7 Disney Movies Based on Truly Disturbing Stories

Many of Disney's animated classics are based on famous literary works and historical events, and it may surprise you that some of these tales are actually much darker than we were led to believe as kids!  Here are some of the tidbits that were left out of these movies. I think you’ll be able to see why.

  1. Pocahontas
    While there is some tension in this '90s favorite, it is nothing compared to the actual story. The Europeans killed Pocahontas' husband Kokoum, abducted the 17-year-old, and repeatedly raped her. When she became pregnant from her assault, she was forced into a marriage with an English tobacco farmer to make the child legitimate in the eyes of the church. She later fell victim to an unknown illness and experienced a long and painful death.  
  2. Pinocchio
    Pinocchio is sentenced to death for being such a naughty boy in the original tale. When the magical cricket comes to warn him about the future, Pinocchio squashes him with a hammer. In order to save himself from being burned alive, he attacks a cat, who ends up hanging him from a tree until he dies.  
  3. Cinderella 
    To fit into the famed glass slipper and subsequently win the heart of the prince, Cinderella’s evil stepsisters chop off their toes and heels to make their feet smaller. Surprisingly, the prince doesn't notice the blood gushing out of the shoes until two pigeons bring it to his attention. By the time Cinderella tries on the slipper, it is covered in blood.
  4. Tangled
    When the prince learns that Rapunzel is forever confined to her tower, he tries to kill himself by jumping from its roof. However, he lands face first in the bushes and blinds himself. He is able to see again once Rapunzel cries a magical tear directly into his eyes.
  5. Beauty and the Beast
    In the original version of this story, Belle has two sisters who try to have her murdered. While she is on her break from the Beast’s magical castle, Belle's sisters plan to keep her away, thinking that if she does not return in the allotted week, the Beast will be overcome with rage and eat her. 
  6. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    In Victor Hugo’s novel, Quasimodo doesn’t get the happy ending that he does in the film. When Frollo is overcome by his desire for Esmerelda (who is 15, mind you), he forces Quasimodo to kidnap her. However, Quasimodo is caught before he can snatch her, arrested by Phoebus, and then publicly tortured. Later, when Esmerelda is executed because she will not sleep with Frollo, Quasimodo clings to her corpse. Roll credits.
  7. The Little Mermaid
    Once she has been turned into a human, the little mermaid’s tongue is cut out, and her new legs are deformed and bleed profusely. The prince marries another woman, which destroys her. She must choose between murdering the prince in order to become a mermaid again or commit suicide. After a failed attempt to kill the prince, she decides to kill herself by jumping off a cliff into the sea below. 

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