Spotlight On... Snow White
Many of our best-loved fairy tales have much darker origins than we realise. The way we see characters like Snow White and Cinderella comes from a Disney-lens from the classic films of the early part of the 20th Century.
In fact, these stories are much older. People have been telling folk tales and stories of magic and dark forces, ever since we stopped grunting and poking things with sticks, and actually started to communicate.
Eventually they started to be written down and then along came (among others) the Brothers Grimm. Fascinated by the tradition of women telling stories passed down through generations, they collected them up and published them as ‘Nursery and Household Tales’ in 1812. (That’s the abridged version of the brothers’ story – which is a fascinating one – I’ll do a post on them another time).
Despite its title, the book was not meant for children. It contained sex, violence and incest. In Cinderella’s story, the stepsisters cut off her toes to make them fit into the glass slippers.
In the Disney version of Snow White, she is banished by the wicked Queen and then, with the help of seven dwarfs, finds everlasting true love. It was their first full-length animated musical feature film (1937) and adjusted to inflation, is one of the top 10 ten films of all-time to this day.
But the original story was very different. Now, there are many, many variations of this tale – this is just one – but swipe through the images to see some facts about the original Brother Grimm version. Warning, some are a bit gruesome, but no actual children read these pages do they?