Blog 10

I can’t believe that my first semester of college is coming to a close. I have learned so much from this class that I will be able to use for the rest of my life.

After this class, I have a greater appreciation and admiration for the Brothers Grimm tales and original fairy tales in general. I never knew exactly who the Brothers Grimm was or that there were tales before the Disney ones. I love the Brothers Grimm versions and learning the original versions of the tales I love.


One of the biggest things I have learned from this FYS was how to read between the lines. I have always had trouble finding meaning in stories and interpreting them. I continuously would get frustrated because I couldn’t see past the literal meaning. I have learned how to find deeper meaning in not only fairy tales but also any story in general. I can now find hidden meanings, symbols, metaphors, motifs, and falcons.

It was so much fun to go back into my childhood and look at my favorite fairy tales again. It was interesting to read them from an adult perspective and notice certain things that I didn’t know before.

My favorite story that we read this semester was Cinderella. Cinderella is my favorite fairy tale and I loved reading the Brothers Grimm version. I had never read it before and I was surprised by the violence. It was very different from the Disney adaption that I grew up with.

This class has helped me tremendously with writing papers and giving me confidence in my work. Before this class, I was never one to be confident in my papers that I would write. I learned how to write concise, fluent, and articulate papers. Before, my papers were all over the place. Now, they are to the point and make better sense. I learned the importance of using quotes to support my points and make my paper more accurate.

I am grateful for how helpful this class was and how much I was able to learn. Its fun to look back at my previous blogs and see how much I have learned and changed in just 15 weeks.


Blog 9

The Walt Disney franchise adapted the Brothers Grimm Rapunzel in 2010 called Tangled. It follows the typical Disney characteristics. The story was embellished in several ways to appeal to children. The tale was appropriated and contaminated. The major motifs and lessons are similar, but Disney made several changes to the storyline.

Both versions have the same falcon (the most significant part of the tale that makes it stand out from any other tale)- the long hair. The long hair symbolizes beauty. The tower is another significant symbol that is shared. It can be a phallic symbol for sexual awakening or a metaphorical symbol to show heaven and earth.

Both versions share the idea and motif of knowledge through exploration. In both, Rapunzel is able to be truly happy after she learns what the outside world is like outside of her tower. In the Brothers Grimm version, she is able to live with her true family. In Tangled, Rapunzel takes adventures and learns things along the way that she never would have known if she was in the tower the rest of her life.

In both stories, a plant is unique in the plot, but it holds different meanings in regards to the way that Rapunzel is taken. In the Brothers Grimm version, the mother craves the lettuce and the father makes a deal with the evil witch that she can have the baby in exchange for the lettuce. In Tangled, the flower has magical powers. The queen needs the flower for her health. The evil mother in Tangled uses the flower to keep her young and youthful, so she takes Rapunzel because her hair now has the magical power.

Another unique difference is the idea of a prince charming and true love. In the Brothers Grimm version, the prince is the one who comes to the tower and gets Rapunzel pregnant. He is her true love. In Tangled, Flynn Rider is a thief who saves Rapunzel from her isolation in the tower. Each brings Rapunzel to her happy ending, but in different ways.

My favorite part in Tangled is the very end. I never understood the meaning behind the tear that saved Flynn before I took this class. I love how Disney added that subtle touch. Both versions show Rapunzel healing their husbands leading to the happily ever afters.

Some people think this movie symbolizes the death of the fairy tale and criticize Disney. I disagree. The movies are creative adaptions of centuries old beloved tales that teach life lessons and let readers enter each universe in miniature (Lüthi) to understand our deepest desires and fears.

Blog Entry 8

The two versions of Charles Perrault’s “Bluebeard” that we read in class were “Fitcher’s Bird” and “Robber Bridegroom”. All three fairytales follow the same plot line. They tell the tale of a female protagonist who save themselves from an evil man who they have already married or are about to marry.

These tales share some similarities and differences. The similarity between the tales is the curiosity of the women. “Curiosity killed the cat.” The women in “Fitcher’s Bird” and “Bluebeard” are given tasks and orders to not enter one specific room, but their curiosity got the best of them. Another similarity is that the women saved themselves from being killed. In “Bluebeard”, the wife begged for her life as she waited for her brothers to come and save her. In “Fitcher’s Bird”, the woman saves her sisters and the man is burned alive in his home. The girl saves herself in “Robber Bridegroom” by escaping home to tell her father what had happened. The father sends guards to catch the thief. The difference between the tales is the men. In “Bluebeard”, the man is a rich but ugly man. In “Fitcher’s Bird”, he is a sorcerer. In “Robber Bridegroom”, he is a prince.

These tales are unique and different from any other Grimm tale. They portray the dark

side of marriage. The prince is not the reward or happily ever after. He is not the happy, rich, and loving man that they want. The tales express the idea of marrying a nightmare.

Out of the three tales, my favorite was “Robber Bridegroom”. I liked it because it was so different from the previous Brothers Grimm tales we have read. I liked that there was no magic, which made the tale more realistic and relatable. The prince turned out to be a beast, which is something that we are not used to. My favorite part was the way in which the princess went about telling the bridegroom that she knew his real self. Telling him that she had a “dream” and then showed him the finger was creative and unique.

It was fun to read tales that were different and expressed different ideas and characters then we are used to.

Blog Entry 7

The Grimms’ Little Red Cap is one of the most famous and adapted fairy tales out of them all. From “Into the Woods” to “Silence of the Lambs”, there have been several variations of this very famous fairy tale. Walt Disney’s cartoon version of Little Red Riding Hood was created in 1922. The cartoon was made for social and entertainment purposes as it strayed from the original tale in some ways but also remained similar.

Walt Disney’s Little Red Riding Hood is a creative adaption to the original tale. One similarity between the two stories is the plot line. A girl is sent out to her grandmother’s house and is faced with the villain and is eventually saved by her hero. This is the tale that we have come to know and love. I found the changes that Walt Disney made to be very interesting. The wolf is actually an older, businessman. He beats Red Riding Hood to her grandmother’s house. Instead of being eaten by the wolf, the grandmother is not home. Red Riding Hood gets to the house, but the cartoon does not show what goes on inside. Many different views and predictions can be made about what goes on- maybe a chase around the house, a fight, or possibly a rape. Instead of the huntsman coming to kill the wolf, a pilot saves Red Riding Hood and dumps the “wolf” into a lake. The cartoon ends as the pilot and Red Riding Hood share a kiss.

I found Walt Disney’s take on Little Red Cap to be very artistic and interesting. My favorite part about the entire cartoon was the fact that there was no dialogue, just music. This left me to make my own judgment and predictions about what they were saying based on my own beliefs and how I read and interpreted the fairy tale. I also liked that Disney incorporated the character of the wolf and the huntsman but in a different way. This made the cartoon more realistic. Overall, I found the cartoon to be entertaining.

Growing up, I could recite the entire story of Little Red Riding Hood. It was one of my favorite fairy tales. I’ve enjoyed finding different adaptions and finding out that some movies, like “Silence of the Lambs”, are interpretations of the tale that I never knew.

Cartoonist: Walt Disney (1922)

Type: Social/Entertainment

Blog Entry 6

“The Frog King” by the Brothers Grimm and “Cupid and Psyche” by Lucious Apuleius are two pieces of literature that tell opposite tales. Several similarities can be found among the many differences between the fairy tale and the Greek myth.

The difference between the two stories is their type of literature. “The Frog King” is a fairy tale which is sort, has a lack of detail, and is action-based. “Cupid and Psyche” is a Greek myth which is longer and involves much more detail and involves the Greek gods and goddesses. The princess in “Cupid and Psyche” is given a name along with a majority of the other characters whereas in the fairytale, no character is given a name. The story line of each tale is different, but when you read between the lines, you can see the similarity between them.

One similarity between both stories is that of the princess. The princess is the most beautiful daughter of the king and queen. In “The Frog King”, the princess “was so beautiful that the sun itself, which had seen so many things, was always filled with amazement each time it cast its rays upon her face,”(Grimm, 2). In “Cupid and Psyche”, the beauty of the princess “was so wonderful that the poverty of language is unable to express its due praise. The fame of her beauty was so great that strangers from neighboring countries came in crowds to enjoy the sight, and looked on her with amazement,” (Apuleius par. 1).

A common motif in both tales is the number three. The king and queen both have three daughters. Each princess must also accomplish three things in order to receive her prince. Venus challenges Psyche to do three things: separate all the grains she has been given by evening, collect wool from the back of every sheep in the herd, and deliver and box and message to Proserpine. In “The Frog King”, the princess is ordered by the frog to lift him up to the chair next to her, eat with the frog, and sleep with him.

Another common element is the concept of the beast. The princesses are destined to be companions with beasts. Psyche’s fate is to be married to a “monster”. The Grimm’s princess is to be a companion of the frog who retrieved her beloved golden ball. Their inner beasts come out as well. Psyche’s comes out after she receives advice from her sisters who tell her to kill her husband with a knife if her truly is a monster. The other princess’s inner beast is shown when she refuses to care for the frog and throws him against the wall. They overcome their dark side and marry their “beasts”.

“The Frog King” and “Cupid and Psyche” are two very different tales, but share commonalities. While reading stories, it is important to look deeper and in between the lines in order to understand their lessons and symbols to get a better perception of them. Even though these two tales are different in terms of the story line, they share the theme of beauty and beast as well as symbolic meaning.

Works Cited

Apuleius, Lucius. “Cupid and Psyche.” Cupid and Psyche. N.p., 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

Grimm, Jacob, Wilhelm Grimm, Jack Zipes, and Johnny Gruelle. “The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich.” The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. New York: Bantam, 2003. 2-5. Print.

Blog Entry 5

In 1937, the world of animation changed forever thanks to one dedicated and talented man, Walt Disney. Walt Disney took a leap and made a full-length animated featured film. He recreated Snow White originally written by the Brothers Grimm. Through his adaption, some elements to the story remained the same, while several elements differed from the original tale.

The characters in both the film and the original tale are similar but also different. There are Snow White, the prince, the huntsman, and the seven dwarfs. The seven dwarfs are all given names related to their personalities in the movie. A major difference in the characters was the queen. In the version by the Brothers Grimm, the evil queen is Snow White’s mother but in the movie she was her stepmother. Another change in characters is the addition of animals. The animals played a much larger role in Disney’s version. They were her friends, helpers, and protectors.

Along with characters, it’s important to note the events in each and their differences. The evil stepmother in Disney’s version uses magic in a more pronounced way. She makes a magic potion that morphs her into an ugly old woman and makes a poisoned red apple and takes it to Snow White. The queen only comes to the house once compare to three times in the original tale. Snow White falls into a deep sleep because of the poisoned apple in both, but she awakes differently. In the original, a servant drops her coffin and the apple comes out of her throat. In Disney’s film, Snow White awakes from true love’s kiss. The queen dies in both adaptions but in completely different ways. In the original, she is forced to dance herself to death on hot iron shoes. Disney made his queen die from a freak accident falling off a cliff. In both, Snow White is able to live happily ever after with her prince charming. There were many differences in the film because it veered from the original tale in more ways than other adaptions.

Walt Disney did a great job portraying the original Snow White but he varied from the tale in several ways for several reasons. According to Jack Zipes in Fairy Tale as Myth (Zipes, 72), Disney had his own spell when he created his magical movies. He used the ideas of contamination and appropriation. What makes Walt Disney’s fairy tales so unique and memorable? He made his tales appropriate for all ages. His fairy tales are relevant to all ages and stay with people the rest of their lives. This allows him to gain a larger audience and make a larger profit. Walt Disney created an empire and made his name famous around the world.


  • Zipes, Jack. Fairy tale as myth/myth as fairy tale. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1994. 72

Blog Entry 4

Cinderella has been my favorite fairy tale since I was little. I never read the Brothers Grimm version, but I loved Disney’s adaption. I love the use of magic, the talking animals, and the beautiful ball gown. My favorite character was the fairy godmother. She made me believe that in the darkest of times, someone was to be there for me and help me get through it. To this day, I love the message that Cinderella sends and its rags to riches tale of a young woman rising and prevailing to a better life.

Cinderella is a “rise tale”, which features the motif of “rags to riches through magic and marriage”. According to Jack Zipes, the fairy tale of Cinderella by the Grimm Brothers and Charles Perrault are not rags to riches tales. He believes that is based upon the motif of the triumph of the underdog. I do believe that the underdog can overcome odds stacked against them and triumph with determination and belief. Based on my analysis and my own reflection of the fairy tale, I believe that Cinderella contains both of these motifs. I think that they both go hand in hand.

The motif that is portrayed in Cinderella is complex and interesting. It shows that people who are put in difficult and challenging situations can achieve success through magic and marriage. It’s a great message but isn’t realistic. Cinderella transformed from a servant maiden into a princess in just a few days. For me, I’m not sure how I feel about this. Of course this is a fairy tale and it makes perfect sense, but is it completely true in real life? Sure, when you get married your status can change and you can gain wealth and success but not necessarily complete happiness. There are people who have married into wealth just to become successful and powerful but not because of love. It depends on the person’s definition of success to determine if they have truly overcome their odds and transformed from “rags to riches”. They certainly can’t reach success from magic because that only occurs in fairy tales.

Blog Entry 3

It is very rare for a movie to be identical to its original story. Sure there can be a similar plot line and similar characters, but there are often differences in details. This is the case with the Brothers Grimm Hansel and Gretel and the MGM cinematic version


The MGM movie was based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, but it had many differences and ventured away from the original tale. One difference that can be noted is the tale around the village that kids were disappearing into the haunted forest. Hansel and Gretel, in the movie, are not taken into the woods by the father. Their mother sends them to get berries and they are sent out into the forest only once compared to twice in the original Grimm fairy tale. The children make a trail with cookie crumbs instead of breadcrumbs. One of the biggest differences in the film is that the mom wants the kids to live when she thinks they went into the haunted forest. She exclaims she doesn’t know what she would do if something happened to her kids. She also doesn’t die in the end. The father goes in search of the kids. There was also a music element whereas in the tale there was no music. The father and the witch are given names. These differences are mainly all in detail, which had to be added to provide a cinematic appeal.

There are a few similarities between the movie and the original tale. The similarities are found in the plot line. The family is poverty-stricken and there is nothing to eat. The mother is strict and mean and the father is protective of his children. The children try to find their way home but find a house made out of candy. There is similar symbolism in the house as it represents their greed and hunger. The witch has the same intention to eat Hansel. Gretel, in both, kills the witch; the witch dies the same way that she was going to kill Hansel. This expresses the idea that evil consumes itself. The kids receive an award for killing the witch, which makes the family rich. The similarities help preserve the message of the original fairy tale.

The movie directors made these differences for several different reasons. One of the most obvious being that a five and a half page story cannot take up 90 minutes. In a movie, characters need to have more depth and there needs to be a lot more detail. The directors also need to find a way to appeal to a larger audience in order to make a profit from the film.

My favorite part in the MGM version of Hansel and Gretel is when the witch, Greselda, reads to the children the story of Briar Rose before bed. It is an ironic scene since we just read that fairy tale last week. It made me laugh out loud.

Blog Entry 2

A fairy tale is a magical, short story that has been derived from cultures and the word-of-mouth. It is understood to be fictional. A fairy tale grasps the essence of magic and imagination with its style, pattern, elements, and themes. Fairy tales stay with us until we are old and become a part of us as we grow. Some of the most popular fairy tales have come from the Brothers Grimm. These tales were written based on stories people told them. The fairy tales are close to oral tradition while including stylistic, formal, and thematic changes to appeal to the growing middle class.

The most important part in determining what makes a fairy tale different from legends and myths is what is in the heart of the fairy tale. In the heart of a fairy tale is magic. Without magic, a fairy tale wouldn’t be a fairy tale. The magic allows for the imagination to run wild. It is what fascinates so many people from children to adults.

Fairy tales incorporate the supernatural to explore life’s meanings. Of course a fairy tale doesn’t need to have fairies, but they contain other mystical beings from talking wolves, birds, and other animals to dwarves and witches. No one questions why a wolf speaks or why birds can sew because that is the essence of a fairy tale. It’s the magic!

Each fairy tale has a specific style in which it is written. A fairy tale has clarity, neatness, and precision. There is a major lack of detail and description. This means that every word counts and is meaningful to the story. Another aspect found in fairy tales is repetition. Certain actions are repeated as well as numbers-3, 7, 12, and 100. Repetition allows for a rigid and strict form. Fairy tales are written in an abstract style. “The steady progression of the action, the dispensing with a detailed portrayal of the background or the characters, the predilection for everything clearly formed, the tendency towards extremes and contrasts, the tendency to make feelings and relationships congeal into objects, so to speak, and thus become outwardly visible- all these things give the fairy tale definiteness, firmness, clarity. The fairy tale bestows on its hearer, without him being aware of it, something of its unaffected precision and brilliance.” (Lüthi, 53)

Along with their style, most fairy tales have a specific pattern and include certain elements. Most plots follow the same progression. Zipes explains the five common plots in each of the Grimm’s fairy tales. First, the protagonist goes out to explore the world. Then, the protagonist encounters some helpers and receives advice and gifts. Next, the protagonist encounters a powerful person who threatens to stop the protagonist from success. Then, the protagonist uses the gifts and advice the helpers gave her. Finally, the protagonist is rewarded. Fairy tales include the elements of timelessness and isolation. They also include symbolism, motifs, and archetypes. Most fairy tales contain archetypes of the hero, the villain, and the helper just to name a few. Fairy tales have themes and teach lessons, which make them so fascinating to not only children but also adults. They share the theme of good versus evil. They teach that good will always defeat evil. All of these characteristics make up a fairy tale.

From toddlers to teenagers and even adults, fairy tales are an important part to our lives. They give us hope. The magic that unfolds gives us encouragement and entertainment and allows our imagination to soar.

Blog Entry 1


Never, in a million years, did I think that I would have the opportunity to take a class focused on one of my favorite things as a child-fairy tales. As a child, I spent countless hours watching Disney movies and reading fairy tales. I memorized each story, dressed like princesses for Halloween, and dreamed that one day my prince would come.

When I came across the course Grimm to Disney for an FYS, I knew right away that this was the class I wanted to take. Growing up, I have always loved listening to and reading fairy tales. I loved the concept of a happily ever after and the lessons that each story taught. I’m taking this class because I think that it will be fun to look at the fairy tales I have known all my life and look at them from a whole new perspective. I’m interested to see what I can learn from each tale as an adult.


Through this seminar, I hope to learn more about fairytales and the history about how they came about. I’ve only known Walt Disney’s rendition of the fairy tales and I’m excited to read the Brothers Grimm tales. I’m interested in exploring the different fairy tales to analyze and compare the different interpretations in regards to their structure, function, symbolism, motifs, metaphors, and psychoanalytic and feminist approaches.


My favorite fairytale is Cinderella. It has always been one of my favorites growing up. As a child, I loved Cinderella because she has blonde hair just like me. I love the animation and the talking animals. I also love the story and the meaning behind it. Cinderella taught me that I can have my own happily ever after even if life throws me obstacles and things don’t go as planned. My favorite motif is the triumphant underdog. The movie taught me to never stop believing in myself and to always dream big. I strongly believe in what the fairytale Cinderella teaches. I have and will continue to cherish its message throughout my life.