Snow-White has a Sister?!

When I was flipping through my books of fairy-tales I realized there was another tale including Snow-White. This left me wondering if it could have anything to do with the previous Snow-White tale I had dug into. Welp, I was wrong. Even though the name is the same there is a completely different story line, but it does make me wonder if there is any way a screenwriter could potentially connect the two… There has to be a way.

The tale titled Snow-White and Rose-Red gives us a completely new story line that involves these two girls and their mother who is a poor widow. This story was also written by the Brothers Grimm.

The family lives in a cottage in the woods and the two sisters are very close but are also complete opposites. The two sisters resembled those of the two rose trees that were outside of their house, now was filled with white roses while the other was red. Snow-White had blonde hair while the Rose-Red had dark hair and ruby red lips. Rose-Red seems to resemble the Snow-White in the Seven Dwarfs!

Snow-White is described as more quite and relaxed than Rose-Red, Rose-Red is described to like to run through the forest and fields within the story. The would often collect berries together and no matter how late they stayed in the woods they never came to any harm. One night they decided to sleep in the woods and her mother was not distressed when they didn’t return… Only in a fairy tale would that happen.

The girls keep the cottage very neat and they worked together to accomplish chores within the summer and winter. They would always bolt the door before bed until one night there was a knock on the door.

To their surprise it was a black bear! Now, of course this black bear spoke and explained that they shouldn’t be afraid because he won’t harm them. The mother told the girls to welcome the bear in and wipe the snow from his fur. Because it was winter the bear was looking for a warm place to sleep and that is what the family provided. The girls teased the bear until he told them that he had had enough. This process continued throughout the entire winter making sure to never lock the door before the bear showed up.

When spring came and all outside was green the bear said he had to leave for the entire summer. When the girls asked why he had to leave he told them he had to guard his treasures from the wicked dwarfs. So there are dwarfs in this story! The bear continued to explain that in the winter the dwarfs cannot work their way through the ground to his treasure. Sadly, Snow-White unbolted the door and watched their new bear friend leave.

Shortly after the bears departure Snow-White and Rose-Red’s mother sent them on an errand in which they encounter a dwarf with his yard long beard caught in the crevice of the tree. The girls tried to help him pull it out however nothing seemed to work. Instead Snow-White pulled out scissors and trimmed the end of his beard. The dwarf was angry the girls had cut off the end of his beard and expressed his anger. Saying “bad luck to you!” (260) before huffing off.

Later on they come to encounter the dwarf again, Now If I saw him I would turn around immediately. The girls were going to the river to catch some fish when they see the dwarf had gotten his beard caught in his fishing line. A big fish had bit his line and the dwarf was not strong enough to reel it in. Almost being dragged into the water the girls had no choice but to trim his beard again. Saying the dwarf was pissed off is an understatement. He had some words to say to the girls alright before huffing off once more.

Ahh yes the sheer luck of the girls running into the dwarf a g a i n. Their mother had sent them to buy needles, thread, laces, and ribbon when they noticed a large bird swoop down.

Next thing they knew they heard a loud cry and say that the eagle had the dwarf in his talons. The two girls yanked at the dwarf until the eagle let go. When the dwarf recovered he screamed at the girls for tugging on his coat. He pointed out the tears that were created and called the girls “clumsy creatures” (261). If anyone is clumsy it’s you Mr. Dwarf. He then shoves his precious stones into a hole nearby and the girls continued on their way.

On their way home the dwarf had emptied his bag of precious stones in the walkway and thought that no one would pass so late. The dwarfs face went red with rage because the girls were staring at his glittering stones. He was angrily approaching the girls when the bear came trotting towards the three of them. At the sight of the bear the dwarf was filled with fear. The dwarf pleaded with the bear to spare his life in exchange for jewels and then tried to offer the girls to the bear instead of him. The bear gave the dwarf a single blow and the dwarf did not move again.

The girls had run off when the bear called to Snow-White and Rose-Red. They knew the bears voice and waited for him to catch up, suddenly the bears skin fell off revealing a handsome man. He explained that he is the King’s son (shocker) and the dwarf had bewitched him and stolen his treasures, only the dwarfs death would free him.

Snow-White married the bear man while Rose-Red married his brother. How old are these girls? Their ages were never really mentioned so its unclear their age on when they’re married…They decided the dwarfs treasure between the two and the mother lived happily with her children for many years and even took the rose trees with her and planted them beneath her window bearing the most beautiful white and red roses every year.

It’s funny to see few similarities to the original Snow-White tale and how there is still the inclusion of the dwarves, princes, and appearances based of roses. I wonder if they would eventually be able to intertwine these two storylines in a movie? I feel like someway, somehow it is definitely a possibility. I hear anything is possible when it comes to storylines, it’s all about what you can get away with!

I Know You

The earliest known Version of Sleeping Beauty is from 1330 to 1334 titled Perceforest and was written by Giambattista Basile. Later on The Brothers Grimm would print an oral retelling of the story to paper to be published by Perrault.

The story starts out with a King and a Queen wishing for a child, seems to be a common theme in these fairy tales doesn’t it? While the Queen was bathing a frog crept out and said that her wish would be granted. Where was this Queen taking a bath to which a frog was able to appear? That my friend is an excellent question that will go unanswered. Soon enough her wishes came true and the King and Queen had a baby girl. With the birth the King ordered a great feast to celebrate.

He invited friends, family, acquaintances, and most importantly, the Wise Women. There were 13 Wise Women however, because the King only had 12 gold plates the thirteenth one was not invited.

In the movie we see that the Princess Aurora had three fairy godmothers, in the tale she has a whopping total of thirteen with only twelve being invited. I mean I would have just invited the thirteenth and explain the shortage of plates to save myself from all the drama. When will men learn…

The feast was held in which the Wise Women (that caught the invite of course) gave the new baby magic gifts of virtue, beauty, riches, etc… Basically anything you could ever want.

Eleven of them had given the new baby gifts when the thirteenth uninvited Wise Woman barged in. She was unhappy she hadn’t been invited and said that the baby’s fifteenth year she would prick herself with a spindle and fall dead.

With that statement she left. We see Malificent do this very act in the movie after two of the godmothers had bestowed gifts. The twelfth Wise Woman, much like the last fairy godmother, had a chance to fix the spindle issue. She wished for the princess to fall into a deep sleep of 100 years.

After this the King ordered all the spindles to be burnt much like in the movie. The Princess grew up to encompass all of the Wise Woman’s gifts however she remained with the King and Queen. In the movie she goes off to live with her fairy godmothers and live as a village girl, this was vastly different from the story. On her fifteenth birthday the King and Queen had left her alone. This was definitely weird considering they knew what would happen on this day but they probably thought since their was no spindles they were safe. They just forgot that the thirteenth Wise Woman clearly possessed magic. Because she was left alone the princess climbed an old tower and reached a little door. There was a rusty key in the lock and when she turned it the door sprang open.

Behind the door sat a little old woman with a spindle, spinner her flax. The princess asked what the woman was doing there and the old woman told her she was spinning, clearly. The princess asks what tool the old woman is using, she is intrigued with the spindle and wants to spin too. Soon enough the princess pricked her finger on the spindle and the thirteenth Wise Woman’s decree was fulfilled. She fell upon the bed there and into a deep sleep.

This one hundred year slumber extended across the whole palace, to the King and Queen as they returned, the horses, the pigeons, the flies, the fire, and even the wind stopped blowing. In the movie the three fairy godmothers are the ones to put the kingdom to sleep however, on the fairy tale the whole palace falls asleep automatically. Around the castle grew a hedge of thorns and every year they would grow higher and higher wrapping itself around the castle until you could no longer see the flag at the top.

In the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty’s real name is Briar-Rose. Her story became well known in the country and King’s sons would come to try and get into the castle. All of them failed and many of the thorns held onto these men tightly so they couldn’t escape and so they died. After a very long time a King’s son aka the Prince, came to the country and heard an old man speak of Briar-Rose, the thorned castle, and the sleeping occupants. The Prince had heard from his grandfather about Briar-Rose and the many men that had died. He decided he must see her, and to his luck it had been 100 years.

When he got to the kingdom the thorns had turned into beautiful flowers and he was able to pass through them unhurt. He saw everyone sleeping and was able to find Briar-Rose, with a kiss she had awaken. They came down from the tower together to find the King, Queen, and the rest of the palace awake. The Prince married Briar-Rose and yes, they lived happily ever after. A common sentence in fairy tales of course.

It was interesting to read how the Prince heard of Briar-Rose himself but in the movie the three fairy godmothers get Prince Phillip as soon as Aurora falls asleep. In the movie everything seems to happen rather quickly and Prince Phillip must duel with Maleficent as a dragon. The thirteenth Wise Woman plays a small part in the tale when it’s quite the opposite in the movie. It’s always interesting to see the similarities and the differences because for the most part I’ve noticed the gist of the story is taken and it seems like for movies they tend to just add a little bit of *spice*. It is definitely a culture shock to my childhood to find out what actually happens. It’s like that long withheld family secret that you thought you knew but come to find out your mom didn’t tell the truth completely…. No? Just me? Anyway….

Skin as White as Snow

The original story of Snow White was released by the Grimm’s Brothers in 1812 and was originally titled Sneewittchen. It wouldn’t be until 1853 that the Grimm’s Brothers released the final revision of the story in 1854 and almost 100 years later Walt Disney would transform this story to a cartoon in 1937.

The story starts off with the original Queen who pricks her finger sewing as she sits next to a black window watching the snow fall as she works. Her blood fell upon the snow and she admired how the red stood so bright against the whiteness.

With this, she wished for a child with ruby red lips, pale white skin, and hair as black “as the wood of the window-frame” (340). The Queens wish was granted. Right after the Queen gave birth to Snow-White she died. After a year without a Queen Snow-Whites father had remarried and she was beautiful how ever not one could surpass her beauty.

In the cartoon the background information of Snow-White’s mother and father are withheld. We don’t meet her parents at all but in the fairy tale we get a little background information on her mothers wishes for her baby and the reason behind the name Snow-White.

Snow-Whites step-mother aka the NEW Queen had a looking glass (I mean it’s a mirror but they made it sound posh). She would ask her looking-glass “looking-glass, looking-glass on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all?” Honestly “mirror mirror on the wall” sounds way less wordy so props to the change there. The glass answered that the Queen was the fairest of all, however little did she know that Snow-White was too young to be a contender at the time. When Snow-White was seven the Queen asked the mirror again, this time she didn’t like the response. The mirror told her that though she is fair, Snow-White is more beautiful than she. This is where her hatred stems from, which yes resembles that of the cartoon film. Teaching young girls that being beautiful is what mattered most….it’s not. Oh and at this point guess how old Snow-White is? A whopping seven years old. In the movie Snow-White is around the age of 14 and 16, but in the tale she is quite literally a child.

Anyway, the very jealous and petty Queen orders the huntsman to take Snow-White to the woods and bring her back the young girls heart as a token. The huntsman goes to do so but Snow-White begs for her life. she tells him she’ll fun off into the woods never to return and the huntsman took pity. Instead of Snow-White’s heart he returns with the heart of a wild boar. I think in the cartoon he return’s with the heart of a dear but essentially it’s the same plot point. However, in the tale the Queen consumes this heart thinking it belonged to Snow-White. Yuck.

Snow-White ran as far as her feet could carry her, exhausted she stumbles upon a cottage in the woods. In the movie they make it seem like the cutest coziest little cottage you could ever wish to stumble upon. Going inside the cottage she finds seven plates, seven knives, seven spoons, seven forks, seven beds, I think we get the picture.

Everything is neat, this is different from the movie because it doesn’t get clean until Snow-White sings her little clean up song and the birds help her. She eats a little bread and drinks few sips of wine before falling asleep in the seventh bed. Yep, drinking at the age of seven.

The Dwarfs returned in the evening and notice that someone has been in their house. They find Snow-White in bed and let her stay in peace. The next morning when she woke up she was scared when she saw seven Dwarfs, however, when she realized they were friendly she relaxed. Snow-White explains how her step-mom tried to kill her through the huntsman and the Dwarfs take pity on her. They allow her to stay as long as she’ll do chores around the cottage while the Dwarfs worked during the days. They would go to the mountains looking for copper and gold. Im glad to see these gem mining Dwarfs hold the same occupation! You also learn that they don’t really have names in the tale like they do in the cartoon. They’re always referred to as “the dwarfs” They warn young Snow-White to never let anyone inside because the Queen will soon know where she is. Basically she’s in the witness protection program.

After the Queen eats “Snow-Whites” heart she asks the mirror again who is the fairest. The mirror responds that the Queen is the fairest of all but, “over the hills where the seven dwarfs dwell, Snow-White is still alive and well, and non is so fair as she” (344). Tattle-tail. The mirror never lies and the Queen is beyond pissed off at the huntsman to say the least. The Queen paints her face and dressed up as an old woman to pay a visit to Snow-White. When she gets to the cottage Snow-White does not recognize her.

Snow-White asks what the old-woman has to sell, the old-woman tells Snow-White that she is selling laces of all colors. This part I really had to put myself in the time period because this isn’t for shoe laces, it’s corset laces. Snow-White lets the old-woman enter and allowed herself to be laced properly. Pulling the strings so quickly and so tight the Snow-White fell down as if she were dead. The queen believed she was now the fairest of them all and returned home.

The Dwarfs came home to find Snow-White not moving and cut the laces. She began to breathe again and after the Dwarfs heard what happened they recognized the old-woman as the Queen. They warn her again to not let anyone inside. When the Queen gets home she asks the mirror again who is the fairest and she was not happy when the mirror revealed Snow-White was still breathing.

This time the Queen made a poisonous comb and disguised herself as another old-woman. She goes to see Snow-White and at first Snow-White tells her to go away, but when the old-woman holds up the comb Snow-White lets her come inside for the woman to comb her hair. As soon as the comb was in her hair the poison took over and the girl lay limp. The woman disappear before the Dwarfs returned in the evening. The saw the comb and took it out, soon enough Snow-White came back to life, again. Yet again the Dwarfs warn her to not let anyone in the cottage.

Yet again the Queen asks the mirror who the is the fairest and yet AGAIN she is disappointed to hear that Snow-White is still alive. The Queen vows to kill Snow-White even if she kills herself doing so. Talk about dramatic. This woman is going to the ends of the earth to kill her seven year old step-daughter! Enraged, the Queen makes a poisonous apple. Everyone who looked at it would long for its taste. This time disguised as a country woman she takes off to the mountains. When she knocks on the door Snow-White stuck her head through the window and says she can’t let anyone in. The country woman does not wish to go inside however, she wishes to give her an apple. Snow-White refuses however, the woman agrees to eat the white part of the apple, the non-posionous side of course, to prove Snow-White she has nothing to worry about. When Snow-White saw the red half she never wanted anything more than that apple.

After she saw the woman eat the white half safety Snow-White agreed. Snow-White had barely taken a bite of the apple before she fell down dead. The Queen was happy and returned home. When she consults her mirror the Queen is in fact the fairest of them all. When the Dwarfs returned the found Snow-White dead, they tried everything they could to wake her up but nothing worked. They “laid her upon bier” and cried for three days as they stood around her.

The Dwarfs were going to bury her however, her cheeks were still rosy red. She appeared to be alive however seemed to be dead. Putting her in a transparent coffin made of glass, the Dwarfs wrote her name in gold letters and that she was the Kings daughter. It wasn’t until this moment when I was reading that I realized the King is never mentioned in the story besides him remarrying the Queen. We really don’t know if he’s dead or alive during the entire fairy tale.

They placed Snow-White out in the open upon the mountain with one Dwarf watching over her at all times. The birds would visit her and over a long time (doesn’t specify days, months, or years) Snow-White did not change, she appeared to be as if she were asleep. A different King’s son aka the Prince, stumbled upon the coffin and even stays one night at the Dwarfs cottage.

He wants to keep the coffin but the Dwarfs tell him that not enough gold in the world could change their minds. The Prince asks for it as a gift and expresses how he could not live without seeing Snow-White, he promises he will honor and prize her as his dearest possession. This is when the Dwarfs take pity on the Prince and agree.

As the Prince’s servants are carrying Snow-White down from the mountains one of them trips on a tree stump and the poisonous piece of apple Snow-White had bitten came out of her throat. She opened her eyes and lifted the lid with confusion. The Prince explains what had happened and expressed his love for Snow-White….. Still unsure how old Snow-White is at this point…. Snow-White says yes to this complete stranger. Weirdly enough Snow-White’s step-mother was invited to the wedding. There’s no way that was her choice.

When the Queen was all dressed and ready to go she stopped at the looking-glass and asked who is the fairest. The mirror responded ” Oh, Queen, of all here the fairest is art thou, but the young Queen is fairer by far as I know” (349). At this point the Queen is just beyond pissed, she goes to the wedding and is shocked to see that Snow-White is the young Queen. She stood still with fear and rage when iron slippers had been brought to her straight from the fire. The Queen was to dance until she dropped dead.

This is another instance where I like the fairy tale better than the movie, although I will say I was never really a big fan of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It’s interesting how the main characters from the movie surround the step-mother, Snow-White, the huntsman, and the Dwarfs yet in the book we get a short glimpse of Snow-Whites mother and how her daughter became the fairest of them all. I was also surprised when I found out the Evil Queen tried to kill her three times. She attempted to kill a seven year old three times. What a weird sentence to write. I wish I had more clarification on how old Snow-White was after she coughed up the bit of poisonous apple. Then I would know how old she was when she decided to marry a random Prince whose servants were carrying her to his castle. I really hope she at least made it to be a teenager, but then again being dead but somewhat alive for six years sounds terrible too. Hopefully it was just one big long nap for her.

So far I think their is consistency in fairy tales that Disney twists into movies fo use to enjoy. I will say I’ve been really enjoying the live-action retellings of fairytales too. For some reason Cinderella holds a special place because it was the first one they decided to revamp. They’re always so magical and now I really do understand why we always come back to enjoy these type of films. There’s just something about the slight possibility to change your life entirely by attending one ball in an enchanting dress that just sounds so appealing, even if only for a minute.

Let Down Your Hair

In 2010 Disney released their rendition of Rapunzel, but how accurate is their story to the original? The fairy tale was first published in 1812 by The Brother’s Grimm however, there is a long line of tales that slowly date back. Ultimately the tale that all Rapunzel stories stem from is a Persian story called Zal and Rudabeh which dates back to the 11th century.

The story starts with a man and a woman who desperately wish for a child. They lived in a little house where the back window faced a beautiful garden that was surrounded by a high wall. The garden belonged to an enchantress who was very powerful and feared by all. The woman looking out the window sees the most beautiful rampion and longed to eat it however, she could not get it. She wanted it so badly that she grew pale and miserable. Her husband, being a good sport, risked his life for his wives wish.The husband claimed down the wall to grab some before leaving as quickly as he could. The wife loved every bite and wanted more, so what did the good husband do? He went to get more. This time when the husband climbs down the wall he is caught by the enchantress.

The husband expresses his sorrow and how he is only trying to fulfill his wives desire. She agrees to give them as much rampion as they want if she can have their first baby. The man agrees out of fright and by the time their first child comes the baby belongs to the enchantress and she names her Rapunzel.

Now for the most part, this is really different from the movie. In the film Rapunzel’s parents are royalty. The Queen gets sick while she is pregnant with Rapunzel and to help her heal they have to find a magical flower in the woods. Gothel (the enchantress) has kept this flower hidden because she uses it to remain young. They eventually find it, pluck it, and the Queen drinks it. Think of it as a broth almost…

The magical powers of the flower gets transferred to Rapunzel which explains her magic hair within the film.

One night when Rapunzel is young, Gothel sneaks into the castle to cut a piece of her hair to reclaim some of the magic, but when she cuts the hair the magic dies and her hair turns brown instead of remaining golden. With this information Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel and locks her in a tower. In the tale however, there is more of a contractual agreement.

In the fairy tale Rapunzel grows to be very beautiful and is locked in a tower at age twelve. Definitely a bad age to be stuck with yourself. This tower is in a forest with no doors, no stairs, only a little window. This is the same for the film. When the enchantress wanted to visit Rapunzel she would say “Rapunzel Rapunzel, let down thy hair”. Rapunzel would undo her hair from her braid, hang it from a hook by her window, and let it fall. The enchantress would climb up by it, ouch.

About one to two years later the King’s son was riding through the forest when he stumbled upon the tower. He heard Rapunzel singing and stood beneath to listen. In the movie it’s important to recognize that Rapunzel was royalty and Flynn Rider was just a thief that came across her tower. He wanted to use it to hide from the kingdom’s guard but this is what starts their epic joinery throughout Tangled. I mean they both did stumble upon her place of living.

After hearing Rapunzel’s beautiful voice the Prince looked for a door but he could not find one. He went home but returned everyday to hear her singing. One day he hid behind a tree and watched the enchantress call for Rapunzel to let down her hair.

The Prince uses this same call to see Rapunzel the very next day. At first she is afraid of him but because he talks to her like a friend she is not so timid. He expresses his urge to see her and then he does what all Princes do in fairy tales…. He asked for her hand in marriage. She states “He will love me more than old Dame Gothel does” (92). So basically, yes. Oh, and they kept the name Gothel the same which is quite pleasing!

Rapunzel wants to go but she doesn’t know how to get down. She asks the Prince to bring a “skein of silk” every time he comes to see her so eventually she tie all the silk together and use it as her rope . They agree he must only visit her at night because Gothel comes by day. One day Rapunzel lets it slip that the Prince visits her in the tower because she commented how Gothel is heavier than the Prince…. Big yikes.

With this news Gothel cuts off Rapunzel’s long hair and moves her to a random desert. Although the Rapunzel in the film wasn’t moved to the desert she did get a hair cut at the end of the movie….. A perfect pixie cut just like that!

That evening she fastens the hair to the hook outside Rapunzel’s tower and when the Prince called she let the hair fall down. The Prince climbs up to find Gothel, she states that he will never see her anymore. In the Princes despair he kept from the tower and landed among the thorns at the bottom. These pierce his eyes and he is blinded from this fall.

For years he roamed in sadness until one day he came across a desert. Here he stumbles upon Rapunzel again. He finds her because he recognized her voice. Rapunzel now has twins, a boy and a girl, fathered but whom? This information is unknown. I was just as surprised as you to find that out! Rapunzel knew it was him, she fell into him crying with two tears landed in his eyes. This heals the Prince’s eyes and he can finally see again. They lived happily ever after…. DUH!

Rapunzel’s magical tears are also transferred to the movie which I thought was interesting because it seems to be such a small part in the fairy tale but a big shocker in the movie. So if you haven’t seen the movie yet then, whoops.

The general gist and tale of a girl with blond hair being kept in a tower is alive and well in both stories however, the Disney film provides much more information about what happens outside the tower rather than in it.

After I saw Tangled it became one of my favorite Disney movies because I think the storyline is very well put together with special little twists and uniqueness. In general it is similar to its fairy tale but the Disney movie just adds soooooo much more story.

Cinderelly! Cinderelly!

There are many versions of Cinderella, however, the one I read was from Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales. The German Grimm brother’s story titled Aschenputtel, roughly translates to Cinderella.

The sisters weren’t the most attractive however they were terrible. They took her nice clothes and put her in a gray bed-gown and wooden shoes. She worked hard all day and by night she would sleep fireside in the ashes, thus her name Cinderella. In the live-action movie her name is Ella and because of the same reasoning she gets her nickname Cinderella.

The sisters weren’t the most attractive however they were terrible. They took her nice clothes and put her in a gray bed-gown and wooden shoes. She worked hard all day and by night she would sleep fireside in the ashes, thus her name Cinderella. In the live-action movie her name is Ella and because of the same reasoning she gets her nickname Cinderella.

Her father leaves to go to a fair and asks each daughter what they want. The step-mothers two daughters ask for beautiful gowns along with pearls and jewels. Cinderella asks for him to break off the first branch that knocks against his hat. Weird flex, but this resembles the rose Beauty asked for. In cartoon we never really meet Cinderella’s father and in the live action she also asks him to return with a branch. However, in the film he does not return, in the fairy tale he does

Cinderella’s father brings her back a branch and she brings it to her mothers grave. she cried so much she watered the branch and it grew to a hazel-tree. Cinderella visited the tree often sitting beneath it, a white bird would sit on the branch. This bird would grant the wishes Cinderella expressed while visiting her hazel-tree.

It is announced that the King is holding a three day festival for his son to find a wife. With this news, Cinderella’s step-sisters order her to help prepare for this grand event. Cinderella asks her step-mother if she could join, her step-mother called her dirty and told her she had no clothes. Nevertheless, Cinderella continued to ask consistently until the step-mother gave in. She agrees that if Cinderella can pick up “a dish of lentils” from the ashes within two hours, she may join.

Cinderella calls on pigeons, turtle-doves and pretty much any type of bird to help her with this task. With their help, Cinderella’s task is finished within an hour. Cinderella takes this dish to her step-mother and her step-mother still denies her invite. She ups her margin by allowing Cinderella to come to the festival if she can pick up two dishes of lentils from the ashes within an hour. She calls on the birds again and yes, they finish this chore. This time within a half hour. Her step-mother still refuses to let Cinderella join the festivities and the step-mother and step-sisters leave without her.

This is similar to the cartoon where the step-mother allows Cinderella to join is she gets her chores done and then at the very last minute takes back what she said. However, there is no point in the fairy tale where Cinderella makes her own dress to attend the ball.

I was also surprised to learn that this “ball” was originally a three night festival, I mean what a party!

Cinderella goes out to her mothers grave to cry, I noticed that in the cartoon and in the live-action they don’t necessarily go to the moms grave to cry however, they cry at a place of importance that connects Cinderella to her mom. Under the tree she wishes for a gown, the birds drop down a gold and silver dress with embroidered slippers made of silk and silver. There is no fairy godmother in this tale like there is in both movies. She put on the dress and went as fast as she could. How you might ask? Beats me! The fairy tale does not specify how she got there, only describes her putting on the dress with “all speed, and went to the festival.” No pumpkin carriage driven by mice-horses here!

When Cinderella’s step-mother and sisters spot her they believe she is a foreign princess. She was extremely beautiful in her golden dress. The Prince was infatuated with cinderella and never let go of her hand or danced with another maiden. She danced until evening and wanted to go home. The Prince wanted to accompany her but Cinderella broke free of his grasp and ducked into the pigeon house. The Prince waited for her father to come in, the old man aka her father thought it might be his daughter Cinderella but kept it to himself.

They chopped down the pigeon house only to find that no one was inside. cinderella was found at home among the ashes for she had left out the back, taken off her gown at her mothers grave and let the birds take back her dress.

The next day she goes back to the hazel-tree and the birds bring her a much more beautiful dress. Cinderella bewitches the Prince again, by night she wishes to leave and again the Prince wanted to see which house she went to. Cinderella sprang away from him again ducking into a garden behind the house. She climbed a pear tree to hide from the Prince, her father shows up yet again, only to be known as the old man by the Prince and wonders if it his daughter. He chops down the pear tree with an axe to find no one within the tree. She had escaped from jumping down the back of the tree and was found in the same spot as the first night, she had yet again returned her beautiful gown back to the birds.

On the final night of festivities the Prince chooses Cinderella as his partner again. The birds had given her the most beautiful dress and golden slippers, so of course the Prince wanted to be her partner again! When evening came again she wanted to leave, she pulled away from him however this time he had smeared pitch on the staircase.

A golden slipper was left behind and he says that “no one shall be my life but she whose foot this golden slipper fits”(79). It might not be a glass slipper but it does follow the same themes as the cartoon and live-action movie.

The story doesn’t get too deep into every fair maiden trying on the slipper, it jumps directly to the eldest sister cutting off her toe to be able to get her show into the slipper per her mothers order. As the shoes fits, the Prince whisks her away and as he passes the hazel-tree the birds urge the Prince to check for blood stains and that he has the wrong bride. He turns to see the birds are right and brings her back. This whole situation happens again with the younger step-sister as well. Her mother tells her to cut off a part of her heel so the slipper will fit and as the Prince whisks her away the birds repeat the same process as they pass the hazel-tree. He sees blood again and brings the girl back.

The Prince asks if there is another daughter and the father says no, and tells the prince of a “stunted kitchen wench his late wife left behind” (80). Here we learn the father is completely different from the loving father we see shortly in the films. Instead he is just as cold as the step-mother. The prince insists on seeing the maiden and now the step-mother tries to intervene, again the Prince insists.

Cinderella washes her hands and face before meeting the Prince. She sat upon a wooden stool and took her foot out of her wooden clog. Placing it gently in the golden slipper it fit like a glove. Her family is pale with anger as the Prince takes her upon stead and rides away. As they pass the hazel-tree the birds assure that the Prince has the correct bride for there is no blood in her shoe.

Two birds sit upon Cinderella’s shoulder was she goes away with the Prince. At the wedding, Cinderella’s step-sisters join and pigeons peck out their eyes as punishment for their wickedness and falsehood. I was not expecting this romantic fairy tale to end with such a dark moment.

There are a lot of parts that are similar within the movies. The symbolism of birds, lost shoes, evil step-mothers and step-sisters. However, I was surprised at no fairy-godmother, no, pumpkin carriage, no mice friends, and finally no midnight deadline. The birds seem to hold more importance to the fairy tale itself and in the movie Cinderella’s mice friends were more prominent. Kind of sad there was no GusGus equivalent in the story but I can understand why they were added. I think the live-action movie held more nods to the original fairy tale and to be honest it’s one of my favorite movies because of the connection between the Prince and Cinderella.

You actually see them talk and see why there is an attraction rather than just knowing Cinderella was the most beautiful at the ball.

I don’t know why Cinderella holds such a special place but I feel like it might be because it was one i watched often as a child. Beauty and the Beast is also another classic that I just had to do first but I’m really excited for next weeks because it’s movie adaptation came out in 2010. Can you guess which princess it is?

Under the Sea

The original tale of The Little Mermaid written by Hans Christian Anderson starts out relatively similar, but the ending takes quite the turn. The Little Mermaid is a Dutch story that was written in 1836 and published in 1837.

The story starts out with the introduction of the sea and the sea-folk that live down on the ocean floor. We are introduced to the King and learn about how his wife is dead though there is no inclination to how she died. The King is not given a name, I’ve started to notice that fairytales rarely give their characters names.

The Kings wife is not really mentioned in the movie as well which made me wonder if his issue with humans has to do with the death of his wife? One can only assume! The grandmother (the Kings mom) is also in the story, she actually holds a more important role than the King! The grandmother wears twelve oysters on her tail to signify noble birth while everyone else could only wear six.

The King had six daughters and of course the main character is again, the youngest. And yet again, the youngest is the prettiest. Sounds like a common theme now doesn’t it? Her blue eyes are described, however, I don’t think she has red hair because it is never mentioned. Each daughter has their own garden where they can decorate how they please. The youngest’s garden is in the shape of the sun. Her sisters liked to collect items from shipwrecks however the youngest found no interest. In the movie, this idea is completely opposite. Ariel couldn’t keep her hands off all the human objects! She’s described as quiet and sensitive, in the movie I would describe Ariel as strong-headed and stubborn. Her sun shaped garden is filled with purple flowers and a beautiful figurine representing a boy carved out of white marble from a shipwreck, next to it sits a red weeping willow. The admiration of the statue closely follows the statue that Ariel keeps in her collection of human objects in the film.

The youngest is often referred to as the little mermaid, rightfully so since she is the youngest! She loved listening to her grandmother tell stories of mankind.

Her grandmother explains that when she turns fifteen she can go up to the surface and explore. This is one year younger than one of the most iconic quotes from The Little Mermaid film when she claims she’s not a child.

I remember rewatching this scene as a twenty year old thinking “Yes you are!” How naive was I as a child to think sixteen was old. Anyway! The little mermaid waits for five years watching each sister go up and return with stories of their first experiences. Although the littlest mermaid wanted it the most she had the longest wait. With every story she gets more and more eager for her chances to see what’s above the water. I wonder why the age is set at fifteen? Is their fifteen our eighteen? Each time it’s one of her older sisters turn to explore they get bored of it after a month. Sometimes her five older sisters would all go up together, joining arms and singing on their way up. If that doesn’t say classic fairytale than I don’t know what does. Of course the littlest mermaid feels left out, she’s the only one who can’t explore the surface just yet. She’s got major FOMO.

Finally it’s her turn to explore the surface, she goes up just after the sun sets to find a calm sea with a singular ship. She spots a boy with black eyes that looks about 16. It just so happens to be his birthday, sound familiar? This part of the story closely resembles when Ariel first sees prince Eric, I will say the blue eyes is a better look for Prince Eric than black eyes. Again, his fairy tale counter part doesn’t go by anything except the Prince! She watches the dancing sailors and fireworks go off when all of a sudden a terrible storm comes in. Thunder and lightning crack and the waves become unbearable.

The ship tips over and the little mermaid is able to save the Prince. When I read this scene it played out in my head exactly the way it does in the movie.

The little mermaid brings him to shore but before he can open his eyes and recognize who had actually saved him she goes to hide behind the rocks. She watches a young girl go to his aid and gather others to help him. This made the little mermaid sad because he didn’t know that she had saved him. When her sisters asked about her experience she said she saw nothing, she would continue to visit the same spot throughout the seasons. Every time she came home she was sad, sitting in her garden she had let it overgrow. After awhile she finally confessed to her sisters and of course her sisters told their close friends. It turns out one of their friends knows where his castle is and had also witnessed his birthday disaster. The little mermaid and her sisters visit his castle, this is where the youngest would return time and time again and this is where her love for mankind grew.

With her grandmother, the youngest mermaid questions the life span of a human when they aren’t drowned. The grandmother explains that they live on land and have shorter lifespans than mermaids. Sometimes mermaids could live to be 300 years old, however, when mermaids die they cease to exist. They turn into sea foam on the surface of the water, their souls are not immortal like humans. Human souls live forever even after the body becomes dust. This was the solidifying moment for the youngest mermaid, this is when she knew she wanted to become human. Her grandmother was not happy about the mermaids comment and believes that the world would be much better without mankind. I can understand more now why there is such a divide between mankind and mermaids, all of this information isn’t really given in the movie. In the movie its more of a mankind = bad and mermaids = good kind of explanation.

After singing at the ball one night (and yes she’s the best singer in her family, just like in the movie!) the youngest mermaid thinks of the human world and it makes her sad. She wants to be part of their world…Pun intended. Sulking in her garden the young mermaid gets the idea to visit the sea with hoping she would advise her since no one else will.

Traveling through the sea woods and dead skeletons she reaches the Sea Witches lair. Before the little mermaid can tell her what she wants the Sea Witch already knows. The Sea Witch offers to make her a drink for her to take on shore, however, after she takes it it will feel like she’s being stabbed with a knife every step she takes.

The young mermaid will also never be able to become a mermaid again and if she fails to gain the princes love to the point of marriage she will not gain an immortal soul. Oh and don’t forget that the young mermaid loses her voice too! I think if I heard all those contractual agreements I would just simply say “nah fam”. Also to steal her voice, she cuts off the mermaids tongue…. YUCK!

But! The little mermaid agrees, there is no day limit like in the movie or her father’s magical powers being able to help. I’m not even sure if the King has magical powers because it isn’t referenced in the fairy tale. There is no enemy dual between the King and the Sea Witch over who controls the sea. This is pretty much the only time we see the Sea Witch, she doesn’t appear later trying to steal the Prince’s heart.

Right away the mermaid rushes to shore to take the special cocktail made by the Sea Witch. She ends up passes out from the pain of her transition only to wake up to the Prince discovering her. He brings her to the castle where he takes care of the new human. Quickly they become close and the Prince is impressed by her dancing even though it pains her to do so. She sleep… wait for it…. on a velvet cushion beside his door. UHM no. She is not a dog! I can’t believe this is in the story, I was expecting her to have her own extravagant room but because he didn’t want her to far away she gets a dog bed. Sometimes at night she would cool her feet on the cold marble floor. Her sisters and grandmother visited her often.

With a look the young girl asked the Prince if he loved her, he explains that he cares for her but the he is still pining over a the young girl who had saved him. Which yes, is her. But he is convinced it’s the other girl who had found him on shore, otherwise known as the the temple girl. She hopes that because the girl belongs to a sacred temple that they will never meet and she will sacrifice her life for him to love her. Romantic….. but c’mon girl. He only likes the little mermaid because she resembles the girl from the temple.

The Prince’s parents want him to marry the neighboring King’s daughter, this worries the young girl but he assures her that he will forever belong to her and no-one else. He’s basically going to check things out and say no. BUT, when he actually meets the girl it IS the temple girl that he’s head over heels with even though he doesn’t even know her. This resembles the sudden change of heart of Prince Eric in the film. The Prince and the Temple girl are to be married at once and the little mermaid reminisces of her old life as she prepares to die.

Heartbroken and preparing for death her sisters come to save her on the night of the Prince’s wedding. The little mermaid must stab the Prince in the heart with a knife and soak her feet in his blood to get her tail back. When she sneaks into his room to do it she can’t, instead she ends up throwing herself into the ocean. She prepares to turn into sea foam when she hears ethereal music. Rising from the foam the daughters of air explain how she is able to gain an immortal soul. Through good actions and 300 years of good work she too will have an immortal soul and be able to move onto the great beyond…. whatever that may be.

This fairy tale definitely has its similarities but it’s differences as well. The beginning of the tale coincides with the movie quite well but once you get a little over halfway through it seems to change a lot. I don’t think I like the tales ending as much as the movie because I was completely thrown off by “the daughters of air”. I guess you could consider them workers of God because the story says “God shortens our period of probation” when they preform good deeds (110). I was just not expecting that at all. Overall it’s interesting to see how closely related these stories are and I can’t wait for next weeks fairy tale deep dive!

Tale as Old As Time

You think the Beast in the originally fairy tale would be just as mean as the Beast we witnessed as children right? Wrong. Trust me, I was just as surprised as you are to see how different the original fairy tale is from the Disney movie that we all know like the back of our hands, unless of course, you aren’t into this sort of stuff.

The original Beauty and the Beast story I read, translated by Andrew Lang in his book Fairy Tales from Around the World, is called La Bella et la Bête written by Par Madame De Villeneuve. Everything about that last part of the sentence screams French. Her tale is actually the oldest known modern variant of Beauty and the Beast and was written in 1740.

First and foremost, in the original tale Belle’s name isn’t Belle, it’s actually Beauty, well sorta. She is referred to as Beauty because “she was so lovely she was always called Beauty” (Lang 23). In the movie Belle lives with her father in the village but this is far from the truth within the original tale. Beauty is actually the youngest of twelve children. Are you mind blown? Because I was. Her father had six sons, six daughters and was actually quite a wealthy man. The children were spoiled with silver, gold, books, splendid furniture until one day it all burnt to the ground. Not only did they lose their house with all their riches but their father’s ships were either taken by pirates, shipwrecks, or fire.

After losing everything the family moved to a cottage in the deep dark forest and started this new life living like peasants. Only Beauty tried to remain positive during this transition by singing, dancing, and trying to amuse her brothers and father. Her sisters were miserable and hated their new lifestyle, because of her ability to conform and enjoy her new peasant life, Beauty didn’t fit in. This idea of not fitting in compares to how Belle was often seen as an outcast in the movie. The townspeople always thought Belle was strange for being such an avid and intellectual book lover, which in that time period were strange actions for a woman.

I wouldn’t call Beauty’s father an inventor like Belle’s father we see in the movie, he’s more of a business man in this tale. He receives word that one of his ships he believed was lost had been found. Everyone in the family believes they will be rich again except for one, Beauty. The youngest daughter doubts that they will return to the riches they once had. Honestly, I respect it. Beauty is more of a “I’ll believe it when I see it” kind of gal.

The father sets out on his journey to recover his riches and asks each of his children what gifts he should bring back for them. While all the other children ask for materialistic items Beauty asks for her father to return safely. He urges her to pick something for him to bring to his beloved Beauty and thats when she decides on the gift of a single rose. The use of the rose in the movie and in the book are still prominent however their is no ticking time clock surrounding the loss of petals.

The father is unsuccessful in reclaiming his riches, when he goes to town his companions thought he was dead and split up his riches between themselves (well that’s rude). On his journey back the weather was miserable, cold, and the snow had covered his path (weird because it’s the middle of summer in the story). The howling wolves kept him awake for he was lost and tired, he stumbled upon the castle the weather had magically transformed where trees were covered with flowers and fruit. Now here’s the disappointing part, the father was not welcomed by talking objects and talking objects do not exist in this tale. However, the father is welcomed with loads of food and warmth. When he goes to leave, he finds a rose bush and tries to pick one for Beauty, that’s when Beast losses his shit.

Beast appears almost out of nowhere angered that the father had the audacity to steal his flowers after the Beast had shown such hospitality. I was definitely surprised to find out Beast was the one show such a kind gesture from the beginning since we know him to be mean and aggressive in the film. Beast says his punishment will be death, which in all honesty is a little dramatic if you ask me.

The father then explains his story of how he came to be in this very moment and asks for the Beasts forgiveness. In response, the Beast says that we will spare his life if the father gives him one of his daughters. The catch is, she has to come willingly. This aspect is very important to understand because in the movie the switch from the imprisonment of the father to Belle happens so fast and it’s her choice, however, Belle’s hand was kind of forced to take his jail sentence. Here we see how the father must go home and convince one his daughters to live with the Beast and she can only go if she agrees. Beast allows the father to take a rose to Beauty and lets him to stay one more night in the castle before providing him breakfast and sending him home with a month to convince a daughter to return in the father’s place.

The father returns to his children and explains his situation, immediately the sisters volunteer Beauty because she was the one who wanted the rose. Beauty accepts with grace and elegance by saying “‘Who could have guessed that to ask for a rose in the middle of summer would cause so much misery. But as I did the mischief it is only just that I should suffer for it'” (Lang 28). What a savage to be condescending to all of her siblings and then gladly save her father. Honestly she’s probably happy to get out of that household.

When Beauty’s father brought her to the castle there was an extravagant meal prepared, the father knew it was for them and so they sat down and ate. Soon they heard the footsteps of Beast and Beauty meets him for the first time. In this tale he asks if she has come on her own accord and if she is willing to stay, she says yes. Beast allows her and her father to fill a trunk with whatever riches they would like to bring home to her brothers and sisters. They decided to fill the trunk with gold because Beauty thought it would be most useful to her father. We see this kind gesture of Beast helping her family however we are met with a mean, grumpy Beast that is not empathetic or compassionate.

After a tearful goodbye, Beauty sends her father off with his trunk full of gold in a trunk that magically expanded to fit as much as they wanted. Tired from crying Beauty fell asleep, she dreamt of a handsome prince that told her not to trust appearances. When she was up she believes the Beast is keeping him a prisoner. She explores the castle and finds portraits of her handsome prince. The room that she is really taken with is the library for the amount of books it held one could never read all of them in a lifetime. We see the love for books transfer into the film and how she is constantly surrounded by books and her love for reading.

That night the Beast visits Beauty for dinner, he provides conversation and by the end asks if she would marry him. She declines his offer and with that he gently leaves. The next day Beauty continues to explore the gardens that she dreamt of the next day and even stumbles upon an enchanting room with wonderful scenes behind each curtain. Every night the beast continues to visit her and ask for her hand in marriage to which she continually declines and each night she is visited by the handsome in her dreams constantly telling her not to trust her eyes.

Soon enough Beauty trusts the Beast because she knows he will not hurt her. She tells him how much she misses her family and though saddened, he allows her to return home for two months. He tells her on the last night she must say “‘I wish to go back to my palace and see my Beast again'” (Lang 34). Beast leaves her and that night when Beauty dreams she dreams of her handsom prince weary and sad, he is afraid she will not return and leave him to die. She assures that she will return. Overnight she is transported home by magic and wakes up in her house. Beast allows lets Belle return to her father in the film but the reasoning is different. In the movie we see Beasts character change, however, in the tale we know that Beast has always been kind to Beauty.

She discusses her dreams with her father and he believes Beauty should listen to her handsome prince and not trust appearances. He thinks that Beauty should reward Beast for his kind actions. Because we all know the story at this point you just wanna reach into the story, grab Beauty by the shoulders, shake her, and say “THE BEAST IS THE PRINCE GIRL”. While Beauty is home she realizes she is unhappy even with her father’s wealth being returned to the family. Beauty can tell her sisters did not miss her however Beauty misses her prince (aka Beast but her brain doesn’t get it yet!).

One night she dreams of the Beast dying, the next morning she announces she is going back to the palace. When night comes she repeats what Beast told her to say. Beauty is transported to the palace by magic and wakes up in her room. That night Beast doesn’t show up for dinner, this alarms Beauty because of her dream from the night before. She begins to search for him and finds Beast unresponsive.

Beauty begins to sob, sprinkling water on him from the nearest fountain. When he awakes Beauty is relieved, that is when she realizes how much she loves the Beast. Beast tells Beauty to go back inside for dinner, they have their usual visit and he asks for her hand in marriage. This time Beauty responds with “Yes, dear Beast” (Lang 37).

When Beauty says yes fireworks go off outside in the distance and fires-fires wrote out “‘Long live the prince and his bride'” (Lang 37). And thus the start of unrealistic expectations dating all the way back to 1740. At that same moment Beast is transformed into the handsome Prince from Beauty’s dream and the Queen bursts in thanking Beauty for freeing her son. The Queen consents to the marriage and the very next day the wedding is held. This was the first and only mention of the Queen so I was just as confused as you are because we never meet her in the movie.

Within this whole tale there was also no mention of how the son got cursed or even an explanation of the time clock that he talks about towards the end and needing Beauty to return. No Gaston? No problem. I was kind of glad I didn’t have to deal with an egotistical meat-head while reading. I will say I was saddened by the lack of Chip, Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth, and Lumiere. The general gist of not trusting appearances, ideals of love, the symbolism of the rose, and Beauty’s fascination of books is very much present in the original tale. I just wish I had more of why the Prince gets turned into Beast and where the heck the Queen came from.

Apart of me likes this story better because Beast is a much better person(?) throughout the whole story, even though he did want to kill the father for picking a singular rose from the rose bush, kind of barbaric if you ask me. He was never mean or aggressive which I know can be a problematic theme for the movie. We see how Beauty is outcasted within her family rather than the townspeople like in the film. There is almost of ideas from this story put into the film which, quite honestly, makes me want to go watch Beauty and the Beast again to see if I can find anything else that might be symbolic to the original fairy tale.

Once Upon a Time…

The fairy tales we know and love aren’t exactly all they’re cracked up to be, most of the original tales are drastically different from what Disney movie we grew up with. Fairy tales have become very popular within the past ten years and it’s interesting to understand why?

First and foremost Ellen Handler Spitz analyzes the appeal of fairy tales in her article The Irresistible Psychology of Fairy Tales. Here Spitz analyzes a few essays that discuss fairy tales in the lasting impact on children that are carried into adulthood. It is an extremely interesting article I was able to find online and even happened to stumble on it unexpectedly.

These stories appeal to our inner psyche by uncovering our inner most child and uncovering feelings of nostalgic happiness we have long forgotten. These are stories we hear one after another and even if it’s about the same princess or beast we keep coming back for more. No matter what story is being told over and over, our ears are always open to the enchanting tales of whimsical worlds we can only experience through reading.