20 Disney Movie Stories With Depressing Original Endings

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid has one of the most joyful endings in all of Disney. The original Hans Christian Andersen story was horribly sad. Ariel must marry the prince otherwise she will turn into sea foam (because she has no soul). When she finds out the prince is marrying someone else, the sea witch tells her she would stay human if she kills the prince and lets the blood run over her feet – but she can’t, so she dissolves into foam and dies.


Everyone knows the Disney story of the puppet who wanted to become a real boy. In the original story, Pinocchio runs away from Geppetto who is thrown in jail for negligence. Pinocchio ends up killing Jiminy Cricket, (still) gets turned into a donkey, almost drowns, and has his flesh devoured by a school of fish that leave behind nothing but his wooden bones.


While the Disney adaptation of Cinderella is gorgeous and wistful, the original story is full of horrors. When the stepsisters are presented with the chance to marry the prince, they cut off their toes so their feet will fit the glass slipper. To get revenge for trying to overstep her, Cinderella has her stepsisters’ eyes pecked out by her little birds at her wedding.


If you haven’t heard of the smash-hit Frozen, you’ve probably been living under a rock. The Hans Christian Andersen fairytale it was based on was called The Snow Queen. The original tale is about best friends Gerda and Kai. When the Snow Queen appears to Kai, he gets shards of mirror stuck in his eyes and heart that makes him see everything good as bad things. Later, Kai is found again and lead away by the Snow Queen where she gives him two kisses – one to numb him and the other to make him forget his beloved Gerda forever.