Having Grimm to Disney be my first year seminar class was truly a great experience. I loved meeting and becoming friends with everyone in the class and learning and growing together.
In terms of the classroom discussions, I loved reading the original Grimm tales of the stories that our generation only knows as a Disney tale. It was very interesting to read the originals and find the differences but also find the similarities that they each have to the Disney films and also the similarities that they each have to some known biblical stories. I was fascinated when I read the original story of Sleeping Beauty because it was very much like the story of the death and rebirth of Jesus. Growing up in a family who has strong beliefs about the Lord and of God, I made the connection immediately.
As I reread my past blogs, I can see an improvement in the way I would talk about the story that we were reading and learning about that week. I can see how my knowledge of fairy tales have changed in a positive way. I know that my professor has said all semester that besides learning about the tales, this goal of this class is to improve our understanding, thinking, and writing skills because we have not peaked yet in terms of those skill levels or else we would not need to be here. I always enjoyed our time in class and discussions of the tales. I will definitely not watch those Disney movies with the same innocent interpretations as I did before coming here ever again. Overall, I would not want my first year seminar class to be anything other than Grimm to Disney and would not have wanted to share my experiences and growth with any other group of people.
When looking at the Grimm tale “Rapunzel” and the new Disney film “Tangled”, there are very obvious similarities between the two stories. The first similarity is the main plot about Rapunzel being locked away in a tall tower with her new mother who is actually an old woman who took Rapunzel when she was young.
Other similarities are that Rapunzel has very long hair and that she has magical healing powers. However, in the Grimm story, no one is aware that Rapunzel has magical powers until the moment when she heals the prince’s blindness. The prince becomes blind after the sorceress scares him out of the tower window and he falls into thorns that pierce his eyes and make him blind.
In Disney’s Tangled, Flynn Rider, who is not a prince but a wanted thief, does not go blind. Instead, Flynn is stabbed by Rapunzel’s mother figure. Rapunzel would normally use her magical hair to heal any wounds but it does not work in this case. However, she begins to cry and the tear rolls down to Flynn’s wound and heals him, just as her tears heal his blindness in Rapunzel.
There are also differences between the two versions of Rapunzel. A first difference is the fact that Rapunzel’s birth mother willingly gives her up to the sorceress because while she is pregnant with Rapunzel, she is craving the Rapunzel lettuce that the sorceress has in her garden next door. On the other hand, in Tangled Rapunzel is taken by the old woman (mother Gothel) because she wants to use her magical hair to keep herself looking young. Rapunzel is also not a princess in the book but in the movie she is the lost princess.
Another difference between the book and the movie is that in the movie, Rapunzel is able to escape from her tower and experience the world and meet new people, while in the book she only knows the prince and the sorceress.
The most important similarity between the two versions is that Rapunzel is able to heal the man that she loves and they both live happily ever after together.
While reading the three seperate stories Bluebeard, Fitcher’s Bird, and The Robber Bridegroom, we can see that the main storyline is similar in all three. All of the stories tell of a woman who is planning to marry a man that she thinks is a good man. The woman does not know that the man in each story is actually a terrible person. The men in each story plan on killing their bride by luring them into a room where he plans to follow through with killing her in a unique way. The man in Bluebeard kills the bride by slitting her throat, the character in Fitcher’s Bird wants to chop her into pieces, and in The Robber Bridegroom wants to cook and eat the woman. Each of these men share the characteristic of a criminal due to the murder that they each commit on the women in the three stories.
It is difficult picking which of the three is my favorite story because they are all pretty disturbing tales. However, I would have to say that Fitcher’s Bird was my favorite because it was the most interesting story to read overall. My least favorite tale of the three would probably be bluebeard because I felt like Bluebeard came off more creepy than the other men in the stories. Although the men in the other two tales were evil and obviously something had to be wrong with them mentally that would make them want to kill these women, I felt like Bluebeard was more creepy.