100 Days of Halloween: “What Really Happened?” – Five Fairy-Tale Endings That Could Ruin Your Childhood
Disney “classics” have had some pretty dark moments.
- Ursala getting impaled in The Little Mermaid…
- Scar surrounded and devoured by his jackals in The Lion King…
- The evil queen’s crushing blow in Snow White…
- Even more modern entries like Clayton‘s death in Tarzan, and…
- Dr. Facilier’s final moments in The Princess and the Frog
We may not always see blood or gore, but the implications of certain Disney demises can stick with you for a while.
But those are all the villains that get hurt, right? And they get their just desserts.
In the end, the good guys win, the boy gets the girl, and the sun comes out and reveals the world to be a Louie Armstrong chorus with marshmallows.
Here’s “What Really Happened” in five fairy-tales that may upset your view of their modern counterparts:
Little Red Riding Hood
Disney Ending: A classic Disney short, Little Red Riding Hood accompanies the three little pigs to visit her grandmother. While mashed up with other stories, hijinks ensue and all turns out well, if not a little trippy.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: Yeah, the wolf eats the grandmother. And Little Red. That’s the original. Another version continues with a lumberjack cutting the wolf open and saving Red and her grams before stuffing stones inside the wolf and letting the creature run away, only to collapse and die. We’re not sure which version is more distressing, actually.
The Little Mermaid
Disney Ending: There were a few scenes that could be considered dark and gloomy in this flick, but in the end – good triumphs over the evil sea witch and Ariel “gets her man.”
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: Turns out the prince was kind of a jerk. After Ariel goes through the trouble of becoming human, he falls for another girl. Ariel could kill him with the magical ritual of dipping her feet in his blood being the only way to become a mermaid again. Instead, she throws herself from a cliff, becoming sea foam.
Disney Ending: In a movie that has its terrifying moments already (that whole donkey scene!?), Pinocchio sacrifices himself to save his maker, Geppetto, who was swallowed by a whale. Recognizing his selfless act, the blue fairy brings him back to life as a real boy.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: In the 1883 children’s book, Pinocchio immediately kills a giant talking cricket (though unnamed) with a hammer. Seems reasonable. Also, the blue fairy dies toward the middle. The ending is pretty similar to the Disney version, but the book itself is trippy and slightly traumatizing throughout.
The Princess and the Frog
Disney Ending: HA! You thought this was a nice movie, didn’t you? True love conquers all (cliché). Realizing they love each other, Tiana and Naveen magically release themselves from the spell and combine forces to open a kickin’ restaurant.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: So…instead of kissing the frog, the princess broke his curse by smashing him into a wall or decapitating the poor amphibian. Where did our whole idea of, “Kiss a frog, get a prince!” come from, anyway? Multiple versions of this story across varied cultures, by the way.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
This one was actually a novel written by Victor Hugo, who famously wrote that cheery Les Miserables.
Disney Ending: Frolicking about the church tower, trying to catch Quasimodo and the gypsy he lusts after, Frollo ends up falling to his death in the fire below. The hero lives, Esmeralda falls in love with the captain, happy happy, joy joy.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: In a moment of blind aggression, Quasimodo frightens away those trying to rescue Esmeralda, unwittingly allowing Frollo’s men to capture her. After spurning the corrupt man’s love once more, Frollo has the gypsy hanged. Quasimodo then throws Frollo off a ledge and goes to lie next to Esmeralda’s corpse, starving to death in his depression. Also, his bones turn to dust when someone tries to move the two.
Ah, the childhood memories… Just be glad we didn’t get into The Fox and the Hound.