Thursday, 15 September 2016

Snow White: Grimm vs Disney

This Thursday I give you Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs. Personally I really enjoyed the version with Christ Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart, simply because it is a lot darker than the disney version. In the original tale by the Brothers Grimm, in the beginning of the tale the (current) Queen pricks herself with a needle and three drops of blood fell into the snow as she said "Would that I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood and as black as the wood of the window-frame". So it happened, but the Queen died while giving birth. Years later the King remarried to a woman obsessed with her good looks and as you may very well know she did not want anyone to surpass her beauty. Her mirror keeps informing her that she's the most beautiful of all, until one day he informs her that Snow White has in fact surpassed her beauty.
She therefore asks her huntsman to take Snow into the forest and kill her. He needs to bring back her heart as evidence. But Snow asks him to have mercy and let her go. So he does, thinking she will be killed by the animals in the woods, giving the Evil Queen the heart of a young boar as evidence. She goes on the actually cook and eat the heart (can you imagine.. she thought it was Snow's heart..). The next part is quite similar to the Disney adaptation. Only there are no sweet animals helping her and she does not clean the house of the dwarfs, instead she eats their food and drinks their wine after which she is exhausted and decides to go to sleep in one of their beds (the biggest one, considering she's only 13 or so she does fit in one of them and does not need three beds).

The dwarfs immediately know that something is different when they return to the house. They find the child in one of the beds and decide to let her sleep because she's so young. The next morning they make a deal, she's allowed to stay if she cleans and cooks for them. It goes on like that for a few days, though the dwarfs warn Snow that the Evil Queen will come looking for her at some point. One day the Evil Queen paints her face and dresses up like an old woman and goes to the house of the seven dwarfs, where she finds Snow White. The queen tricks Snow into letting her lace her, but instead the queen chokes her and Snow loses consciousness. The queen, thinking she has killed Snow, leaves.
As the dwarfs return, they cut the lace from her throat and Snow wakes up again (I know, no Prince, such a shocker). Soon the Evil Queen realises she has failed again and decides to make a poisonous comb. Naive little Snow is tricked again. Fortunately for her, the dwarfs find her again and take the comb of her body, after which she wakes up again (still no Prince). Of course the Queen is quick to check if it worked this time and finds out that it has not worked, again. So she creates a poisonous apple (there we go) and returns the next day. Snow is tricked again but this time the dwarfs believe her to be dead because she's not breathing anymore. 

After putting Snow in a glass coffin, a prince came into the forest and passed the sight. He falls head over heals for Snow and asks the dwarfs if he can please have the coffin. The dwarfs and let him take Snow away. As they travel towards the castle the prince and the servants pass over a tree truck and the coffin moves, at which point the apple, which was stuck in Snow's throat, falls out. She wakes up and opens the coffin. She is confused but the prince asks her for her hand and of course she says yes. The Evil Queen comes to the wedding and Snow put her in iron slippers which have been heated in a fire. "She was forced to put on the red-hot shoes, and dance until she dropped down dead."
I'm getting the feeling that the Grimm brothers like to do things in three's, and also like people to suffer (especially the bad guys). I feel like this version of the story is better though, because the Disney adaptation is a lot like Sleeping Beauty. I mean she falls asleep and is woken by a kiss. However, I understand why they changed the plot. It makes more sense for Snow White to agree to marry the Prince, having met him before she went to the Dwarfs. The ending is somewhat cruel, similarly to the Cinderella ending so I understand why they decided to change that too. The queen falls to her death after being chased by the dwarfs, but it is an accident (sort of). I don't understand why they decided to only do the apple scene. I feel like they could have stayed closer to the original plot, but you know, the film was made in 1937. Disney also stays true to their happily ever after endings, because in the fairy tale the dwarfs don't even find out that Snow wakes up again and in the film they get to see her wake up. I hope you liked this blog entry too. Let me know which fairy tale you would like me to do next!

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