The 1937 Disney film of Snow White shares the same main idea and plot as the original Grimm tale. The main plot of the story is that Snow White is living with a mother figure whom becomes jealous of Snow White’s beauty. Out of jealousy, she spends her days trying to kill Snow White so that the Queen may once again become the fairest of them all. Of course, there is the other main idea of love in the Disney version that helps the story end in the famous “happily ever after”. Similar to most, if not all of Disney’s revisions of the stories, he makes slight changes throughout the movie to make it appropriate for children to watch. In the Disney version, the Queen is still killed, but it is caused by her trying to kill the seven dwarfs. Although death in a Disney movie is still violent for children, it is not as bad when it is an accident like her falling off the cliff because it gives the kids a sense of victory that the evil witch has been destroyed. In the Grimm story the Queen is forced to dance herself to death which would portray a bad message to the younger viewers if Disney were to keep that in his film. Walt Disney makes the tales into cartoons and takes out graphic violence of the story in order for the movie to be seen and enjoyed by people of any age.
|· The Queen uses the mirror to find out that Snow White is fairer than her.
· Queen orders the huntsmen to kill Snow White and he does not do so.
· Snow White runs through the forest to escape from the Queen.
· Snow White finds the dwarf’s cottage.
· Seven dwarfs like Snow White as soon as they see how beautiful she is.
· The poison apple is the cause of her “death”.
· The dwarfs put her in a glass coffin.
· The Queen dies.
· The prince and Snow White get married and live happily ever after.
||1937 Disney Version
|· Snow White is younger.
· Queen tells the huntsmen to bring back her liver and lungs after he kills her to eat them.
· Snow White takes longer to find the cottage.
· Queen does not have magic to use for her disguises.
· The Queen has to try 3 different ways to kill Snow White before she dies.
· The prince buys Snow White in the coffin as if she were a “thing”.
· She regurgitates the apple and is alive.
· Queen is forced to kill herself.
|· Snow White is a bit older.
· The Queen wants Snow Whites heart as proof she is dead.
· Snow White finds the cottage within one day.
· There are animals that appear to understand her and do human-like activities (helping her clean).
· The Queen uses magic.
· The dwarfs’ names are their personalities.
· Queen only uses poison apple to kill Snow White.
· Snow White never regurgitates apple, but is woken with a kiss from the prince.
· Queen dies on accident.
The idea of “rags to riches” is used in many known fairy tales. The story often begins with a female character whom may be poor, or even living in middle class, and meets the male character who is in a higher class than others or often royalty. Fairy tales tend to use this story line as a way of grasping the reader or viewer’s attention and keeping it until the very end when we finally find out if the fair maiden does in fact get rescued by the prince or if Cinderella gets to prove the glass slipper is hers. Although it would be nice if we all had our own fairy godmothers to help us achieve the dream of rags to riches in real life, we know that is not possible through magic. Even though some people may have someone in their life that acts as a fairy godmother because they get everything handed to them, the reality of it is the work that you put towards something to achieve a goal. For example, in order to get hired for a job, you must present a resume and go through an interview to prove to the company that you are qualified and have done previous things to get to where you are and continue doing them to get to where you want to be. I believe that there is a difference in working for what you want and everything being handed to you. You feel a greater sense of accomplishment knowing that you EARNED it and not that you did nothing for it. In Cinderella, she is given a fairy godmother/magic tree to help her appear more beautiful in order to catch the prince’s eye. This is an example of something being handed to you. I think that fairy tales often use this and give kids the false idea that magic does exist and that you won’t have to work for something that you want.
In the real world, there is no magic for us to use to get us into the “riches class”. However, the use of marriage to become rich, famous, or royal is seen in the real world. Many people get married not out of love, but out of need/want of money, home, and power. There have been people in power who decide to marry someone who are not in power yet. The sad truth behind that is the royalty could be marrying out of love, but the person they are marrying may never love them and only be marrying them as a way to achieve power. There may be a small amount of situations that happen like that, but more often than not we all have to use our own power to achieve something that we want at least one point in our lives.
The main plot of Hansel and Gretel is mostly the same for both the original Grimm tale and the remake of it in the MGM film. The story line of Hansel and Gretel tells of a young brother and sister who are living in a lower class family. They have a very close relationship and they would do anything for one another. One day, they get lost in the woods and come across a deceivingly, delicious-looking gingerbread house that happens to be the home of a wicked old witch who lures children in with her tasty baked goods and candies. Once she captures the children she feeds them until they are plump and then bakes them in her large oven so that she may eat the children. This main idea of the story is shown in both the original book and in the more recent movie version. Although the story remains the same, there are many small differences that I noticed.
A difference in the film that stuck out to me was how Hansel and Gretel’s mother acted towards them. In the beginning of the movie she acts as a loving mother. She only shows her dark side when she is disappointed in the children for letting the donkey in the house but when they did not return from picking berries, we could see the look of motherly concern on her face. Another major difference in the movie is the amount of time in which the whole story takes place. In the original story, it takes the children about three days before they come across the witch’s gingerbread house; in contrast, they find the house the same day that they are sent out into the woods to pick berries. A less important difference shown in the film is that there is a lot of singing than in the original tale. Also, after they kill the witch at the end of the movie, her magic stick turns into the gold that brings them wealth whereas in the original tale, they find the gold and jewels in the gingerbread house.
Many of the differences in the stories are only small details. However, the similarities are shown in the main context of the story. For example, in both versions Hansel and Gretel’s family is a poor family with little food. The father in both of the stories appears to be the more loving of the two parents and the mothers, although not nearly as cruel in the movie as she is in the book, portrays a mean mother who does not love her children quite as much. In both of the versions the children get lost in the woods and find the witch’s gingerbread house where she traps them in order to fatten Hansel up so that she may later eat him for dinner.
The version of Hansel and Gretel that we watched was made in 1987 while the original Grimm tale was written in the early 1800’s. There is almost a 200 year difference of the two versions which is a big reason that the director of the movie would have made the changes that he did. Another reason there were changes made was just like many of the other fairy tales that were rewritten; they had to appeal to a wider audience. The original Grimm tales were often written for adults, not children. They usually had a more sexual innuendo behind them. When the Grimm tales were turned into movies, the directors would take that out and make it more appropriate for children by adding singing and talking animals, or in this case talking gingerbread boys and girls. They added the idea of children magically being turned into cookies and the witch’s magic staff magically turning into gold coins. By making these changes, the new version of the movie would be appropriate for children and still be entertaining for adults too.
The main definition of a fairy tale is a story that is often full of magic and almost always ends in a “happily ever after”. They are old tales come from people’s imaginations, experiences, or observations that are rewritten into a story that is appropriate for both children and adults. The basis of a fairy tale is usually the plot that is contained in the story. In most fairy tales the plot occurs close to the beginning of the story and the majority of the movie is spent showing how the characters try to resolve it. For example in Sleeping Beauty, the plot is that Briar Rose becomes cursed by the witch. The curse is announced very early in the story and most of the story tells of the struggles that happen while trying to break the curse and trying to protect her from the spindle. (Zipes p.163). Another characteristic of fairy tales is the repetition in the story. The purpose of repetition is to emphasize the main points of the tale. In the Brothers Grimm film, it repeatedly showed the wolf that was in the enchanted woods and how the main female character continuously recognized her and could see that it was actually her father turned into a wolf. It repeatedly showed this so that we could understand that her father had been put under a spell under the queen’s command. Many fairy tales do not contain detailed descriptions of items in the story. This is because there is often an understood symbolism in the items. A use of symbolism in Sleeping Beauty, or Briar Rose, is the curse that when she falls into a deep sleep from pricking her finger on the spindle at the age of sixteen symbolizes puberty and growing up. Pricking her finger is the equivalent of a female’s first menstruation and falling into a deep sleep meant that she was not ready for puberty and it was a way for her to wait until her body was ready for new changes. Fairy tales also only focus on a small amount of characters in the story. There may be up to six or seven important characters but the story mainly focuses on two or three of them. Often the two main characters are a female and male who in the end fall in love and live happily ever after. The possible third main character is something evil that is trying to make sure there won’t be a happy ending. In the Snow White film there is the prince, Snow White, and the evil step-mother who wants Snow White out of the picture so that she remains “the fairest of them all”.