ByKaitlynn Bauer, writer at
Spider-Man enthusiast. Disney fanatic.
Kaitlynn Bauer

Classic fairy tales are the source of Disney's movie plots, but often they take artistic license or in other words, leave out important details, like if the main character dies, or if they are in a totally unfair and miserable place.

Here are the real stories behind some of your favorite Disney movie:


In the movie: Rapunzel lives in a tower with Mother Gothel. When Flynn Rider comes around and helps her escape, she is finally able to explore the kingdom. While exploring, Rapunzel ends up falling in love with Flynn, despite her finding out that her real name is Eugene, and also finds out she is a long lost Princess along the way. The pair eventually ends up getting rid of Mother Gothel, and ended up living happily ever after.

The actual story: One day, a prince discovers Rapunzel's tower and decides to climb in. Once he lays eyes on Rapunzel, it was pretty much love at first sight. Dame Gothel eventually finds out that the prince was sneaking in and decides to lure him to the tower by cutting off Rapunzel's hair and hanging it out the window (this is the not-so-subtle signal that Rapunzel uses to tell the prince that he can come up). The prince falls for the trap and climbs up the tower to find Dame Gothel waiting for him, not Rapunzel. He immediately turns around and jumps out of the window into a patch of thorns below and is instantly blinded. The end.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

In the movie: The Princess, Snow White, is driven out of her home by her power hungry step-mother the Evil Queen. She runs into the forest and takes refuge with seven mixed-personality dwarves. When word reaches the Evil Queen that her step daughter is still alive, she disguises herself as a witch and convinces Snow White to eat a poisoned apple. She eats the apple and it causes her to fall into a deep sleep in which the only way to wake her is a kiss from Prince Charming.

The actual story: The biggest difference between the original story and the Disney movie is the Evil Queen's punishment. The Evil Queen shows up at Snow White's wedding, and is forced to wear hot iron shoes and dance until she dies.


In the movie: The Native American princess, Pocahontas falls in love with a British colonist named John Smith, despite the tensions between the colonists and her tribe. Pocahontas' father decides to execute John, but before he is able to Pocahontas saves him. Because of this heroic act, peace is brought upon the two opposing groups.

The actual story: Pocahontas is the only Disney movie that is based on a true story, but at the same time...It is also the most distorted story. Following John's return to England, Pocahontas was kidnapped and converted to Christianity, during the time, she married John Rolfe. She visited London years later, and was exhibited as an example of a "civilized" Native American. Unfortunately, she died of unknown causes before returning home. The biggest lie of all, there were no record of her frolicking with a raccoon or bird or even a talking tree. None.


In the movie: In place of her father, Mulan enlists disguised as a man. With help of her spiritual guardian, and miniature dragon, Mushu she makes herself into a strong warrior. She returned home bringing honor to her family and won the heart of her ravishing general.

The actual story: The original story is a ballad called Hua Mulan. In the ballad, Mulan returns home from the war happy and safe. However, in addition Sui Tang Yani ends with Mulan coming home to see that her family had fallen apart. Her only option was to be a sex slave. She ends up committing suicide.

The Little Mermaid

In the movie: The beautiful mermaid, Ariel, falls deeply in love with a prince but he was a human, and she was a mermaid which made it impossible for them to be together. Ariel trades her voice for legs so that she can catch the attention of the Prince. Apparently, the nice-legs, no-voice combo is the perfect fit for Prince Eric. The two end up getting married and they live happily ever after.

The actual story: In the original story, Ariel's bargain with Ursula was the same as in the movie but the slight difference is that walking on her feet is incredibly painful for her, as well as the stipulation that if the Prince does not fall in love with Ariel, then she will die. Despite the pain that was brought to Ariel, she danced all night just for his enjoyment. The Prince falls in love with a different girl and Ariel ends up dissolving into sea foal. Here's the catch...She was only 15 years old!

The Jungle Book

In the movie: Mowgli, the human boy was raised by a pack of wolves. When the wolf-mother learns of the man-eating tiger that has returned to the village, she sends Mowgli to a human village to keep him safe. Reluctant to join the human society, he change his mind real fact when he instantly becomes friendly with a human girl

The actual story: The original story was a part of a collection of short stories. Mowgli never adjusts to human life... probably because he was raised by wolves... Because of this, he is sexually attracted to wolves as opposed to humans. Mowgli was also 11 years old and lives his life completely naked.

The Princess and the Frog

In the movie: A hard working waitress names Tatiana tries to help Prince Naveen get turned back into a human because he was stuck as a frog but she ends up getting turned into a frog as well. The pair travel through the bayou looking for a way to get turned back into human but along the way, they ended up falling in love which ends up reversing the curse and they both live happily ever after.

The actual story: The movie The Princess and the Frog is based off of a fairy tale. In the story, a frog goes to a Princess for help to be turned back into a human. The Princess acted in a way any typical girl would, with utter disgust and throws him against a wall. Apparently, throwing him against the wall was what was needed to break the spell not a kiss... the frog is revealed to be a handsome (and bruised) Prince.


In the movie: The wooden puppet, Pinocchio, wanted very badly to be a real boy. He ends up making a few poor decisions and learns a few important life lessons. The Blue Fairy grants his wish and he ends up becoming human.

The actual story: The original Pinocchio is a menace that should have been used as kindling. The puppet gets Gepetto arrested for child abuse, because apparently child abuse laws apply to puppets, too? And on top of getting him arrested, he also kills Jiminy Cricket! The ghost of the cricket warns Pinocchio to stop his immoral ways. The wooden menace ignores the cricket's ghost and continues to make Gepetto's life a living hell, and he ends up getting turned into a real boy anyways.


In the movie: Anna and Elsa, the two orphaned Princesses grow up with a bad relationship because Elsa wants to protect Anna from her magical, and somewhat dangerous ice powers. Elsa's powers are eventually revealed and she runs away while singing the catchiest song known to mankind. Anna retrieves Elsa and fixes their relationship in effort to save the kingdom.

The actual story: Frozen is a title that is played off of the story The Snow Queen. In the original story, the two protagonists are Gerda and Kai, and they are not sisters, but childhood best friends. Kai ends up getting kidnapped by the Snow Queen after her kisses freeze him, and erase his memory. Gerda goes on a long quest to rescue Kai and ultimately saves him, but the last kisses from the Queen ended up paralyzing him.

Well, there are the real stories behind your favorite Disney movies. What are some of your favorite Disney movies? Do you know of any other spooky backstories? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Sorry if I totally ruined your childhood and everything that you hold dear to you...


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