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The Gruesome Origins of Classic Fairytales: Cinderella

Updated: Mar 11

The start of the new year means that we are starting a new series. The Gruesome Origins of Classic Fairytales will dive into different fairytales and we will see how they were originally written compared to the Disney versions that we have come to know and love.



One of the most well-known early versions of “Cinderella” was recorded by the Brothers Grimm. The key differences are that while in the Disney version Cinderella lives with only her stepsisters and stepmother, in the original Brothers Grimm story her father is in the story. There is also not just a dance one night but rather a three day festival that Cinderella goes to and each time the King's son dances with her and then she leaves and "escapes" from him. The most glaring difference between the Disney version and the Brothers Grimm version is the ending. While in the Disney version Cinderella tries on the shoe and lives happily ever after, in the Brothers Grimm story, Cinderella's step sisters try on the shoe and they can't get their feet in. Also they try the shoe on in private so because they can't get their feet in they cut off their big toe and a bit of their heel. The pigeons in this story sing a song and the King's son notices each time and turns back to the house. When finally Cinderella tried on the shoe and it fit. The King's son and Cinderella get married and at their wedding Cinderella's stepsisters show up and the pigeons peck their eyes out. With the moral of the story being that because of their wickedness and falsehood, they would be punished with blindness for the rest of their lives.


While this may seem like a crazy story and really it definitely is however the original version in my opinion has better ideals or lessons for you to learn.


Movies to watch

I think that the closest you can get to watching a movie that sort of lines up with this story would be Into The Woods.

Into The Woods

However I will still always love the original Disney movie as well as the live-action version, which does get a bit closer than the animated version to the original story.

Live-Action Cinderella


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