The real stories behind Disney

Lauren Medellin, Staff Writer

These are the real origins of the stories behind the Disney princesses.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

When the 1937 film snow white and the seven dwarfs was released they became a huge hit, and was the first from all the princesses. We’re all familiar with the story. It’s about snow white living with her jealous stepmom who orders her huntsman to kill the princess. Unable to kill snow white he lets her free in the forest, where she lives with the seven dwarfs. When the evil queen finds out snow white is still alive. She turns into an old hag to give snow white a poisoned apple. When she takes a bite she falls in the thought of death and lies motionless. Til the prince finds her and kisses her bringing her back to life. They live happily ever after.

It’s a lovely story but the origin has a pretty goring ending.

The original story was written by the Brothers Grimm. In 1812 released in German. Pretty much the same as the 1937 film except when snow white is poisoned by the apple. The prince does not kiss her and bring her back to life. He takes the casket she is in, tripping over a branch in the forest, dropping snow white and causing the poison apple to dislaunch the throat bringing her back to life.

This is where it gets dark.

They arranged a wedding inviting every king and queen in the land. The wicked queen accepts the invitation not realizing it’s her stepdaughters wedding and when she arrives. She is made to wear a pair a shoes glowing red hot and is forced to dance until she drops dead. This was her punishment for trying to kill snow white.


We all know the story of the 1950’s film Cinderella. It’s about Cinderella who lives with her wicked stepmother and two jealous stepsisters, who keep her enslaved and in rags. Cinderella stands no chance of attending the Royal ball. When her fairy godmother appears and magically transforms her reality into a dream come true. Cinderella enchants her Prince Charming at the ball, but must face the wrath of her enraged stepmother and sisters when the spell wears off at midnight.

In the Brothers Grimm version, one of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters cuts off her toe and the other her heel so they can both fit into the tiny glass slipper. The prince is notified by little doves that there is blood on the shoe, and finally discovers that the true owner is Cinderella. Once the stepsisters realize they should try to win favor with Cinderella they attend her wedding, only to have their eyes pecked out by birds.

Little Mermaid

In the Disney movie little mermaid, a 16 year old mermaid, Ariel, is fascinated with life on land. In one of her visits to the surface, which are forbidden by her controlling father, King Triton, she falls for a human prince. Determined with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch, Ursula, to become human for three days. When plans go away for the lovers, the king must make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter.

Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale is a 180 from the Disney film. She does visit the sea witch who takes her tongue in exchange for legs. Ariel can only remain human if she finds true love’s kiss and the prince falls in love with and marries her. In the story, she will die if she fails. The Disney movie leaves out that the penalty the mermaid pays for having legs: every single step she takes will feel like she is walking on sharp shards of glass. However, he ends up marrying another, a women he thinks is the person who saved him. She is told that if she kills the prince, then she can simply turn back into a mermaid and doesn’t have to die. She doesn’t kill the prince. She throws herself into the sea and turns into sea foam.