Mimi's FYS Grimm to Disney Blog

My first year seminar class Grimm To Disney with Professor Esa was a great class. I learned about fairy tale tradition and an overview of famous German Fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm. In class we compared the Brothers Grimm fairy tales to Disney movie adaptations.  We read, discussed and analyzed different fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and Disney film adaptations. We read, discussed, and analyzed the following fairy tales  Sleeping Beauty, Hansel& Gretel, Cinderella, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard & Robber Bridegroom, and Rapunzel. We also watched the fairy tales film adaptations. I learned how the fairytales are illuminated from various perspectives such as feminist, formalist and psychoanalytic approaches. In the first blog I ever wrote it asked why I chose this first year seminar and what is my favorite fairy tale and why. I said I chose this FYS because “ I thought it would be cool to  learn the history of fairy tales and Disney movies. I am interested in learning what is behind the fairy tales and movies. I want to go deeper and analyze the fairy tales . I  did not just learn about the famous folklorist’s such as Charles Perrault, Bastille  and the Brothers Grimm, I learned how to analyze and explain the meaning of the fairy tales  I was able to figure out why certain things are the way they are.  In addition to that I read articles written by Anne Sexton, Gilbert and Gubar etc.  For example we analyzed Snow White, one thing I learned was the queen wanted Snow Whites heart because it represents her love and purity and passiveness that the queen did not have. Disney diverted from the original version of the tale because they wanted to make it appeal to a younger audience. The endings were changed to show little girls that one day their prince will come and save them and have a happily ever after. They also wanted some change so it was not the same old and more modern. We watched the movie Silence of  The Lambs and compared it to Little Red Riding cap. I never would have made the connections and comparisons to the tale and movie because it seemed impossible. I  would not know that Hannibal and Little Red Riding hood have similarities and differences’ if I did not take this class. The wolf in Little Red Riding Hood and Hannibal can be compared because they both are evil villains consuming human bodies.  This First year seminar class was very interesting and informative. I also improved my writing skills for my papers and my speaking skills for presentation. 

BlueBeard

The three versions of Bluebeard are similar and different. The three different versions of Bluebeard are The Fitchers Bird, The Robber Bride Groom, and Bluebeard. Bluebeard is about a man who murders his wives and attempts of one wife to avoid the fate of her predecessors. In blue beard both girls are pushed to marriage and have intellectually curiosity. In all the versions there is sexual temptation and jealousy. The girls have curiosity and are disobedient. They want to know what is in the forbidden room and therefore use the golden key and go in it. In bluebeard the symbols were the egg and the bloody key. In the Fitchers Bird the youngest girl prepared a wedding feast, dressed up a skull and put it in the window, and covered herself with honey and feathers, so she looked like a strange bird. The girl is the “Fitcher’s Bird” by guests and the sorcerer, and tells them the bride is preparing the house. The guests and sorcerer went into the house. But the three sisters’ brothers and relatives barred the doors and burned down the house, so the sorcerer dies. All three versions are unique because they reflect on how people are tempted into their desires easily. I did not like anyone of the three versions the best because they are all similar in away. They have the same basic idea and storyline.

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD AND THE FOUR WOLVES
Title: КРАСНАЯ ШАПОЧКА И ЧЕТЫРЕ ВОЛКА
Translated Title: LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD AND THE FOUR WOLVES
Artist: Рис. Кукрыниксы
Date: (1937)
http://libraries.ucsd.edu/speccoll/lampooningtheright/index.html

This is a political cartoon portraying Little Red Riding Hood and the four bad wolves. The four wolves represents different Countries. The three big wolves represent German, Italian and Japanese leadership. The small wolf represents Spanish nationalists. On little Red Riding Hood the letters on her skirt are Russian meaning peace. On the paper sticking out of Little Red Riding hood is the agreement that did not allow the Spanish to purchase weapons. The weapons under the bed mean they restricted anyone else from getting arms except for the soviets. It is interesting that the Japanese Wolf is in included because Japan was not involved in the Spanish War. This Political Cartoon is Soviet Propaganda. I think this cartoon does a good job representing each countries leadership using the size of the Wolves. This cartoon informs the audience about Soviet control and the people the soviets were allied with. Part of this cartoon represents the desire for peace the citizens want in Russia.

In both the Grimm’s Snow White Version and Anne Sexton’s version of Snow White the Queen and Snow White are in conflict. The main difference between Anne Sexton Version and the Grimm tale version is Sextons version of Snow White refers to a lot of pop culture. She is very direct and adds her own interpretation about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In the poem she refers to the sexual awakening using animals. “The birds called out lewdly, talking like pink parrots, and the snakes hung down in loops each a noose for her sweet white neck. Sextons interpretation of the sexual awakening she uses more modern ideas to explain the sexual awakening. She uses pop culture to make the version of Snow White funnier. In Sextons poem there is time, in the Grimm’s version it is timeless. Sexton talks about the transitional length, she mentions the prince came in June. “ A prince came one June day and would not budge”(Sexton). As the queen dies sexton uses pop culture as she tells the death of the queen. “Red hot in iron shoes, in the manner of red hot roller skates, clamped upon her feet”(Sexton). I like sextons version of Snow White better because she uses pop culture. It is not the same old boring version. She uses words and ideas that keep me interested. In both the Grimm tale and Sextons version of Snow White the queen has hatred towards Snow White because the queens magic looking glass told her Snow White was prettier. The queen is extremely jealous of Snow White and will do whatever it takes to kill Snow White. The queen forces the huntsman to kill Snow White as she goes into the forest. However the huntsman does not have it in him to kill a beautiful child. So instead he lets her go into the forest and kills a boar instead. He takes the lungs and heart out of the boar it gives it to the queen. The queen thinks she has devoured Snow Whites internal organs. Therefore she goes back to the mirror and ask the same question and the mirror responds back “ you my queen may have a beauty quite rare but beyond the mountains where the seven dwarfs dwell, Snow White is thriving and within the realm she is still a thousand times more fair”. The queen is extremely angry with this so she attempts to kill Snow White three different times. The first time she dresses up as an old woman who offers pretty laces. The second time she dresses up as a old peasant woman and offers pretty combs and the third time she is in disguise she offers Snow White a poisonous apple. Snow White asks the dwarves if she can stay and sleep at their house and in exchange she will do the cooking and cleaning. The dwarves are over joyed and are happy with this. They warn Snow White not to open the door to anyone, but since Snow Whites desires are too close to the queens temptations she opens the door three different times and ends up dieing from the poisonous apple. When the dwarves realize she is gone they put her in a glass coffin on the top of a mountain. The prince asks the dwarfs if he could have her as a gift and tells the dwarves he will cherish her and treat her as the dearest possession. As they carry her up the mountain in the coffin they stumble over some shrubs and the jolt caused the poisoned piece of apple that Snow White had eaten to come out of her mouth. Then she wakes up and lives happily ever after with her prince.

The original tale of Snow White by Brothers Grimm and Disney’s film Snow White are very much alike but have differences too. In the original tale of Snow White the queen was sewing and then pricked her finger and then three drops of blood fell on the snow.  She wished for  a child that was white as snow and red as blood and black as wood. The queens wish was fulfilled and she got a daughter who was white as snow, red as blood, and her hair as black as ebony. The queen has a magic looking glass that she asks “ who in this realm is the fairest of them all”. When she asks the mirror it says that Snow White is a thousand times more fair. This makes the queen furious and she now wants to kill Snow White. The queen forces the huntsman to kill Snow White as she goes into the forest. However the huntsman does not have it in him to kill a beautiful child. So instead he lets her go into the forest and kills a boar instead. He takes the lungs and heart out of the boar it gives it to the queen. The queen thinks she has devoured Snow Whites internal organs. Therefore she goes back to the mirror and ask the same question and the mirror responds back “ you my queen may have a beauty quite rare but beyond the mountains where the seven dwarfs dwell, Snow White is thriving and within the realm she is still a thousand times more fair”. The queen is extremely angry with this so she attempts to kill Snow White three different times. The first time she dresses up as an old woman who offers pretty laces. The second time she dresses up as a old peasant woman and offers pretty combs and the third time she is in disguise she offers Snow White a poisonous apple.  Snow White asks the dwarves if she can stay and sleep at their house and in exchange she will do the cooking and cleaning. The dwarves are over joyed and are happy with this. They warn Snow White not to open the door to anyone, but since Snow Whites desires are too close to the queens temptations she opens the door three different times and ends up dieing from the poisonous apple. When the dwarves realize she is gone they put her in a glass coffin on the top of a mountain. The prince asks the dwarfs if he could have her as a gift and tells the dwarves he will cherish her and treat her as the dearest possession. As they carry her up the mountain in the coffin they stumble over some shrubs and the jolt caused the poisoned piece of apple that Snow White had eaten to come out of her mouth. Then she wakes up and lives happily ever after with her prince. The Disney Film is pretty much the same as the Grimm tale there are just some differences. In the movie The prince approaches Snow White as she lays dead in the coffin leans down and kisses Snow White and from there she wakes up and lives happily ever after with her prince.  Also in the movie Snow White when she reaches the dwarves house she gathers all the animals and starts to clean the house without permission. The dwarves come back and they wonder why it is so clean they are so happy and let her stay. In the movie the queen asks for Snow Whites lung and lives not heart and lungs. In the Grimm tale she wanted the heart because it represents her love and purity and passiveness that the queen did not have.  Disney diverted from the original version of the tale because they wanted to make it appeal to a younger audience. The endings were changed to show little girls that one day their prince will come and save them and have a happily ever after. They also wanted some change so it was not the same old and more modern.

Cinderella is a fairy tale that is called one of those “rise tales”. Within the fairytale there is a motif of “rags to riches through magic and marriage”. This motif can be found in many fairytales but it is unrealistic. Cinderella is stuck with her evil step mom and two wicked sisters. Cinderella wears rags as her daily outfit. She is forced to clean everyday and do chores by her evil step mom. They took her bed away and had to sleep next to the hearth in ashes. Her appearance is dusty and dirty in the beginning. In both the fairytale and movie it seems like she is all alone in the world but she is not. In the fairytale she has magical tree and the bird that gives her gifts to make her beautiful. In the movie she has the fairy godmother and the animals that support her. No matter how hard it gets she does not give up. She gets rewarded in the end for all the hard work and negative things she had been through. As she starts out as ordinary girl dressed in rags she is working extremely hard and then transforms into this beautiful princess that is being pursued by a prince. The magical tree and talking animals give her gifts such as gold, a silver dress and silk slippers embroidered with silver. She dances all night long with the prince. Cinderella goes to the magical tree and asks for gold and silver to fall down on her. The magical tree grants her wish and the bird responds by throwing her a beautiful dress that is even more beautiful then before. As she dances the night away with the prince she realizes she has to go and is in a hurry. She leaves a glass slipper behind. The prince runs after her but it is too late, she has gone. He declares his princess is the one who fit’s the glass slipper. There is no doubt in the end the fairytale rises and she ends up happily ever after with her prince. Rags to riches through magic and marriages is not realistic in real life, it only exists in fairy tales. If a person is struggling they cannot reach success with riches, magic or marriage. There is no such thing as magic in the real world. If you are extremely poor, you cannot just go to a tree and ask it to give you money. There is no easy way out of things, you work hard and push through to reach success. Marriages do not help someone reach success. I believe only you can reach success if you work hard and do not give up. To reach success you have friends, family, co-workers, etc to help you. Magic is peoples escape to reality, people want to believe and hope that there is that one guy or girl out there for them. One that will never give up on you and will love you forever. The reality is something’s do not work out and there are bound to be challenges and you do no just get out of things and reach success with magic or riches. There is a movie called Cinderella Story starring Hilary Duff and  Chad Michael Murray. In the movie the girl Sam looses her dad in a earthquake. She is left with the evil step mom Fiona and two wicked sisters. The movie is a high school setting, she starts out as an outcast and made fun of by the popular girls. She has this secret admirer that has been emailing and texting her. They finally meet in the middle of the dance floor at a Halloween dance as she is dressed as Cinderella in disguise and he appears as nomad. The world sees them as two totally different people who do not belong together but in their eyes they are perfect for each other. The popular crowd does not see Sam as normal, they make fun of her and are mad because Austin dumped his super hot ex-girlfriend for Sam. In the end the story rises and she gets her prince in the end. The famous kiss in the rain scene occurs and they live happily ever after and go off to college together. This all happens in a movie and if it does happen in real life it is rare. This is what every girl dreams about in life but in reality it does not happen like this. A person cannot reach success through magic, riches or marriages in the real world!

The original Grimm tale of Hansel &Gretel and the MGM version of Hansel & Gretel are similar and different in many ways. The Grimm tale portrays the mother as a mean, selfish, and uncaring. The family is poor and there is barely any food left. She tells her husband that they will go into the woods and lead their children into the woods so deep so that they cannot find their way back. In both the film and the book the mother is struggling to provide for her family. You have the dad who loves his children dearly and opposes the idea of leaving them in the woods. In the Grimm tale, Hansel starts out making a trail of pebbles as they get deeper into the woods so they can find their way back. The second time he uses bread crumbs to make a trail but then realizes the animals ate the trail therefore they were lost and could not find their way back. In the film the mother is more caring and truly loves her children. Although she yells at them constantly there is still a caring relationship between her and the kids. When the mother comes back to see that her custard and milk was eaten by the goat she is furious, she sends both Hansel & Gretel out into the woods to pick berries. Hansel uses the bread crumbs that the bakery man gave Gretel to make a trail. After finding the berries Hansel & Gretel are lost because the trail of bread crumbs were eaten by the birds. In the Grimm tale the two children stumble upon a house made out of candy. However the gingerbread house in the film is more sophisticated then the one in the Grimm tale. The one in the Grimm tale seems to be made out of cardboard, very plain and dull. In the movie it is this big beautiful delicious house flourishing with candy all around it. The witches differ too because the one in the book is disguised as a man witch and the other one is a women figure. In both versions they are invited into the house to have some food. Later on they realize the grandma is a mean old witch who wants to eat them. The cage in which Hansel is kept it is located differently in both versions. In the Grimm tale Hansel is placed in a cage outside and in the film Hansel is placed in a cage inside the house. In both versions the witch is very mean, ugly and have a good sense of smell. The eyesight of the witches are clearly bad therefore both witches wear an eyeglass around the neck. The way the children defeat the witch are different in both versions. In the Grimm tale Gretel pushes the witch into the oven as the witch was demonstrating how to go into the oven. In the film Gretel takes the witches big stick and reverses the spell hanging her by rope over a stew into the oven. After the children see the witch has died the other children that were trapped in the Gingerbreads were free and the whole house started to melt away. In the Grimm tale Hansel & Gretel cross a river by riding a swan and find their way back home. When they get home the stepmother has died and the father was happy and overjoyed to see his children. In the film Hansel & Gretel run into the father as they find their way back. Both parents are extremely happy to see their and children and they also got the witches treasure. In both versions they lived happily ever after and did not have to live in poverty anymore. The movie directors made these changes because they wanted to show the differences in how a movie can be portrayed. They want to make the audience feelings and emotions change and not be so stuck on one version. The tale is very dull and plain but then the changes made in the film made the audience excited and intrigued.

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