Marvel Entertainment and Fox Studios proved that superhero flicks can succeed in the box office with a hard slap of a capitalized R, raking in millions since Deadpool's release. Movie-goers want the blood, violence, and swearing that usually comes with R-rated flicks, so what if Disney decided to forego their goody two-shoe image and stick with something a bit more crass and gruesome? These versions would surely make Walt roll in his grave.
In Disney's version, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys never grow up in Neverland. But the original story behind J.M. Barrie's novel, they grow older just like everyone else - except Peter murders them as they do. Please don't give me any of that pixie dust those guys are obviously snorting.
Based on a true story of a Native-American woman, the Disney version completely distorted the facts behind Pocahontas. She did actually meet John Smith but it wasn't a "love at first sight" moment between the two. What Disney didn't show was that she was kidnapped, held ransom for a year (and some historians believed she was raped during this time) and renamed Rebecca to symbolize her conversion to Christianity. After her release, "Rebecca" married a man named James Rolfe and had one son before dying at the age of 21. I doubt she was singing "Just Around the Riverbend" during her ordeal.
I don't think anyone would want to mess around with Cinderella if they knew what she was really capable of. In the original story behind Cinderella, her stepsisters mutilate themselves in order to fit into the glass slipper. One of them slices off her toe and the other cuts off her heel to trick the prince. Oh, and Cinderella's magical birds peck out her stepsisters' eyes as punishment for their deceit. What about her evil stepmother? Cinderella slams the lid of a chest on her neck, instantly killing her. I wouldn't want to see Cinderella and the Prince in Divorce Court.
The Little Mermaid
Sure, Ariel really wanted to be part of our world, but who would've thought that she had to go through so many extremes to do so? In the original tale, the Prince falls in love - but not with Ariel. Wanting to revert back to a mermaid, Ariel has a choice: murder the Prince and have his blood drip on her feet or stick to being a lousy human. But she has a heart! She doesn't murder the Prince, and instead throws herself into the ocean and transforms into sea foam. Love can make people do crazy things, I suppose.
I have a special place for Mulan, as the real story was part of my research papers during a course in "Women and Gender Studies" I took as an elective while I was going for my bachelor's degree. (Side note: please read Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts if you haven't already!) There are many versions of the Ballad of Fa Mu Lan (or Hua Mulan), but it may have been better for Disney to avoid some of the less flattering details that Mulan goes through in some of these not-so-happy folk tales. For instance, Mulan returns home from war only to see that there is nothing left to come home to. Her father is dead and much to her surprise, Mulan's mother is remarried. Mulan is given the option to become a concubine. Rather than becoming a sex slave, Mulan kills herself instead. I don't think "You go girl!" would work in this context.
There are more folk tales that were "Disney-fied" to appeal to the audiences, but honestly, would you watch R-rated Disney movies if they were ever created? What other stories would you want to see get the R-rated treatment? Sound off in the comments below!