Part of Disney’s 'tar and sugar' era, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) stands out for being a sweet flick with contrasting moments of darkness. Disney softened the frightening details of the Brothers Grimm original, where the evil Queen is far more twisted.
Snow White’s mother dies during childbirth, leaving the evil Queen as her stepmother. The magic mirror names Snow White as the ‘fairest one of all’, driving the Queen mad with envy. In the original, she tries to slay her stepdaughter three different times: with a killer corset, then a toxic comb, finally succeeding with a poisoned apple.
In the Grimm version, the Prince insists on taking Snow White’s dead body away. As the Dwarfs carry her coffin, one of them trips and Snow White tumbles from her resting place. She spits out the apple and awakens without the influence of a kiss.
At the end of the Disney film, the evil Queen cascades off a cliff. In the original tale, she attends the wedding of Snow White and the Prince, where her punishment is dancing to death in red-hot slippers.