Disney shows and movies make many people feel connected to the company in a wonderful way. It is likely that you have made your child, nephew, niece, or grandchild watch a Disney film you grew up seeing. Whether it’s Snow White, Cinderella, or Aladdin, we always come back. Even the Marvel films are made keep fans coming back, even comic geeks like us.
Now Disney seems to own everything, which makes them the most dominant entertainment company in modern history. They own more than you could possibly imagine, especially after the recent FOX deal. The company was built on a lot of interesting material, some of which was pretty bad, and it cannot be ignored. Meanwhile, some less-than-stellar things about these original stories have been covered up by the company.
There are things many of us ignored when we were kids that today would be pretty terrible to see and impossible to ignore. A lot of things are still overlooked by many of us to this day. While Disney is a very good, family-oriented corporation today that prides itself on that type of content, they aren’t above making mistakes. We all know that Disney has made many mistakes, the question is, can you spot them?
This list will expose the dark truths about some of your favorite movies and possibly even ruin some of the characters you have loved for years. We’re sorry in advance, but we feel like you need to know.
15. Snow White’s Voice Actress Does Not Get A Happy Ending
Snow White is one of Walt Disney’s greatest creations, though some of this story is from the original Brothers Grimm story. He had the idea for it when he was 15 and wanted to make sure he made this into a movie. Walt Disney loved Snow White and wanted this character to be special, so much so that he did something few would ever agree to.
The voice actress for the movie was Adriana Caselotti, and she was 19 at the time. Walt wanted to be sure he held on to this voice, due to the special nature of the character, so he made her sign a contract that would not allow her to appear in a film or even perform on stage ever again, keeping this voice of hers always connected to Snow. She agreed but did manage to sneak into Wizard of Oz with her voice, though she was uncredited. She would say “wherefore art thou, Romeo?”
While the movies were 2 years apart, voice actors often are the first to do their part on a film like this. So it’s likely she recorded this before finishing up Snow White or perhaps even signing her contract. It is sad that Walt never let this young woman live her passion ever again.
14. Queen Elsa Was Evil And Kidnapped A Little Boy
We all know about Frozen by now. If not, what planet have you been living on the past few years? You cannot go anywhere without seeing or hearing about something Frozen-related. Of course, the ice princess known as Elsa was clearly a very popular character from the story. However, she is not as wonderful as she seems. The story is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen published in 1844.
Elsa was based on someone who was pure evil and not the lovely big sister we saw from Disney. For some reason, she had an obsession with little boys. Don’t think that’s as weird as it gets, though. One day she takes a boy named Kay and kisses him to give him amnesia. She then takes him back to her palace in the North and makes him do math puzzles all night and day. Finally, Kay’s sister finds him, but a much different and frost-bitten version of him near death. Disney changed the story completely. No Disney, we aren’t going to “let it go,” either!
13. Rapunzel Is A Sneaky Princess Whose Tears Can Cure Blindness
Rapunzel’s story was very different than what Disney did in the Tangled version. First and foremost, an evil witch did not steal her from her home. She was simply handed over by her parents, who are not royalty at all. Why would they do that, you ask? Simple. They had stolen supplies for salads from the witch’s garden. As payment for continuing to do that, they handed over their young daughter. Ya know, like ya do.
She lives in isolation for years until a Prince shows up and convinces her to let her hair down so he can climb up. When the witch finds out that Rapunzel has had a man over, she cuts off Rapunzel’s hair and tricks the Prince with it. He finds out and jumps out of the castle to land in thorns and is blinded.
Rapunzel is sent off by the witch to the desert to, as the witch hopes, die. But she doesn’t. She gives birth to the Prince’s twins. Things turn out well in the end. Somehow the Prince comes across his long-lost love and Rapunzel’s tears cure the Prince’s eyesight, allowing him to see. Come on Disney, why could this not be the end of the story? Okay, your version was better. Fair.
12. The Things Hercules Does To His Loved Ones
We should be upfront here and tell you that the Hercules story has been done a number of times, from various live action movies to the memorable television series. When Disney took on Hercules, they wanted to use the strong man as a hero whom people would love. However, the character is from Greek Mythology and that is where there is a huge problem. There are a lot of terrible things that the Gods and Demi-Gods are responsible for. Hercules was seen as a hero among the Gods but became a terrible person/God too. The ORIGINAL Hercules story is quite f-ed up and it’s not even a theory that this story was the hardest for Disney to pick good qualities from.
Hercules killed his music tutor, just, ya know, cause. He would end up marrying Megara, or Meg, and have a family with her, but go insane and kill them all. This was spoken of in The Rock‘s Hercules movie, but they tried to pass it off as some sort of poison that did it. Disney wanted to hide this, but they also had to hide the numerous female lovers he had after… as well as the male ones. Gods cannot be held back by one gender, dang it! Hercules also had a thing for taking the lives of many for random reasons, but that’s another story for another Disney movie, we think.
11. Pocahontas Saves John Smith And He Makes Her Life Hell
People often forget about the fact that Pocahontas was a real person, but it’s true. As was John Smith. First and foremost, they met when she was 11 years old. Her father was willing to kill him and as the story goes, she did not want this and stepped between her father and Smith. She ends up regretting that decision as he pretty much makes her life a living hell after this.
Her tribe and the English actually got along for a bit. However, she was ready to marry a fellow tribe member into her middle-teens until her tribe’s relationship with the English came to an end and Pocahontas was taken captive by the English in 1613.
They change her name to Rebecca and was often used in propaganda. She ended up with John Rolfe, a tobacco farmer. She was taken to England where she would end up dying a year later. John Smith was clearly a horrible man and she should have let him die.
10. Quasimodo Rejects Esmerelda And Ends Things For Both Of Them
Victor Hugo was not really trying to be a children’s writer. He was a brilliant man who wrote beautiful literary pieces that could blow your mind. Yet his most popular story seemingly is The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The story is beloved by people all over the world, but today we mostly know of Hugo’s story from the Disney movie. However, Disney really took out one of the worst things you could ever read about. First and foremost, Hugo was big on the idea of political and religious work. So he used both in his story.
Disney took out some of this, but not enough to change the story massively. There are some violent things Disney could not use too, but they wanted to keep Hugo’s idea of making Quasimodo a sympathetic figure. Esmeralda falls for him later in the movie, but in Hugo’s original story, that was not the case. When she tells ol’ Quas how she feels, he cannot accept it. He hangs her in the square, then lays by her corpse until he passes from starvation. 18 months later, they are found. When trying to move Quasimodo away from her, his bones turn to dust and he fades into the wind.
9. Ariel Turns To Foam
Disney’s Little Mermaid is considered to be one of Disney’s biggest hits with a very memorable character. The movie and original story do relate a lot. Ariel can sing and her voice is traded for legs to walk on land with. But the legs do not come without a horrible price. They are practically deadly to walk on, and in the original, she does not get the Prince in the end. The original story saw the Prince fall in love with another woman.
In the end, though she is going to die as a human, she still has to die the way mermaids do: turn to sea foam and simply never exist again. Her death can be halted however. She must remove the Prince from this world and use his blood on her feet. She’ll turn back into a mermaid and be fine to live on. She cannot bring herself to do it and she jumps into the ocean and turns to foam.
8. All Winnie The Pooh Characters Had Clear Mental Disorders
It’s odd, isn’t it? A little boy randomly walking into a forest and talking to forest creatures who all had odd traits? You ever wonder about the reasons behind this? While Disney acquired the Winnie the Pooh franchise, originally made in 1926, they had the burden of the past on them. Christopher Robin along with other creatures in the Hundred Acre Wood had mental disorders, according to a study done by Dalhousie University’s Pediatrics Department. All traits seem to be pretty easy to see. Christopher Robin was a Schizophrenic, which is why he can see and hear all of these things outside normal reality.
Pooh had an addiction issue to honey, and was overweight and continued to eat to excess. Clearly, Eeyore had a depression problem. Piglet had severe anxiety. Tiger had major ADHD, and Rabbit is severely OCD. These brain disorders are all centered around the characters to teach kids about them in sort of a fun but clear way, without coming out and actually saying it. The original writer of Winnie the Pooh was A.A. Mine, who wrote a lot of material that was not exactly for kids. It is not shocking that he would write something like this, made to send a message rather than just be playful.
7. Peter Pan Hates Grown-Ups So Much He’d End Lives To Avoid Them
One very important thing about Peter Pan is that he seemingly is from another world and is covered by a magical power that allows him never to age in this land. The only real adults you see are enemies of Pan; Pirates at that. The Lost Boys, who are probably the most interesting part of the story, are the issue. The original Peter Pan was not so kind to the boys. Keep in mind, while Peter was forever a kid, the Lost Boys were not. They were actually taken from the world they lived in and put there after a runaway situation. As they aged to the point of adulthood, Peter would do the unthinkable.
He would end the lives of any Lost Boy who reached adult age. You know, rather than send them away or back to their world to live a normal life. See, Peter had a rule there….you could never grow up. But since Peter never went to a science class before coming to Neverland, he did not realize human anatomy and biology. Therefore, did not know his Lost Boys would always grow up, and getting rid of them made no sense.
6. How Aurora Wakes Up And The Fact That She’s A Mistress
Sleeping Beauty was a lovely story. But the company picked it up much later on than the original publishing date. It was published in 1697 by writer Giambattista Basile, and it was one of the most well-known stories before Disney got their hands on it through the public domain. The original Sleeping Beauty was a weird tale, in that she went to sleep due to, well, nothing more than a splinter. As she laid pretty much dead but asleep, a prince comes by. He has his way with her if you know what we mean. But of course, she does not wake up. Yikes.
Aurora becomes pregnant with twins. She only awakens after she has given birth and one of the kids sucks on her finger, removing the splinter. The Prince comes back and apparently the Stockholm Syndrome side effects kick in for our now awakened beauty. They fall in love, but the Prince is married. The wife isn’t happy about all of this. At the time when Basile wrote this, it was not uncommon for Princes or Kings to have more than one wife or mistress. Still, what a crazy story, right? Disney had to clear up a lot of things when doing this for their audience.
5. They Make An Example Of Al’s Dad
A lot of great stories were picked up by Disney, but one of the biggest things they picked up was the Aladdin story. This tale is hundreds of years old. Disney took some elements from other stories to make up the bulk of the three movies, with one movie actually serving as a pretty big problem for them. The third instalment is a terrific movie where Aladdin’s father shows up. His father is a thief who runs a band of thieves like himself. He obviously wants his son to come into the family trade.
The problem is that his father, Cassim, does not make it all the way through the original story. The story is actually quite dark and we highly recommend you look into it. However, Cassim’s life is ended with parts of his body stacked around a treasure cave for people to see. It was supposed to be a warning for people to not enter or face the consequences of doing so, like Cassim. Later in the story, his body is brought to a tailor who stitches him up. The body is then delivered to Aladdin the family for them to assume he passed of natural causes. When it was much much worse.
4. Donald Duck Was Once A Nazi…Sort Of
Like many Disney characters, Donald Duck was always put into random situations to fit into the real world of the time. A lot of the time, the major Disney characters like Mickey, Minny, Goofy and the like were put into random situations from old stories or present-day material. Whether it’s Goofy and his son skateboarding or Scrooge McDuck in a certain Christmas film. The real cause of the problem is that Disney did not seem to know where to hold back.
It has been alleged for years that Walt Disney hated Jewish people and even supported what the Nazis did to the Jews across Europe during World War II. It seems Walt was all for it… allegedly. So when Disney made a cartoon where Donald Duck played a Nazi who saluted to Adolph Hitler a lot, it was a problem for many. While they tried to make it a dream sequence and have Donald hug an American Flag in the end to say “I love being in the good ole’ US of A,” it was odd. Why even make this cartoon? Well, clearly it wasn’t because of Walt’s stance on Jews, right?
3. A Grim Ending For The Original Fox And The Hound
Weirdly enough, Fox and the Hound was a bit ahead of its time. Disney pushed this cartoon out and it was different from the rest. It was a bit sad, and sort of made you feel every emotion as a child watching it. That makes it one of the favorites among long-time Disney viewers. However, those fans of the Disney product may not like the original story. Not only is it sad, it makes you wonder why anyone would ever write such a thing.
Basically the story is a lot like what you see in the movie, with a few twists mostly at the end. The Fox, Tod, collapses from exhaustion during a hunt and passes away. Cooper has an alcoholic owner who decides he wants to move into a retirement home/community. Before he goes however, he shoots Cooper with his shotgun, which sends him to be with his friend Tod. What a horrible way to end a story, right? We’re actually very happy Disney changed it. It’s unlikely people could handle that as children!
2. Undertones That People Normally Wouldn’t Accept
Probably one of the most talked about things in the live action Beauty and the Beast movie had to do with Disney putting their first LGBT character in the movie. The character is Lefou, who is the sidekick of Gaston and seems to worship the ground he walks on. There is nothing wrong with it, and the character is comical. This was not Disney pushing anything down your throat in any way. Well, except one thing.
Bestiality is pretty blatant in this movie. We have to accept that going in. The same happens in the original story, but far worse. In that version, Belle finds out much later that Beast was only cursed and used to be human.
While we are in another world here, it seems that very few people are in favor of this act. Yet that is a massive part of this movie and the original story. Belle does not seem interested in any human male the entire time. Does anyone else find it odd that she turns down the advances of every human male yet automatically falls for the Beast?
1. Mickey Mouse Helped To Destroy The Public Domain
What you may not know about is something known as the “public domain.” This is what happens to creative properties when their license expires on the copyright. The original idea is that when a character is created, the creator gets to claim it as their own for 56 years, then it belongs to everyone equally. That is, until Disney showed up. In 1998, Mickey Mouse was going to enter the public domain and Disney could not handle this.
They did not want people having access to their beloved character. They did not want to let people use him in various odd and weird ways, as only THEY could do that. So Disney lobbied lawmakers to extend the public domain, which they did… by nearly 100 years. It’s likely Disney will continue to do this. What this also means is that not only is Mickey off limits but any Disney item or creation is as well. What is so sad is that Walt Disney used the public domain for tons of stories he made into movies. On top of that, he used it to help create Mickey Mouse as well. Which makes Disney hypocritical. It’s hard to look at Mickey the same now.
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