Somehow, my time in this FYS is coming to an end. It’s so surreal that my first semester of college is nearly over. But I am glad to have spent it in the Grimm to Disney FYS.
This has really been a very interesting class. I learned a lot about the Brothers Grimm and their history and lives, which I enjoyed, and which helped me better understand the influences of their tales. Gaining such in-depth knowledge about different analytical viewpoints of the Brothers Grimm tales was a great experience.
As I look over my blogs, I can see the progression of my learning. I improved in articulating my thoughts into clear ideas and analysis of the tales. It was fun and interesting to compare and contrast the tales. From all the comparisons made about various tales, I was able to form a clear picture about how and why Disney changed the tales the way that they did.
Disney made a lot of changes to the tales. I learned that the zeitgeist is a huge factor in this. People want to appeal to large audiences and produce stories that will be very popular. When looking at all the differences in tales like “Hansel and Gretel” or “Rapunzel,” I saw this idea manifest over and over. Reading and discussing all the tales helped me understand Disney’s adaptations.
I enjoyed reading all the tales and learning about the lives of Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm. I also enjoyed being able to analyze the tales from all different kinds of viewpoints. This helped to create a fuller interpretation of the tales. Also, it showed that one can interpret tales in many different ways.
Overall, I have learned a great deal from this FYS. I enjoyed the discussion set up of the classroom as well as the oral reports. This was a really great experience and introduction to college.
The Disney film “Tangled” differs greatly from the original tale, and one can see this just from the change of titles. It’s clear Disney wanted to go their own way with the tale and really add their own spin on it.
Main Plot Comparison:
|Original “Rapunzel” Tale
||“Tangled” Disney Film
|-Husband steals rapunzel lettuce from a fairy’s garden to fulfill his pregnant wife’s craving
-He is soon caught, and the fairy lets him take as much rapunzel as he wants but he must give her his child
-The fairy names her Rapunzel, and when she turns 12 she locks her away in a high tower
-Rapunzel lets down her long hair when a prince visits her, and at first she is afraid but then they enjoy each other’s company
-Rapunzel accidentally tells the fairy, Mother Gothel, that she is pregnant
-Mother Gothel chops off her hair and banishes her
-She then tricks the prince and he throws himself off the tower; he becomes blind
-After wandering around Rapunzel and the prince find each other, and two tears restore his vision
|-Rapunzel is a princess, whom possesses magical qualities due to a magical flower that has healing powers
-Mother Gothel is an old woman who steals Rapunzel to harness her power, which brings back Mother Gothel’s youth when she sings. Rapunzel’s hair glows at the song.
-Rapunzel grows up in a tower thinking Mother Gothel is her mother.
-Flynn Rider, a thief, takes shelter in the tower and Rapunzel is surprised and scared by him
-They go on an adventure to take Rapunzel to see the “floating lights”, and they end up falling in love
-Mother Gothel ends up stabbing Flynn, and re-kidnapping Rapunzel
-Flynn cuts off Rapunzel’s hair so Mother Gothel will die, and then he dies
-Rapunzel cries a single tear over him and he is brought back to life
-She is returned to her true family, and her and Flynn marry and live happily ever after
Disney added their own backstory and adventure, as well as more detail in the romantic subplot of the story. Disney added the entire story with the magical song and youth-restoring hair; none of this is found in the original tale. The core similarities really include; “Rapunzel’s” name, her long hair, and ending up with her “prince.” Mother Gothel is not killed in the original tale, but Rapunzel and her prince still have their happy ending anyway. In this case, Disney adds that violent justice of killing the villain, even though they usually eliminate violence. An interesting detail, however, is the magical element of Rapunzel’s tears. Two tears restore her prince’s vision in the original, and one tear brings back Flynn in the Disney film.
All three tales, “Bluebeard,” “The Robber Bridegroom,” and “Fitcher’s Bird” are very interesting and equally disturbing. They have a few similarities, but the plots and little details are all very different. The actual bluebeard feature is only in “Bluebeard”, but the ugly and evil traits that man possess is in both “The Robber Bridegroom” and “Fitcher’s Bird”. So, the bluebeard is more symbolic in those two. Another critical similarity to highlight is the blood that won’t wipe off the key in “Bluebeard” and on the egg in “The Robber Bridegroom”. Either way, the permanent stain of blood can represent loss of innocence or premature menstruation. I have outlined the plots of all three tales for further comparison below.
All the tales are unique in how they play out. They all hold up the core theme of being “married to a nightmare”, which is important. Also, these tales are pretty much backwards to typical fairy tales. These three tales start with the “happy ending” of marriage and really give a look into marriage, whereas in typical fairytales the stories end with a marriage. Also, one very glum moral in all three tales includes how women should stay out of men’s business. Another moral can be the perils and challenges of marriage in general.
I think my favorite tale is “The Robber Bridegroom”. I liked reading about it for my oral report, so I knew the tale before we had to read it for this lesson. I think it’s very disturbing and violent, and the different editions of it showcases the Brother’s Grimm’s adding of violence. “Fitcher’s Bird” is my least favorite, mainly because it seems sort of random and out there. All the random things like with the skull and decorating herself in honey and feathers are just so odd.
||“The Robber Bridegroom”
|-A man’s blue beard makes him ugly and scary to others
-Mystery of what happened to his previous wives
-Bluebeard throws an extravagant party to get one of the neighbor’s daughters to like him; she does and they marry
-After one month, Bluebeard goes on a trip and leaves his wife with a key he says she is forbidden to use to open the little room
-Wife is overcome with curiosity and unlocks the room, and finds dead women hung all over the walls and the floors covered in blood
-She drops the key and the blood does not wipe off as the key is bewitched
-Bluebeard returns and discovers this and is going to kill his wife, but she begs for time to pray
-He gives her 30 minutes
-Wife calls to her family and her brothers arrive just in time stab Bluebeard dead
-Wife receives all his riches, using it to marry her sister and pay her brothers
-She remarries a good man
|-A prince wants his bride-to-be princess to visit his castle
-He ties ribbon on the each tree for her to follow, and eventually she does
-An old woman is at the house and tells the princess the prince wants to kill her and eat her
-The old woman feels pity and tells the princess to hide behind a barrel in the cellar
-The robbers and her bridegroom kidnapped the princess’s’ grandmother and kill her
-One robber cuts off a finger to get a ring but it flies into the princess’s lap
-She escapes and the next day the prince comes over and she tells him what she witnessed (As a dream)
-The robbers and bridegroom are executed
|-A thief and sorcerer knocks on a maiden’s door and kidnaps her to be his wife
-He goes on a trip and leaves her with an egg and a key, threatening her not to go into the room it opens
-She does and sees a large basin with butchered people in it; she drops the egg and the blood won’t come off
-The man kills her and marries the second daughter, giving her the same instructions and the same thing occurs
-He marries the third daughter, whom outsmarts him by leaving the egg in a cupboard before going into the room
-She puts her sisters back together and they’re alive
-She covers them in a basket and tells the man to bring it to her parents
-She decorates a skull
-She invites the man’s friends to the wedding
-She dips herself in honey and feathers to disguise herself
-Thinking the skull is his bride the man goes back into the house and the helpers fetched by the sisters burn the house down
Cartoonist: John Ditchburn
Cartoon published by: INKCINCT cartoons. Their website:
This is a very simple cartoon at first glance, but it holds a lot of commentary. The themes in “Little Red Riding Hood” can often relate back to things like stranger-danger, innocence, and naivety. These core themes are reflected back in this cartoon. The “in the past” caption shows how the contrasts of good and evil used to be clear-cut. There used to be a clearly innocent, naive child, and the big bad wolf. But now, in current times, things have begun to grow more unclear. More grey areas exist as these “big bad wolf” characters become harder to sniff out. This relates to young women getting entrapped into schemes by typically older men who seem to be good guys…and turn out to really be the bad guys.
It is also clear the innocent Little Red character has been changed into a much older looking girl, with full makeup and dressy outfits. The outfit may typically be considered provocative or “trashy” in our society. The wolf being shown as a person working for the fashion industry is commenting on that industry as a whole and how women are being represented. It can also be more specific towards the manipulation and exploitation of younger girls especially. Young women can become entrapped by the fashion industry and can be taken advantage of. The exploitation of women and girls is a key theme in this cartoon. This is a pretty important social commentary, as this issue is extremely relevant in current times.
I overall found this cartoon shocking and provocative at first, but it does hold a deeper theme and meaning which was interesting to explore and think about. It uses the themes of “Little Red Riding Hood” as a basis for getting their point across.