Disney princess films are generally pretty happy affairs. The princess will go through a trial of some sort, but she will always make it through to her happy ending (complete with marriage to the prince), but the origins of the stories that Disney has used as their inspiration are not at all as happy as anyone who has only watched the Disney films might believe.
Here are some of the more darker elements of some of your favorite Disney films:
- Snow White: She was only seven when the Evil Queen sent the Huntsman to kill her. That is right; the queen tried to kill a seven-year-old for being too pretty. The organs the Huntsman brings back and claim are Snow White’s, the queen cooks them and eats them. When the prince first came across her in the glass coffin, he offered to buy her corpse from the dwarves. When the dwarves finally agree to let the prince take her, the prince does not kiss her. Instead, he trips while caring her casket, dislodging the poison apple that was stuck in her throat. When they were to get married, they invited all the neighboring royalty. When the Evil Queen arrived, she was forced to wear red hot slippers, and she dances until she drops dead. Think about that the next time you think about the glass coffin and True Love’s First Kiss.
- Cinderella: Our heroine was abused heavily by her step mother and sisters, which is a well-known part of the story. In some versions of the story, Cinderella’s father is still alive and does nothing to stop the abuse. Then, after the ball, not only was the prince completely unable to recognize Cinderella when he sees her, he needs to send around the shoe she accidentally left behind at the ball (because she was, apparently, the only person in the entire kingdom with that shoe size). The step sisters, when presented with the shoe, literally cut off parts of their feet to try and fit into the shoe. It is only when the blood is seen flowing out of the shoe that the prince realizes that neither of them is the person he is looking for.
- Sleeping Beauty: The prince did not come to save her. A king found her sleeping and raped her, getting her pregnant. It was one of the twins she gave birth to who sucked the needle out of her finger and woke her. After that, the king had his wife killed so he could marry Sleeping Beauty; so, not only was she raped, but she also had to marry her attacker.
- Rapunzel: After escaping from the tower, the witch tricked the prince into thinking she was still there. He climbed the tower to see her and threw himself from the tower when he found out that Rapunzel was gone. He landed in a bush at the bottom of the tower and was blinded, wandering for years before (magically) coming across Rapunzel again.
- The Little Mermaid: The entire time that the mermaid had legs, it felt like she was walking and dancing on knives, she never regained her voice, and the prince married someone else. The mermaid’s sisters said she could return to the sea if she murdered the prince, but when she refused, she was turned into sea foam.
- The Frog Prince: There is no kiss to turn the prince back into a human after he was turned into a frog. The princess that the frog prince meets up with loses her ball in a pond. The frog prince agrees to get her ball for her in exchange for a kiss. The princess agrees, but after he gets the ball for her, she backs out of their agreement. Instead of giving him the kiss she promised, she chucks him against a wall; it is only when he hits the wall that he turns back into a human. Instead of getting punished for what she did, the prince still marries her (with her learning nothing at all).
- Beauty and the Beast: The beast’s backstory is different than you might think it is. Instead of being cursed because he is an 11-year-old who (rightly) does not let a stranger into the house, his father dies before he is born. His mother ends up going off to war and leaves him in the care of a fairy. When she tries to seduce him, and he refuses, the fairy turns him into a beast. Oh, and Belle is also his first cousin.