Not all film adaptations are true to their source materials. Usually, things are cut for timing, but sometimes parts of the source material are a bit too dark to include in the adaptation. These movies would have been totally different if these changes hadn't been made.
In the 2017 movie version of It, a group of seven, plucky kids band together to take on the clown menace that's been causing havoc in the small town of Derry since its founding. Because of kid magic, they're the only ones who can see what's really causing all the sinister nonsense that's been going on, and through the power of friendship, and with a random assortment of weapons, they're able to take the beast out. They then escape the sewers where It had been living, entirely unscathed, and go their separate ways.
In the original book by Stephen King, right after the kids beat Pennywise the clown, they find themselves lost in the sewers. Unable to find their way out, Beverly, the only girl in the gang, decides that the only way for the intrepid group of kids to escape is for her to get busy with all of them. Yup. These boys, who aren't even in high school, all get down with the same girl, one after the other, in the filthy sewers. After that, they're able to find a path out of the sewers and to safety. King says he added the scene as a way to illustrate the kids' transition from childhood to adulthood, but it's pretty obvious why all the adaptations of King's 1986 novel would leave that scene out.
In Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Princess Aurora meets Prince Phillip in the woods and they fall in love. When Aurora meets her fate with a magical spinning wheel's needle, Prince Phillip rides to her rescue, heroically slaying the witch Maleficent, who guarded the castle in her dragon form. After he makes his way up to the tower where Aurora slumbers, he awakens her with a simple kiss. Then they live happily ever after. Sounds sweet, right?
Well, according to the fairytale the movie is based on, Aurora didn't prick her finger on a spinning wheel's needle, but on a piece of flax, and she doesn't wake up with a kiss, either. In fact, the prince had his way with her while she was still under her sleeping curse. That encounter got her pregnant and she ended up having twins. When one of the babies sucks the flax from her finger, she wakes up, probably very confused and overwhelmed.
By now, everyone should know Peter Parker's backstory: a nerdy, teenage, photography buff was bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him superhuman powers. Ever since the tragic death of his Uncle Ben at the hands of a common criminal, Peter uses those powers to take on the forces of evil and stamp out crime in New York City. It's your pretty standard heroic backstory.
There's just one tiny part of Peter's tragic backstory that the movies have totally left out though. Namely, the abuse his family friend Skip put him through. Somehow none of the movies (at date there are six) ever brought up the fact that Spider-Man was a child abuse survivor. In a special 1984 issue, Spiderman has a chat with a young boy who had been abused and told him a story of a "friend he knew" who had an Aunt Nay and Uncle Den. Skip's name comes up again in a 1987 issue when Spider-Man casually mentions him while talking with a run-of-the-mill villain about the dangers and evils of child abuse.
The film Frozen is all about finding out who you are and who you can really trust. After Elsa is revealed to have ice powers in front of a gathering of her citizens, she runs off to the mountains to build herself an ice castle. Her departure causes the kingdom to totally freeze, so it's up to her sister Anna to thaw out her frozen heart. See what we did there?
The Snow Queen, by Han Christian Andersen, doesn't paint such a pretty picture of Elsa. In it, she just straight up snatches a little boy off the streets and takes him to her frozen palace where he is left alone in a vast and vacant hall. That's not as charming as an enchanted snowman singing about how much he loves summer, so it's no wonder that bit got cut.
Jean Grey and Professor Xavier have a lot in common, like their amazing telekinetic and psychic abilities, which is why in the movies they pretty much operate as a father-daughter duo. That might work for the big screen, but in the comics, Professor X views Jean in an entirely different light. Professor X actually comes clean to Cyclops, Jean Grey's laser-eyed lover, about his attraction to his student in an alternative reality issue in the Ultimate universe. Not only is the fact that a teacher is super into his student an issue, but there's also the matter of the massive age-gap; when they meet in the movie, Professor X is middle-aged while Jean is only 15-years-old.
In The Hunger Games movie franchise, two teens from 13 districts that surround a massive Capitol city must be sacrificed every year in the annual Hunger Games, a tradition meant to keep the lower districts under control. In the film, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are the ones chosen and, in order to survive the cruelties of the Games, they have to figure out what they're willing to do to keep themselves and their loved ones alive.
In the films, there's not much of a physical difference in appearance for either Katniss and Peeta from the beginning to the end of the movies. In the books, however, there was quite a bit of difference. After the first Hunger Games, Peeta lost his leg thanks to the bite of a wolf-like creature known as mutts and subsequently had to use a prosthetic for the rest of the series.
Moreover, the appearance of the mutts was changed too, and probably for a good reason. In the films, they simply appeared as large, dog-like creatures, but in the book these muttations took on the appearance of the all the fallen Tributes at that point, wearing a collar with their district's number and having eyes that looked remarkably human. So yeah, that's a little dark for a teen dystopian movie.
With Snow White being the first Disney princess, Walt Disney wanted the film to be fun and filled with humor, which is why he wanted a large amount of the focus dedicated to those wacky Seven Dwarves. He thought their screwball nature and gags would be just the thing to carry the movie. Sure, there are frightening moments in the movie, like Snow White's nightmare fuel trip through the forest or the Evil Queen's final tumble off a cliff, but the truly horrifying moments were left on the cutting room floor.
In the original fairytale, the Evil Queen wanted the Huntsman to bring back Snow White's organs as proof the girl was dead. She also wanted to eat them, so good thing he didn't actually do it. And rather than a quick death at the hands of a cliff, the Evil Queen was tortured to death by being forced into a pair of burning hot, iron shoes and commanded to dance until she died.
Snow White was also much older in the film since she was very, very underaged in the fairytale, 7-years-old to be exact. Throughout the fairytale, the story only refers to Snow White as a "child," which just makes that kiss at the end that much creepier.
Peter Pettigrew, also known as Scabbers the rat, was a character who was perfectly OK with faking his own death. After all, he'd already did it twice: once directly after he betrayed James and Lily Potter when he took on the form of Scabbers, and again later when he feared that Sirius Black would be back to kill him for his betrayal. Maybe that's why the filmmakers didn't mind deviating from the books too much when they changed up his death scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One. In the film, Dobby the House Elf hits Peter with a spell and, after that, the audience never sees Peter again.
In the books, Peter is actually strangled to death by his own hand. If you remember, Peter sacrificed his hand in order to bring back Voldemort, and as a reward, Voldemort gave him a new, silver, enchanted hand. When Harry and the gang were captured by Death Eaters and held at Malfoy Manor, Peter attempted to strangle Harry to death, until Harry reminded him of the life debt that he owed Harry. Peter hesitated for a moment, causing his enchanted hand to turn on him. Harry and Ron tried to help, but there was nothing they could do. Yay, justice?
In the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, Ariel makes a deal with a deceitful sea witch who makes her into a human with the requirement that her love, Prince Eric, has to fall in love with her within three days. Ariel is tricked, however, when Ursula takes a human form herself and attempts to enchant the prince into marrying her instead. Eric and Ariel manage to foil Ursula's evil plans and live happily ever after. Aww, a happy ending!
Not so much in the original fairytale. In that story, in her deal for trading her voice for human legs, Ariel had to make the prince fall in love with her or she would become seafoam. And this time around, the legs were more of a curse than a blessing. Every step Ariel took felt like she was stepping on glass.
In the end, her prince fell in love with someone else, but it wasn't a disguised sea witch, it was another woman that he'd assumed had been the one to save him (it was actually Ariel). Those two married, which doomed Ariel to become seafoam, but there was a catch. If she followed the advice of her sisters, who told her to kill the prince and his new bride and let their blood splash on her, she would grow her fins again. Guess the silver lining is that she didn't do it and because she chose not to, she didn't become seafoam but became an air spirit instead. If she did good deeds for 300 years, she would gain a human soul and go to heaven. So not an entirely unhappy ending, but it does feel rather bittersweet.
Cinderella's stepfamily is basically the worst family ever. In the Disney movie, there's not really any consequences for the evil stepmother or evil stepsisters. The only thing they lose out on is ensnaring Prince Charming, but nothing else. In the fairytale the film is based on, that's definitely not the case. During the scene where Prince Charming visits Cinderella's home trying to find his missing lady love, the stepsisters struggle to get the slipper on.
The first sister's toes are too big, so her mother cuts them off to make the glass slipper fit. At first, the Prince is fooled and he begins to take the sister home, only to notice that she was bleeding. He takes her back to her mother's home, where the second stepsister was waiting for her turn. She also couldn't get the shoe to fit, so her mother cut off her heel. Like before, the dope of a prince was fooled and began his journey home with what he thought was his new bride. Instead, once again, he noticed she was bleeding from her foot. After Prince Charming finally found his true bride Cinderella, some of the heroine's little bird friends flew down from the sky and pecked out her stepmother and stepsisters' eyes. What loyal and vengeful birds.
In the movie adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Event, the tragedy-prone Baudelaire orphans find themselves at the mercy of the ghoulish Count Olaf after their parents perished in an incredibly mysterious fire. Olaf is only after the children's fortune, and so he is nothing but cruel to them, trying again and again to murder them in an attempt to attain their wealth for himself. Jim Carrey plays Count Olaf in the film adaptation and he brings the same energy he brought when he played the Riddler and the Grinch. His Olaf is cartoonish and full of kooky gags, but originally, Olaf was meant to be a much more sinister character. He was more of a grim figure, meant to be more terrifying than humorous. After all, he chased the Baudelaire orphans all over the world, blindly pursuing them and murdering anyone who got in his way. "The Sun cannot shine through the blackest of skies," wrote Snicket (real name Daniel Handler) about his villain. Somehow, that doesn't fit in too well with Jim Carrey's dinosaur impression.