Friday, September 25, 2015

Snow White Comparing and Contrasting

Compare and Contrast Grimm’s Snow White to Disney’s Snow White

Through the years, Snow White has been altered in so many ways. One of the largest sources of altering this tale form the Grimm Brother’s original tale is Disney’s movie adaptation, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”. There is a difference before the movie even starts! Since Disney added “and the Seven Dwarves” to the title, they are major characters in the movie. However, this is not the case in the original tale. In the Disney movie, all seven of the dwarves are named and develop personalities. In both the original tale and the movie, the dwarves offer to house Snow White if she promises to clean, and revive her and warn her about visitors after the queen visits twice.

After the title, the first few minutes of the movie are true to the tale. The vain queen asks the mirror who is the fairest of them all. The mirror responded with you at first, then after Snow White grew up, the mirror switched its / his answer to Snow White. In the movie, right before the mirror said that, the prince sees Snow White and wants to get to know her, but Snow White runs away. In the original tale, the prince isn’t see until much later. The queen was very jealous and ordered the huntsman to kill Snow White deep in the forest.

The Huntsman portion in the book and the huntsman scene are similar enough. In the book, the Queen wants Snow White’s lung and liver to eat to develop her beauty, while in the movie she only wants the heart as proof that snow White is dead. Other than the request for which organ to bring back to the queen, the 2 portions are the same; the Huntsman gets very close to killing Snow White, but changes his mind, sends her off into the woods, and kills a pig and bring its organs back. Snow White also found the seven dwarves house after running for a bit and rests in there until the dwarves return home.

When the Huntsman came back with the desired organ(s), the queen goes straight to the mirror and asked, who is the fairest of them all? The mirror said, Snow White was the fairest of them all. She gets very jealous with this and goes on a murder challenge. In the original tale, the queen tried to kill Snow White with lace, a poisonous comb and the poisonous apple, while the movie only showed the murder attempt. After each murder attempt in both mentioned versions, the dwarves cam and tried to save Snow White.

After the seven dwarves realize that Snow White is actually dead, they build her a glass coffin so they could always look at her beauty. As this is happening, in the book, she went home and asked the mirror, who is the fairest of them all. When it responded with you again she was very happy. In the movie, the dwarves chased her until she fell off a cliff and presumably died. In both versions of Snow White, the prince sees Snow White and asks the dwarves if they could buy her. They were hesitant to accept the offer and just gave the corpse to the prince.

In the original tale, the glass coffin is dropped, a piece of apple that was lodged in Snow White’s throat fell out and she woke up and agreed to marry the prince. The queen was invited to the wedding, but had to dance with hot iron shoes on until she literally died. In the movie, the prince that saw Snow White earlier is grieving and kisses Snow White, and she woke up and agreed to marry her. The wedding isn’t shown at all in the Disney version of Snow White.

An any and all change that Disney made were to brand the movie his own, or to make it more child friendly. For example, the dwarves were given a personality in the movie and made them likeable while in the original tale, they were only there to aide for Snow White and find her after the queen came and tried to kill her. This gave the movie more of an appeal towards children because they could identify with one of the dwarves. Also, the way the queen died in the tale was very brutal because kids could dance and would get scared to dance again, while the movie version of the queens death was a bit more brutal but rarer for kids to experience.


This is a picture of Snow White interacting with the seven dwarves in the Disney Movie.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Rags to Riches

Can someone reach success or riches from magic or marriage? Your initial reaction is absolutely not, that makes no sense at all. But it is indeed possible. Cinderella showed it was possible. She started off as rich due to her father. When her father remarried, the stepmother and her two children, made life a living h*ll for Cinderella and she was reduced to wearing rags. Through magic, she was able to meet the prince, and eventually marry him, and get back to riches. This motif sounds so whimsical that it could only be seen in a fairytale, but you are mistaken.

On General Hospital, in 2001, Courtney Matthews came into town blackmailing Edward Quartermaine, one of the richest men in town, due to owning a large corporation. She was very desperate for money and did whatever was necessary to get money. She later fell in love with Nikolas Cassadine, another one of the richest men in town, due to being from Russian royalty. As their relationship was developing, they moved in together and had a child born out of love with each other. Nikolas proposed to Courtney and she said yes, but unfortunately, she died due to a deathly disease going around town. Her child, Spencer Cassadine always referred to common folk as  “townies” as he was growing up, because they weren’t rich or of royal lineage like himself. Courtney came back as a ghost and said, “If a person who doesn’t have money and privilege is a townie, then that makes me a townie too.” Spencer idolized his mother and said that isn’t possible, but Courtney reassured him that it was true. This ghostly exchange established how “rags” Courtney was. But getting close to a rich family can make those metaphorical rags become beautiful handkerchiefs.

Both of these examples were written to satisfy an audience, but it also happens in real life. This reminds me of Prince William and Princess Kate. When they got married in 2011, my mother was very excited because she remembered watching Prince William’s mother, Diana, get married. Princess Kate wasn’t poor growing up, but she wasn’t royalty. With this being said she kind of went from “rags” [if defined as non – royalty, like Spencer Cassadine does] to “riches” [which was portrayed as royalty]

So yes, the rags to riches motif isn’t just in fairytales aimed at children, but also in soap operas aimed at adults, and in real life. This motif was also to establish hope in the original audience, the lower class. If they read that a poor man or woman could marry up to a prince or princess, they would get reassured that they didn’t always have to be poor. It was possible to climb up the social ladder and get money. But all of this was done through marriage, with no magic involved in the real world example. In conclusion, it is realistic for someone to transform from “rags” to “riches” through marrying up but not through magic.

This is the ghostly exchange between Courtney and her son, Spencer.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Hansel and Gretel: Tale VS Movie

Compare the original Grimm tale with the MGM version. What is different in the film? What is similar? Why did the movie directors make these changes?

NOTE: I’m calling the witch, Witch [as her name] so the flow will be a little better

            First off, Hansel and Gretel only went to the forest once, but got lost during that one visit. Being there was only one trip to the forest; the pebbles were completely taken out of the company. Again, with the single visit to the forest, the fire was also moved around. But at one point, when Hansel, Gretel, and their father went to the market [this visit was movie exclusive], Hansel was given a set of flints. The flints seem to be a replacement for the pebbles, but that may just be consistent with how the dad made the fire in the fairytale. Also, during the movie exclusive visit, the baker that swindled the dad out of his payment gave Gretel cookie crumbs to apologize for screwing over her dad. This change may have been made to exaggerate the poorness of Hansel and Gretel’s family.

Another difference between the original fairytale and the movie was the personality of the mother. (Pardon my language …) In the fairytale, the mother is a total bitch in her (guestproximate) 15 seconds of fame and was mentioned once when she was living and once when she had died. But in the movie, the mother came off as a bitch then became less bitchy then became a caring individual. When she hurt her children’s feelings, this made her feel remorse, to make her transition throughout the movie, smoother and not a complete 180ยบ. As mentioned in class, when the Grimm Brothers lost their mother, they were devastated because they looked up to her. This adaptation of the movie could be honoring later versions of the fairytale and make the mother a loving individual and living at the end of the movie.

The father was very similar between the fairytale and the movie but enhanced in the movie to give him some character, because a caring father is boring in a movie. In the movie, the father went on a journey to look for Hansel and Gretel. The odd thing is that the MOTHER was the one to suggest finding them.

The Hansel and Gretel movie actually had time pass, sort of. We saw day and night pass a few times. Also, as Hansel and Gretel were kidnapped by Witch, the dad was shown for a few moments at a time. Each time, he looked more and more tired and ready to pass out. He also looked like he was going to hallucinate.

            When Hansel and Gretel first saw Witch’s house, it seems like it is part of a hallucination, which is probably how Jacob and Wilhelm envisioned it. As the witch sung to Hansel and Gretel about how she would get fed, she popped her head out of the candy windows and said brutally honest things, (not an exact quote), “They will make a good meal”. This has nothing to do with this blog, but there was a Briar Rose reference, which was really cool and ironic. Back to the blog, the witch seemed to get high off of excitement, which again is probably how Jacob and Wilhelm imagined it. So, overall, the movie seemed to do a great job at bringing Witch to life.

            Hansel was adventurous in both the fairytale and the movie, but Gretel attained more self confidence in the movie. In both versions of Hansel and Gretel, Hansel told Gretel to shove the Witch into the oven, but in the movie, it seemed like that Gretel just knew to destroy the Witch’s looking glass. Even though Hansel implied it, Gretel had a look on her face that implied she just knew what to do. A movie exclusive scene was when Gretel switched Hansel and Witch when Hansel was almost killed.   

(Grab Bag Differences) The movie explained why Hansel and Gretel listened to Witch; she possessed them for a bit. I’m not sure how relevant this is but it looked like Gretel had a witch hand when she was mixing something for the Witch. The jewels and gems came from Witch’s scepter NOT her house. In the movie, Witch kidnapped about 10 other kids, and they were saved by Hansel and Gretel. As Hansel and Gretel were returning home, they ran into their dad. Any and all changes not discussed were made to make the movie longer and more entertaining.


This is Witch when she was initially showing Hansel and Gretel her candy house.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Working Defintion of a Fariytale

Working Definition of a Fairytale

Merriam Webster defines a fairytale as “a story (as for children) involving fantastic forces and beings (as fairies, wizards, and goblins” This is true but very lackluster. A fairytale has imagination, curiosity, excitement, simplistic symbolism and it can bring you back to your childhood. But most of all, a fairytale has magic. They have trite motifs but they are never annoying because fairytales themselves are timeless. This may be a stretch, but Dr. Esa has said the best explanation for a fairytale is the fairytale, so, this timelessness means that it never gets old. For example, in the 1959 version of Sleeping Beauty, the motifs of “love at first sight” and “good VS evil” were used to the extreme. These motifs and many more are used repeatedly, but again, never get old.

Back to my addition to the meaning of a fairytale: “A fairytale has imagination, wonder, excitement, simplistic symbolism and it can bring you back to your childhood. But most of all, a fairytale has magic.” Imagination is to use your thoughts and personal experiences to bring something nonexistent into reality. In Sleeping Beauty, Samson, Prince Phillip’s horse, reacted quite excited when Phillip said he would give extra carrots, oats and other treats when he was on the search for Briar Rose when she was shooed off by Flora, Fauna and Merriweather, her 3 fairy mother like figures. If the movie were live action, you would have to imagine the real horse smiling and being upset, but a little bit of “Disney Magic” and imagination from the animators, Samson had human like facial expressions when he was offered the reward and the reward was taken away from him. Also, when the owl, 2 rabbits and 3 of the birds took Prince Phillip’s hat, cape and boots, Briar Rose did an excellent job imagining that she was dancing with her literal dream prince when it was just the animals.

Excitement is a feeling that makes the reader / viewer wanting more. It also inspires a feeling of curiosity. During the festival for the birth of Princess Aurora, 2 of the 3 fairies got to give their gifts of beauty and song. But before the third fairy could give her gift, Maleficent made a large scene. Before her face is seen through her ominous fog, the viewer is excited and curious to see what happens next. Will she just be mad at someone for something? Will she give her own gift because she came during gift time? Will she kill someone due to her ominous nature? It is unknown and this sense of wonder, excitement and curiosity are part of the heart of a fairytale.

Curiosity is seen in many more ways throughout Sleeping Beauty. A few examples are: Prince Phillip being curious about Briar Rose’s singing. Briar Rose being curious and questioning why Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather, didn’t allow her to meet anyone. The 3 fairies were just as curious as Briar Rose was when Briar Rose said she did indeed meet someone, albeit in her dream. Near the end of the film, when Maleficent mind controlled Briar Rose, she got her to touch the spindle, even after she hesitated, because as the saying goes, “curiosity killed the cat.”

A young child watching Sleeping Beauty, a class of college freshmen watching Sleeping Beauty and an observant professor watching Sleeping Beauty, all see it through different lenses. A rose, a main symbol in Sleeping Beauty takes on multiple meanings. A young child would see a pretty flower that can hurt if touched. A class of college freshmen will see a beautiful flower that could sting if touched improperly, but could be painless if handled properly. The professor would see that the rose is a direct connection to the basis of Sleeping Beauty, Briar Rose. He or she would also see the thorns as self defense from unworthy individuals, but a challenge for deserving individuals. Another symbol in Sleeping Beauty is sleep. Both the young child and class of college freshmen would see sleep as a way to recharge for the next day, but the professor would see it as an escape from reality.

Personally, I’ve never seen Sleeping Beauty, or any of the other fairytale adaptations that Disney made. Sleeping Beauty was a fun watch. I was worried that it was going to be a boring movie about a princess in trouble because they did something stupid and a prince would save her. I was completely wrong. Sleeping Beauty was about how a curse destroyed a girl’s life because she couldn’t have a man to call her own, and how that curse came to be and was destroyed. The first half of the movie flew by just as fast as the second half. It was an enjoyable 75 minutes that made me feel like a kid again. I knew the basic plot of the movie, but so much more was added to spice it up and it was very accurate or directly based off of the original source.

Finally, the most common thing between all fairytales is magic. Not just “hocus pocus” magic, such as Maleficent's curse or when Flora (or Fauna, honestly not 100% sure) and Meriweather changed the color or Briar Rose’s dress. Magic also includes how all of the animals followed Briar Rose when she was singing, and how Maleficent’s crow was more competent then her army of trolls. Magic is the logic, or absence of logic that explains the thing that don’t have a simple explanation.           

Yes, a fairytale has fantastical forces and beings, but it also has, imagination, curiosity, excitement, simplistic symbolism a way of bringing you back to your childhood and most of all, it has magic. I hope this is a worthy definition of the term fairytale.

This picture is Malificents entrance to Princess Aurora's birth festival. It was a display of "hocus pocus" magic and evoked a sense of curiosity.

Sleeping Beauty (1959 Movie) [Any mentions about Sleeping Beauty were referenced to this movie unless otherwise stated]

Dr. Esa [Catalyst for all of these ideas] :  - )