Our favorite Disney cartoons have a past and sometimes (even often) a past that is much darker than anyone can imagine. In a previous article we had already mentioned 8 Disney stories, the end of which had changed from the original. This time around, we invite you to discover 12 new Disney films as well as their original story. Between a Quasimodo who lets himself die next to a corpse, a Rapunzel who blinds her beloved, and a Hercules who is guilty of infanticide, your favorite heroes will no longer be the same after this reading.
# 1 Esmeralda in Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris is a historical novel written by Victor Hugo in 1830, and the original story is much darker than the one adapted for Disney. In Victor Hugo’s novel, Esmeralda actually rejects Frollo’s advances and is therefore quickly sentenced to hang.
In the grip of a dull anger and terrible sadness, Quasimodo throws Frollo from the top of the cathedral and a little later lets himself die near the body of his beloved. The two bodies are discovered two years later, and although Quasimodo had hoped to be reunited with Esmeralda forever, those who find them try to separate them. Quasimodo’s corpse then immediately turns to dust.
# 2 Tarzan and Jane
The original 1912 version of Edgar Rice Burrough (Tarzan the Apes) was so successful at publication that the novel was followed by 25 more!
According to Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan and Jane will never be reunited. The latter is in fact married to Clayton (the villain in the Disney film), and Tarzan decides not to interfere – or reveal that he is the true heir to the estate Clayton has inherited – to make Jane happy. Tarzan’s sacrifice didn’t go through for the Disney-made adaptation, and we’re no worse off.
# 3 Up there
The team responsible for creating the cartoon Là-Haut initially planned a completely different ending for the evil Muntz. The character should actually feel trapped in a maze (after chasing Kevin the bird).
He doesn’t have to be able to find the way out, so he was doomed to wander in forever. Over time, Muntz should find that his health was deteriorating, and this included a slow, dark, off-screen death.
# 4 Rapunzel
The man Rapunzel ended her life with in the original story is blind because of her guilt and that of her very long hair. In Grimm’s tales, the prince climbs to Rapunzel’s hair to join her, but unfortunately he lets go during his ascent.
Then he falls on blackberries and extends his eyes with them. Then he wanders miserably in the forest until he finds Rapunzel much later. Both will eventually accept their fate and live happily together. Disney probably didn’t want to erase the eyes of any of its characters, which we understand. An entire generation has been traumatized by the death of Bambi’s mother (not to mention the Lion King). So when you show bloody eyes and a man screaming for death, it’s easy to imagine the damage that would have done.
# 5 Pocahontas
According to the facts at hand, Pocahontas was never in love with John Smith. The 1995 version of Disney is very far from what the colonist recounts in his diary, in fact. If we look at John Smith’s version, we learn that Pocahontas was actually called “Matoaka,” which means “Little Snow Feather” in the Powhatan language. The nickname “Pocahontas” given to her means “little willful” in reference to her mischievous character.
It is this trait of character that would have drawn the British Admiral in 1607 at the age of 27, when Pocahontas would have been around 10 years old. According to excerpts from history that have come down to us, Smith would have been captured by the Powhatan tribe and Pocahontas would have prevented his execution. The testimony on this subject, written in 1616, has long been questioned. We are sure of one thing, however, and that is that it is far more likely that a strong friendship would bring Smith and Pocahontas together, rather than a romantic relationship as Disney showed us.
# 6 the princess and the frog
The story “The Frog King or Heinrich von Eisen” in the Brothers Grimm’s collection published in 1812 tells us the story of Tiana well, but in a slightly different way than the one we already know. The well-known “Naveen” presents Tiana in the form of a frog and offers her to help her when it comes to losing her ball without losing the bottom of a pond. In return, Naveen just asks to share his daily life. Tiana accepts, but as soon as her ball is found, she decides to leave the batache alone.
She is strongly reprimanded by her father, to whom she tells about her latest adventure, and so comes back to see our pretty frog. To break the spell in this story, no kiss, no, but a violent blow that throws the frog against a wall! The transformation takes place in brutality. In other versions, Naveen’s skin is even burned or beheaded to naturally regain its original appearance. We understand why Disney chose to freely adapt this story, without which we cannot imagine what would have happened to our amphibian friends in the hands of those who would have believed in the legend. The little girls did not try to kiss the frogs but to torture them. Sometimes it takes a little.
# 7 Mulan
The Ballad of Mulan is a 6th century ballad, and it is in this orally transmitted song that we discover Mulan for the first time. Chu Renhuo’s novel, first published in 1675, gives this ballad a whole new dimension, a much more tragic dimension. In this novel, Mulan lives under the rule of Heshana Khan (or Qaghan) from the western Turkish Khaganat (an ancient confederation). The Khan agrees to wage war in alliance with the rising Tang Dynasty, who have the desire to conquer all of China. Mulan’s father, Hua Hu, is expected to go to war as he only has two daughters and a very young son, but he fears for his life and family as he is an older man. Mulan therefore pretends to be a man and takes her father’s place.
She experienced various setbacks during her military missions and was particularly exposed as a woman. When she returns home after twelve years of service, she is devastated to learn that her father has long been dead and that her mother married another man. The Khan then calls her to his palace and asks her to become one of his concubines. At her request, Mulan commits suicide. His last words are: “I am a girl, I went to war, I did enough. Now I want to be with my father.”
# 8 Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins isn’t that cute in the original Pamela Lyndon Travers story. In the author’s novels she is described with adjectives like “stilted”, “grumpy”, “narcissistic”, “terrible”, “angry” and many others that point in the same direction. The children cannot help but love them because it calms them. However, her temperament is far from what you see in the Disney movie. The nanny is a lot tougher in the books.
For the anecdote, after 16 years of negotiations with Walt Disney, the author had assigned and sold the rights to the work, but insisted on controlling the entire scenario. Disney will watch her freak out for every element she thought was skewed or watered down during filming, but ultimately she’ll do what she sees fit. The author was so sick of the result that she forbade any other adaptation of her work to a musical in her will and at the same time forbade any other resumption of her work by another American artist.
# 9 Hercules
In the oldest version of Heracles, he kills his children by throwing them into the fire and also kills his first wife, Megara (or Megara). This fit of madness is thanks to Hera, who wanted Hercules to serve his cousin.
When the cursed hero comes to his senses, he is desperate and goes to Delphi to seek advice from the oracle. The Pythia reveals to him that he has no choice but to serve his cousin King Eurystesus (or Eurystheus, depending on the version) for 12 years in a row to atone for his crime and that he has to do all the work. that the king orders him to carry out.
# 10 Jessica rabbit
In the original work by Gary Wolf published in 1981, seven years before Zemeckis’ film, Jessica Rabbit is even more sexual than in the upcoming film. Within the book, Jessica Rabbit even has a full nude scene.
Gary Wolf’s novel shown above was never translated into French. Therefore, if you were curious to read the scenes in question, be sure to read them in the language of Shakespeare.
# 11 Beauty and the Beast
The original version by Mrs. Leprince de Beaumont (1757) mentions Belle’s two sisters, and the latter, as one might expect, has all the flaws in the world. The two older sisters actually regularly insult their younger daughter Belle and let her do all of the household cleaning and dirty work.
Jealous of her beauty and gentleness towards the residents of the village, Belle’s older sisters go so far as to encourage her sister to leave home and go into the beast’s domain in the hope that ‘she will be devoured . One of the sentences in the story particularly reveals the wickedness of these two sisters:
The joy they (the older sisters) had over the loss of their sister showed on their faces.
What a fine example of love in the family.
# 12 AlaDdin
Aladdin is a murderer in the first version in which he appears. The story is not part of the original collection of stories from 1001 Nights, but was added by translator Antoine Galland in the 18th century.
In the story, Aladdin is deceived by a wizard who pretends to be his uncle (while his father has passed away). The latter sends him to get the lamp, and Aladdin lets the ghost shoot out without really understanding what it is. He thus gains wealth and power, but the wizard who did not have access to the loot is not done with him yet. He tries to regain the lamp with the help of a ruse, but Aladdin eventually defeats him in a duel. The wizard’s much worse brother then tries to intervene and steal the lamp from Aladdin. The latter then kills the cheater, which is of course not shown in the Disney-adapted film.