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Mirror, Mirror: Disney Princesses and The Fairy Tales That Inspired Them

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Many of the classic Disney animated films come from legends, fairy tales, folk tales, or books–and some of the original stories are not at all the stories you remember from your childhood. Below is a list of Disney’s animated masterpieces featuring princesses that are taken from folklore, and the original (and sometimes rather grisly and strange) versions that inspired them.

SNOW WHITE (1937)

The original version of this story, made world-famous by the Brothers Grimm, begins with Snow White’s mother sitting at a window sewing as it snows outside. She pricks her finger with her needle and, upon gazing at her own drop of blood against the snow, wishes for a child with lips as red as blood, skin as white as snow, and hair as black as ebony. The original version also sees the Wicked Queen trying to poison Snow White with a comb, selling her lace bodices that cause her to faint, and, in possibly the most macabre deviation, the Wicked Queen intends to have Snow White’s heart not just to ensure her rival’s death but because she believes she will become immortal if she consumes it. Pretty easy to understand why that didn’t make it into the animated version.

CINDERELLA (1950)

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