Good news, olde timey story fans: the first edition of the Brothers Grimms’ fairy tales will be finally translated into English, with the original endings restored. This is a huge deal, because most of these stories have been watered down to be more child-friendly over the years, with many of them eventually becoming Disney movies that were so different from the source material that you could hardly tell they were the same story.
Of course, Disney didn’t only change the endings to Grimm stories. Hans Christian Andersen, Victor Hugo, and more famous authors had their works posthumously edited by Disney to include a happy ending. So from Sleeping Beauty’s rape to Cinderella’s bloody revenge, let’s tackle the seven most horrifying Disney origin stories — it’s what the brothers would have wanted.
How You Thought It Ended: In the 1950 Disney movie, Cinderella and her Prince were married, and lived happily ever after.
How It Really Ended: In the “Grimms’ Fairy Tales” version of the story, Aschenputtel and her prince also lived “HEA”… but her stepsisters met a bloody, horrifying end. The movie version of the sisters just kind of had to live with their jealousy and rage over Cinderella getting her prince, but the real story left them horribly disfigured. One of them cut her toes off to fit in the golden slipper, while the other sliced off her heel.
How You Thought It Ended: Ariel was turned into a human permanently by her father, and lived happily ever after with her husband, Prince Eric. How nice.
How It Really Ended: Hans Christian Andersen played with some deeply spiritual themes in “The Little Mermaid” — for example, his Mermaid didn’t only wish for legs to get the boy, she wished for legs because Mermaids don’t get to go to heaven like humans do. Also, in this version of the tale, she felt like she was walking on sharp knives every time she took a step.
How You Thought It Ended: The prince kisses Snow White, wakes her up, and carries her off to his castle. Also, the Evil Queen dies by falling off a cliff.
How It Really Ended: Same, but the Grimm brothers once again give the story’s villain a much crueler fate. The Queen was invited to Snow and her prince’s wedding, which was nice, but when she arrived she was given a pair of hot iron shoes and forced to dance to death in front of the wedding party.
How You Thought It Ended: The prince defeats a dragon, kisses the sleeping maiden, then dances with her awakened self as her dress changes colors.
How It Really Ended: In Giambattista Basile’s 17th century tale “Sun, Moon, and Talia,” the prince didn’t kiss Talia when he found her sleeping — he was a king, and he raped her. She woke up months later with twin babies, Sun and Moon, then was reunited with the married king. She got her happily ever after, but only after the current queen tried to make the king eat his own babies. He threw her in a fire and married Talia as punishment.
How You Thought It Ended: Pinocchio saves Geppetto from the whale and is rewarded with human life by the Blue Fairy. Jiminy gets a job as a certified conscience.
How It Really Ended: Guys, the “real” Pinocchio, from Carlo Collodi’s story, was a dick. He murders the story’s version of Jiminy in the first act, and Geppetto goes to jail for negligence. Once he gets out, poor Geppetto sells his only coat to send Pinocchio to school and buy him a school book, which Pinocchio promptly sells for theater tickets. He gets worse and worse from there, so it’s hard to even feel that bad for him when Fox and Cat hang him from a tree, leaving him to suffocate to death.
How You Thought It Ended: Quasimodo doesn’t exactly get a happily ever after with Esmerelda, but he does accept the fact that she does not love him like that. Also, he finally enters society after he defeats the villainous Frollo, and the people love him!
How It Really Ended: “Hunchback” was originally written by Victor Hugo — the same guy who wrote Les Misérables — so you knew it was going to end badly. Basically, Frollo hangs Esmerelda, Quasimodo kills Frollo, then Quasimodo mourns by Esmerelda’s discarded corpse and starves to death.
How You Thought It Ended: Tod gets to live out his life as a fox, Copper gets to live out his life as a hound, and they remember their years of friendship fondly.
How It Really Ended: Are you sitting down? Because in Daniel P. Mannix’s source material, Copper chases Tod until he dies of exhaustion. Then Copper’s master moves to a nursing home — but not before murdering Copper with a shotgun! Happily ever after, indeed.