Disney was in charge of giving us emblematic films that we enjoyed in childhood. We grew up with the stories of talking animals, adventures, and princess romances. The latter marked us a little more, and now they are part of contemporary pop culture.
But behind each princess, there is a story that comes from older times, they are a bit rougher, and not all had a happy ending. Maybe they did it so as not to ruin our childhood with rather bleak anecdotes — next, the true story of heroines, lovers and real members of Disney fiction.
Aurora – Sleeping Beauty
It is based on Sun, Moon, and Talia, Book by Giambattista Basile. The prince casually passes through the castle and enters through the window when he finds the beautiful sleeping princess. Although he tries to call her, she is still unconscious and pregnant. Nine months later, the girl gives birth to twins and wakes up. The prince reappears, and they fall in love, but he is married to another woman. The other tries to cook the princess with babies to feed the prince, but fails and is punished to death. Finally, the lovers get married.
Ariel – The Little Mermaid
It is one of the saddest stories and is based on a classic by Hans Christian Andersen. The little mermaid saves the prince from drowning, falls in love, and the tail that changed by legs causes pain at every step she takes. Her beloved marries another girl who thinks she is the one who saved him, she returns to the water and transforms into the sea for life.
It is based on the ballad of Mulan, a warrior who went to battle instead of her father. Mulan was very skilled, and in some versions of the story, she doesn’t even need to hide her identity. After 10 years of fighting and receiving many military honors, she returns to her home that is shattered with the death of her father. Finally, the brave girl commits suicide.
Snow White – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
It is based on Snow White and the seven dwarfs of the Grimm brothers. In the original story, the witch’s punishment is very cruel. She must wear hot iron shoes and dance until she dies.
It is based on the life of Matoaka, a 17th-century Native American. In reality, Pocahontas was much younger than John Smit and was kidnapped by English colonizers, married a tobacco planter named John Rolfe, and died at age 21.
Elsa – Frozen
It is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s Ice Queen, but in the story, the Snow Queen kidnaps a little boy and enchants him with a kiss. Gerda, a friend of the child, must save him from the queen’s castle.
Moana is an original story that was inspired by Polynesia, an area of the Pacific that includes New Zealand, Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, and the Cook Islands. They were based on the myths of this culture, in which they narrate that Maui created the islands, a demigod of the thin figure, changing forms, and very joking.