The Disney company is huge and their films are loved by billions of people around the world, however, you may not know that some of their most famous titles are based on real events or unusual stories.
Let's have a look at some of the most surprising real stories behind some of our favourite Disney movies, some of which would not be suitable for children viewers if they had not been altered in the Disney studios.
The 1930s tale about Snow White
Snow White is a lonely princess living with her stepmother, a vain Queen that worries that Snow White will look better than she, so she forces her huntsman to take Snow White into the forest and kill her.
She further demands that the huntsman returns with Snow White's heart in a jewelled box as proof of the deed, however, the huntsman cannot bring himself to kill snow white, instead, he urges her to flee into the woods and never look back. In the woods, Snow White finds a cottage belonging to seven adult dwarfs – named Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey – who work in a nearby mine.
Meanwhile, the Queen discovers that Snow White is still alive, so, using a potion to disguise herself as an old hag, the Queen creates a poisoned apple that will put whoever eats it into the "Sleeping Death" – a curse she learns can only be broken by "loves first kiss". The Queen is certain Snow White will be buried alive, however, a year later, a prince who had previously met and fallen in love with Snow White learns of her eternal sleep and visits her coffin. Saddened by her apparent death, he kisses her, which breaks the spell and awakens her.
The original version of this story has a pretty gory ending:
The original Snow White story was written by Brothers Grimm in 1812 and was first published in German, it shares pretty much all the similarities to the 1930s film including the original books art depictions.
However, in the original 1812 version when snow white is poisoned by the apple the prince does not kiss her and bring her back to life, instead, he takes the casket she is lying in, trips over a branch in the forest, dropping Snow White and causing the poison apple to dislodge from her throat, bringing her back to life.
The grim part of the original version of Snow White comes when the prince and Snow White arrange a huge wedding, inviting every King and Queen in the Land. The evil Queen accepts the invitation, not realising it's her stepdaughters wedding – and when she arrives? Well, she is made to wear a pair of metal shoes, heated until they are glowing red hot, and is forced to dance until she dies as her punishment for trying to kill Snow White.
And that was a kids story in 1812? Hectic!
See the video for more stories on the origins of Disney tales we know today: