Disney has undoubtedly produced some of the most cherished and beautiful animations and movies of all time. Little do some people know that it has also produced its fair share of failed films. A few weeks ago we shared the Disney as you’ve Never Seen it Before article where we discussed about strange and controversial animations, but did you know that even the most popular ones (like Aladdin and Cinderella) have truly horrific stories behind their origins? As a matter of fact, the stories that children love so much all started from cannibalism, torture, and even rape. Many people think that Disney improved them to make them accessible and enjoyable to the general public, while other think that they did not do the stories justice. Here are three horrible origins stories for your most beloved Disney movies:
Dismemberment in Aladdin
I don’t know what your favorite Disney movie was, but mine was Lion King, followed closely by Aladdin. Much was my surprise when I found out that the film involves dismemberment. It was originally called Cassim Gets Dismemberment. In case you didn’t know, Cassim is Aladdin’s father and the king of Thieves. In the original story, he gives up his gang of forty thieves to attend Aladdin’s and Jasmine’s wedding. Cassim is Ali Baba’s brother.
He finds out the secret password for entering the treasure trove, but in his excitement he forgets them on the way out of the cave. He is killed by the band of thieves, and his body is divided into many portions, outside the opening of the cave. The rest of the story is about how Ali Baba tries to sow his brother’s pieces to make it look like he died of natural causes, and how the members of the thieves’ gang get killed.
Pocahontas Raped and Killed
Remember the exotic, beautiful and hot-blooded young woman who fell in love with the Smith? Apparently she was a lot younger than we thought. The entire story is nothing but a falsified account of the English history in the Virginia Colony. During that time, the so-called indigenous princess was only 10 years old. When Smith was captured by the tribe, he was treated kindly, and it was only 7 years later that he fabricated the story about him being rescued by Pocahontas.
When the princess turned 17 she was kidnapped, held as randsom, beaten and raped repeatedly and then sold off to an English tobacco farmer named John Rolfe. Obviously, she was also impregnated, converted to Christianity (and baptized Rebecca). She became the symbol of the tamed Virginia savage. Pocahontas died when she was only 22. Official sources say that the “cause of death was uncertain”, but in The True Story of Pocahontas, The Other Side of History, arguments of her murder are made.
The Little Mermaid Killed the Prince
Here’s another twist to a story that so many children love. Hans Christian Andersen’s story is a little different from how Disney decided to present it. Apparently, the protagonist had her tongue cut out and was forced to live in horrific pain because her feet would bleed endlessly. Of course, the prince didn’t care much for that, so he soon married another woman. The little mermaid had a choice: to kill the prince and return to her former self, or throw herself into the ocean. In the end she commits suicide. But there is more to the story than what Hans Christian Andersen says.
According to a tale called Undine, by Friedrich de la Motte Fouque, a knight married a water spirit who received a human soul. Trouble is soon to follow, and the knight falls in love with Bertilda, Undine’s half-sister. To protect the two, Undine throws herself into a raging river. The trouble is that the knight marries Bertilda, which is a big no-no for water spirits. Undine is forced by her water spirit relative to take her nixie form and kill her ex-husband. After he is buried, she transforms into a tiny stream that circles his grave.