Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What the What?

So here I am doing some research on Rapunzel (for work, people!) when I come across this in its Wikipedia entry:

"Before the plan came to fruition, however, Rapunzel foolishly gave the prince away. In the first edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales, Rapunzel innocently says that her dress is getting tight around her belly; in subsequent editions, she asks the witch (in a moment of forgetfulness) why it was easier for her to draw him up than her."

Okay, so I don't really remember Rapunzel that well. But uhm, you're telling a story to kids, am I right? And Rapunzel and the prince get it on in the tower and she gets pregnant? How do you explain that to little Helga?

"Mutter, what does 'tight around the belly' mean?"
"Well, Helga, according to Wikipedia, it means 'pregnant'."
"What is 'pregnant'?"
"Well.... it's when you eat too much soup and feel sick. The end."

I mean seriously? I get that times were different way back when in Germany, but come on now!

Also, I knew the ending of the original Little Mermaid, but I didn't realize how incredibly deep and involved it was. (This is from its Wikipedia synopsis entry):

"The prince and princess marry, and the Little Mermaid's heart breaks. She thinks of all that she has given up and of all the pain she has suffered. She despairs, thinking of the death that awaits her, but before dawn, her sisters bring her a knife that the Sea Witch has given them in exchange for their long hair. If the Little Mermaid slays the prince with the knife and lets his blood drip on her feet, she will become a mermaid again, all her suffering will end and she will live out her full life.

The Little Mermaid cannot bring herself to kill the sleeping prince lying with his bride and, as dawn breaks, throws herself into the sea. Her body dissolves into foam, but instead of ceasing to exist, she feels the warmth of the sun; she has turned into a spirit, a daughter of the air. The other daughters of the air tell her she has become like them because she strove with all her heart to gain an eternal soul. She will earn her own soul by doing good deeds, and she will eventually rise up into the kingdom of God."

"Andersen originally ended the tale with the mermaid dissolving, but then later added the 'daughters of air' coda..."

Seriously, Hans? Really now?

Thank goodness for Disney versions.

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