10. Pinocchio is based on a story from 1883 by Carlo Collodi. This story shows a dark side to Pinocchio and how he treats his cricket companion.
9. The Little Mermaid, in the telling of Andersen, the mermaid was silenced by having her tongue cut off and there is not a happy ending resulting in the mermaid marrying the human, instead she ascends to heaven with her sisters and smiles at her love as he marries his human bride.
8. Cinderella, a 1950 Disney movie stays pretty close to the original story, “Cinderilla or the Little Glass Slipper” written in 1697 by Charles Perrault. This story has Cinderella getting the life she deserves and forgives her wicked stepsisters. However, the 1812 Grimm version, “Aschenputtel,” is pretty horrific compared to the original story. The wicked stepmother instructs her children to cut her toe off and pigeons help save the prince by plucking out the stepsister’s eyeballs.
7. A famous tale that we all know Grimm took a stab at is, “Little Red Riding Hood.” In the Grimm version the wolf does indeed devour Red Riding Hood and her grandmother, but the hunter arrives, cuts the wolfs belly open and Red Riding Hood and her grandmother escape without a scratch. Oddly enough, the Grimm version is less violent that Perrault’s version, where the hunter allows Red Riding Hood to be eaten.
6. Hansel and Gretel, in the Grimm’s 1812 version the old woman traps the duo and starves Gretel but fattens Hansel up. She decided to eat both of them anyway, but is outsmarted by Gretel who, at the right moment, pushes the witch into the oven and burns her to death.
5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the first Grimm story Walt Disney would turn into a beloved child’s movie has a pretty dark start. For example, in the Grimm version Snow White’s evil stepmother is invited to Snow Whites wedding where guest head a pair of iron shoes on burning coals and she is forced to step into the burning footwear and dance in agony until death becomes her.
4. Rumpelstiltskin, I’m sorry, but there is no version of this story, either in film or text that is not utterly terrifying. Having a creepy man demand your first-born child and then being ripped into by the very ground he stands on, is scary no matter the context. For a good scare check out the Rumpelstiltskin movie starring Amy Irving.
3. The Snow Queen is obviously different from its Disney Counterpart “Frozen.” In the Anderson story portrays a little boy named Kay who gets shards of broken magic mirror glass embedded in his heart and eyes. The glass turns to ice and this leads to him being abducted by the Snow Queen and Kay’s sister Gerda then has to retrieve him from the queen’s palace that is guarded by bears, snakes and porcupines.
2. Rapunzel, the original story has the prince climbing the town and then he impregnates her, then cuts her hair and abandons her in the desert. When the prince returns to the tower where he is confronted by the witch who taunts him and tells him he will never see Rapunzel again. The prince, in despair, jumps from the towner and lands in a bush whose thorns pierce his eyes, leaving him blind. He wanders around for years as a homeless blind man, until he reunites with Rapunzel, who is a single mother struggling with twin and for whatever reason forgives him, heals him and for an even weirder reason goes on to marry the man who humiliated and abandoned her.
1. And for the darkest of all Sleeping Beauty. This story has had many versions from 14th Century France “Perceforest” and Basile’s 1634 story “The Sun, the Moon and Talia.” Both versions end up with Snow White being violated and in the 1634 version the Queen is a cannibal.