Snow White was hunted by cannibal queen & Sleeping Beauty raped – the gruesome stories behind classic Disney fairy tales

IN the famous childhood tale, Snow White is woken from a poison-induced sleep by Prince Charming's kiss and lives happily ever after.

But the fairytale princess has now found herself in the middle of an almighty row over the stolen kiss.

Disneyland's popular Snow White ride in California is under fire for including the iconic scene – which has been likened to a sexual assault.

Critics say the kiss gives the wrong message about consent.

Yesterday Susanna Reid slammed the row, saying: "This is Disney. It's not real life."

Former GMB presenter Piers Morgan also waded in, ranting: "Extreme illiberal liberals have sparked a furore which even by their standards is so absurd, so pathetic, so indescribably dumb that I can barely believe it’s real."

He added: "I stand with the chivalrous Prince and won’t let the wokies kill Snow White."

But Snow White is just one of the many fairy tale adaptations based on much darker stories – where rape, murder and mutilation were par for the course.

Here we reveal the Disney classics based on fairy tales that are grimmer than Grimm.

Sleeping Beauty

Italian writer Giambattista Basile’s original version of Sleeping Beauty, written in the 17th Century, has the comatose princess being repeatedly raped by the king.

She then gives birth to several of his children, all while still asleep.

She finally wakes up when one of her children sucks an enchanted splinter out of her finger and, in revenge, the jealous queen attempts to get the king to EAT his kids.

Instead, the king murders his wife so he can be with Sleeping Beauty.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

The queen is pretty evil even in the Disney version, but in the Brothers Grimm original, she’s actually a cannibal.

She orders the huntsman to kill Snow White, cut out her liver and lungs and bring them back to the palace so she can eat them.

But she comes to a gruesome end after turning up at Snow White’s wedding – she’s forced to step into red hot iron shoes and dance until she dies.


The original, again by the Brothers Grimm, had the ‘ugly sisters’ mutilating themselves in a bid to bag the prince.

One cuts off her toes to get them into the golden slipper – which later became a glass slipper – and the other slices off a heel.

Both are found out after doves sent by Cinderella’s dead mother alert the prince.

At the wedding of Cinders and her prince, the same birds return to peck out the EYES of the sisters who were blinded for the rest of their lives.

The Little Mermaid

Hans Christian Andersen’s mermaid not only lost her voice but her transformation into a human form means she suffers agonising pain with every step.

Despite her ordeal, her prince marries another, condemning her to melt into sea foam.

To save her, the mermaid’s sisters strike a bargain which means she must kill the prince and drip his blood on to her feet to get back her tail but she refuses and perishes.


Carlo Collodi's 1883 story has the wooden puppet running away and Geppetto being arrested on suspicion of child abuse.

Pinocchio then accidentally kills the wise cricket – known as Jiminy Cricket in the film – with a hammer.

Later, bandits catch Pinocchio and HANG him from a tree, leaving him to suffocate.

But he does survive…

The Princess and the Frog

Instead of a kiss, the amphibian suitor in the Frog Prince is turned back into human form by having its head cut off in some versions of the story dating back to at least the 13th century.

The Grimm tale toned it down slightly and had the princess slam the frog into the wall instead.


The Disney movie is based on an old Chinese legend of Hau Mulan, a young girl who dresses as a boy to save her ailing father from compulsory military service.

In author Chu Renhuo’s 1675 version the female warrior comes home from war to find her father has died and her mother remarried.

When Heshena Khan, the foreign ruler of their occupied territory, insists Mulan comes to his palace as his concubine, she kills herself rather than submit to him.


This 2010 hit was based on the well-known story Rapunzel, who let down her long hair to let her prince up to the tower.

The Brothers Grimm’s version has an evil witch discovering her secret liaisons and cutting off the girl’s hair before banishing her.

When the prince climbs up to see his lover, the witch pushes him out of the tower and into thorn bushes, which rip out his eyes.

The Fox and the Hound

Yes, even this cute animal tale has a very dark beginning.

The 1967 novel, by Daniel P. Mannix, is no buddy movie and has the fox leading a dog onto a railways track to kill it.

The dog’s owner then trains another dog to hunt and he chases the fox until it dies from exhaustion.

The second dog doesn’t fare much better either.

After agreeing to move into a nursing home his alcoholic master shoots his faithful hound because he can’t take a dog with him.

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