Disney or Original Fairy Tales?

For those of you who have read the original fairy tales that we all know in Disney form, I have a couple questions. I haven’t read any of them, so I’m interested in your impressions.

Which one was the most disturbing?

Which one was the most surprising?

Do you prefer the originals or the Disneyfied versions?

I would like to read them sometime when I have time. Also, are they short?

23 thoughts on “Disney or Original Fairy Tales?”

  1. I haven’t actually read many of the original fairy tales, but I can tell you that the Little Mermaid is pretty disturbing. @_@

    I love the Disney stories, but I also like a good creepy tale as well. ^_^

    1. Most of them are pretty disturbing. The things that came out of people’s minds in early industrial and pre-industrial Europe is surprising.

  2. Some of them have multiple “originals” Little Mermaid is the one I read most recently and, yes, disturbing!
    I’d suggest reading them though — most are pretty short.

      1. Luckily some of them are pretty short – you can take them one at a time 🙂 Hmm.. I should start reading them too… If I weren’t already participating in so many read-alongs maybe I’d think about starting one… Another time.. 🙂

  3. Disturbing? That would be “The Marsh King’s Daughter,” one of Anderson’s fairy tales. I honestly don’t know how that one could be Disneyfied without COMPLETELY changing it.

    Sometimes I prefer the original versions of fairy tales, but sometimes I like the Disney versions better for one simple reason: the Disney versions lack the heavy-handed Christian moralizing of some of the originals. (Disney’s version of The Little Mermaid doesn’t contain nonsense about mermaids and other people not having souls — something about Anderson’s story that always bothered me.)

  4. There are often many regional versions — I work at a library with lots of children’s traditional tales and there can be a lot of similarly themed ones across vast swaths of the world. Stuff labeled ‘the Korean Cinderella’, etc. Disturbingness and just-plain-weirdness varies by culture. When I was younger, I read most of the Color Fairies books ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Lang%27s_Fairy_Books ) which have pre-Disney versions of many many tales, though still written for children.

    1. Ah, those are probably adaptations of the originals. Makes me wonder if the original fairy tales were written for adults, or maybe to scare the hell out of children.

  5. Most original fairy tales are much more violent than the Disney versions. When I was studying German, we read the original Grimm version of “The Frog Prince.” The princess does not kiss the enchanted frog; she throws him against the wall because he wants to sleep on her pillow beside her. That is what breaks the spell.

    The older folk versions of the fairy tales are much richer in meaning than the Disney versions. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s book “Women Who Run with the Wolves” contains many tales from different cultures and in-depth Jungian interpretations. I doubt Disney versions would yield that much meaning.

    And most tales are quite short – a few pages.

    1. I think the Disney versions were made to give both entertainment, and a more positive meaning. Though sometimes, the earlier Disney versions objectified women it seems.

  6. I seem to recall that in the original story, every step the Little Mermaid took was like walking barefoot on broken glass or shards. I doubt she’d have been singing much about that!

    1. I find it interesting that it was written only 63 years before Sleeping Beauty was written. Usually, a retelling doesn’t happen in such a short time, except for the most recent century.

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