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- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The original script was actually closer to the original fairy tale than the final film, but due to pacing, money issues, and worries over Off-Model animation, a lot of scenes had to be cut, including the two other times the Queen tries to kill Snow White (by giving her a poisoned comb and suffocating her by pulling her corset strings too tight). An interesting case is with the witch's death. In the original story, the queen is exposed for her crimes at Snow White's wedding to the prince, and is burned to death. In the Disney film, she is chased to the top of a cliff by the dwarves; as she tries to send a boulder down to crush them, the cliff is struck by lightning, she and the boulder fall off, and she is at least killed from the high fall, and is also presumably crushed by the boulder and eaten by vultures. While the latter is seemingly darker than the former, keep in mind, this way it is nature getting revenge on the witch, not any of the heroes.
- The original version is even more specific on the gruesome nature of the Queen's death: "iron slippers were prepared on a fire of charcoal and she was forced to put on the red-hot shoes, and dance until she dropped down dead." This was already softened in later editions, where the cause of death was changed to a simple stroke of anger about Snow White's good fortune or suicide by jumping out of the window. Interestingly, this was mostly done in foreign translations, whereas in Germany, the red-hot shoes are still the standard version to tell your kids.
- The Adventures of Pinocchio already underwent this process when it was a book: There, Pinocchio is killed (still a puppet) by hanging, which author Carlo Collodi had planned to be the ending of the book. But on the publisher's demand Collodi added extra chapters in which Pinocchio not only is restored to life, but also becomes a real boy (after a lot of hard and cruel life lessons, that is). When Disney made their Pinocchio movie, they in turn cut out the hanging completely, as well as other dark elements like Pinocchio killing the cricket. The original also had Pinocchio, after he had been turned into a donkey, being tossed into the sea to drown by his owner, and surviving only because his wooden body was lighter than water. Of course, much like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the film is still noted for being much grimmer than the average Disney affair, most notably retaining the villain's Karma Houdinis (and even adding another in the case of Foulfellow). There are few Lighter and Softer adaptations that depict hundreds of children being captured, transformed, and successfully sent to a Fate Worse than Death.
- Bambi compared to the novel its based on, Bambi: A Life In The Woods. True, Bambi's mother dies in the film, but its tone still is significantly lighter than the novel's, which was much darker and more brutal, including graphic death scenes. They also never included Bambi's cousin Gobo's death. And they failed to mention Faline was his cousin!
- Make Mine Music: The story of Peter and the Wolf is changed around a bit, giving names to the various characters among other things. Most significantly, the duck, which is devoured by the wolf in the original story, is alive and well at the end, being in hiding after the wolf attacks it.
- Fun and Fancy Free: A mild case for the Bongo half of the film. The original story also features a happy ending, but is still more cynical and violent. Notably, Bongo never becomes accepted by the other bears, his beloved rejects him for Lumpjaw, and the happy ending comes from another circus troupe finding him and re-introducing him to civilization.
- The Johnny Appleseed story as presented in Melody Time. His life was originally much harder than it was presented in the film. It also plays up his positive qualities more and glosses over the fact that in real life, Johnny was a shrewd businessman and promoted his own religion.
- Largely averted in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, at least in the the "Ichabod" segment). Disney added a catchy musical number and some cartoon slapstick, and perhaps made Brom Bones a little meaner, but the Grey and Gray Morality of the original story is largely preserved, and the end is still left ambiguous for the viewer to decide whether Ichabod really left town or was spirited away by the Headless Horseman. The Mr. Toad segment, on the other hand, changes the story so that Toad is innocent, whereas in the book he really did steal the car.
- Sleeping Beauty. Besides the minor Hijacked by Jesus elements, we also have the fact that the only precaution to protect the princess in the original was the outlawing of spinning wheels; the princess slept for one hundred years, as opposed to just until Prince Charming returned home; speaking of the Prince, he wasn't introduced until after those one hundred years had passed.
- And don't forget: During those hundred years, many princes came and tried to free Sleeping Beauty, only to become helplessly entangled in the thorny hedge and "die a pitiable death". You might want to look for some of Arthur Rackham's illustrations, where the hedge becomes quite littered with corpses and bones over the time...
- In T. H. White's The Sword in the Stone, young Wart's education by the wizard Merlin contains powerful moral lessons that will help the young man face his future role as King Arthur. The Disney version throws away all of the moral messages and replaces them with (admittedly sometimes very good) visual gags. Pretty much all of Sir Ector and Kay's character development was dropped in favor of making them a Disney-typical abusive family—for example, Kay in the book was only a couple years apart from Wart in age and was a companion and playmate, whereas the film turns him into a cynical, surly bully to Wart.
- Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Books (yes, two of them) depict the orphaned Mowgli growing into a strong and intelligent young man whose jungle upbringing will make him something of a Noble Savage. Baloo was a sleepy grump with a Hidden Heart of Gold, rather than a kindly Gentle Giant. Kaa the python, while large, intimidating, and alien, is one of Mowgli's allies, not enemies. Hathi the elephant is wise and powerful and when he tells Shere Khan to clear off ("How Fear Came"), the tiger does so — he is not a pompous ass who fancies himself a Victoria Cross-winning British Army colonel. There is quite a lot of violence, too. At one point Kaa hypnotizes a troupe of monkeys into becoming his helpless (ahem) dinner guests; later on Mowgli and the wolves kill Shere Khan by a stampede of water-buffalo over him. (In the Disney version he doesn't even die!) The story "Red Dog" has Mowgli cause the marauding dogs of the title to be attacked by millions of angry bees; those who jump in the river to survive are attacked by Mowgli with a knife; and those left then face Mowgli and his enraged wolf pack. And incidentally, Mowgli does most of this while he's naked. It should come as no surprise that none of the violence or nudity makes it into the Disney version, but Disney not only censors the story but effectively throws out every last original plot thread. A documentary on the DVD explains how Disney's writers "improved" on the original, but in fact it becomes clear that what they really did was to whittle away at the original storyline until there was almost nothing left except for a few almost coincidental similarities. They can't even pronounce Mowgli's name right. ("Mow rhymes with cow", says Kipling.) All this can be easily explained by the fact that Walt Disney specifically told the production crew not to read the book. He gave an outline on the characters and plot ideas he wanted and didn't want the book itself to be used as a reference - specially as the original script and songs, inspired by the book, had a bit more darkness than is usual in a Disney film (to the point that the writer was ditched despite a long story with Disney, and the only song kept before changing composers was a cheery tune that became the Signature Song of the film, "The Bear Necessities").
- The story of Robin Hood had been thoroughly bowdlerised before Walt Disney was born, and their take on it is actually far from the worst abuse of the mythos. To be fair, the narrator outright admits that everybody has their own version of the story (true enough) and that this was just the version that the animals tell.
- The Fox and the Hound. In the original book, Tod and Copper were never friends to begin with, Tod loses his first mate to a trap and his second to the hunter, Chief doesn't survive his encounter with that train, and at the end Tod dies of exhaustion while being relentlessly chased by Copper and his master. And then Copper is literally shot in the head by his owner to avoid having to abandon him.
- The Black Cauldron mishmashed plot elements from the first two books of Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain (The Book of Three and The Black Cauldron), gave the amalgamated villain an annoying sidekick, turned the truculent dwarves into cute little pixies, and made beast-man Gurgi a cutesy animal character. No songs, though, with many scary moments, and about 15 minutes of the film were removed that would have gotten the film an R rating if kept.
- The Little Mermaid gets a happy ending, unlike the bittersweet fate of the mermaid in the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Also, in the original story, the sea witch was a neutral character. In the movie, she's named Ursula and upgraded to the Big Bad.
- Beauty and the Beast is a notable aversion of this, as the Disney adaptation is darker than the original fairy tale.
- Aladdin: The story is drastically different from the original, and is a complete 180 in tone from the stories of the Arabian Nights. For starters, they were definetely not family or kid aimed tales; they covered adult subjects like forced marriage, infidelity, serial uxoricide (murder of one's wife), and explicit descriptions of human anatomy ... and that's just in the frame story! And that's not even getting into the parts where Scheherazade starts rambling on about corpse-tearing ghouls, bestiality, or penis humor, and the inherent Values Dissonance and sometimes racist content in the stories. The Disney Aladdin removes all of this to make the film appropriate for kids and families. In the original story, Aladdin had two genies - a weaker one in a ring, and the stronger one in the lamp - and had no limit on the number of tasks he could set them to. Yes, he won the hand of a princess, but that was barely the midpoint of the story; the evil wizard who had first used Aladdin to try to retrieve the lamp (and who had no connection to the princess in any way) was not quickly disposed of but instead discovered Aladdin's success, and successfully stole the lamp (and the princess, and Aladdin's palace, and almost everything else) with the clever ruse of "New lamps for old!" Aladdin had to win everything back from the wizard using his wits and the lesser genie he still had in his ring. There weren't any cute animal companions, magic carpets hadn't been thought up when the story was written, and the princess didn't have much of a part - she ranged from ruining everything by giving away the lamp, all the way down to being eye candy only present for Aladdin to marry.note
- If you take The Lion King as a version of Hamlet, then it Disneyfies it in spades! Everyone has different names, and are portrayed as animals who can talk and sing. Additionally, none of the main characters die except for the protagonist's father and uncle. When the protagonist sees his father's ghost imploring him to avenge him, the movie makes it clear that the ghost really did appear to him, as opposed to acknowledging the possibility that the protagonist only hallucinated the spirit. The movie also ends with the protagonist and his love interest becoming king and queen and having a daughter, since the script doesn't kill them off.
- Pocahontas shredded everything we know about the historical woman. For one thing, she was between 10 and 12 years old when she first met John Smith, making a romantic relationship unlikely at best. Her father had fifty wives and many children. She was taken to Jamestown as a hostage and married before her trip to London, and no Armada was threatening to annihilate her people. John Smith was not a Prince Charming type, but in fact an unattractive, short man with a giant woolly beard. The only bit they got right was her saving Smith from execution, and even that is considered by some historians to be the enactment of a ritual (and thus Smith wasn't in any real danger). Still other historians suspect Smith of making up the entire story, since it doesn't appear until he wrote his memoirs, four years after her ''death''. And she didn't actually marry John Smith. She married John Rolfe who definitely loved her (he expressed lots of times in his writings) but her feelings toward him are unknown. In real life, John Smith was more of a father-type figure to her than a love interest. Pocahontas II keeps in her marrying Rolfe, but is similarly toned down. Oh, and she died of tuberculosis at the age of 21 during her trip back to America although some people suspect she was actually poisoned. At least she did not live to see her tribe almost exterminated by smallpox and warfare.
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame. You wouldn't think Victor Hugo's original novel would be suitable fare for a family friendly movie. Despite being one of Disney's darkest movies, they still made it much nicer than the book — Esmeralda was nicer, Phoebus was nicer, Quasimodo was nicer, there was a clearer line between good and evil, and the good guys didn't all die or kill themselves at the end. Even more strangely, the Disney movie is actually darker than the novel in a few aspects: Gypsy genocide isn't on the agenda at all in the book, nor is Paris burned. Also, Disney changed Quasimodo's public humiliation from simple corporal punishment to the whim of a sadistic crowd. Frollo alone makes the movie incredibly dark for a Disney flick.
- Hercules not only has a Hijacked by Jesus style, but also implies that the Greek gods had wholesome family values, when in the original mythologies, having extramarital relations, whether with mortals or other gods, was a boredom-relieving exercise. The Disneyfication of Hades from Dark Is Not Evil to Big Bad is pretty amazing. They took the Greek concept of the Underworld and Hades (which was more or less a neutral judging point) and spun it to better resemble Hell and the Devil. Complete with imp minions. Luckily, James Woods is a great actor. They also made him quite cynical (and possibly the Only Sane Man), which only helped. In the original myth, not only was Heracles the product of an extramarital affair (with a mortal woman, Alcmene), but Hera loathed him and tried multiple times to torture and kill him. At one stage, she inflicted a madness on him that drove him to murder his children and his first wife, Megara - and it was Heracles who had to carry out penance for this in the form of the Twelve Labours. That's right, not only were the Gods petty and promiscuous; since they couldn't hurt their fellow Gods, they would attack the mortals who worshipped and championed them instead.
- Not to mention, the movie tries to make Hercules more of an underdog by presenting his adoptive parents as common farmers and him as a farmer's son. In the original myth, his mother and stepfather were both royalty and so was he, with all the advantages that comes with.
- Tarzan is a case where Disneyfication improved the original work. For instance, Burrough's virulent racist and xenophobic material was removed and a century's worth of scientific research about the true peaceful nature of gorillas was incorporated into the story.
- But to be fair, Borroughs didn't state that they were gorillas in the first place: The "Mangani" are a fictional species of big apes (which by the way also possess language). Most likely he pictured them as some sort of apemen cryptids (a staple in pulp literature) or rather primitive hominids (as evolution theory and anthropology were still totally rad at that time). But that doesn't excuse the "Bolgoni", which are actual gorillas and are portrayed as violent.
- The Steadfast Tin Soldier was given a happy ending by Disney in Fantasia 2000, partly from the Soundtrack Dissonance that would occur if they did keep the original ending. The animators had storyboarded the sequence ending with the tin soldier and the ballerina melting into a heart-shape, but it was unused.
- The Disney short film adaptation of The Little Match Girl (intended for the abandoned Fantasia Continues, but finished as a standalone short), another sad Hans Christian Andersen tale, averts this almost completely. The little girl is still a poor beggar, and she still freezes to death in an alley, like she did in the story. The only changes that were made were made for time or aesthetic: The abusive parents angle was absent, and the story was set in Russia instead of Denmark to avoid Soundtrack Dissonance.
- Treasure Planet: Silver isn't anywhere as nice in the original Treasure Island book. And Billy Bones was a most unwelcome guest at the Benbow, staying several months before he died. And Mr. Arrow was a drunk.
- Notably subverted with Disney's A Christmas Carol. In spite of the marketing making it look like a lighthearted comedy, it kept much of the darkness and horror while adding new scares not present in the book.
- Tangled skips the Teen Pregnancynote and has Flynn get a rather clean stab wound at the end, instead of having his eyes gouged out. Although one could argue that the two balanced out, since Flynn actually dies, only to be brought back. The film was originally much darker until directors changed partway, though it still lacked either of those aspects.
- Frozen actually inverts this trope, oddly enough. It does take a great deal of creative liberties with the source material, to the point that the story is barely recognizable. However, the result is actually in many respects quite a bit darker than the original.
- The story of the Three Little Pigs originally had the first two pigs eaten by the wolf after their houses were blown down. The Disney cartoon of the story allowed them to run to the next house before the wolf could get his meal. The original has the big bad wolf being boiled alive after he attempts to gain access to the brick house via the chimney, whereas the Disney version simply has the wolf burning his hand and running away scared. Some other sanitized versions will have the wolf pass out from the exhaustion of trying to blow the third house down.
- The Silly Symphonies short The Goddess Of Spring takes the Greek Myth of Persophone and Pluto and runs it through standard religious imagery. It flanderizes Pluto (The Roman god of the underworld, not Mickey's dog) from a merely fearsome but noble being into an ersatz for Satan, although despite this he's still noble enough to let her leave for half the year when he sees her misery.
- Disney's 1953 short cartoon adaptation of Robert Lawson's 1939 book Ben and Me is a borderline In Name Only adaptation. The book focused more heavily on actual historical events and personages, and included incidents from Franklin's French career at Versailles, which is thrown out in favor of a Lighter and Softer comedic story. According to the book Chuck Jones Conversations, the reason for this was because the films director, Ham Luske, hadn't even read the book.
- The short "The Brave Engineer". In real life, John Luther "Casey" Jones actually died in the train crash. The Disney cartoon lets him live.
Live Action Films
- Despite what some fans feared, Disney has notably and purposefully avoided giving the Star Wars franchise the "Disney treatment", to the point where they distinctly don't show the Disney logo before each movie. In fact, The Force Awakens, Rogue One and The Last Jedi are all rather dark films, with the latter two easily being the darkest films in the entire franchise.
- Even Star Wars Rebels, which is intended to be a Lighter and Softer follow-up to Star Wars: The Clone Wars and is saddled with a TV-Y7 rating, has dark episodes that push the absolute limit of what you can get away with in a cartoon of that demographic in terms of violence and content.
- The ancillary material has gone through a bit of this though, as Disney has understandably discontinued all merchandise of Leia in the controversial slave bikini from Return of the Jedi.
- Mary Poppins began as a series of seven books about a quite snarky and unpleasant magical nanny. Particularly towards the final books, the series become increasingly bizarre and increasingly interested in mythology, mysticism, and herbalism (as was its author, P. L. Travers, a devotee of Theosophy). It's all a far cry from the Disney film version and Mary Poppins Returns, the former of which Travers loathed.Inside the packed twelve-hundred-seat theatre, the members of the audience responded to the movie with enthusiasm: they gave it a five-minute standing ovation. In the midst of the celebrating crowd, it would have been easy to overlook the sixty-five-year-old woman sitting there, weeping. The film
- Saving Mr. Banks tells the story of Travers' doomed attempts to make the production of the film stick to her conception of the characters. Ironically, this film Disneyfies the true story.
- Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Disney's so-called adaptation of Mary Norton's Bedknob and Broomstick, dropped the original book's entire plot, and instead created a new one from whole cloth involving Eglantine Price's attempt to learn magic solely in order to help the British effort in World War II. Along the way, a medieval sorcerer became a modern con-man, an island of Talking Animals was added apparently just to give Disney's animation division something to do that year, and a climactic battle scene of magically powered suits of plate armor versus a Nazi invasion force replaced the book's much more low-key conclusion. Oh, and they made it a musical. A major plot element complete with its own musical number, critical to the climax of the film, was conjured up out of a random two-word phrase ("substitutiary locomotion") that appears only once in a minor conversation on which the children eavesdrop in the book. And on top of all that, they pluralized both nouns in the title, as a nod to when Norton published the second part of the book as Bonfires and Broomsticks.
- A Kid in King Arthur's Court: The Disney adaptation does this to Mark Twain's novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The book was a satire and Genre Deconstruction of Arthurian lore that ended on a pretty depressing note, with the protagonist having all his achievements undone, then losing his friends, family and mind before finally dying. In this film, almost the entire plot is thrown out in favor of a more conventional family friendly film with a hip, young protagonist, a Camelot that wouldn't be out of place in a theme park, and an unambiguously happy ending.
- Oddly enough, Newsies is not a particularly egregious example of Disneyfication. It's safe to say that the New York newsboys of 1899 didn't burst into spontaneous well-choreographed musical numbers as they walked the streets, and the violence occurring as a result of the strike is a bit sanitized (no blood); but we do see newsboys sleeping on the streets, smoking cigars, betting on races, beating up strikebreakers, et cetera. Of course, one must point out that the newspapers never actually lowered their prices in the end; they came to an agreement with the newsies where they agreed to buy back their unsold papers. While this agreement was pretty mutually beneficial, clearly the idea of the rag-tag kids' union getting everything they wanted in the end was too good for Disney to pass up.
- Although that itself was somewhat averted in the Broadway adaptation: Pulitzer agrees to buy back the papes, but only lowers the price somewhat, not to the original price.
- The North Avenue Irregulars gives the original story a happier, and much more chaotic, ending. Rather than just having to settle for making a dent in The Mafia, these Irregulars take down the entire local operation in an impromptu demolition derby.
- Lemonade Mouth offers a modern example - Charlie's stillborn twin brother is replaced with an older brother who's away at college.
- Into the Woods is a mixed bag. It's less risque than the original production, but nonetheless contains many dark themes and plays around with them. For instance, the affair with the Prince and the Baker's Wife is kept intact, albeit with ambiguity of how far it went. In addition, the sexual subtext between The Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood are kept in and made creepier with the fact that an actual little girl played her, rather than an adult in a costume. However, Jack's mother's death is not as grisly as the original production, and Rapunzel does not die in this version.
- Disney's adaptation of T*Witches tones down some of harsher elements of the novel; Aron is revealed to be alive in the Disney movie, while he's Killed Off for Real in the novel; Ileana is simply the twin's guardian in the movie, whereas in the book, she's also Thanatos' abandoned daughter, making her their cousin as well. She's also Karsh's distant cousin and foster daughter, rather than his eventual wife. The Disney movie also turns the twins' mother, Miranda, into the queen of Coventry, making her daughters princesses, when none of them are royalty in the books. Oddly though, the movie eventually kills off Thanatos, whereas the novels, he simply becomes an Unperson, making his fate arguably harsher
- The Princess Diaries makes Clarisse a much warmer person compared the cold, slightly manipulative person she is in the books.
Live Action TV
- The Walt Disney Presents TV Show The Swamp Fox softened a few things too. The blacks, like Marion's servant Oscar and the maid Dehlia, are just called 'servants' or for the men 'boys', they're never indicated to be slaves. And of course, there's no mention of how Marion, like many slave owners,sometimes raped female slaves. The Tories are made more out and out bad guys, when things were a lot more complex during the real American Revolution. Canada, the birthplace of series lead Leslie Nielsen, actually banned the series because of that part. And Marion's wife, Mary Videaux, was also his cousin, and that got cut.
- Present-day original Disney Channel shows aren't exempt, either. The third season of Kickin' It had the 15/16yo main characters throw a huge Halloween bash at a place they were house-sitting, while the B-plot involved people being chased by scary rednecks. Alcohol and guns, respectively, were glaringly absent.
- Doctor Syn ("The Scarecrow") completely excises the title character's dark history as a pirate and his Back Story of pursuing an unfaithful wife to America—instead he's just an intelligent vicar who at some point decided to help his parishioners by leading smugglers as "The Scarecrow". That said, it can still get pretty dark, what with the second episode's fake hanging and all.
- Amusingly averted in the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, which retained very few elements of the animated movie and is more similar to the original Victor Hugo novel than the Disney movie (the parts of the book that weren't elaborately describing the eponymous church, of course). For example, Frollo is returned to his position as Archdeacon of Notre Dame, Quasi is mostly deaf from the bell-ringing, Phoebus is a womanizer, and Esmerelda dies. Really, the only parts that remain are the talking gargoyles (who are transformed from a wisecracking trio to a Greek Chorus of demons, saints, and angels) and the music (although, half the songs were written for the show, and the ones from the movie that did make it in were rewritten to better fit the book's plot). One reviewer called it "music by Disney, darkness by Hugo".
- As mentioned in the above "Live Action Film" entry: Newsies doesn't shy away from the brutal honesty of what life was like for the underage Newsies: they smoke cigars, sleep in the street, attend Burlesque shows, and so on. They aren't shy about showing them being physically beaten by adults (although, given the nature of live theater, it tends to be Bloodless Carnage), although the youngest Newsie, Les, does manage to avoid it (because most of the Newsies are often played by adults, but Disney could hardly get away with even pretending to beat a child actor on stage). It also removes the Disneyfication of the original film's outcome: Pulitzer agrees to buy back unsold papes, but he doesn't lower them back to their original price.
- Disney managed to do this to themselves by censoring some things in Kingdom Hearts II's Port Royal level. Such as removing the part where Will aims a gun at his own head, giving the rifle-wielding undead pirates crossbows instead, and toning down the special effects on Undead Pirates hit with magic spells. All of this was done in order to keep the game at a E10+ rating. An attempt which ultimately failed, because they left the scene where Undead!Barbossa drinks a bottle of wine to scare Elizabeth in the game.
- Zig-Zagged big time with TRON 2.0. As a first person shooter, it's still quite violent, but it manages a Teen rating. The franchise was already very good with sneaking a metric ton of violence and death past the Disney radar system by liberal use of Bloodless Carnage and the fact that most of the casualties are Programs. There's even a plot point of Mercury being restored from backup, meaning Death Is Cheap may be in effect for Programs, though there may be Fridge Horror if you realize that being restored from backup does delete all their memories from that last save. When it does come down to human antagonists? Jet wounds Thorne, but the Kernel is the one who finishes him. The Datawraiths are forcibly ejected back to analog upon defeat, unconscious (though we don't know what happens to them after that), and the F-Con trio are forcibly imprisoned on an external hard drive until Alan can free them...and Alan is implied to be in no hurry to do that. This way, they managed to side-step the issue of having Team Bradley actually kill other humans, at least until you think about the implications for a bit. Oddly enough, this makes 2.0 actually one of the Lighter and Softer entries in the franchise.
Real Life / Disney Theme Parks
- Disney's dulling-down of subject matter actually extends into the physical world — real estate, in particular. The differences between New York City's Times Square before Disney took over most of 42nd Street and Times Square afterward are profound and at times somewhat depressing. Yes, it's cleaner and more family-friendly and a fair bit safer to walk around after dark, but sometimes it seems about as real as Main Street USA.
- Disney actually went back and did this to an attraction in Tokyo Disney Sea. The Sinbad the Sailor attraction went from a telling of all of Sinbad's daring adventures and the dangers he faced along the way though in a rather stylized Mary Blair fashion to a sanitized Tastes Like Diabetes version with a happy Alan Menken song, Sinbad given a clean shave and a tiger cub sidekick, and all the monsters becoming Sinbad's friends or helping him along the way that brings to mind "It's a Small world".
- Another Disney example is Walt Disney World's ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter becoming Stitch's Great Escape! The original attraction, the theme parks' darkest, had the trapped audience menaced in the dark by a deadly Xenomorph-like alien. Because it fell firmly into What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids? territory, it was revamped into a prequel to Lilo & Stitch in which the audience need not fear for its life and the worst thing Stitch does is belch in one's face. Since it didn't completely mitigate the frightening conceit of being trapped in the dark, however, the attraction not only alienated (so to speak) the original's fanbase but let down families hoping for harmless fun.
- The three versions of Epcot's Journey into Imagination ride depict a process of de-Disneyfying a concept and then Disneyfying the result! Originally the musical salute to imagination was drenched in colorful whimsy — Zeppelins from Another World, a purple dragon named Figment, etc. In 1999, it was completely overhauled into a mundane-by-comparison non-musical tour through the "Imagination Institute" built primarily around optical illusions; Eccentric Mentor Dreamfinder was completely excised and Figment got only a cameo or two. This version went over so poorly that designers were assigned to take it and put some of the whimsy back in. In the third version, the tour is supposed to be ordered and mundane, but Figment playfully disrupts it again and again to prove that imagination needs room to run wild. And there's a lot of singing. While it will never replace the original in the hearts of Disney park die-hards, general consensus is that the third version's significantly better than the second.
Other studios now or once owned by Disney that have adopted the practice as well
- The anti-religious theme of Miramax Films' 2000 film of the book Chocolat was softened by replacing the bitter churchman of the book with a town representative. Also, the town itself was made to look drab and ugly in the opening acts, when the very first scene in the book describes the heroine and her daughter watching a bright parade through the streets of the same town. The most egregious change is the ending — the novel contained a brief, drunken hookup between the heroine and a male supporting character, leaving her pregnant as she left the village to continue drifting. In the movie, the relationship between her and the man is developed into a full romantic subplot, he returns at the end, and the heroine decides she doesn't need to leave the village, breaking the cycle.
- The 1995 Hollywood Pictures film version of The Scarlet Letter starring Demi Moore not only has Hester, Dimmesdale, and Pearl riding off into the sunset, but also Dimmesdale is saved from hanging by a convenient tribe of Native Americans. Though to be entirely fair, director Roland Joffe explicitly stated that the film was only very "loosely" based on the book.
- Tinker Bell dies for real in the original novel and can be quite heartless due to only having room for one feeling at a time. Though you do see some of it in the first Peter Pan movie, all traces of traditional The Fair Folk are gone in her later appearances. By Disney Fairies it is completely gone and Tinker Bell is a more mellow Plucky Girl.