Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blog Entry 5

The Grimm version of “Snow White” was made in 1812 while the Disney film was made in 1937. There a many differences and similarities between the two tales; however, the main difference is the singing and dancing that is in the film. In the film, the tale is portrayed as being more happy and imaginative to the children’s eye. In the Grimm version, I feel as though it is more of a story just being told. The music adds effect to each of the characters, like the dwarfs and Snow White. 
            Another difference in “Snow White” is the dwarfs. In the film, they each have a name and their own personality representing the name that was given to them: Sneezy, Doc, Bashful, Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy, and Dopey. In the Grimm tale, there were no names for the dwarfs. They just all seemed to be the same kind of dwarf because none of them were given different personalities. As someone from the audience, I would think that the 7 dwarfs in the Grimm version were just replicas of each other. But in the film, each dwarf was given their own qualities. In both the film and Grimm version, the dwarfs play one role and that is to protect Snow White. Even though in the Grimm version, the dwarfs also taught her lessons, they still protected her and took her into their home on one condition: for Snow White to also take care of them. She was to be that maternal figure for the dwarfs; cook and clean and do all those other feminine duties.
            The Queen’s death and her weapons used to kill were also a difference in the film and Grimm version. In the movie, she falls off a cliff trying to kill the dwarfs. In my opinion, this death is more children-friendly than having the queen wear red hot slippers and dancing until she dies. Also, in the Grimm version, it was Snow White and the prince who pretty much killed the queen by making her wear the slippers; unlike in the movie where Snow White is still so much more innocent. Plus, in the Grimm tale, the queen tries three times to kill Snow White and they all fail because she is just unconscious, not dead. In the movie, they use the apple as a symbol of deception, temptation, and femininity. The lace and the comb, as used in the Grimm tale, were used as women weapons and a form of femininity also, but were not used in the movie. The apple was more important in the film and was used to kill only once.   
            Lastly, the prince had more of an important role in the movie than in the Grimm version. He was the savior for the “damsel in distress.” In the movie, his kiss is what awoke Snow White of her unconsciousness. In the Grimm version, his need for the glass coffin and the beautiful Snow White in it is what helped to jolt the apple out of Snow White’s throat. This was like an “accidental” save made by the prince (mainly the prince’s servants). I think Disney made this change to help ensure that happy ending just like in “Sleeping Beauty” and in “Cinderella” where a man actually comes and sweeps the lady off her feet and saves her from distress.
            The character Snow White is the most similar in both the Grimm version and the Disney version of the tale. She is still passive and na├»ve. She is not an independent thinker. She is innocent in both versions of the tale. But, in the Grimm version she does add a hint of revenge to her personality by making the queen wear hot slippers until she falls down dead. However, in both tales, she is passive and is very accepting of people and their offers; like with the dwarfs offer of allowing her to stay with them, and with the queen’s offer with the apple (and other feminine weapons in the other version).
            Disney diverted from the original version of the tale to give hope to the people during the Great Depression. A theme I have noticed in the movie was that “good things happen to those who wait” and in Disney’s version of “Snow White” good things happened to Snow White and the dwarfs because they waited. The dwarfs were hardworking little men during the Great Depression and were portrayed to the audience as being rewarded because of their hard work. Disney’s film is very different from the Grimm version of the tale just because Disney brought upon hope and considered the time period of when he was making the film to help the people of the Great Depression look forward to some reward for them not to give up and keep working hard.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Blog Entry 4

Is it possible for someone to reach success or riches with the use of magic or marriage?  This, to me, is not realistic; however, it is realistic in fairy tales and folktales. Cinderella is one of those so-called “rise tales” which features a narrative arc of “from rags to riches through magic and marriage.”  In the fairy tale and in the movie, magic is realistic and actually expected. If it is not through the fairy godmother, then it is through the helpful birds that sing and talk to the prince and Cinderella. Magic is the most important and crucial theme in all fairy tales; especially that of Cinderella. “From rags to riches” is a common motif in these princess-type of fairy tales because the princess (or damsel in distress) is always rescued by a prince. During that journey to her success of finding the prince and becoming a rich princess, the use of magic and marriage may play a role. 
In the Grimms fairy tale of Cinderella, magic was not as easily seen as it was in the Disney movie. In the fairy tale, Cinderella actually married into her success and became wealthy from her marriage with the prince. The birds may have had something to do with some type of magic (because, after all, they were singing/talking birds) but it is mostly seen in the movie. The movie version of Cinderella included a fairy godmother (who was actually known worldwide to be magical) so with the use of her presence, Cinderella reached her success to go to the ball with magic and also reached riches with marriage.
I believe in the sense that in fairy tales, it is realistic that reaching success and/or riches with the use of magic and/or marriage is probable and likely. If this was not fantasy and this was the real world we are talking about, then magic will not help any human being become successful. Marriage might help a person become successful, and even wealthy. However, in my opinion, working hard to get what you want and need in life does not involve any use of magic or using someone else. You have to help yourself and want to strive to become successful and wealthy instead of relying on a marriage (that may not even be worth it) or magic to pursue your own desires. In today’s real-world, reaching success and riches with magic and marriage is not as realistic as it is in fairy tales, or even Cinderella.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Blog Entry 3

The original Grimm tale of Hansel and Gretel is different from the MGM version. The Grimm tale included a stepmother who had a strong hatred for her husband’s two children. In the fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers, Hansel and Gretel were forced into the woods by their stepmother and father twice because they had no other way to feed them so they came to a conclusion to leave them in the forest on their own to fend for themselves. In the MGM version, Hansel and Gretel went into the forest because they had let the donkey eat their mother’s food that she had just prepared. So, their stepmother sent them into the forest to pick more berries. The children do not find their way back home in the MGM version; however, in the Grimm tale, the children find their way back once but then the second time they are led to the witch’s house. These two situations make the Grimm tale and the MGM version quite different. In the film and in the tale, the only similarities I noticed were that the children were taken in by the witch and did not know she was a witch until she had already “kidnapped” them and took them under her wing. She made Gretel into a slave and tried fattening up Hansel. The witch still had the eyesight problems and was still killed by Gretel because she had put her in the oven. Conversely, in the MGM version, Gretel did not push the witch. In the film, Gretel uses the witch’s magic against her (the cane) and made her switch places with Hansel who was about to be cooked in the pot. Also in the Grimm tale, the children are guided by a dove to take them back home from the witch's house. In my opinion, the movie directors made these changes to make the movie more “children-friendly.” If children were to watch the movie and the stepmother was as evil as she was in the Grimm tale, children may become afraid that their own mother would leave them to fend for themselves or even die. I would prefer showing the MGM version of Hansel and Gretel to children instead of the Grimm tale just because it is less scary and more interactive with children from of all the songs being sung by children in the movie. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Blog Entry 2

My definition of a fairytale is a story with unrealistic expectations for real life. Fairy tales are the type of stories where miracles can happen. The miracle in a fairy tale is the vital substance. Also, in fairy tales, anything can happen; objects can talk and take on the roles of human beings and it is expected by the characters . “The wild beast in the forest may frighten the fairy tale hero, but as soon as it begins to speak, the anxiety vanishes. And even though in a few such cases the fairy tale hero says ‘What? You can speak?’ this is no longer genuine fairy tale style.” In fairy tales, it is possible that supernatural figures are capable with magical powers. However, the real fairy tale hero is not flabbergasted by these miracles and the magic being used by other characters. The hero and all the other main characters accept them as if they were a matter of course in the fairy tale. The miracle in any type of fairy tale infuses the entire tale as a whole. A fairy tale is recognizably told as a children’s story about imaginary and magical lands and beings. Fairy tales contain magical and mythical events while teaching a moral lesson of the story to whomever is being told it. Repetition is also very important in fairy tales just because it helps to intensify the theme and the drama in the fairy tale. In conclusion, enchantment and folkloric fantasy events and characters are what makes a fairy tale idealistic and  helps to appeal to the children’s creativity and mind.