Why Sleeping Beauty Is Not So Beautiful

Aloha my wonderful merfolk.

Sleeping Beauty is one of my all time favourite Disney movies. I know it feels like I say this a lot, but this film has been wonderfully close to my heart since I was a very small child. It wasn’t till I was an adult however that I realised the story is not quit as beautiful as Disney has made it out to be.

The original tale of Sleeping Beauty, written by Charles Perrault, is a lot darker and a lot more disturbing than the version by Disney that we show to our children. The Brothers Grimm also wrote their own version of this tale and we all know how they love the dark and macabre for their stories.

Disclaimer: Before you read any further, you should know that parts of the original story are highly disturbing and could not be further from the magic of the Disney. if this is not something you are interested in or do not wish to read it, stop now. The original versions of this story are not pleasant. Please be wary.

I shall use the phrase trigger warning now as some of the content could cause mixed feelings.


The Evil Queen

In one of the first tellings of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent was the Queen, not a fairy or witch. The King had an affair with a much younger Princess, starting a new family. Maleficent ordered for the new children to be murdered, then cooked and then fed to her husband. She would then have the King and his Mistress thrown onto a bonfire in the castle courtyard. In the end, it is Maleficent that is thrown onto the fire. the King, his new wife and his children (who were not killed) end up living happily ever after.

It’s A Prophecy

In one of the original versions of this fairytale, Sleeping Beauty is not put to sleep by pricking her finger on a spindle wheel, it is all down to a prophecy.

Fatherly Love – TW

This dark part of the story is one of the more disturbing ones. In one of the original tellings, it is not a Princes kiss that awakens the sleeping princess. Whilst still asleep, the Father rapes her, getting her pregnant. One of these babies sucks away a piece of flax from her thumb, causing her to awaken. It is at this point she realised what her father has done and how she is now a mother. This adaption also relates to the first point about the Princess the king has an affair with. This Princess was the sleeping beauty. Now that is twisted and disturbing.

The Ogress – TW

In Perraults version of the story, the Prince who awakens Sleeping  Beauty has a flesh eating Ogress as a mother. They keep their marriage a secret until the prince must take up the throne in his own kingdom after the death of his father. The Prince goes on a necessary journey and leaves Sleeping Beauty and the children behind. The Ogress orders for them to be cooked and eaten but the Princes returns in time to make sure that does not happen. The mother than commits suicide, meaning Sleeping Beauty can finally have a peaceful family.

Some of the earliest versions of this story are pretty dark and disturbing and it’s hard to believe Disney managed to find any cheer from these versions.

a mermaid be waiting for you in mysterious fathoms below


5 thoughts on “Why Sleeping Beauty Is Not So Beautiful

  1. Amy I was not aware of any of those versions of the story! They don’t seem to have any relevance to a sleeping beauty either lol Disney certainly did a good job of adapting it for all. And the whole father raping his daughter while she’s asleep? That story teller is majorly disturbed! Probably was a fantasy of his *shivers*! But great post lol xx


  2. I think I was aware of the story where the father rapes his sleeping daughter but apart of that, all of the other versions are new to me. They’re certainly twisted though. I’ve got a French collection of Charles Perrault fairytales so I’m now rather intrigued to see how his version of the story pans out.


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