Visual by: Kunal Kaustav Duwarah
Disney Princesses- the iconic stunning heroines of Disney movies, who serves as role model to every growing child. These movies depicts the idea of “good over evil” where the villain gets defeated by the heroic characters which compels us to believe that these stories always have “happy endings.”
However, we are not aware of the hardships and heartbreaks behind their ideal fascinating lives. If you are curious to know the dark back stories of the Disney movies, in that case, read this article to unveil the harsh truths of the lives of Disney Princesses.
How are Disney movies related to fairy tales?
Disney movies are often based on the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault and Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales and sometimes drawn from well-known myths and tales.
The baleful side of these fictions are white washed to prevent readers from learning the brutal scary truth. This is because, fairytales and folktales were originally meant for adults and not for kids.
However, after the Grimms published their first edition of “Nursery and Household Tales” in two volumes in 1812 and 1815, their sales were totally disappointing. So they softened the intensity of these folktales to make it suitable for kids to read. Apparently, many writers did not totally omit the scary part, to educate the children about the consequences of evil deeds.
Here are 3 Disney movies that are significantly tragic and disturbing:
The story of Snow white follows the life of a beautiful young woman who captures the heart of a handsome prince by outdoing the villainous queen.
The sanitized Disney-fied version shows that the wicked queen orders the huntsman to kill Snow White and ask him to bring the girl’s heart in a jewel box as evidence of his violent deed. However, the German brothers Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm’s version tells us that, the queen wanted to eat up Snow White’s lungs and liver.
In the Grimms’ version, for example, Snow White’s evil stepmother is invited to Snow White’s wedding, where the guests heat a pair of iron shoes on burning coals and forced the stepmother to dancy in agony by wearing the red-hot footwear, until she falls down dead.
Additionally, bleaker variations tell a completely different story by indirectly suggesting that the prince has necrophilia (sexual attraction towards corpses). Other unknown versions hints that, Snow White’s father, is so fascinated by his daughter’s beauty that he holds an unhealthy obsession which forced the princess to flee from the castle. But as implicated the seven dwarves had enslaved and molested her.
According to the 1959 Disney’s film, Sleeping beauty is a young princess who was cursed by a witch that she’ll die on her 16th birthday by pricking herself on a spindle. However, the curse was revoked by a good fairy who allowed the princess to survive by going into a deep sleep that can be broken by true love’s kiss.
Though the Perrault and Grimm versions doesn’t differ much from this one, but they sanitized the story from earlier versions of the 14th-century France’s “Perceforest.” In the Grimm’s version, the prince was so enamoured by the the sleeping maiden, who was comatose, bedchamber and nude that he couldn’t resist his urge to have sexual intercourse with her and impregnates her.
The princess wakes up, when her infant bites upon her finger, mistaking it for a breast, causing the flax chip from the spindle to fall out.
The second part bizarrely claims the prince’s mother to be a monster towards children. The sleeping beauty and her children narrowly escaped being boiled and eaten by the mother as the prince thankfully saved them.
In Disney’s 2010 movie “Tangled”, a naive and young girl with anti aging properties, gets locked up by her overly protective mother (witch). Her wish to escape into the world outside finally comes true when she meets the good-hearted thief, Flynn who rescues her by cuts Rapunzel’s hair to kill the witch.
Whereas, in the original Grimm brothers’ story, the prince climbs the tower to make love with Rapunzel and apparently impregnates her with no intention of marrying her.
The witch abandons Rapunzel after cutting her hair. As the prince returns to the tower, he is confronted by the witch, who assures him that he’ll never see Rapunzel again. Out of despair, he jumps from the tower and lands in bushes whose thorns pierce his eyes and wanders as a blind homeless person.
Fortunately after the prince met Rapunzel coincidentally, the tears of her have the same healing power as they do in the movie, and the prince’s sight is restored. The pair returned to his kingdom to get married. This version is envisaged as a cautionary tale about the dangers of seduction.