Comparing Fairy Tales, Old and New

In both the German and English-speaking worlds, the most influential collection of premodern fairy tales was Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which was originally published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in 1812 (under the German title of Kinder und Hausmärchen, or ‘Children’s and Household Tales’).  Grimm’s tales offer fascinating resources for considering various historical subjects from the early nineteenth century, but especially topics revolving around childhood, gender, family, class, and socioeconomic hardship.  It may come as no surprise, therefore, that these themes are writ large in what has become the most famous series of fairy tales ever produced: the various films by Walt Disney and his company that are based upon earlier fairy tales.  On the date when this Blog post is due, you will be moving past the Grimms and Disney to consider how several well-known literary authors have re-imagined fairy tales for a modern audience, especially for a more mature and cynical twenty-first century reader.  And in class we will be watching clips from several films that work in a similar manner, taking well-known fairy tale material and offering a modern spin on it.  For this response, then, I want you to have a little fun with these various tales, which ARE simultaneously meant for entertainment while also being intended to intrigue and educate readers/viewers about certain moral ideas.  I thought it would be interesting to see what might happen if you precisely and directly bring specific tales from different times into conversation.  Thus, I want you to somehow compare a single, specific story (or character) from Grimm’s Fairy Tales with a particular movie (or character) from the Disney universe.  OR, you could compare one of the modern literary versions — or even filmic reimaginings for adults — with either Grimm’s tales or the Disney fairy stories.  You might consider:  What are these stories and versions about, and in what ways are they notably similar and different?  What did you find shocking or surprising in these stories, and why?  Do these “texts” ultimately suggest different ideas and definitions of “fairy tales”?  How/why so?  Finally, what is the “moral” of the story for your chosen “texts”, and more importantly, what social or political ideas relative to the various time periods in question do your selected stories seem to subtly highlight and comment upon?

23 thoughts on “Comparing Fairy Tales, Old and New

  1. In this post, I will be comparing two stories. One of them, Rumpelstilskin, is a Grimm fairy tale. In this story I will be focusing in particular on Rumpelstilskin himself, the little man who helps the girl make straw into gold. The second story which I will be comparing this too is the Jungle Book, and specifically the character of Baloo the bear. Both stories were/are very popular for their time, and both include a character which acts as both a sidekick, and also as a manipulator of the main hero.
    In the story of Rumpelstilskin, a little girl finds herself in a desperate situation, needing to create gold out of straw by the morning for her King. During the night, while she stresses over what to do, a little man sneaks into the room she is locked in, and offers to help her. This man is Rumpelstilskin, and he tells her that he will spin the straw for her, and in turn she will give him her necklace. This happens, and the next several nights the same transaction goes down, but each time Rumpelstilskin gets something else from the girl, until she has nothing left to give him. When this happens, he demands her first born child, and having no other choice, the girl agrees. Obviously the girl does not want to make this deal, and when the time comes that she has her first child, she desperately finds a way out of the situation, by guessing the little man’s name. In the Jungle Book, Mowgli also finds himself in a desperate situation, being alone in the woods. Mowgli eventually runs into Baloo the bear, who offers to help him if he will do a task for him. This task is to get honey from a bee hive which Baloo cannot reach. Mowgli gets stung badly, as Baloo knew would happen, but in turn Baloo gives Mowgli a place to stay and takes care of him for a while. Although Baloo’s intentions were just to use Mowgli to get the honey, he finds himself gaining affection for the boy, and they become close friends.
    Both Rumpelstilskin and Baloo are sidekick figures in the story, as they both provide help to the main character. They also are clearly very manipulative in nature, as Rumpelstilskin takes several things from the little girl in return for his help, and Baloo convinces Mowgli to retrieve honey from a hive of angry bees. The difference between these two characters is the level of manipulation present. Rumpelstilskin decides that he will take the little girls first born child, which is a very steep price to pay for weaving straw into gold. Baloo only asks Mowgli to climb and retrieve honey, and although he does get stung, Baloo really helps Mowgli in return and becomes a very good friend to Mowgli. There is compassion in the end, while in Rumpelstilskin, there is anger in the end as the little girl guesses his name and no longer has to turn over her child.
    Although these two texts ultimately do portray similar lessons to be learned, and have similar plot lines in terms of a main character coming across a sidekick and making a deal with them, they are extremely different as Rumpelstilskin is very dark compared to the light and enjoyable Jungle Book. This shows the difference between what a fairy tale represented at the time of the Grimm brothers and what a fairy tale was to Walt Disney in his time. The Grimm story is much more extreme than Disney’s, and ends much differently, but they both include a very manipulative sidekick who sets out to benefit from helping the main character. However, because it is a Disney movie, there is a happy ending, as Baloo the bear stays with Mowgli instead of screwing him over, and they become great friends. This could be because people in our day and age like happy endings, and Disney is a business, so they want to appeal to what people like. In the time of the Grimm brothers, when life was much tougher and sadder, people might’ve been able to relate to something a little darker, or might’ve enjoyed reading a story about somebody in a worse situation than they are. This difference is very interesting if you look at it that way, that although the two stories could be similar in a way, they are very different because of the time period they were written in.

  2. For this post, I decided to compare and contrast “Little Red Cap” by the Grimm Brothers and the modern day version of the same story, “Little Red Riding Hood”. To start, both stories include a young girl traveling to her grandmother’s house in a spooky forest due to the grandmother being ill (in the modern day the girl brings food and in the Grimm version she is bringing wine and cake). On the girl’s way to her grandma’s, she encounters a big wolf in both tales. However, in the Grimm tale, she is persuaded by the wolf to go off the path and pick flowers while in the modern tale she simply ignores the wolf and heads to grandma’s house. One very critical and disturbing difference between these tales is that while Little Red is picking flowers in Grimm’s version, the wolf sneaks into the grandma’s house and gobbles her up, then disguises himself like her and in the modern tale, he simply just locks her in the closet (clean version for the children!). Red Cap finally reaches her grandma’s house to find her in bed, and notices that there is something off about grandma in both stories. Scarily enough, in the Grimm tale, the wolf jumps at her and eats her as well, while in the sanitized version, a woodsman intervenes before the wolf can harm the child and scares the wolf away. However, in the less pure version, the wolf goes to sleep after his meal and a hunter hears the wolf’s snoring, thinks its the grandma, and goes to check up on her. The hunter realizes the wolf ate up Little Red and the grandma, so he takes an axe and cuts the wolf’s belly open to save the two (they’re miraculously still in one piece). Then they fill the wolf’s stomach with stones so that when he awakens, he’ll fall to the floor and die (which he does). Both end with Little Red and her grandmother enjoying the food she had brought over and ravishing in the thought of the wolf being gone. It is quite obvious that the Grimm (originally a Perrault tale, actually) is a lot more gruesome and non-kid friendly than the adapted Disney version. Before reading the Grimm edition, I already knew their stories were much more dark then Disney’s, but I never imagined it to be that gruesome (which is not necessarily bad). The original story of Little Red Riding Hood definitely is not all happiness and is a dark twist on what modern day fairly tales are. It shows just how much fairy tales have changed since the Grimm Brothers’ time. All in all, I believe the moral of “Little Red Cap”, especially known as “Little Red Riding Hood”, is to not trust big bad wolfs, cause they will for sure eat your granny up.

  3. In this blog post, I want to compare and contrast the story of Cinderella from the Grimm’s Fairy Tales versus Walt Disney’s version. They both have important morals in the story meant to teach a lesson as well as are meant to entertain, but something that makes the two very different is that Grimm’s version is definitely meant to be a lot darker than Disney’s version and might not be considered appropriate for children.
    For example, when Cinderella’s step sisters couldn’t fit into Cinderella’s shoe, Cinderella’s stepmother gave them a knife and told them to cut off parts of their foot in order to fit into it. The gory part is that the stepsisters actually do it. That is something that you don’t see in Disney’s version probably since it isn’t the most child friendly. Another incident that occurs in the ending of Grimm’s version is that in the end, the stepsisters get their eyes pecked out by the pigeons and end up going blind, which again is something you don’t see in Disney’s version.
    Overall, Grimm’s version and Disney’s version to do share a lot of differences such as instead of there being a fairy godmother there are magical pigeons and so on and so forth, but they still manage the share the same idea of what we know of fairytales. Cinderella’s mother still passes away, she still has two evil stepsisters, she still ends up with her prince, and she still ends up with a happy ending in both stories. Grimm’s version may have incidents that may be darker than Disney’s, but they still have the same moral of being kind and compassionate towards others.

  4. For this post, I will be comparing the Grimm’s original fairytale of Cinderella to Walt Disney’s modern version. Both stories start off with the death of a young girls mother who’s father remarries an evil, cruel women with two daughters. The young girl is turned into a servant by her wicked stepmother and must sleep on the floor in the cinders. She is later given the nickname, Cinderella. Also, in both stories she meets Prince Charming who finds her glass slipper to later put back on her foot and discover she is his true love. One of the minor differences I came across while reading both stories is in the Disney version, Cinderella has a room to sleep in at the top of the house, where in the Grimm’s version she has no bed at all. Instead, she sleeps in the kitchen in front of the wreath, where it is warmest. However, one of the biggest differences I came across is that there is no fairy godmother in the Grimm’s version! Instead she plants a twig her father gave her at her mothers grave which eventually grows into a Hazel Bush and when Cinderella goes to the grave and weeps, a white bird comes up to her giving her what she wishes for. The white bird is similar to the fairy godmother in the modern version because they both are out to help Cinderella and protect her with their magic. It is obvious the Grimm’s version is far more violent than the modern one towards the end when the pigeons ended up pecking out each of the stepsisters eyes, making them go blind. You would never see that in the Disney one because it is made for a younger audience to watch. All in all, both versions had significant morals that were meant to teach lessons. They were both meant to provide amusement to children, but the Grimm’s version was intended to be a lot more violent and darker than Disney’s kid friendly version. To take a note, both of these stories were written in a different time era which is a major contributing factor to why the original version is more gloomy and pessimistic.

  5. In this blog post I will be comparing Rapunzel from the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale story, and Rapunzel from the Disney film Tangled. Rapunzel is a very well-known story to children and adults, and thanks to Disney she is now an extremely popular and loved princess. Both stories seem to teach a moral lesson, but still manage to keep the audience entertained. The Grimm Brothers’ version may seem a little less suited for kids than the Disney version is.

    In the Grimm Brothers’ version of the classic fairy tale, there is a man and a woman who had a daughter. Their daughter was kidnapped by an evil sorceress, when she caught the man stealing a rapunzel from her garden. It was then that the sorceress locked the daughter in a tower where she was to stay. One day a prince found her tower and repeated the phrase the sorceress used to get into the tower. When Rapunzel let down her hair the prince climbed it and the two fell in love. They planned Rapunzel’s escape, but the sorceress had figured it out. She cut off Rapunzel’s hair and sent her into the woods. The sorceress then tricked the prince into climbing the tower. When he had heard what had happened he threw himself off the tower and poked his eyes out on the thorns below. Mourning, he eventually found Rapunzel (who had given birth to twins) and together they lived happily ever after.

    While the Disney version includes a relatively similar plot, Rapunzel is actually the one of royalty in it. Her “knight in shining armor”, Flynn Rider, is actually a wanted thief. When Rapunzel was born she had magic glowing hair that was able to heal any injury/illness. Because of this, an evil woman, Mother Gothel, kidnapped her and locked her away in a tower when she was just a baby. Rapunzel grew up thinking Gothel was her mother, and had never stepped foot outside the castle at all. One day Flynn Rider, while being chased by the kingdom’s guard, stumbled upon the tower and climbed it in order to hide safely. He wasn’t aware someone was in the tower, unlike in the Grimm Brothers’ version. Together they go on a journey to see the “floating lights”. They discover the truth about Rapunzel being the lost princess, reunited with her family, and Mother Gothel is presumed to be dead.

    Some of the similarities that can be seen in both the Disney and Grimm Brothers’ version is the character Gothel. In both versions, she tricks the prince/Flynn into climbing the tower. In the Grimm Brothers’ version, he injures himself, while Gothel stabs him in Tangled. Another plot point they both share is the cutting of Rapunzel’s hair. However, in the Disney version this is more dramatic because Flynn is dying and now Rapunzel can no longer heal him with her magic hair. Both versions of the fairy tale share a similar theme of rebellion. Gothel tells Rapunzel not to let anyone but her up in the tower, yet in both stories Rapunzel does quite the opposite. I also found it interesting that even though the Grimm Brothers’ version was much more gruesome, the Disney version had its fair share of violence in it as well. While the Grimm Brothers’ version is more adult-friendly (the childbirth, the violence, etc.) the Disney version is definitely child-friendly. Full of comedy, cute animal sidekicks, and a touching family reunion, it offers people a muh happier perspective on the classic fairytale.

  6. The story of Cinderella has become a classic fairy tale with many adaptations. When one thinks of Cinderella, it is likely that his or her initial thought is the Disney version, rather than the original Grimms’ tale. Disney took the original plot and made it more suitable for children. In addition, they altered and erased several aspects. One of the most memorable scenes from the Disney movie is when Cinderella takes scraps of her stepsisters’ clothes, and with the help of some singing mice, she makes an entirely new dress only to have it ripped apart by her ugly step siblings. This scene was completely added in and was not a part of the original tale. When Cinderella is finally granted a beautiful dress and shoes in the Disney version, they are given to her by her fairy godmother. In the Grimms’ story, Cinderella cries over her mother’s grave and a pigeon drops the clothing down to her. It can be speculated that the Disney movie cut this moment out to eliminate the elements of grief and death from the story; two concepts that are not child-friendly. Another reason for altering this scene is the idea of a fairy godmother. Little girls who watch the movie are more likely to wish for a fairy godmother than a magic tree and pigeon simply because it adds to the glamour and splendor of the moment. A noticeable difference in this scene is the color and material of the outfit she is given. In the Disney movie, Cinderella wears a blue dress and glass slippers. In the Grimms’ tale, she wears an outfit made of all gold. Although the two versions are very different, the main plot and moral of the story remain in tact. Cinderella never lashes out at her spiteful stepfamily and in return, she has a magical, fairytale ending. Readers and watchers of Cinderella all learn that even in troublesome times, if you are a good person, your life can go the way you desire it to.

  7. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was Disney’s first crack at adapting a Grimm Brother’s fairy tale for the big screen, and so I thought it would be interesting to compare the two and see how Disney approached this remaking on their first try. While both stories are centered around the main character Snow White, her seven dwarfs, and her evil Stepmother who’s out to get her heart, there are many little changes that disney made to make it a little more kid friendly, and a bit happier given the times.

    In the Grimm Brother’s version, it begins with a queen who pricks her finger with her needle while it is snowing, causing three drops of red blood to fall on the white snow on a black windowsill. She talks about how she wishes she had a child with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony. She soon has a child who she names Snow White, and she unfortunately dies shortly after. Snow White’s father soon remarries a beautiful but evil woman, who is obsessed with being the most beautiful woman in the land. She asks her magic mirror every day “who is the fairest in the land?”, and while he usually answers “My queen, you are the fairest in the land,” one day he tells her that Snow White is the fairest. The Queen is furious. Eventually, the angry queen orders a huntsman to kill Snow White, and as proof that Snow White is dead, the queen demands that he returns with her lungs and liver. However, when the huntsman has Snow White, he finds that he is unable to kill her, so he lets her in on her stepmother’s plan, and brings the Queen the heart of a wild animal. Meanwhile, Snow White begins her journey away from home, and lands upon a cottage owned by seven dwarfs who allow her to stay with them in exchange for housekeeping. When the Queen goes to check the mirror again, she finds that Snow White is still the fairest, and the huntsman did not fulfill his task. She goes out to kill Snow White herself, trying three times with a too tight corset, a poison comb, and finally a poison apple. The apple is the one that finally gets her, and when the dwarfs find her body, they assume that she is dead, and place her in a glass casket. After a short period of time, a prince traveling through the land sees Snow White and instantly falls in love with her. The dwarfs let him have Snow White and the moment he lifts the coffin to carry it away, the piece of poisoned apple falls from between her lips and Snow White awakens. The prince declares his love for her and soon a wedding is planned. The two invite the evil Queen, and as a punishment, she is forced to wear burning-hot iron shoes and dance until she drops dead.

    Disney’s plot is very close, but not too close. It’s about the same central plot, Evil Queen stepmother wants Snow White dead, ordering a huntsman to bring her Snow’s heart (instead of liver and lungs). He can’t kill her, she runs and finds the dwarf’s cabin, lives there as a housekeeper, queen finds her and this time only gives her the poison apple (nothing else), which she eats and subsequently dies from. To me, there were two huge changes made, first being in the Disney version, instead of a Prince buying Snow White off of the dwarfs and then accidentally dislodging the apple from her throat, she is resurrected by a true love’s kiss. This change was made to give the movie a more romantic meaning for the two to be together, which would be more appealing to the modern audience of that time. While the original ends with the Queen dancing to her death, the Disney version has her die off much earlier, having her fall off a cliff instead. This to me feels like they wanted her death to seem more like it was caused by karma instead of Snow and the Prince. Perhaps it would’ve made the two characters less likeable to audiences if they showed their more vindictive side. This move could’ve also been made again to make it more child friendly. It’s also important to point out that this movie was released during the great depression, a time where people went to the movies to escape their terrible lives. They need happy endings, and so Disney provided by changing Snow White into this uplifting story about true love winning over evil in an effort to give hope to the hopeless.

    Overall, the two are not too different. Except for the two major changes they’re practically the same, and I’d say I was a bit surprised at that. Most of the time the original and the adaptation are on two ends of the table, but this one seemed to meet somewhere in the middle. Both pretty much have that moral of good will win and evil will fall, and evidently it feels like the changes were mainly made to appease children and those hit by the depression. By comparing the original Snow White with Disney’s Snow White, we see that their first attempt was quite a faithful one, keeping the same ideals and only changing certain points to fit their audience and the time.

  8. In this post I would like to compare the original tale of “Beauty and the Beast” to the Disney remake. Beauty and the Beast originates from the Grimm tales and is one of the most inticing tales of all. The original tale includes a girl with two sisters that all get granted wishes. Their father, a widower merchant raised the three daughters and three sons. All the daughter were beautiful, but the youngest, Beauty was the most kind of all and well rounded. The other sisters were selfish and cruel and were jealous of beauty. Their father had lost most of his money and on one journey home he became lost and dazzled and stumbled upon a palace, then he entered. He spends the night and when he awakes he remembers beauty had wanted a rose. Laying in the garden was a beautiful red rose and shortly after he had ripped it from the soil, he was confronted by the hideous beast. A deal was made between the beast and Beauty’s father. Beast stated that the merchant or one of his daughters must return after the rose is taken. Beauty travels to the palace and lives with Beast for months and they fall in love. Everything up to this point is accurate is the Disney movie as well. The Disney film actually adds a character as another “boyfriend” figure named “Gaston”, but he does not exist in the original. Belle is Beauty in both versions and her intelligence is consistently seen throughout both versions. This is one of the first stories of a women having an independent structure alone and showing she has more brains than most males. This shows women have become more of a dominant role in stories in 1812, when the Grimm stories were written. The Disney version incorporates a talking candle and tea cup to adapt for children and the Disney version also leaves out the evil sisters plan to keep belle home and upset Beast and have Beast eat her alive. Both versions relate closly. The story is very accurate even today, but little changes had to be made whether it was the talking cups, less violent actions, or a less scary beast it became a staple for Disney children movies.

  9. When one thinks of “Cinderella” it seems to be a common occurrence that the person asked would reference the Disney adaptation rather than the actual Grimm’s fairytale. Disneyfication at its’ finest – the animated movie is leaps and bounds different from the original fairytale itself, while they do seem to follow the same unified plot. In Disney’s adaptation, Cinderella is depicted as a beautiful woman with many small animal friends such as mice and songbirds that do her bidding for her, making her a dress out of scraps from her stepsister’s old clothing and working as her own personal sidekicks – a lot different from the slightly less appealing pigeons that seem to follow Cinderella around in the original tale. The catalyst for the action that has become synonymous with the story of Cinderella, when Cinderella meets the Prince at the ball has been portrayed differently in the original and in the Disney movie. In the original fairytale, Cinderella simply decides to just leave the ball and her shoe happens to be left behind, in the movie she has to leave because the fairy godmother’s spell expires at midnight. The fairy godmother does not appear at all in the original version, rather Cinderella gets her wish granted by a white bird after crying on her mother’s grave, death symbols most certainly being something that Disney would want to shield children from. While the stepsisters in both the movie and the fairytale are indubitably wicked, Disney takes a much more child friendly approach to their comeuppance. In the movie, the stepsisters do nothing but watch the slipper fit Cinderella and wish it was them. In the original, the stepsisters actually cut off parts of their feet so that the slipper may be able to fit them, a much more grotesque and violent approach. More than just losing pieces of their feet, the stepsisters also see their eyes get pecked out by pigeons by story’s end. The Disney version of the tale has much more splendor and spectacle about it, shielding viewers from the darkness and violence that the original tale held. What the original tale does in violence and bloodshed Disney does in magic and illusion – children are instructed to stay in line and be a generally good person, in turn they would become rewarded in some way just like Cinderella.

  10. In this blog post, I will be comparing Rumpelstiltskin to the fairy godmother in the dismay movie Cinderella. Although the stories have two very different plot lines, Rumpelstiltskin and the fairy godmother have more in common than you would think. First, when Rumpelstiltskin appears to the miller’s daughter the first time she is at her lowest point. The poor girl is given the task of spinning straw into gold which is obviously an impossible task and therefore Rumpelstiltskin appears in her time of need. In Cinderella, the fairy godmother explains to cinderella that she is the embodiment of Cinderella’s hope and therefore she did not appear until Cinderella was at her weakest point. Without being said, their motives are slightly different as the fairy godmother is an extension of Cinderella herself while Rumpelstiltskin is simply just trying to feed on children.
    Another similarity that Rumpelstiltskin and the fairy godmother share is the aspect of their supernatural powers. Rumpelstiltskin manages to change straw into gold which is clearly not possible fully exhibiting his supernatural powers. The fairy godmother also performs magic multiple times throughout the Disney movie as she changes a pumpkin into a carriage, mice into horses, a horse and dog into humans, and turning cinderella’s tattered dress into a white gown with two slippers. Both acts are obviously impossible to the common person and therefore shoes how similar the pair are. Although Rumpelstiltskin and the fairy godmother are almost completely opposites, they do in fact share some key similarities.

  11. The Disney version and the Grimms brothers version of Cinderella both share similarities and differences. Both stories start off with Cinderella’s mother dying, which causes her new stepmother to make her a servant and treats her poorly. Her stepsisters also treat Cinderella very poorly. In both stories, the stepmother doesn’t allow Cinderella to go to the prince’s dance even though she completed the tasks her stepmother gave her. Cinderella eventually made her way to the prince’s dance and loses her slipper, in which the prince finds and matches her foot to the slipper. They then get married and live happily ever after. These stories both share the same theme which is good-hearted and kind people will have good things happen to them because of their good character.
    In the Grimms brothers version, Cinderella has no fairy godmother, but she does have a hazel tree where a white bird would come and grant her one wish for every time she came to the tree. When the prince comes to find the match for the slipper the oldest stepsister cut off her toe to fit in the slipper and the youngest one cut off a part of her heel to fit in the slipper. The birds called out the stepsisters because the slipper was bloody and thus made Cinderella the match. The birds then pecked the stepsisters’ eyes out, which shows one huge difference between Disney’s version of Cinderella to the Grimms brothers version.

  12. I will be comparing the Grimm Fairy Tales to the musical and movie, Into the Woods. This movie follows multiple storylines of characters from Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella. Unlike most modern adaptations of early fairytales, this musical stays true to the darkness of the original stories. Into the Woods has two acts. The first act ends happily, like most modern fairy tales would, then in the second half we see what happens after happily ever after. This musical is for adults as well as mature children because death is depicted, sex references are made, and mature topics are touched upon, including pedophilia, and infidelity.
    Although, this musical outlines the dark aspect of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales, the movie changes the storylines of the characters so that their stories can intertwine. An example of this is Cinderella’s prince and Rapunzel’s prince becoming friends. Also, in the musical version, Rapunzel’s mother (the witch,) has a need for the magic cow that Jack, from Jack and the Beanstalk, trades for the magic beans. The Grimm’s Fairy Tales were also spruced up by the adding of musical numbers and scores for audiences to find more appealing. The original fairy tales did not have music, and did not have overlapping characters. The princes were noble and they did not cheat. The good characters in fairy tales were viewed as ideal perfect characters, whereas here they are just complex humans. This factor, is significant, because the fact that you feel somewhat bad for the bad guy in the musical, is not common in the Grimm Fairy Tales.

  13. In this blog post I am comparing Rapunzel and the modern version, Tangled. The Grimm’s story of Rapunzel is about a woman who wants this Rapunzel plant she sees in her neighbor’s garden. She longs for the Rapunzel and says if she does not have it she will die. Her husband stole the Rapunzel for her and get caught by the owner of the garden, a sorceress. She makes a deal with the husband stating that he can take all the Rapunzel he wants if she can have his first born and he agrees. The woman gives birth and the sorceress takes her and names her Rapunzel. Rapunzel was described as the most beautiful child with long hair as fine as spun gold. At age twelve Rapunzel was locked in the tower and the only way in was if the sorceress would say “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let your hair down to me.” One day, in passing, the prince heard Rapunzel singing and he had to climb up to see her but he had no way up. He hid behind a tree and saw the sorceress ask her to let down her hair. The next day he tried and it worked and he climbed into the tower. The prince and Rapunzel decide that he will bring her silk every day until she creates a full ladder to climb down the tower so they can run away together. The sorceress found out and cut off Rapunzel’s hair then banished her to live miserably in the wilderness. When the prince came, the sorceress let down Rapunzel’s cut hair and told him he lost her. In reaction, he throws himself out of the tower and gets his eyes poked out by thorns upon landing. He wandered the woods until he found Rapunzel by hearing her voice.
    The modern Disney version, Tangled is extremely different. The main similarities are that Rapunzel gets taken from her mother and gets her hair cut. Tangled is about a princess, named Rapunzel, who gets stolen by this evil sorceress because she holds magical powers within her hair which keeps the sorceress young. So, the sorceress locks Rapunzel in the tower so no one else can use her powers. One day a common thief, Flynn Ryder, running from the palaces guards and stumbles upon Rapunzel’s tower, he climbs up and she knocks him out. When he wakes up she makes a deal with him to take her on a journey to see the lanterns. Throughout their journey, they fall in love and she discovers that she is the missing princess. She returns to the tower where the sorceress chains Rapunzel and Flynn up. She stabs Finn and when Rapunzel goes to say goodbye Finn cuts her hair and the sorceress dies and Rapunzel saves Flynn and they live happily ever after.
    Both the stories follow a similar plot the differences are that Rapunzel in Tangled is royalty and not a commoner but Flynn is a commoner and not a prince. Also, Rapunzel in the Disney version is a lot more independent and capable of taking care of herself. The endings to the stories are very different besides the cutting of the hair.
    The “lessons” that can be learned from the stories are different too. The Grimms version does not really have a lesson besides do not make a deal with the devil. Tangled has a lot of revenge in it and the people seeking revenge never win.

  14. For decades Disney has been taking different fairy tales and adapting them for a younger and more modern audience for years. After a lengthy break from this, the 2010 movie Tangled brought this strategy back in a huge way. This film adapts the Brothers Grimm tale of Rapunzel. While Tangled is an adaptation of the story Rapunzel, there are many major differences between the two. The first major difference is Rapunzel’s hair. In the original tale, Rapunzel just had long hair, but in Tangled, Rapunzel had magical hair with the power to heal people. Next is Gothel. In the Grimm tale, Gothel is a fairy who confines Rapunzel in the castle at the age of twelve because her parents made a deal with Gothel. In the Disney film, Gothel is a selfish woman who kidnaps Rapunzel to help keep her young and beautiful with her healing powers. Gothel is the antagonist in both, imprisoning Rapuzel for her entire life, and in both she actually does a lot of evil things. Next is the “prince” character. The prince is just that in the Grimm version, a random prince who thinks Rapunzel is cute, but in the Disney version he is a thief named Flynn Ryder who happened upon the tower when he was running from guards. He has much more personality in the Disney version, turning this random dude into a realistic human being. The largest difference is the romance between Rapunzel and the prince. In the Grimm tale, they meet and instantly have sex in the tower, but in the Disney version, their relationship is more natural. They start as complete strangers and it is only through their journey that they learn to love and care for each other. The ending is also hugely changed. The Grimm version was, of course, much more grim and dark. Rapunzel was trapped in her tower chained up for a few years with her twin children while the prince was sad until he finally found her again. In the movie, Flynn found Rapunzel very quickly and after he was stabbed by Gothel, he cut Rapunzel’s magic hair to save her leading to Flynn’s death. Rapunzel then cried and her tars brought the dead Flynn back to life. Of course there is also the fact that the journey never even happened in the original tale a well, but that difference would require me to retell most of the movie.

    • Rapunzel in Tangled is also a much more capable and independent character in Tangled than she is in the Grimm tale because of the differences in today’s society than the society in Grimm tale times.

  15. The two stories that I chose to compare were Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Grimms Little Snow-White. They both include an evil stepmother, who is wicked, and has anger and hatred towards Snow White. She also wants to be the fairest of them all in both Grimms and in the Disney version. In the Disney movie the step-mother says “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” And in the Grimms she says “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Who in this land is fairest of all?” which have the same meanings. A difference between Little Snow-White and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is that we are told about the seven dwarfs and their names in the movie, while in Grimms we are not told the names of the seven dwarfs but rather just told the number of each that is talking. In both, Snow White was the fairest of them all. In Grimms version, the prince is only present after snow white’s death, while in the Disney version, the prince was with her earlier and fell in love with her before she died.
    They both share the basic plot points including the dwarfs, stepmother, Snow White, and the prince, but Disney softened up the story and made it more kid friendly and not so blunt. Overall, the Grimms and Disney’s versions did share some differences, but there are many similarities between the two and Disney did a good job with recreating the Grimms version and making it more desirable.

  16. In this essay, I will be comparing the bird in “The Mouse, The Bird, and The Sausage” to the Disney princess Ariel. Although these two characters may seem extremely unsimilar at first, they both suffer from similar problems in certain ways. In “The Mouse, The Bird, and The Sausage”, the birds main job is to collect wood for the fire. One day he was talking to one of his fellow birds, and the other bird bragged of how great his life, making the bird jealous. He ends up trying to make the Sausage do something other than his job, as well as the mouse, and the sausage, the bird, and mouse all die in the end. Somewhat similarly, in Ariel, the mermaid princess is offered up a bargain. The princess longs to be with the prince, and she offers to lose her voice in order to visit land while she tries to get the prince to love her. She ends up getting her voice back in the end, but the main similarity here is that she made a major risk seeking something greater. This is the main similarity for these two stories. These stories are also very different in many ways, of course. I mean how does one really compare a bird, mouse, and sausage to Ariel the mermaid anyway? A huge difference is definitely the endings. In The Little Mermaid, the ending is a lot happier, which is a major them throughout Disney movies. They take these tales which initially had sad or bitter endings, and made them into something that almost everyone can appreciate and love, a happy ending. It seems like while the Grimm brothers rendition of “The Mouse, The Bird, and The Sausage” was meant to tell people not to go chasing something better, In “The Little Mermaid” the writers were more leaning towards telling people to pursue their goals and take risks, which in the end will pay off. This is definitely representative of almost every Grimm Brothers story pitted up against any Disney story.

  17. In this post I will be comparing Grimm’s Rapunzel to the modern day version of Tangled. In the original Rapunzel, a woman and a man is longing to have a child but they did not have any luck. It just so happen one day that the woman look outside her window and sees a beautiful garden with filled wonderful flowers and herbs. She sees a bed full of rapunzel and asked her husband to go get it for her but the garden belong to the sorceress has magical powers and everyone is afraid of her. However, the man sees how weak his wife is and went into the sorceress’s garden to steal some of the rapunzel for her. On his second night back, the sorceress caught him and says that if he want to keep the rapunzel, he must give her their first child. The man agrees to the condition and when the child is born, the sorceress took the child raised her and named her Rapunzel. On Rapunzel 12th birthday, the sorceress took the child and locked her in a tower with no visible entrance but only one tiny window. Every time the sorceress comes to visit Rapunzel, the sorceress would ask her to let down her long golden hair so the sorceress could climb up. It just so happen one day a prince went by the tower and heard Rapunzel beautiful voice and he wanted so much to see her. When the sorceress came to visit Rapunzel, the prince hides himself to see how the sorceress get into the tower. He saw that she said “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your hair”. The prince gave it a try the next day and when he went up he frighten Rapunzel for being a man. The two fell in love and they made plan for Rapunzel to escapes. However, the sorceress finds out about the plan and cut off all of Rapunzel’s hair and took her to the forest to die. It’s finally time for the prince to come and rescue Rapunzel but when he gets there, he realize that it is too late. Overwhelm with grief, he jumps out the window and is badly blinded by the thorns. He wanders in the forest for years until he finally meets Rapunzel and her tears miraculously fell into his eyes and he could see clearly once again. The two lived happily ever after.
    The modern version of Rapunzel, Tangled, is somewhat different. For example, Rapunzel is kidnapped in the middle of the night by Mother Gothel when she is just born unlike the Grimm’s version where she is taken away at the age of twelve. In the Disney, all Rapunzel ever wanted to do is to go see the lantern festival that occurred every year in honor of her being away from her parents whom are the king and queen. Instead of having a prince that falls in love with her, she fell in love with a thief. Rapunzel did not suffers the same fate in this modern version by being cast alone in the woods instead she got help from Flynn, the thief, and her pet a chameleon. Flynn did not get poked in the eyes by thorns like the prince in the original which Disney made sure not to include this because it is too dark and too grim which is not intended for kids. Disney made this version of Tangled very kid friendly by providing it with vibrant colors, talking animals, and lively music unlike the original.

  18. For my blogpost, I will be discussing the many similarities and differences found in the Brothers Grimm tale Rapunzel, and the enchanted Disney movie Tangled. Both stories are about the beautiful Rapunzel, but have a different start. In the version by Disney, Rapunzel is kidnapped by her ‘Mother’ as a baby, over being given over via a bet with an Evil Witch. Both characters, the Witch and Mother can be seen as cruel and bitter female figures, representing the main antagonist in the story. In the Disney version, Rapunzel has spent her whole life locked up in her tower, while in the written tale, she had only been placed up there at age 12. Rapunzel is known for her beautiful voice and long blonde hair, that play key roles in both version of the story. However, in the Brothers Grimm version, she attracts the attention of a prince, over a thief like in the Disney movie. The next major plot twist between the two if the fate of this love interest. In the Disney movie, they have no issues and naturally fall in love with each other after making it to the lantern festival. This is not the same case for the prince of the Brothers Grimm, who was so disappointed when Rapunzel wasn’t in the tower, that he jumped into a bed of thorns, blinding himself. They do end up finding each other and having a happy ever after, but it occurs in a much different fashion. The main difference between Grimm and Disney is the censorship. As Disney’s main audience is children, they do not want to display violence, or anything taboo that could make a parent uneasy of their child knowing about, like kidnapping. The Grimm stories do not follow this type of censorship and prefer to be blunt when telling the moral of a story. The target audience of these fairytales were a little blurred, so they did not have to worry about sugar-coating the message they wanted to send out.

  19. Rapunzel has, over many years, been rewritten and re-imagined in various ways. Each of these strays further and further away from the original tale by the Grimm Brothers. Recently, Disney’s Tangled took the story to a whole new level.

    In the original tale, Rapunzel’s mother believed that if she ate Rapunzel from the fairy’s garden next door, that she would become pregnant and her husband would go and steal some for her whenever she wanted it. But when he was caught, he agreed to give their unborn child to the fairy if she would spare them, and she agreed. When Rapunzel was born, the fairy raised her. When Rapunzel was 12 years old, she was locked in a tower without doors, the fairy would call up to her to let down her hair so that she could see her. Later, she started having relations with a prince and had planned to escape. The fairy, having heard this, cut Rapunzel’s hair and dropped her into the woods where she “suffered greatly.” The fairy tricked the prince into meeting her in the tower, acting as Rapunzel, and told him that Rapunzel had died. He then jumped from the tower where his eyes were gouged out by the thorns at the bottom. He wandered in the woods blind until he was found by Rapunzel, who had twins, and they lived happily ever after.

    The Disney version is a bit different. In this, Mother Gothel sings to a magic flower to keep herself young. The Queen of the kingdom, who was pregnant, had become ill and had the magic flower found and turned into a soup that healed her. Her child, born not long after, was sought out by Mother Gothel. She discovered that this child, named Rapunzel, had blonde hair that had the same magical abilities as the flower her mother consumed while pregnant with her. Mother Gothel had tried cutting a lock of hair to use to keep herself young, but it turned brown and lost its ability to heal. So, Mother Gothel kidnapped Rapunzel and raised her as her own daughter. The King and Queen, on Rapunzel’s birthday every year, would launch lanterns into the sky in the hopes that it would lead their daughter home. Rapunzel, her whole life, dreamed of going to see these lights that she always saw on her birthday. Later, a man is running from thee guards of the castle who he stole a crown from. He climbed the tower and met Rapunzel who took the crown from him and would only give it back if he took her to see the lights. The movie follows their journey to the festival of lights, during which, they fall in love. All the while, they are being followed by Mother Gothel who tricks her to come back with her to the tower. Flynn Rider, the love interest, goes to save her only to be stabbed by Mother Gothel. Flynn tells Rapunzel that he loves her in his dying breath and cuts her hair so that she could be free. Mother Gothel falls out of the tower and is presumed dead. Rapunzel, in her grief, cries over Flynn and her tear heals him and brings him back to life. They reunite her with her parents and lived happily ever after.

    As one can see, these two tales are more different than they are alike. They both feature an antagonist named Gothel, magic, a tower with no doors, long hair, revenge by Gothel, and a love interest. As is seen in many of the Grimm tales, the story is very short and one dimensional, they feature little to no character development. The Disney version, displays aspects of modern story telling that include character development and a complex plot. Another large difference between these two stories is the themes presented. In the Grimm tale, the main themes include stealing and vilification of sexuality. The Disney tale features themes of dreams, selfishness, and mental abuse via Mother Gothel to Rapunzel. These are the main things that demonstrate the extreme distinctions between these two tales. From these one can infer about the differences between Europe in the 19th century and modern-day peoples.

  20. The characters SnowWhite from the Grimm’s Tales and Merida from Disney’s Brave are vastly different people as a result of a large time gap in their creation. SnowWhite is the picture of a lady, she keeps house for the dwarves, is kind to little old ladies, beautiful, and is naive to the point that it kills her (repeatedly). On the other hand, Merida is a brave, independent girl who wants nothing to do with the plan her parents laid out for her and the “social norms” they are trying to get her to conform to. Where SnowWhite is a part of a charming love story, Merida finds herself on a dangerous adventure to save her family. Back in the mid-1900’s SnowWhite’s damsel in distress act was exactly how women were supposed to act. The moral of the movie was essential to be a good housewife, don’t trust witches (for that was the stigma about little old ladies), and to marry the beautiful man if you wanted to live happily ever after. However, Merida teaches a different lesson about the importance of family, standing up for yourself and what you believe in, and going out there to “change your own fate” (to borrow from Brave). Brave reflects the modern day views that women no longer want to be treated as helpless and should solve their own problems instead of waiting for someone to do it for them. Our picture of fairy tales has evolved since Grimm’s time where it was waiting for the damsel to be saved, married, and the evil one to meet a gruesome demise. Nowadays the expectation is of a strong, typically female (it’s Disney, princesses are still mandatory), main character who goes on an epic adventure, saves the day, and discovers the meaning of family.

  21. I want to compare and contrast the Grimm’s and Disney version of Cinderella. The Grimm’s Version of the tale is meant to be darker than Disney. Before getting into the differences, I want to identify the similarities they have. They both end up having Cinderella living happily ever after wither prince charming. She still has her two evil stepsisters and they both have her mother dying. The differences between them are the slipper scene. In the Grimm’s tale the stepsisters cut apart of them so that the glass slipper would fit. One of them cut of their toe and the other cut off their heel. Another difference is that in the Grimm’s version at the end the stepsisters eyes were being pecked out. One of the other differences that is in the Grimm’s version of Cinderella is that she does not have a fairy godmother. Instead she has a white bird that grants her wishes. At the end both of these versions have lesson they teach. The lesson is that even though times get rough, push through it and you will find happiness in the end. They are both used to entertain and amuse children . Disney would never put the things that were in the Grimm’s version into there work. The events that happen in Grimm’s Cinderella are not very kid friendly for Disney’s liking. They are from different eras so things of amusement are different than what they were back then to now.

  22. Rapunzel is one of the most quotable and memorable fairytales in modern folk lore, if you were to mention the name of the story to anyone they would most likely be able to give you a brief synopsis of what the story entails. However, this modern version of Rapunzel is a fry cry from what the original Grimm story. Therefore, I will be comparing the Grimm version of Rapunzel and Disney’s most recent retelling. Disney’s version of Rapunzel is a funny story about coming of age and being yourself, while the Grimm version of Rapunzel is a story of sacrifice, sex, evil, and possible Stockholm syndrome. The Grimm version provides a backstory that makes Rapunzel a princess, her sick mother-the Queen- is in poor health and they eat a flower that Rapunzel’s future stepmother was harnessing power from. The Grimm’s version is similar but instead of Rapunzel’s mother being a queen she is just a peasant. In place of her magic flower the witch takes Rapunzel for collateral and imprisons her in a tower in the woods. This however is where the two versions split. Instead of growing up and being rescued by a kind-hearted thief like in the Disney version a, not so gallant, knight comes across her tower and begs her to let down her hair. Apparently, he and Rapunzel really hit it off because nine month later Rapunzel is anew mother. This however is after her wicked stepmother blinds her suitor and casts Rapunzel into the woods to die. Obviously, this is not what happens in the Disney version which is a much more child friendly version than the original story. However, both stories end with the couple together happily reunited. The Disney version has them live in a castle happily ever after and the Grimm version has them living as peasants in the woods with Rapunzel probably taking care of her blind husband for the rest of their lives. Strangely enough I can’t help but notice how much sincerer the bond the two characters have in the Grimm version than the Disney version. Rapunzel still loves the knight even after his sight is taken from him, while in the Disney version their “love” seems quite rushed and superficial. In conclusion both stories gave similar plots but very different morals.

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