Creative Child

Spooky Fairy Tales: Then and Now

by Sarah Lyons

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Disney movie (Tangled), 2010

Flynn Rider, a fugitive on the run, happens upon a tower hidden in the woods and decides to take refuge where he becomes Rapunzel’s captive. Rapunzel and her magical long hair have been trapped there for years and she is eager to explore. While her “mother” (who is really an evil witch) is away she talks Flynn into taking her on an adventure. They eventually fall in love, the evil witch’s deceit is revealed, and she is returned to her true family. Flynn becomes an upstanding citizen and they are later married and live happily ever after.

Original story collected by the Grimm Brothers, 1812

In the real version, Rapunzel becomes pregnant by the prince before they are married. The evil sorceress figures out she is expecting, and cuts off Rapunzel’s beloved hair, and throws her into the wilderness. The prince returns to the tower to visit Rapunzel, and the sorceress dangles Rapunzel’s hair out the window to lure him into the tower. She tells him he will never see her again and, in despair, he throws himself out the window and lands in a patch of thorns, which cause him to go blind. He then wanders aimlessly through the forest. Meanwhile, Rapunzel gives birth to twins. He is eventually guided back to Rapunzel by the sound of her voice. Her tears restore his sight, and they return to the kingdom, living happily ever after. At least it has a happy ending, right?

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves 

Disney movie, 1938

In Disney’s first animated feature, the jealous and wicked queen orders the murder of her beautiful stepdaughter, Snow White. She later discovers she was not killed but safely hidden among seven dwarves. The queen disguises herself as a hag and gives Snow White a poisonous apple, which sends her into a death-like sleep that can only be broken by a kiss. Prince Charming arrives and saves Snow White. They are married and live happily ever after.

Original story collected by the Grimm Brothers, 1812

In this version, the evil stepmother asks a hunter to take Snow White into the forest and kill her and bring back her lungs and liver. The man cannot go through with it so he brings her a boar’s lungs and liver instead, which the queen eats believing they belong to her stepdaughter. The queen later finds out she is alive and gives her the poisonous apple. Snow White faints and cannot be revived. She is placed in a glass coffin and the prince comes to take her away. The pallbearers slip and drop the coffin causing the bite of apple to become dislodged from Snow White’s throat and she awakens.

Snow White and Prince Charming fall in love and get married. The evil queen is invited to the wedding and as a punishment she is forced to wear burning hot iron shoes and dance before them until she drops dead. Yikes! 

Fairy tales have changed and evolved into versions we all love to share with our children. What stories do you love to share with your kids? What lessons do they teach?

Sarah Lyons is a stay at home wife and mother of six children, including 18 month old triplets. Using creative consequences with her kids has improved their behavior and encourages healthy relationships with each other.

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