6 really messed up origins of classic fairy tales
In the magical world of modern fairy tales, princesses live happily ever after and the bad guys always get their come-uppance. However, it may shock some of you to learn that the source material for many classic fairy tales actually come with a hard R rating. In fact, there are some pretty famous Disney movies that have some pretty messed up origins. Keep reading to learn just how horribly gruesome six different fairy tales actually are.
Photo credit: Sam Howzit, Flickr
The original story of Cinderella dates all the way back to the 1st century BC. In this original, Cinderella’s (named Rhodopis) path to a happily ever after is essentially the same. Like the Disney version, she overcomes the wickedness of her evil step sisters and eventually marries the prince thanks to a well-fitting slipper.
However, what Disney chose to leave out was the fact that, at one point, the step sisters CUT OFF PARTS OF THEIR OWN FEET in an effort to trick the prince into marrying them. As punishment for this trickery, the prince calls on his royal pigeons to peck out the eyes of those conniving step sisters.
5 Snow White
In the story Snow White is based on, there is no magical kiss at the end. Rather the poisoned princess simply wakes up while the prince is transporting the supposed dead girl back to town on his horse. However, that somewhat melodramatic ending isn’t the most messed up part of this story. In the original, the Queen requests not only Snow White’s heart, but also her liver and lungs. Why would she want those? To eat for dinner of course. Earlier versions also end with the wicked Queen being punished by placing her in scalding hot iron shoes and forcing her to dance to her death.
4 The Little Mermaid
We all know that Ariel ends her Disney fairy tale by being transformed into a human and marrying the valiant Eric. However, in the original Hans Christian Anderson version, the poor mermaid falls into a pit of despair when she sees her fair prince marrying some other lucky girl. She is given a knife and goaded into stabbing her fair prince to death for his treason. However, rather than do this she simply chooses to commit suicide by diving into the sea.
3 The Pied Piper
Most people these days would agree that the mass murder of children isn’t exactly a good story element for fairy tales. Well, in the original, the famed Pied Piper is so enraged by the town’s unwillingness to pay up for his rat-removal services that he leads all the town’s children to the local river and forces them to jump in. All but one of the children inevitably drown to death.
2 Goldilocks and the Three Bears
The original tale of Goldilocks has two different variations –- both of which are considerably more messed up than the classic version most of us have come to know (which involves Goldilocks jumping out of a window and running to safety once the three bears arrive). In the first variation, the bears delight in savagely ripping the young home intruder to death and eating her delicious entrails once she is discovered. In the other, Goldilocks is no attractive young woman, but rather a hideous old hag. This hag successfully makes it out the window like the modern Goldilocks. Unfortunately, she manages to break her neck in the process, fatally injuring her.
1 Sleeping Beauty
In the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty, our princess is awoken from a 100-year sleep with the kiss of her true love. In the original, the fair beauty is put in a similar sleep. However, things take a much darker turn once her head hits the pillow. Enamored by the beautiful woman, a creepo king takes her to his castle and decides to REPEATEDLY RAPE HER as she sleeps. Eventually, she gives birth to twins, and wakes up to the cold horror that she is now a physically battered mother of two.