Disney movies based on seriously dark stories (Part II)


Disney movies are big business in Hollywood, precisely because audiences know exactly what they're getting. You want singing, dancing animals? You got 'em! You want year after year of continuously disappointing ‘Star Wars’ sequels? You got that too! Ever since Walt Disney first picked up a battered old copy of Cinderella, read the scene where the ugly stepsisters hack off parts of their own feet to fit them in the glass slipper, and said “you know what? This would make an awesome kids’ film,” Disney movies have been borrowing their plots from some seriously dark places.

Mary Poppins is the nanny from hell

It's said that P.L. Travers absolutely hated Disney's 1964 adaptation of her novel. Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins was just too sugary sweet, too nice, and too upper class. She was exactly the opposite of the rough-around-the-edges working-class Travers had envisaged. Not that Disney could have ever done a literal onscreen depiction of Travers' magical nanny. The original Mary Poppins is an elemental, pagan spirit with a sadistic streak.

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book is one of those movies that already causes Disney some headaches, given that a whole lot of people think King Louie is kind of a racist stereotype. Still, that does at least mean no casual viewer is gonna go back to Rudyard Kipling's original stories and be surprised that they're less than PC. Actually, they'd probably be more surprised by the sheer amount of physical abuse Mowgli goes through. Far from being easygoing mentors, the book's versions of Baloo and Bagheera beat the heck out of Mowgli every time he messed up.

to be continued...