This week, we're going to be exploring MANY forms of Snow White. If you're only familiar with the Disney version--or even if it's just been a while since you read the tale, you might want to join today's Snow White Cram Session!
EVERYONE knows that Snow White's evil Stepmother got her to eat a poisoned apple, and she was only awakened by True Love's Kiss.
Well....most people attribute modern day versions of various fairy tales to Disney, or only know the Disney version of the story, thinking it to be 100% faithful to the original.
Did you know...
1. In the Grimm's tale, Snow White is NOT awakened by True Love's Kiss? It's true! The prince sees her lying in her pretty glass coffin and takes her so that he can just...look at her all the time. (Morbid, right?) When they're heading to his castle, they stumble, the coffin jerks, and out pops that pesky apple! All Snow White really needed was someone who knew the Heimlich!
2. Snow White's Stepmother actually tried to kill her THREE times. Snow White was...well, she wasn't very bright. She can be forgiven the first time: The Stepmother disguised herself and came to the Dwarfs' cottage peddling stay-laces. Snow White buys them and allows the peddler to lace them up for her. The Stepmother laces her up MUCH too tightly, and Snow White completely loses her breath until the Dwarfs unlace her. The second time, she falls for the SAME trick. Snow White says she won't be tricked, but she falls for the beauty of the peddler's comb...and then allows the peddler to use the comb on her. Didn't you learn not to trust strangers the first time, Snow White!? When the poisonous comb is removed from her hair, Snow White comes back to live. Now the apple....ah, the apple. You'd think Snow White had FINALLY learned her lesson. She knows not to buy from the peddler. The peddler THEN offers to eat half the apple--but only eats the white, non-poisoned side. When have you EVER seen an apple with two colors, Snow White!? *shakes head sadly*
3. In the ORIGINAL version of the tale, did you know that it was Snow White's MOTHER, not her Stepmother!? And that there wasn't a Huntsman, but that her mother took her to the field herself and then abandoned her to the horrors of nature? To have your own mother do this to you!!!!!! I can't even!
4. The original Dwarfs never had names. This wasn't even a Disney invention! The first named Dwarfs came during a Broadway production of the show in 1912. Now, it's very common to name the Seven Dwarfs and oftentimes, the names all go together--colors of the rainbow, rhyming patterns, common elements, etc.
5. The ending of the original Snow White is fairly different from the Disney version, and is being used a lot in novel retellings these days, so you should DEFINITELY know this one. Snow White invites her Stepmother to her wedding. At the wedding, they have her put on red-hot iron slippers, and they force her to dance to her death. The theme of deadly slippers also brings the story of The Red Dancing Shoes to mind, and of course, special slippers also play important roles in classic tales such as Cinderella and The Twelve Dancing Princesses. But what a way to go!
6. Here's a bit of Disney trivia for you: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was Walt Disney's first full-length animated movie (Snow White was also the first film to become a digital file way back in 1993!). It cost more than ten times the normal amount of the Silly Symphony productions he often produced. The industry called the move "Disney's Folly" because they thought it would be a flop and Walt Disney would lose a fortune. Disney even put a mortgage up on his home. If the movie failed, he was done for. The movie premiered in late 1937 to wild success and won an Honorary Academy Award in 1939...which was bestowed by the one and only Shirley Temple! Disney's Folly was a huge success, and paved the way for animated movies and the future of a powerful production company.
***Interested in more versions of Snow White from various cultures around the world? Sur La Lune (Only the BEST fairy tale resource on the internet if you've never heard of it) has put together an amazing list of tales that will take you a while to read through!