10 Fairy Tales That Were Way Darker Than You Realized as a Kid

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
These seven dwarfs are not as cuddly as the ones in the Disney version. 3LH-Fine Art/Getty Images

This story is especially notable because it launched the modern trend of sanitized fairy tales. Back in 1938, animator Walt Disney decided to make the Grimms' story, "Snow-White," into his first full-length movie. Naysayers -- including his own wife, Lillian -- tried to talk him out of it, warning that adults wouldn't sit through a musical featuring a bunch of bearded dwarfs, but he trusted his gut and borrowed $1.5 million to make it [source: History.com].

As it turned out, Disney was right. Depression-era audiences in need of uplifting flocked to see the tale of a beautiful young woman who bests a villainous queen and captures the heart of a handsome prince, and the movie became a huge hit. While Disney kept the Grimms' macabre heart-in-a-box angle, he did omit some even grislier details. In the Grimms' version, for example, Snow White's evil stepmother is invited to Snow White's wedding, where the guests heat a pair of iron shoes on burning coals. She's then forced to step into the red-hot footwear and dance in agony, until she falls down dead.