Friday, October 5, 2012

Let's Reflect

So far, this class has been awesome. I have learned exactly what I wanted to. This ranges from the truth behind each disney adaptation and the analysis given by several authors about what each fairy tale truly means. 
I loved working on my presentation and discovering other's thoughts about Hansel and Gretel. I have kept up on the readings which has not been very difficult and normally the classroom work is just as simple to keep up with while still greatly expanding my knowledge. 
I love watching the movies on Wednesday and getting to compare them with the originals. The class itself is otherwise time consuming with the various workshops and lectures but it's an understandable part of the FYS process. This class along with the peer mentors have helped me a lot throughout this first semester and hopefully will continue to help me!

Snow White and the Seven

The Grimm version of Snow White was for once not completely different from Disney's adapted version. The only real changes lie in the times Snow White is tricked by her stepmother and the way her stepmother is punished for this. 
I personally enjoyed the Disney movie more for several reasons. Snow White seems a little bit smarter because she does not make the same mistake three times over of trusting an old woman. I also like the movie better because Disney puts depth into the characters of the dwarfs.
Originally these seven little men were only a place of safety for Snow White to run away to but Disney adapted them into a fully necessary part of the story.
I also enjoyed the movie more because instead of making it seem like the dwarfs were forcing Snow White to clean their house, she willingly did it on her own. She agreed to keep cleaning but also made rules of her own concerning the dwarfs hygiene. I also enjoyed the common aspects of any Disney movie that were added to this story. Those being, the addition of magic, helpful animal friends, and a prince that loved Snow White from the start. I think Disney did help the fairy tales by adapting them for more modern times with a very timeless tale that can be passed down. Keeping up with the Zeitgeist keeps the fairy tales alive for generations to come.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Magic and Marriage: The Path to Success?

Cinderella like many other fairy tales have a common set up that illustrate helpless girls gaining success and happiness through marrying a perfect prince and moving into his castle. This motif is not a realistic aspiration for girls to look up to. This inspires sitting around waiting to be "saved" by a prince. Instead girls should be learning to independent and make their own success by saving themselves from their problems.
 The motif also puts unrealistic pressure on boys. They are expected to come and sweep a girl off her feet. If a boy is not completely perfect and living up to fairy tale dreams a girl will just turn him away. Both genders should learn to live for themselves and be happy in their own lives before adding anyone else to it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

MGM vs. Grimm

I was very surprised about the large differences between the original Grimm version of Hansel and Gretel and the version created by MGM. The obvious differences started with the portrayal of the mother and how she actually cared when her children are lost and did not deliberately mean to send them into the forest. She attempted to help the father search for them and I believe MGM made this change to make the mother seem nicer and more family oriented. The movie was also different with the children being turned into gingerbread men and then being set free once the curse was broken. I preferred the Grimm version because of its illustration of the abandonment of the children because of the selfish needs of the parents. The children also became independent in the movie and I believe this was kept to show the hope kept alive in the children for their escape from the witch. MGM like Disney had to make changes to make the movies relevant to the current trends and keep society happy.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What a Fairy Tale is...

The image above is one of the most well-known indications of a fairy tale. Almost every common fairy tale must begin with this to start the story that will follow a certain predictable path that is well known to most readers.
            Fairy tales are automatically associated with the word magic. Without some sort of enchantment a Fairy Tale simply would be right. The imagination plays a large role in fairy tales because the reader is depended upon to believe in the story and not question whether the content is true or not. Being passed down through word of mouth fairy tales became expected to contain mystical beings, talking animals, evil witches, and good magic to prevail overall.
            The common set up also requires a certain plot line. This plot needs elements of a hero coming, a villain coming, love becoming involved, a challenge that the hero must face, and the hero overcoming that obstacle for love. Only a small amount of characters are needed for this design and they are never described fully along with most other parts in fairy tales. The description is kept at a minimum to keep focus on the solid actions in the story. This description is also kept at a minimum to show the timeless, miniature universe in which all fairy tales take place. This mystical land is set off all on its own with no description. It is realistic like the earth around us but not detailed enough to be recognized as an actual given destination. This lack of distinction helps keep the mystical drape over the fiction of the fairy tales.
            Though very simplistic stories all laid out in the same fashion, fairy tales are very important. They contain underlying morals and give hope to small children. They are timeless classics that will forever be remembered and used to keep a childlike spirit alive in the rough realism of present day life.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Beginning this FYS

From Grimm to Disney was a very appealing class to me when choosing my first year seminar because my family and I have always been very interested in the distortion of such dark fairy tales into something happy and family oriented.
In this seminar I hope to learn a lot more about the original fairy tales and how they were started and how drastically they were altered by Disney. 
My favorite fairy tale is Hansel and Gretel. I like this fairy tale so much because of the dark beginnings it has and how it was never entirely sugarcoated.