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Origin Stories For Common Disney Movie FavoritesAh Disney, one of the most famous companies warming our hearts with beautiful princesses finding their Prince Charming in more ways than one. It all started with a mouse on October 16, 1923 (the day and year the Disney company was founded). That mouse is no other than the famous Mickey Mouse (who was originally going to have the name Mortimer Mouse by the way).
Anyway, I’m here to tell ya’ll how these famous movies all started. Basically, telling their origin stories.
WARNING: If you do not like hearing about heartbreaking-tragedies or stories that are truly brutal, then you need to leave this post right now. Seriously, there will be some truly brutal things on here but I’m just trying to be factual. But if you don’t mind and you are more interested in the facts, then read on. Enjoy!
Let’s start with a very popular movie:
The Lion King - This story was influenced by William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Hamlet is a story where everyone pretty much dies, so I guess you can see where I’m leading with this. Oh and I also need to mention that Simba was based on Hamlet from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet:
1. Both are main characters and princes.
2. Both have shady uncles.
3. Both have close male friendships and one love interest.
4. Both of their fathers die, along with both of the fathers returning as spirits.
5. Both were sent into exile (forced to run away).
6. Both battle their uncles and take revenge.
7. Both have an internal struggle (having to make the right choice, like how Simba has to become King but hesitated at first).
But there are still differences between them:
1. Simba is a child when his father dies, while Hamlet is an adult when his father dies.
2. Hamlet is depressed and suicidal for most of the story, while Simba’s story is more cheerful even though he still gets upset.
3. In Lion King, only Mufasa and Scar die. In Hamlet, almost everyone (including the main characters) die.
4. Simba gets guidance and morals from Zazu and Rafiki, when Hamlet gets none of this.
5. Simba’s mother (Sarabi) and Scar don’t get married after Mufasa’s death. Hamlet’s uncle does remarry with Hamlet’s mother.
6. Hamlet includes “extra” plot-relevant characters that play a minor role in the story, while Lion King doesn’t really have that. So the number of minor characters differ from both sides.
Basically, the point is that Hamlet is a heart-breaking tragedy while Lion King is all happy and great.
Now let’s get to the rest:
Sleeping Beauty - In the Giambattista Basile version, Aurora is not waken up with a sweet kiss, but with the birth of her twins. Oh, I forgot to mention that the prince doesn't kiss her here, he instead gets her pregnant and then leaves, because he's married. When Aurora and her children arrive in the palace, the prince's wife tries to kill them, but the king stops her and allows Aurora to marry the man who raped her.
The Little Mermaid - In the Hans Christian Andersen version, the small print in the agreement is that Ariel's legs will hurt all the time, as if she were walking on knives. Since pain and seduction don't mix, in the end the prince marries another woman and Ariel throws herself into the ocean, where she turns into sea foam.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - The Brothers Grimm book paints the evil queen as much more goal-oriented; she straight-up tries to kill Snow White twice before resorting to the poison apple. The Prince, who she eventually marries, takes her away while she's unconscious in a glass coffin (creep alert!), and it's only a coincidence that she wakes up. At the wedding the evil queen has to wear hot iron shoes and dance until she's dead.
Tangled - Rapunzel's parents were farmers who got her after exchanging a bit of rapunzel plant (rampion) for a salad with a witch when she was a baby. When she was 12 the witch locked her in a tower that had no doors or stairs and just a window. The only way to get to Rapunzel at the top was to climb her beautiful, long hair. One day, a prince walking by the tower hears her sing, so he goes up the tower. That same night, Rapunzel decides to marry him.
When the prince goes back for her, he climbs up her golden hair but finds the witch in the tower. She throws him out the window, and the prince falls on some spines that enter through his eyes.
He spends months roaming the prairies and woods of the realm, blind, until he hears Rapunzel's voice from afar. When he finds her, she has two children, and her magic tears give him back his sight. Rapunzel and the prince get married and live happily ever after.
Cinderella - In the Charles Perrault version, when the prince arrives at Cinderella's house, the stepmother orders her two daughters to cut off their toes and put on their slippers. Her plan does not work, and Cinderella gets the prince and a happy ending. To add insult to injury, during the wedding, some pigeons devour the eyes of her already mutilated stepsisters.
Mulan - In Hua Mulan's poem, China loses the war. The Khan from the enemy lets Mulan live with the condition that she live with him, so Mulan escapes. When she arrives home, she discovers that her father is dead and her mother has remarried. Then she says: "I'm a woman, I survived the war, and I have done enough. Now I want to be with my father." And she kills herself.
Princess and the Frog - The idea is that once the princess kisses the frog, he'll turn into a prince, but the Grimm version's princess is a lot less thrilled about that idea than Tiana is (and that's saying something). To the princess' credit, the frog-ified prince pulled a couple of creepy stunts by trying to crawl up her pillow and eat off her plate with her, but we're not entirely sure that slamming his amphibian body against a wall was an entirely appropriate reaction. At least it got him to change back, right?
Beauty and the Beast - In the original story by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, Belle convinces the Beast to let her visit her sisters for a week. Upon seeing her covered in jewelry and hearing about the luxurious life she leads, the sisters convince Belle to stay longer, with the intention that her delay will drive the Beast mad and he will devour Belle.
Hunchback of Notre Dame - In Victor Hugo's novel, Quasimodo fails to save Esmeralda (in fact, he unwittingly surrenders her to the authorities) and watches as she's hanged. Then Quasimodo goes to her grave, where he stays until he starves. Years later, when her grave is opened, someone finds both their skeletons, but when they try to separate them, they turn to dust.
Pinocchio - I’m going to be honest, Pinocchio was a jerk in this one. He would do bad things and not listen to his father at all. When he first met Jiminy Cricket, he smashed him with a hammer! Well this is a great start. Anyway, he meets a fox and a cat, who eventually hang him on a tree until he just dies and gets blown by the wind, just hanging there. But the fairy does help him, so Pinocchio starts to wise up and eventually does turn into a real boy. Happily ever after I guess.
These are all the stories I have for right now. Sorry if I broke your heart :(
Anyway, if you want me to include another Disney movie origin story that I didn’t include here then let me know in the comments. I will try to include them as best and as fast as possible :)