A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Saturday, September 03, 2011

Rumpelstiltskin, Pocahontas and Me

I’m sure I heard it mentioned somewhere recently that fairy tales are going to become more modified; softer and sweeter. This made me pause for thought… hasn’t this already been done numerous times?

I adored the Grimm Brother Fairy Tales growing up. I was a child who seemed to be drawn to the dark side, I cannot lie. I much preferred the more ‘twisted’ tales told by the Brother’s Grim than those of Disney. Now don’t get me wrong, I can sing Princess Aurora’s ‘I know you’ as well as any eight year old girl who is obsessed with Disney; and although I am drawn to the caustic and woeful, I do adore a good love story. Admittedly these also tend to be of a more serious nature ie. ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ appeals much more than 'You've Got Mail’; Yet I will never seem to veto throwing in a handsome prince, it can’t hurt, however realistic they may or may not be because let’s face it, most young girls have the ability to realize, especially once grown, that Prince Charming is not likely to appear riding out of the mist on a white steed to whisk us away to never-never land. Even Kate Middleton, who did manage to snag herself a real life prince, isn’t living a fairy tale, not really. I mean, sure she has the beautiful home and pretty dresses, yet she has obligations and duties to attend to that I don’t envy. Not one bit.

The Brothers’ Grimm told a much more ‘grim’ story than more current fairy tales or other books written for children, yet despite this they often had an ending that saw stranded lovers reunited, or children freed from the horrible clutches of an old witch; but not before they had to go to hell and back before they had their ‘happy ending’, which to me is much more akin to real life than the softer versions that have been written in more recent years. (And let’s face it, as dark as these stories could sometimes get, they hold no comparison to some of the video games and movies that young children are being exposed to.) Oh, and I musn't forget one of my all time favourite fairy tales, The Princess Bride.  Not a Brother's Grimm story, but a fairy tale all the same, one I only discovered in my early 20's. 

The only aspect that I was (and still am) more drawn to regarding Disney versus the BG, were the princesses and how they were dressed. What little girl doesn’t adore Belle’s beautiful yellow dress? Come on admit it. You wanted that dress as badly as your male counterparts wanted a Luke Skywalker Life Sabre (ok… I wanted one of those too). Yet ironically enough, when I did have the chance to dress as a Disney character, I chose Pocahontas. She was much more my style in the end and much more suited to my personality.

However as much as I enjoyed the romance, accompanying music and fabulous dresses belonging to Aurora and Cinderella, I would still choose Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin every time.

What is your favourite fairy tale?


Tawn said...

Funny story, relating to Belle and her yellow ball gown. Clara has a yellow sundress (she wore it to the public gardens) and whenever she wears it, the staff at the daycare comment that she looks like Belle. So one day she's wearing it, and Cole, who is Clara's age and smitten with her, was following her around, determined to give her something he had in his hand. When I asked what he had, no one knew. I convinced him to show me, and it was a little Belle figurine - in her yellow dress :).

Thegirl said...

Tawny- THAT is crazy cute!

I guess mine would be a Brother's Grimm one too. I liked Stone Soup from the get go cause I even think my 8ish year old self might have thought 'Dumbasses.'