Mimi's FYS Grimm to Disney Blog

What is a Fairytale?

A fairytale is a short story with magic, imagination, fantasy and enchantment.  Fairytales are known as marchen from the Germans. It all started with the Brothers Grimm in the nineteenth century.  The Brothers  Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm went around Germany gathering their tales from peasants. They would also invite story tellers to their home and the brothers would listen and note down what they heard.  Jacob and Wilhelm dedicated themselves to the study of ancient  German Literature and folklore. They were influenced by people such as Clemens Brentano who was a talented poet. Fairytales were not just for the audience of adults, there were children fairytales. The children fairy tales were about giants, dwarfs, monsters magic places, and enchantments. There was also animal fables in which different animals such as a fox, wolf, dog, cat, and mouse etc. would appear.  Many of the fairytales were of French origin  because the Hasenpflugs were of Huguenot ancestry spoke French at home. The Hasenpflugs were of influence to the Brothers Grimm. The Brothers Grimm took the stories that they heard and made it into something of their own this is called appropriation. The Brothers Grimm version of Sleeping Beauty in 1812 is shorter and a more prudent version with proper behaviors for females and males. They took this story and made it into their own. The Disney version in 1959 is more of male dominance and has the idea of “some day my prince will come. Disney took sleeping beauty and made into a version in which the audience would be more drawn too.  In a fairy tale there is content, structure, and function.  Fairy tales have been adapted based on the Zeitgeist to change societies views on fairytales. Fairytales introduce original tales and people create fairytales with modern morals. In fairy tales there are extremes and contrasts. There are dreadful punishments  and rewards. The tendency towards extremes and contrast are metals and minerals, cities, castles etc. It is to make feelings and relationships into objects and become visible.  There is definiteness, firmness and clarity in fairytales. Fairy tales show a clearly and neatly fashioned world. Fairy tales give girls hope that one day they will find a prince and a happy ending will happen to them. Fairytales are an escape from peoples reality’s.

I chose this course as my First Year Seminar because I love Disney movies. Ever since I was a little girl I have been watching Disney Movies. I think it would be cool to learn the history of fairytales and Disney Movies. I am interested in learning what is behind the fairytales and Disney movies. All my life I have known  the basic stories of these fairy tales but I want to go deeper and analyze what is the meaning of these Disney Movies/fairy tales. This seminar seems interesting and fun, not one of those classes you are forced to take. In this seminar I hope to accomplish learning new things I can share with other people, and improvement of my speaking and writing skills. I want to be able to give a presentation or speak in front of class without talking too fast or reading off a piece of paper. I hope to get better in my writing as I take this seminar, in terms of grammar and my thesis statements. I hope to accomplish getting opportunities and having new experiences. I hope I learn to love reading more from this class because maybe if I am taking a class that I am actually interested in, I will want to read more. My favorite fairytale is Cinderella. Cinderella is the outsider in her family with her step mom and her two evil step sisters but in the end she gets her prince. Cinderella is my favorite fairytale because I love the ending. She works hard everyday and is pushed around but as she goes through all that, she tries to keep a smile on her face and in the end she is rewarded with her prince. I love the animals that play a role in the fairytale, the mice and the birds. My favorite scene is where she and the birds are singing and getting her dressed. I love fairytales that have happy endings.

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