So anyone today who has seen the awesome Google doodle will notice that it is a comic strip of the Grimm’s Fairy Tale, Little Red Riding Hood. If not, you can always see it on this website after today. I’d like to first introduce you to this article on the Brothers, which I found interesting and informative. Since I am currently reading Philip Pullman’s Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Translation (the American version of the book), I figured it was rather fitting to write a little blog post on them. So as you can figure out, the first volume/edition of Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children’s and Household Tales) first came out in 1812, with a second volume two years later. They had six more editions, with the final coming out in 1857 and is the one most used by everyone, including translators. The Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tales include classics such as CinderellaHansel and GretelSleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, and Snow WhiteBeauty and the Beast is apparently a French tale. According to this website, the reason the Brothers Grimm had so many editions is because the stories themselves were not necessarily child-friendly. “The imagery was often, well, grim, and the stories were crammed with plenty of violence. The concept of a “happy ending” was not one that the Grimms really bought into. Fairy tales and folkloric stories had originated as teaching tools, attempts to warn children of all the dangers they might face in the world through allegory and symbols.Many of the fairy tales were full of blood, gore, sex, evil, vindictive fairies, and some other things you might not want to expose your children to.”

Grimm's_Kinder-_und_Hausmärchen,_Erster_Theil_(1812).coverGrimm's Fairy Tales book cover

I have loved listening to and reading fairy tales since I was little. My aunt used to read my cousin and I the original Grimm fairy tales when I was visiting her house. We used to love to hear them, even the creepy ones. To this day, one of the creepiest stories I’ve heard is The Juniper Tree (aka The Almond Tree), which still gives me the shivers. Fairy tales are something that my best friend and I have in common. We love to read them. They are an escape for us. I have not watched the latest fairy tale shows, Once Upon a Time and Grimm. I do however love the TV series The 10th Kingdom and the movie Ever After (even if they fudged some of the facts), which were ones that me and another friend bonded over. And I loved the Disney movie Tangled. I also love the novels, picture books and comics based on a variation of fairy tales like Shannon Hale’s Goose Girl and Rapunzel’s Revenge series, Paul O. Zelinsky’s Rapunzel (for which he won a Caldecott Medal for in 1998), Trina Schart Hyman’s Little Red Riding Hood (for which she won a Caldecott Honor in 1988), Bill Willingham’s Fables series and Frank Cammuso’s Max Hamm: Fairy Tale Detective series.

Red Riding Hood with mother

Although I love the Disney fairy tales, I know now that their endings are severely edited to make them child-proof. They’re still fun though. For years, my favorite Disney movie was Snow White. I think it was mostly because it was the first full-length Disney film, and she always seemed the less conceited of the princesses. I also like the newer version of the movie, Mirror Mirror with Lily Collins and Julia Roberts. Yes, the movie is corny (I think it’s supposed to be) but the dwarves were hilarious and Julia made for a convincing queen, aka not one that would necessarily kill to get what she wants, but definitely one who is vain, selfish and power-hungry. I’ve not seen Snow White and the Huntsman with Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron, but I’m sure the acting is just as terrible as it is in the Twilight movies (no disrespect to Charlize as I think she’s brilliant).   I have a very love-hate relationship with Twilight as the books were alright and the movies, ok yes they made some parts of the book better. And I am a Team Jacob fan.

Well the original version of Snow White  is very different from the version most of us know. In the original the wicked stepmother takes the boar’s heart from the huntsman sent to kill 7 yr old Snow White in the woods, and eats it. After she discovers that Snow White is still alive (not sure how many years go by but let’s assume she’s probably just a teenager), she dresses as an old peddler woman and sells the child some lace and laces her up so tightly that she “takes her breath away and she fell down as dead.” So the queen goes away, and the dwarves find Snow White later that night, and cut through the laces and she is saved. So the next day, the queen (as a different old woman) comes again, but Snow White won’t let her in. The Queen shows her a beautiful comb, which she has poisoned, and Snow White loves it and gets the woman to comb her hair. She is almost instantly poisoned and then falls down unconscious. The dwarves discover her that night, pull the comb out and she is fine. The queen, infuriated that she is still alive, creates a poisoned apple and dresses as an old peasant woman to give it to her. The queen/peasant knows that Snow White will be wary of poisonous things, so she made the apple so that the white part of it is not poisoned but the red part is. That is the part she gives to Snow White. “But no sooner had she taken a morsel of it into her mouth than she fell to the earth as dead.” The dwarves can do nothing to save her, so they wash and dress her and put her in a clear glass coffin. One day, a prince comes riding by and convinces the dwarves to let him have the coffin. While the coffin is being moved, they jostle Snow White and the piece of apple comes flying out of her mouth and she wakes up. The prince and her are married, and the Queen dances at her wedding in red-hot iron shoes as a punishment for her evil doings.