You'll Never Believe The Shocking Original Stories These Disney Movies Are Based On

Disney’s fairy tales were probably a big part of your childhood but did you know that the original tales behind the cartoons could sometimes take a rather shocking form? Read on to find out more…

Although Disney cartoons portray fantasy worlds where good triumphs over evil, the original tales are sometimes far from this straightforward format. This is the case with Ariel, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio! The truth can sometimes be quite shocking!


Under the sea things were going pretty well for the young mermaid Ariel. But very quickly her desire for adventure pushed her to want to discover the earth and the strange beings that inhabit it. After saving the life of a young prince who was about to drown, Ariel immediately falls in love with him. She decides to do everything she can to join him on land and makes a pact with the wicked witch Ursula who exchanges her enchanting voice for human legs. Since there is always a happy ending with Disney, the young Ariel manages to marry the prince, get her voice back and remain human.

However in the original work by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen published in 1837, things are not so perfect. After saving the prince’s life, Ariel learns that men don’t live that long, but have an eternal soul. Wishing that she too could have an eternal soul, she decides to seduce the prince. She drinks a magic potion that gives her legs, but loses her tongue in exchange and feels excruciating pain. On top of that, she risks turning into sea foam if she fails and does not marry the prince!

Determined to marry him, she decides to join him on the beach. But under the orders of the king, he decides to marry another girl, which end up breaking the mermaid’s heart. Thus Ariel’s sisters decide to help her by offering to kill the prince with a knife which would then turn her back into a mermaid. The young heroine refuses and ends up throwing herself into the sea and turning into foam… (to Flounder’s dismay we imagine).

Sleeping Beauty

Yes we know that Aurora is not one of the most exciting Disney princesses, since she spends most of her time sleeping, but the original story is much creepier. According to the Disney version, the young princess pricks her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and falls into a deep sleep from which she can only awaken with a kiss from a prince. It's quite beautiful.

The problem is that the original story is miles away from this beautiful love story, since the prince does not wake her up with a kiss but actually rapes her! Despite this, the princess remains asleep and gives birth nine months later to two children who wake their mother up by sucking on her finger since they are hungry.

But the story does not end there; Aurora’s mother-in-law is a cannibal and she tries to devour her own grandchildren! Even though it’s kind of boring, we do prefer the Disney version…

Peter Pan

Peter Pan is one of the most famous and emblematic animated heroes from our childhood. This wonderful story about the adventures of the Lost Boys and Neverland enchanted us but the original version sends chills up our spines.

In the original story Peter Pan is the only boy who does not grow up, so he decides to kill everyone who does grow up, because it's against the rules!


The wooden puppet Pinocchio also has a happy ending in the Disney movie since he turns into a real boy and lives happily with his creator turned father.

In Carlo Collodi's original tale, Pinocchio does not end up so well. Pinocchio's father Gepetto has the reputation of hating children and abusing them. Gepetto is sent to prison and leaves Pinocchio alone, who is forced to work to support himself. Too clumsy to work, he keeps splashing buckets of ice water on himself. So he decides to go home to dry off near the fireplace, a serious mistake since his feet then catch fire! But the misfortunes do not stop there for poor Pinocchio who end ups being hanged for his clumsiness…

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