Disneyfication

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/disneyfication_hunchback.jpg
Also, there is singing.

"It was much earlier even than that when most people forgot that the very oldest stories are, sooner or later, about blood. Later on they took the blood out to make the stories more acceptable to children, or at least to the people who had to read them to children rather than children themselves (who, on the whole, are quite keen on blood provided it's being shed by the deserving), and then wondered where the stories went."

A form of editing, known for often falling into Adaptation Decay, that renders a story "safe" for juvenile audiences (or the parents thereof) by removing undesirable plot elements or unpleasant historical facts, adding Broadway-style production numbers, and reworking whatever else is necessary for a Lighter and Softer Happily Ever After Ending. There is often a clearer line between good and evil, which may cause one character to be forced into the cackling villain role. Talking Animal sidekicks tend to be tacked on somehow.

This isn't always a bad thing, though. Done properly (i.e. not too cute or dumbed-down), the Disneyfied property can be just as entertaining as the original or even better (for example, if you're not a fan of Downer Endings, or if they've improved boring parts and given the characters personality, or fixed a Plot Hole). The actual tales themselves are often too short to adapt properly, and the expanded versions can be hit and misses. The reworked Disney versions lead to Adaptation Displacement and Sadly Mythtaken, with most people being unaware that the original fairy tales might have even contained grimmer aspects. Visual representations of the fairy tales are often strongly influenced by Disney —Snow White is seen wearing a dress with primary colors and a red bow in her hair, The Little Mermaid with red hair, a green tail, and a purple seashell bra, and so on.

Named for its most notorious practitioner, Disney studios, although it actually started before the Victorian Era. Ironically, the Trope Maker would be The Brothers Grimm, who despite being the Trope Namer for Grimmification, actually were the first ones to make fairy tales more suitable for children. The violence and sex were actually toned down tremendously from the originals.

A Sub-Trope of Bowdlerise. Compare Abridged for Children, when this happens to the original work. See also Sadly Mythtaken (often caused by this). Contrast Grimmification. Not to be confused with Disneyesque, which is emulating the stereotypical visual style of Disney animated movies, but not necessarily emulating the tone.


Examples

Examples from works by Disney have their own page.

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Non-Disney Examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • The anime adaptation of A Certain Scientific Railgun contains numerous episodes and even entire plot arcs that are in no way present in the source material. This is largely due to the series director, Tatsuyuki Nagai, self-proclaimedly not being a fan of the dark and often tragic themes present in the original manga and its main-story light novel. As such he had multiple non-canon and filler episodes added, with the latter half of both seasons being completely anime-original arcs, adding happy endings to the arcs that previously lacked them. This has drawn a fair amount of criticism from fans of the original source material, claiming that putting a happy ending where one originally wasn't takes away from the original story's theme of nihilistic tragedy.
    • Some fan nicknames for these non-canon events are "Failgun," "Nagaispace," and "Cloverfield" (the third one being a reference to the overarching theme of clovers Nagai added throughout the series).
  • Asatte no Houkou, for instance, in the original manga Hiro is probably Karada's father. Her mother is Hiro's aunt.
  • Most of the dubbings of 4Kids Entertainment tend to do this, removing all the religious/pagan/demonic imagery, removing violence and firearms, removing almost all the references to death and murder, removing all the fanservice... You get the idea.
    • Nelvana is guilty of this too. Cardcaptor Sakura for example was torn in half to get rid of context unsuitable for Western demographic (eg. implied incest and underage romance). This is more in terms of context rather than narrative however, given the dialogue and characterizations are actually somewhat less cutesy and whimsical than the original Japanese original.
      • Also due to omitting almost all romantic elements, a large amount of the show's finale had to be edited, making it more bittersweet (especially since Nelvana lost the rights to dubbing the show before The Sealed Card was released).
  • Les Misérables: Shōjo Cosette is a family friendly adaptation of Les Misérables, removing almost all the violence, adult themes and angst. It still has ts dark moments, though.
  • Grimms Fairy Tale Classics averts this trope for the most part, and sometimes even inverts it (a few episodes, such as "Hansel and Gretel" and "The Iron Stove", are actually darker than their sources). A few straight examples exist in Cinderella (where the stepsisters don't cut off their feet) and Bearskin (where the two older sisters don't kill themselves).
  • Cutey Honey Flash changed the original story from a violent and sexy Action Girl series into a shoujo Magical Girl series, quite similar to Sailor Moon.
    • Most of Go Nagai's classics were originally aimed for teens and adults. TV adaptions for kids during 1970s-1980s softened the materials significantly. A notable example is Devilman. Even though the show is still a horror genre, it's nowhere as brutal as the original.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part III: Stardust Crusader disneyfies horror fictions. Many of the stand users are based on the slasher films (Ebony Devil: Child's Play, Yellow Temperance: The Blob, Alessi: The Shining, etc), which, while still gory, are a lot less scary thanks to the protagonists having Nerves of Steel, the frequently emerging comical moments, and the villains being downright hammy, making the show suitable as a shonen manga along the standards of Fist of the North Star.

    Comic Books 
  • Subverted in the Danish comic book series Valhalla. Most of the stories from the Nordic Mythology are both severely simplified and kidified. For example, two kids, who have little to do with the original mythology, are made into protagonists for most of the earlier books. Also, in one myth Freyja sold her body to receive the Brisinga-necklace, but in the comics she just gave up a small part of her blood. On the other hand, the comic series also features gore, boobs and full frontal nudity!
    • The comic pays a lot of homage to the original myths even when changing them. In the case of Freyja, Odin (and the reader) are led to believe for most of the story that she did, indeed, sleep her way to getting the necklace. Odin (who, true to the myths, is often a Jerkass) gets Loki to steal it for him, intent on asking the same price for it as she originally paid if she wants it back. He wasn't expecting her to cut her finger and give him a few drops of her blood.
    • The book dealing with Baldur's death takes this trope even further. Loki kills Baldur purely by accident (not on purpose, like in the original myth), and he spends much of the story trying to avoid committing the prophesized murder, thereby setting up the very circumstances that lead to it. Granted, Baldur still dies, but when he comes to Helheim (the realm of the dead), his cheerful disposition makes the goddess Hel so happy that the dark and miserable Helheim spontaneously turns into a lush, green pasture!
      • The myths are not entirely clear on Loki's involvement in the incident. Several sources blame Hod, claiming Loki's only involvement was refusing to shed the tear needed to secure his release from Helheim; only a few relatively modern sources (mainly Snorlsson's Prose Edda) blame Loki.
    • The final album in the series, which deals with Ragnarokk also manages to play this trope, even if it deals with the prophesied end of the world. It does so partly by playing up the oft-forgotten "rebirth" part of the myth, and partly by treating the "end of the world" as not the literal end of the human world, but a sign that the Scandinavian lands were converted to Christianity. The famous scenes of Asgard burning, Odin being swallowed by the Fenris wolf and Thor falling in battle with the Midgard serpent still happen, and are treated very dramatically, though the end of the story reveals in roundabout ways that this probably wasn't their final end and that they would go on in some form even if they were no longer worshipped as gods. The biggest Disneyfication is in Loki's fate, though: In the original myths he is killed by Heimdall, but in the comic he skips out of their fight and escapes to the untouched Midgard with Tjalve and Roskva. He gets about half a page to gloat that he's the only god left before being interrupted by a pair of Christian monks who invite him down to the newly-built church and join him in the worship of the "Almighty Lord." Loki being a very popular character thanks to his Jerkass Woobie characterization, no readers complained about this.
  • Astérix does this for The Roman Republic and the Roman conquest of Western Europe. Plenty of Politically Correct History is used - for instance, the historical Gauls were big fans of human sacrifices and killed enemies often in highly disturbing ways to serve as a deterrent, but the Gauls in the comic are big-hearted, childish party animals who love a good, friendly brawl and to poke fun at authority, and Nobody Can Die is in full effect (save for a single Hoist by His Own Petard death in a particularly dark story). Slaves in the comic are usually shown in such a way that the horror of being literally owned by another human being is nullified; the gladiators in one story all decide they prefer playing parlour games to fighting; the pirates, while not quite The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, are way too incompetent to actually get any pillaging done; and the complicated politico-sexual mess between Cleopatra, Caesar and Mark Antony is completely glossed over in favour of excising Mark Antony and making Caesar and Cleopatra a happy (if prone to bickering) husband and wife, with Cleo being something of a softening influence on him. Brutus, one of Caesar's eventual murderers in Real Life, is portrayed as Obviously Evil and just there for Dramatic Irony Horrible Judge of Character jokes.

    Fanfiction 
Meeting up with Rhett, the pair sings a duet or so before wondering what to do. Rhett is still blockade running slaves, and offers to smuggle Scarlett out along with Big Sam, so that they can both settle down in peace. Scarlett, after three animated moments of agonising soul searching, decides to refuse. Her place is with her people, she tells him. The Yankees have reached Atlanta, and though the South's defeat seems imminent, Scarlett cannot betray her side, faulty and racist though they may appear to be even after all of Disney's modifications.

    Films — Animated 
  • Golden Films has some examples.
    • Camelot removed the sexual undertones of the original myths to make the story kid-friendly. It still shows the adulterous affair between Guinivere and Lancelot, but anything explicit is not shown, not even a kiss.
  • The Dreamworks movie The Prince of Egypt was relatively faithfully adapted from the book of Exodus. However, it still Disneyfied the potential drowning of Pharaoh. Kind of odd, since they included the deaths of his soldiers and two separate genocides (one by the Egyptians against the Hebrews and one by God against the Egyptians).
    • Then again, what with the relationship between the Pharaoh and Moses in the movie (and the movie's efforts to humanize him), killing the Pharaoh off would have been a pretty bad dramaturgical choice. (The last time we see him he's roaring Moses' name to the heavens in despair, while on the other side of the Red Sea Moses whispers "good-bye, brother.")
    • There is also spontaneous chariot racing for whatever reason.
    • The original text reveals Moses as actively deciding to kill the Egyptian taskmaster for beating a Hebrew slave. And then he (unsuccessfully) tried to cover it up to avoid blame
    • Moses was 80 years old and father of two sons when he came to see the Pharaoh. He also was "slow of tongue" and so Aaron did the talking. Moses as a younger man is probably more due to the influence of The Ten Commandments than this trope.
  • Anastasia manages to show the Russian Revolution without mentioning Communism. Instead, Rasputin is plucked out his historical context for use as a pure Evil Sorcerer (ignoring his complex relationship with the Romanovs), and given an annoying talking bat as a Non-Human Sidekick. They didn't even mention Lenin, the Soviets and the Bolsheviks when they attacked the Czar's palace!
    • Which is closer to being historically correct. Bolsheviks were not a major power until November in 1917 (it's mostly forgotten these days that there were two Russian Revolutions in 1917, the first overthrowing the monarchy and the second being the Bolshevik takeover). Well, except for Soviets, given you recall what that word originally meant.
    • There was one Communism joke. One. "That's what I hate about this government: everything's in red!" They get out of the USSR about as fast as the plot can carry them, saving it from any further inconvenient relevance to the cute-little-bugs musical numbers.
  • This actually happened to Tom and Jerry, of all characters, in The Movie, where they ditched most of the slapstick, started to talk and sing, became best friends, and helped a little girl reunite with her father. Needless to say it was not very will liked.
    Tom: "Don't... you... believe it!"
    • Nowadays, they are back to their usual characterization, but they were also portrayed in a more pleasant light in the 1970s TV show too, thanks to Moral Guardians trying to crack down on slapstick.
  • The Warner Bros. animated feature Quest for Camelot, supposedly based on Vera Chapman's novella The King's Damosel, itself a feminist retelling of the Arthurian tale of Linette and Gareth. Similarities between the book and the film are, in total, that the lead character is an Action Girl with a falcon, she's accompanied by a blind man, and it's set in Arthurian England. It was decided to add songs to compete with Disney, change all the lead characters' names, add three Non Human Sidekicks, add more Disney cliches to make the film more of a Disney-esqe musical, and to top it all off, dump the Bittersweet Ending in favour of "Kayley" living Happily Ever After with "Garrett" (an amalgamation of Lucius [the blind man] and Gareth).
  • Titanic movies:
    • Titanic: The Legend Goes On alters history so that (almost) everyone survives, including bad guys who would be considered an Acceptable Target, and also shoehorns some really bad singing and dancing in. It's a ripoff of a bunch of more famous movies, such as like James Cameron's Titanic (1997), with comic scenes practically lifted wholesale from Disney movies.
    • It's even worse in The Legend of the Titanic, released at the same time as the former in Italy, where the ship is rescued from sinking by a giant octopus atoning for having chucked the iceberg in the ship's way in the first place. And in this one, everyone survives, even the captain and the band. The only possible saving throw is the ending, which implies that the narrator of the story, as a sailor, exaggerates and makes up stuff. This does absolutely nothing to excuse the sequel, which involves mermaids, Atlantis, talking toys, and evil mice.
    • Parodied in a 1998 installment of Saturday Night Live's animated "TV Funhouse" segment, there's a Real Trailer, Fake Movie for a Disney film called "Titey" in which the Titanic is a singing, dancing ship and the story mangles history in countless ways - the ship swordfights a singing, dancing iceberg voiced by Whoopi Goldberg, and then "refuses to stay sunk" by being rescued by a gang of wise-cracking whales. (The final line of the skit is "See it, or your children will hate you!") The sad thing is, this skit predated the two above films — and if ever became a real movie, it'd probably still manage to be better than them.
  • The Swan Princess for the most part stays true to the original Swan Lake fairy tale, but makes the classic set of changes: talking animal sidekicks, a healthy dash of women's lib, and a happy ending in which the swan and the prince marry instead of drowning themselves in the lake. They even went on to star in direct-to-video sequels and are still alive and kicking!
    • Stagings of the ballet are divided on this: some have the lovers die (or parted forever as Odette is condemned to remain a swan), while others have them live happily ever after. Mercedes Lackey's retelling The Black Swan splits the difference: Odette and Siegfried throw themselves in the lake but are restored to life by a turned-good Odile.
    • Research suggests that the happy ever after one might be the originally intended ending of the ballet... which would push it in the opposite trope.
  • The Rankin-Bass movie adaptation of The Hobbit makes a few questionable changes (all death is represented by the screen spinning) but is actually less destructive than you would expect. But for a sequel, Rankin-Bass got to make a mawkish version of The Return of the King.
    • However, it also manages to avert this trope at the end, as not only does the mortally wounded Thorin die on screen, but a total of seven of the thirteen dwarves are killed in the Battle of Five Armies, as opposed to the three who are killed in the original book.
  • A particularly egregious case occurs in The King and I. The king's advisor Kralahome is turned into the Big Bad. Animal sidekicks are omnipresent, and they serve little actual purpose in the story. The slave girl Tuptim is given as a love interest to King Mongkut's eldest son instead of Mongkut himself to avoid the implications of a fifty-something man interested in a teenage girl. The King's multiple wives are omitted too. Comedy is put in the movie in exchange for the stuff taken out. And yet the film includes a rather stereotypical caricature in the form of the villain's sidekick. The King also lives at the end of the movie. The estate of Rogers and Hammerstein was not pleased with the film, and as a result it no longer allows animated adaptations of its musicals; this move plus the film becoming a Box Office Bomb crushed the career of director Richard Rich.
  • Arthur and the Minimoys was an international hit and yielded two sequels, but the American release of the first film, retitled Arthur and the Invisibles, failed miserably at the box office. This might be because the American release completely removed the romantic subplot between Arthur and Selenia.
  • The Secret of NIMH is based on a book called Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. There were a number of small changes between the books: notably, Mrs. Frisby of the novel became Mrs. Brisby in the film (mainly to avoid trademark issues with the Wham-O! company) and a shift of focus from the rats' time at NIMH to Mrs. Brisby's looming crisis. Some of the characterizations are obviously much more whimsical and goofy than in the novel (particularly Jeremy). However, the biggest and most Disneyfied change is the random inclusion of magic and mysticism, which plays an important role in the movie, but was not present in the book whatsoever. Many fans prefer the movie to the books — enough that a large schism is present in the NIMH fandom.
    • Then there's the treatment of Jenner, which actually inverts this trope and adds more drama and darkness with making him the evil, murderous Big Bad out to take control of the rats, while in the book he's never even seen, just mentioned as a rat that disagreed with the way the tribe was living, and so he and some others that thought the same way packed up and left (However, it's implied that he and they are the dead rats found in an electronic store, and this sets up the last act of the book, as the rats who stayed behind must leave the farm before human authorities track them down too.)
    • There's also a larger death count in the film. Oh, and Justin says "Damn" once.
    • And then, in came the sequel. Timmy To The Rescue, despite being an example of Lighter and Softer of the highest order, actually uses some elements from the book the novel neglected (eg. Brutus turning out to be a Gentle Giant, the NIMH survivors being six rather than two). That said, these mostly do play more into softening the tone of the film, and naturally also cause some contradictions with the first film.
  • It didn't hit much harder than in The Thief and the Cobbler. What was intended to be Richard William's magnum opus (and a decidedly anti-Disney film) eventually became a victim of Executive Meddling, and the film was edited by different studios to fit into the Nineties Disney format. The theatrical versions added musical numbers, half of which were very dated pop ballads; Yum Yum became a stock Rebellious Princess; and the two voiceless title characters were given dialogue and would simply not. Shut. UP. Critics even dismissed the movie as a knockoff of Disney's Aladdin despite the former's production beginning three decades earlier.
  • The animated adaptation of Animal Farm is Disneyfied in a similar manner to the later live action version, although a notable difference is that while the animals in the live action adaptation express their displeasure of Napoleon's policies after a cumulation of him sending Boxer to the butcher shop and altering the entirety of the animal seven commandments, especially the seventh, by simply leaving the farm, the animals actually rebel outright against Napoleon and his pigs and successfully depose his regime. Though, given that the original novel was an allegory about Stalinism, and the animated adaptation was in large part bankrolled by the, Central Intelligence Agency, this is understandable. Maybe not ideal, but understandable.
  • The Mighty Kong is a version of King Kong with musical numbers (done by The Sherman Brothers no less), a boy and his monkey, the voice of Ariel, and dancing animals. Also Kong lives at the end.
  • The 2003 Spanish animation El Cid: La Leyenda tells the story of real-life national hero Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar. Though it lacks elements such as magic and musical numbers, this is an historical adaptation that takes several liberties to make it lighter and softer, such as toned-down violence, the lead being less morally ambiguous and a couple of animal sidekicks, all to make it more palatable for families.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Wizard of Oz: The original L. Frank Baum books contain a surprising amount of casual and sometimes decidedly un-PC violence: in the first one alone — besides the wholesale witchicide — the Scarecrow twists the necks of crows sent to attack them, the Tin Woodsman chops the heads off vicious wolves, and the Cowardly Lion swats the head off a giant spider with his paw. And, of course, the Tin Woodsman became tin by gradually having all his bits cut off and replaced — up to and including his head. Additionally in the book Dorothy intentionally throws the bucket of water on the Wicked Witch after she's mean to the Cowardly Lion (she doesn't know it'll make her melt of course). The film changes this to Dorothy trying to put out a fire on the Scarecrow's arms and the water accidentally splashing on the Witch.
  • The happy ending of the movie version of The Witches is pretty Disneyfied. Which is a bit odd, as the original novel doesn't have anything near a Downer Ending... it just isn't a perfect Happily Ever After, but much more bittersweet in flavor.
  • In addition to changing its heroine from a quiet, thoughtful girl into Shirley Temple's usual brassy, vivacious smart-aleck, the 1939 film of Frances Hodgson Burnett's book A Little Princess softens the hardships Sara undergoes, changes the villain's weak and complicit sister into a heroic brother, and imposes a Disney Death on Sara's father, while ladling generous quantities of Tastes Like Diabetes over the entire story. There have been more faithful adaptations since, but even the 1995 Alfonso Cuarón version has her father survive.
  • The Film of the Book The Golden Compass:
    • The movie noticeably ends the story a bit early — before the bit where Lord Asriel murders the little boy Lyra thought she was saving in cold blood. It was filmed but saved as an opener for the second movie — needless to say, it proved to be a Stillborn Franchise. It's possible to find cobbled-together versions of the chopped-off ending; it's very beautiful and heartbreaking and a shame that it looks like it will never be seen.
    • In a useless effort to forestall complaints from religious viewers and to get Nicole Kidman to take the job, a lot of the original anti-Christian themes were also removed.
  • In almost every film or television adaptation of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the N-word is taken out. In one particularly tacky example, an CBS Made-for-TV Movie made Jim white and removed any mention of slavery. Also, at least one removes all trace of barefootedness for some reason.
  • Although the film Enemy Mine and the novella both have happy endings, the film has a very optimistic one in which Davidge saves Zammis from evil slavemasters and this leads to an implied greater understanding between humanity and the Dracs, as Davidge is added to the line of Jeriba. Meanwhile, the novella instead ends with Davidge saving Zammis from his own people, who have had him imprisoned as mentally ill due to his strong identification with humans. Davidge then takes Zammis back to the planet Zammis was born on and Davidge and Jerry crashed on and founds a colony for those few humans and Dracs that are willing to look past the hostility and cultural differences between the races and work together in a spirit of cooperation, while giving up on a greater reconciliation of the two peoples in his lifetime.
  • The film adaptation of Stardust replaces the bittersweet ending of the book with a straight-up happy ending. Rare in that author Neil Gaiman actually gave his blessing to the change, saying it served the film better than the book's ending would have done.

    Literature 
  • Charles Perrault's "Sleeping Beauty" was preceded by the 17th-century tale "Sun, Moon, and Talia" by Giambattista Basile, in which the princess was woken not by a kiss, but by being raped, giving birth — both while unconscious — and her child sucking the sleep-inducing splinter out of her finger.
    • The ending of one variant of the tale is the princess being so pissed off when she realizes what's happened to her that she eats the babies.
  • Notably, The Brothers Grimm made many of their fairy tales less scary than their original versions. This was partly because of complaints that their first edition was not suitable for children. They had, after all, titled it Household and Children's Tales. They chiefly cut down the sex and converted evil mothers to wicked stepmothers, and some stories such as "How Some Children Played at Slaughtering" were left out entirely from later editions. Later writers toned down the violence.
    • One interesting example is what they did to the story of "Rapunzel". In the most commonly encountered version, Mother Gothel learns that Rapunzel's being visited in her tower when Rapunzel tells her — asking her, "How is it, good mother, that you are so much harder to pull up than the young Prince? He is always with me in a moment", which makes the heroine seem at best a bit on the dim side. In the original edition, Rapunzel was only naive, not stupid: she wanted to know why her dresses had grown so tight—specifically, around her stomach.
  • Older Than Steam: Folktales were being softened as far back as Charles Perrault's version of the Pentameron in 1696.
  • Little Red Riding Hood. In the earliest version, the wolf kills the grandmother, tricks the girl into eating her flesh and drinking her blood, then eats her. Perrault's version leaves out the cannibalism, but still ends with the girl's death. Only the Brothers Grimm added the huntsman.
  • Gulliver's Travels is often a victim of this trope because it has giant Brobdingnagians and small Lilliputians which make for easy kid appeal, but the original novel is satirical and includes a scene where Gulliver upsets the Lilliputians by pissing on a fire to put it out. This scene, needless to say, is nearly always changed.
    • Most modern renditions leave out vast amounts of Gulliver's Travels, starting with scenes like the one in which a Brobdingnagian woman uses Gulliver as a dildo, and moving on to excise the entire second half of the book with the voyages to Laputa and the land of the Houyhnhyms, which can in no way be made kid-friendly.
      • The closest interpretation was the 1996 TV movie featuring Ted Danson, and even that one told the story differently, with Gulliver being treated as a mental patient raving about his adventures, while Grimmifying many elements of the tale and toning down the various elements involved in the story's ending, whether they contributed to its Downer Ending or not. At the end, he's proved sane when his son finally manages to live-trap a Lilliputian sheep (which he'd brought back from that journey) and present it to the judge.
  • The book The Tales of Beedle the Bard discusses this, with the tales of a Bluenose Bowdlerizer who'd rewritten the primal and admittedly occasionally horrific Tales to be filled with obnoxious Glurge. Dumbledore sourly comments that hearing her versions of the Tales causes children to be filled with "an intense urge to vomit". However, the book takes a sympathetic stance on her, attributing her attitude as being caused by sneaking downstairs as a child and hearing her sisters talk about what she claims was the most bloody of the Tales, but what is implied to be details of a sexual affair.
    • And apparently "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" was just too gruesome for her to find a way to give it this treatment.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Merlin (2008). Goodbye incestuous lovechild of Arthur and Morgan le Fay, hello adorable orphan druid boy.
    • Mordred does get considerably less adorable as the series goes on. He was a Creepy Child when he was first introduced, and he just keeps getting creepier.
      • At one point he magically picks two spears and stabs one soldier with each of them. Then he smiles. All this before the watershed.
    • Worth noting that the incestuous love child was in itself a Retcon. In older stories Mordred is not related to Arthur (though nor does he have magical powers), and Morgan le Fay is a good Fae (hence the title), one of the three who take Arthur to Avalon.
  • Wishbone does this as a matter of course, being a kids' show about reading literature. For example, in the Frankenstein episode, the Monster's request for a bride is replaced with a request to "make me a frieeeend!", the Monster is portrayed much more like the dumb brute from the movies than the highly intelligent creature from the book, and Victor (Wishbone) doesn't die.
  • Clueless Even though Dionne and Murray had sex in the movie, they do not hook-up on the TV show until the last episode of the show.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger was Disneyfied rather abruptly in the fifth season. Three weeks after "Forgotten People", the plot of which dealt with a veritable Dr. Mengele working in a nursing home, there was "Brainchild", featuring an orphaned Child Prodigy, whose best friend is a talking supercomputer, and a plot more fitting of a late-60s live-action Disney flick.

    Radio 

    Theatre 
  • Stephen Foster — The Musical was originally the story of Stephen Foster's life, called, appropriately, The Stephen Foster Story. It was later revised to give the story a happy ending and omit references to slavery.
  • Wicked. Can't have the heroine of a musical (at least, not a Stephen Schwartz one) be a homicidal terrorist — or dying at the end.
  • La gazza ladra is based on actual history. At the last minute, Ninetta, the heroine, is saved from the scaffold, whereas the real accused wasn't so lucky.

    Videogames 
  • In-world example: In Escape from Monkey Island, the legacy of the dread pirate Tiny LaFeet is Disneyfied by real estate kingpin Ozzy Mandrill to better appeal to local tourists. According to Ozzy's marketers, the actually quite mean Tiny LaFeet "always said 'please' and 'thank you', twice!"
  • Occurs in story in Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, when the tale of a war hero is repackaged as a story for kids:
    Richard Baxton piloted his Recon Rover into a fungal vortex and held off four waves of mind worms, saving an entire colony. We immediately purchased his identity manifests and repackaged him into the Recon Rover Rick character with a multi-tiered media campaign: televids, touchbooks, holos, psi-tours, the works. People need heroes. They don't need to know how he died clawing his eyes out, screaming for mercy. The real story would just hurt sales, and dampen the spirits of our customers.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2's GT Mode's ending was disneyfied in a very odd way. In the Dragon Ball GT series itself, Goku had to sacrifice his time on Earth to allow Shenron to revive all those killed during the reopening of Hell and the Shadow Dragon's emergence, and apparently returns to Earth 100 years later in the final episode. In GT Mode, however, Goku (who is an adult in this instead of a kid) ends up wanting to have lunch after killing Omega Shenron, with Vegeta making a snarky comment while leaving with him as if nothing happened.
  • In the arcade version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge, Marian is killed off by Machine Gun Willy and she stays dead in the end. In the NES version, she is still killed off as well, but the scene where she is shot to death by said villain (who is absent in this version) is never shown and she is restored to life after defeating the final boss (a new villain who was not in the arcade version).
  • Activision's Oink!, a video game adaptation of the Three Little Pigs, avoids the Family-Unfriendly Death of the pigs when the Big Bad Wolf captures them by simply having the wolf chase the pigs off the screen.
  • Many yokai have dark backstories or behaviors. Yo-kai Watch softens most of it up to appeal to a young audience.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • VeggieTales used to do this to Bible stories, but more recently they've expanded their horizons to any story they want to use.
  • The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police replaces the guns with bazookas and generally has the characters involved in decidedly not detective-related plots. Max also has a much friendlier voice and personality than he did in Sam & Max Hit the Road. However, the humor and general atmosphere is still there, Getting Crap Past the Radar constantly.
    Max: I never dreamed we could have this much fun and still be suitable for young viewers!
  • The PBS show Super WHY makes adaptations of fairy tales where Disneyfication runs rampant:
    • Of "Hansel and Gretel": The title characters go and nibble on the witch's house. The witch comes out and yells at them for ruining their roof. After a brief break for literary education from Our Heroes, Hansel and Gretel apologize to the witch; she accepts their apology and delivers the moral, then gives them cookies shaped like houses.
    • Of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses": Turns out they were sneaking out to plan a surprise party for their father, the king. What this has to do with the original tale is...um...there's twelve princesses. And there might have been some dancing.
    • Of "The Little Mermaid": The title character is afraid to play with the kids on the island because she has a tail. Combine with an especially Anvilicious frame story about "being different" and it's arguably the worst of the lot.
  • Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child mellowed down most of the fairytales they adapted. For instance, their "The Little Mermaid" adaptation is closer to the source than the Disney movie, but in the end the Mermaid marries the Prince anyway.
  • The Darkstalkers cartoon. While originally there was a lot of moral ambiguity, with the monster hunter wanting to kill nice monsters and even the main heroine not giving a rat's ass about being queen, the cartoon had Black and White Morality and was way less violent. For example, Demitri's teeth are just two fangs instead of a clusterfuck of sharp teeth.
  • Dino Babies often adapted stories this way. For example, their adaptation of Oliver Twist ended with Oliver finding his mother, while in the original story she was dead from the start.
  • The first four seasons of Thomas the Tank Engine have some examples of how the adaptations from the The Railway Series become less dark and more lenient:
    • In the novel "Resource and Sagacity", Oliver falls into a turntable thanks to the troublesome trucks and was given a stern talking to by The Fat Controller, Donald, and Douglas whom the latter two were angry that he had broken their turntable. In the television adaptation "Oliver Owns Up", The Fat Controller was more forgiving towards Oliver and advised him on how to handle trucks better and the other engines felt sorry for Oliver in his situation and hoped that he returns from the works to be mended.
    • "Tenders For Henry" (adapted as "Tender Engines") omits almost all references of steam being abolished in other railways and the revelation of all but one of Gordon's brethren being scrapped.
    • The TV adaptation of "Wrong Road" tones down a Black Comedy moment, in which Bill and Ben argue whether they should push Gordon into the sea or scrap him, in increasingly graphic detail ("Besides, he'd make a lovely splash!").
    • Many episodes that ended with the starring engine suffering a Humiliation Conga or left in disgrace were altered or lengthened for a more upbeat ending. "A Scarf For Percy" for example adapts "Percy and the Trousers" loyally, but adds a longer epilogue in which Percy is cleaned and makes up with Henry. "Buzz Buzz" also adds a side plot with the Reverend raising bees for honey, and James' situation inadvertently helping him, leading him to get praised at the end of the story.
    • The episodes adapting More About Thomas The Tank Engine cut down Thomas and Percy's feud to just the first episode (due to not adapting the stories in order and the final story "Drip Tank" being omitted). In the original version of "Thomas, Percy and the Coal", Thomas laughed at Percy's mishap with the coal, leading Percy to swear revenge. In the TV episode, Thomas decides to call it even and they make peace in the shed later.
  • The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo is even more Lighter and Softer than the Disney version - there are spells and magic potions, Never Say "Die" is firmly in place, and Frollo has no romantic interest in Esmeralda at all. Also, Phoebus was Adapted Out.
  • Subverted in an episode of Transformers Rescue Bots where Cody tells the Rescue Bots the story of John Henry and intentionally skips over the Downer Ending.
    Cody: John Henry worked as hard as he could, and he beat that machine with the strength of his arms and the power of his mighty heart.
    Boulder: So he got to keep his job?
  • In the HBO Storybook Musicals adaptation of The Little Match Girl the story is set in more modern times, the girl doesn't die, and she receives a Happily Ever After. Oddly, their adaptation of The Marzipan Pig kept its depressing nature.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Disneyfication