Long before Disney, there was Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, and stories told around the world, passed down through generations. Most of these tales were pretty gruesome and happily ever afters were few and far between. That is, until Disney decided to grab ahold of an untouched fairy tale and spin it into a heart-warming flick that we're guaranteed to love.
Even though Disney now does a better job at including characters and stories from all over the world, each adaptation is 'anglophonized' to appeal to a broader audience, so they often lose their origins.
However, the team behind Movie Munchies has given us a more accurate version of our favorite Disney Princesses, switching out the English dialogue for the characters' native tongues, and it's pretty wonderful.
The Little Mermaid (Danish)
Based on the tale by Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid originates in Denmark, where there is even a bronze statue built in her honor in Copenhagen, which has been in place since 1913. In tribute to the tale and the statue, Disney's version of The Little Mermaid has Ariel perched on a rock, almost identical to the bronze figure.
The Disney adaptation drew its inspiration from the Chinese poem The Ballad of Mulan, which was actually based on the legend of a warrior woman named Hua Mulan and first written in the 6th century. There are also other versions of Mulan's tale, including a play written by Xu Wei towards the end of the Ming Dynasty entitled The Heroine Mulan Joins the Army in Place of her Father, which the Disney film also drew upon.
Frozen is very loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale The Snow Queen. While both stories share a happy ending and a queen with the power of ice and snow, Elsa's equivalent in the original tale is a wicked queen who holds one of the main characters hostage, unless he can form the word 'eternity' out of pieces of ice.
Disney's version does its best to incorporate Norwegian elements into the story, including giving characters Norwegian names, like Sitron the horse, and using words, clothing, and farming methods native to Norway.
Based on the tale of Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp from One Thousand and One Nights, as well as elements from the 1924 film The Thief of Bagdad, the original story actually places the characters in China. The original screenplay also set the story in Baghdad, Iraq but was then changed to Agrabah, a fictional Arabian city, after the start of the Gulf War.
Tangled is based on the German fairy tale, Rapunzel, by the Brothers Grimm, which was actually an adaptation of Friedrich Schulz's 1790 fairy tale Rapunzel, which was in turn based on the tale Persinette by French poet Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de la Force, which happened to be based on the Italian fairy tale Petrosinella by Giambattista Basile. So really, Rapunzel could be speaking German, French, or Italian and they would all be considered accurate.
You can catch part two, featuring Belle, Snow White, and more, below.