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

Rapunzel, actually 13-year-old actress Anna Helver, lets down her hair from a tower balcony at Trendelburg Castle, Germany, in 2012, around the 200th anniversary of the publication of Grimm's fairy tales. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

In Disney's 2010 movie "Tangled," a young girl's hair possesses miraculous antiaging properties, which leads her to be kidnapped and imprisoned by a witch who uses the hair to maintain her own looks. Eventually, she grows into a beautiful woman and is rescued by a daring, courageous prince, who climbs the tower by using her tresses, and then ultimately cuts Rapunzel's hair to kill the witch. Rapunzel and the prince live happily ever after [source: IMDB].

In the original Grimm brothers' story, though, the prince's job is a little more difficult. After the prince climbs the tower to woo Rapunzel and apparently impregnates her, the witch cuts Rapunzel's hair and then abandons her in the desert. When the prince returns and climbs the tower, he's confronted by the witch, who taunts him by proclaiming that he'll never see Rapunzel again. The prince, in despair, jumps from the tower and lands in bushes whose thorns pierce his eyes. He then wanders for several years as a blind homeless person, until by chance he meets Rapunzel, who's struggling along as an unwed mother of twins. Fortunately, Rapunzel's tears have the same healing power as they do in the movie, and the prince's sight is restored. The two return to his kingdom to marry.