing way. He curls around her lifeless body and starves to death.
The novel concludes three years later when those that open the grave reveal the skeletons of the two in their eternal embrace. Their bones turn to dust as they try to separate them.
2. Cinderella (1950)
If you were a 1950s kid, you probably watched “Cinderella” on your big black-and-white TV.
If not, we will help you refresh your memories. “Cinderella” is the classic story of the poor girls that is lucky enough to marry a prince and live a happy life afterward. The animation’s most emblematic moment is when she tries on the glass slipper.
However, Disney forgot to mention some details that made the original folk tale even more colorful. The two stepsisters also try to fit the delicate shoe. Ordinary people would give up or ask for a bigger number like in your regular shoe shop.
Desperate to marry the prince, one cuts her toes and the other her heel. Even so, the tiny glass slipper proves too big. Good thing they were made from glass.
To make matters even worse, the two evil siblings lost their eyes when little hungry birds descended upon them at the wedding.
3. The Jungle Book (1967)
Disney took Rudyard Kipling’s novel and painted it in bright colors, virtually hiding under the rug all the blood spilled.
Mowgli, the orphan boy, wanders through the jungle in hope to find a proper home. Along the way, he befriends well-intentioned animals that guide and keep him safe. The animation concludes when Mowgli finds not only a suitable village but also true romance.
What is different in the novel? Well, almost everything, with a particular focus on altering the ending. Human society rejects Mowgli, and he sees no option than to seek revenge. Joined by Bagheera de panther, Haji the elephant, and a pack of wolves, Mowgli destroys the village and kills all its dwellers.
Just picture the contrast. On one side, you have Baloo singing and dancing “Bare Necessities,” and on the other, you have Mowgli supervising a small-scale genocide.
We get it that it’s not cool showing young kids violence and drama, but what the heck, Disney? Too much sugar in your recipe!
4. Pocahontas (1995)
When Disney gives life to its endless series of princesses, historical or literary accuracy often falls second.
“Pocahontas” is another excellent example of how you can take a tragic tale and make it material to brainwash children. According to Disney, the Native American beauty saves John Smith and facilitates peace between her tribe and the colonists. Although the ending sees Smith return to England without Pocahontas, their love remains pure.
The real story will shock you. Pocahontas was underage, and you could easily replace the word ‘love’ with ‘rape.’ Only ten years old at the time the colonist arrived, she is kidnapped, forced to convert to Christianity, and taken to England as a trophy.
No friendly raccoon was involved in the historical events, which is indeed disturbing.
Most versions agree that there was nothing between her and John Smith. Instead, Pocahontas marries a man named John Rolfe and gives him a son. She died early in her 20s.
As an interesting fact, her lineage survived to our days. Nevertheless, that probably doesn’t help to ease up the transition towards the truth.
5. Tangled (2010)
“Tangled” is one of the most recent Disney movies, one that scored incredible success.
The longhaired blonde sets out to explore the world accompanied by her lovely male friend. Rapunzel explicitly disobeyed her mother’s orders, and things turned out great for her eventually. The two marry and live happily ever after. The End.
If only today’s children would have the curiosity to reject the Disney propaganda and read the real deal. Although the original story also concludes well, the road to happiness is far more challenging.
For starters, Rapunzel is foolish enough to reveal her love to the one keeping her captive in the tower. Disney replaced the evil witch with a super controlling mother.
We all know the horror of seeing a girl cut her hair short and the Grimm Brothers were smart enough to include it in their story. However, the most shocking part is when the prince falls and lands in the thorns surrounding the castle, losing his sight. He wanders blind quite a lot before finding Rapunzel in the woods.
6. Peter Pan (1953)
“Peter Pan” was the animation that showed kids it is fine to dream about a magical place where the ridiculous rules of adults do not apply.
We hate ruining this for you, but justice calls. Although faithful to the writings of Scottish novelist J.M. Barrie, Disney changed some details to make the story suitable for those living inside a bubble.
What happened to the Lost Boys is gruesome. Instead of leaving Neverland to stay with the Darlings, they are killed one by one when they start to grow up.
The book is subtle on suggesting that, and the author casually mentions that Peter has to “thin them out.”
Neverland was also far from being a magic place. Its residents had to battle each step of the way the forces of Evil while implementing the strange method of population control mentioned before. It Michael Jackson’s attempt look even more sinister.
7. Mulan (1998)
“Mulan” expanded the Disney universe in directions never explored before by animation – ancient Chinese history and women emancipation.
However, Disney rewrote history to make the Chinese ballad conclude in a happy and festive way. After disguising as a man to take her father’s place in war, Mulan returns to a proud family. Her acts of bravery arouse a handsome Chinese general.
The war ends and love triumphs – nothing new under the sun for Disney fans.
However, the real story is far more somber. While the part where Mulan breaks the gender barrier and is involved in the war is right, she fails to impress the odds. Enemies capture Mulan, so she chooses to commit suicide instead of marrying the enemy Khan.
Before ending her life, Mulan said heartbreaking last words – “I’m a girl, I have been through war and have done enough. I now want to be with my father.” The guys at Disney have no eye for good drama.
8. Snow White (1937)
“Snow White” started as a 19th-century German folk tale collected by the Grimm Brothers. Disney stepped right in time to censor the fun parts.
The 1937 animation fails to mention how the princess gets revenge on her evil stepmother. Snow White forced the old woman to wear a pair of hot iron shoes and succumb to an agonizing death out in public. The scene took place at the girl’s wedding with Prince Charming.
We hate seeing you disappointed. There are no awful exploitations of Snow White’s body by the seven dwarves while asleep. The little helpers sought someone more appealing for the job.
The story got many kinky spinoffs in popular culture. Therefore, we probably did not make things worse for you. Unlucky for the Grimms, no one back then had a sick mind.
9. The Fox And The Hound (1981)
The story that inspired Disney’s “The Fox And The Hound” will break your heart and put sand and salt on the wounds.
Disney dealt with a delicate plot here. What happens with puppies from two different species when they grow up? Tod (the fox) and Copper (the hound) enjoyed great days under the sun until their true instincts emerged.
The animated version of the story focuses on how they managed to remain friends despite the pressure to hate each other. As sweet as this might sound, Disney fails to deliver the right message to kids.
Nature is merciless, and animals are unable to feel compassion. In the original stories, the dog’s training prevails, and Copper chases Tod until it dies from exhaustion.
The horror does not stop there. The author, Daniel P. Mannix, really wanted to make people cry with his writing, so he concludes the novel in a devastating way. A few years after Tod’s death, the Hunter is set to go to a home for elders, so he kills Copper.
10. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
“Beauty and the Beast” is the one Disney animation that unleashed the most amount of evil into the world.
Entrusting ugly men to kidnap and seduce modern day princesses did not turn out like in the 1991 adaptation of the 18th-century fairy tale. Belle imprisonment in the Beast’s castle turns to love once the two explore each other’s inner beauty.
Although following the general lines of the story, the Disney version forgets one little detail. Belle’s wicked sisters extend her stay at home hoping that this will upset the Beast. The two envied the luxury described by Belle and wanted to infuriate the gentle monster into eating her alive.
Of course, we know how to read between the lines. Beautiful girls marrying ugly old billionaires and showing off their glamorous lifestyle is familiar to us all.
11. The Sword In The Stone (1963)
Disney took the legend of King Arthur and stripped it bare of all the interesting details.
The myth of Arthur sees the legendary ruler of England as the one that was able to pull the sword from a stone, thus fulfilling the prophecy.
We get it, talking about adultery is not fun when your audience is made up of children. The original myth tells how Arthur’s nephew (Mordred) takes advantage of his absence and usurps the throne by marrying Queen Guinevere.
Despite its box office success, it was a never a thrill for the British to see their country’s foundation story mixed with time travel and other silly stuff.
12. Tarzan (1999)
You can consider “Tarzan” as the grown-up version of Mowgli.
Orphaned after the tragic deaths of his parents, Tarzan lives with Kala, the ape. Residing in the jungle an entire life can reverse hundreds of years of civilization, but it can do nothing to control instincts.
Tarzan falls in love with Jane, who visited the area accompanied by her man pushed in the friend zone, Clayton. The animation ends with Jane skipping her ticket back home for a shot at true love.
It might sound cute and heartwarming, but Disney messed up the original plot completely. Tarzan follows Jane to America, where the curtain rises to show the full scale of the drama.
Jane marries Clayton because her father was in serious debt. Yes, women were commodities back then, and no one would raise eyebrows for such turns of events.
Even though Tarzan emerges as Clayton’s cousin and rightful heir to the family fortune, his spirit of sacrifice prevails. Tarzan is foolish enough to believe Jane has a crush on Clayton and decides to reveal nothing.
13. Sleeping Beauty
The original story behind Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” involves rape, necrophilia, and dynastic feuds.
Where has all that go? Well, who wants to know? When you have the cliché couple that finds happiness despite all the odds, everything else is just silly.
For those willing to face the truth, we will tell you that Princess Aurora did not wake up after a kiss. In the original form, the story says that the king/prince was unable to reignite life with his moist lips. Therefore, he proceeds and rapes the body.
Nine months later, Aurora awakes only to see that he gave birth to twin babies, Sun and Moon. Things get even more complicated. Thrilled by the news of the princess who came to life, the King has to deal with his jealous Queen.
The story reverts to a Disney-like happy ending, in which he marries the princess and accepts her as the new Queen.
14. The Little Mermaid (1989)
Everything ends with a happy marriage in the Disney world, bypassing both the realities of our society and the original writings.
The “Little Mermaid” is the finest example on how developing content suitable for kids leaves aside all the drama and physical pain we adults crave for. We are sure you know what happened in the animation and want to take a closer look at Hans Christian Andersen’s work.
The mermaid has her tail split in two and ends up entertaining the prince with her dance. If you ever gutted a fish, you can picture correctly the pain involved.
Like in real life, the prince fell instead for a local beauty (that has beautiful legs instead of a fish tail). The troubled mermaid is overwhelmed with jealousy and seeks a way to win his heart.
Like always, the deal proposed by the evil witch character is not a good one. Ariel should kill the prince and soak her tail in his blood to become fully human. Unable to perform the gruesome sacrifice, her body dissolves into sea foam.
15. Hercules (1997)
The guys at Disney skipped doing homework on Greek mythology. The production abounds with mistakes and omits to mention a gruesome detail of Hercules’s life.
First, the legendary hero is not the son of goddess Hera. His mother was a mortal, one of the many who Zeus seduced and abandoned. His origin will not remain unpunished, and Hera uses her powers to drive him mad.
Do you remember Disney’s happy ending, where Hercules rejects his place amongst the gods for a life alongside his wife, Megara? Well, in the original myth the great champion of justice kills his wife and children.
Devastated by the awful things he did in the short interval of induced madness, Hercules seeks forgiveness by performing the famous 12 labors. What follows is an epic journey around the world and a desperate attempt to leave the past behind him. Nothing Disney would find interesting to show.
16. Pinocchio (1940)
Pinocchio’s story entertained kids for many generations and Disney’s 1940 production somehow remained fresh.
Like always, the adaptation of the story considered fit for animation excluded all the nasty stuff, including the tragic death of the puppet. Pinocchio is awarded the right to become a real boy after displaying feelings towards others.
Nevertheless, it is worth looking at Carlo Collodi’s original story. Pinocchio acts like a jerk towards Geppetto and the Blue Fairy. Send the kids away before reading the next fact. He goes as far as killing the book’s equivalent of Jiminy Cricket.
The wooden toy is caught and executed by his enemies, the Fox and the Cat. It does not make much sense, but they hung poor Pinocchio from a tree. If we could go back in time to Collodi’s time, we would suggest him to burn Pinocchio instead.
17. Frozen (2013)
Frozen was a Disney blockbuster built upon another story from Hans Christian Andersen – The Snow Queen.
Everything is jolly in the universe constructed by Disney. Although Elsa goes through a rough time dealing with her newly discovered powers, things eventually settle. Anna saves both the kingdom and her sister and even has time to reunite with her sweetheart.
We should give credit to the production company for displaying a climatic catastrophe and putting less accent on romance. However, the storyline goes too far from the original and misses core details.
Gerda and Kai are two childhood friends separated by the Snow Queen. The main antagonist kisses Kai a couple of times, enough to make him see the world in black and white and forget about his love for Gerda.
The plot concludes when Kai goes back to normal after Gerda’s warm kiss. A game of kiss and tell, as far as we see it.
You see what they did here? They took a villain (Snow Queen) and turned it into a good girl (Elsa). Disney is wicked.
18. Bambi (1942)
Bambi is an isolated case on the list. Walt Disney followed the original story of Austrian Felix Salten in the general lines.
However, many things were considered unsuitable for a young audience and thus removed. For example, the Disney animation is not keen to suggest how stags behave regarding commitment towards the family.
In the book “Bambi, A Life in the Woods,” Bambi meets a lot of his stepbrothers, all showing the sexual habits of the dominant stag. Even the fact that Bambi spends most of his time with his mother indicates that male deer are bad parents.
Blood and depressing scenes are on their way. Bambi’s mom is shot, and he also finds a dead hunter in the woods. Bambi doesn’t encounter true love and meets his father’s true identity only when he was close to death. Not the happy ending you saw at Disney.