Childrens Books

The Dark Endings of Happily Ever After’s Most Famous Stories

Storytelling and writing may be an ancient art, but it has evolved and changed a lot over time. Storylines that were once magical and mythical are now more reality-based. Even the writing process, which used to require scribbling on rocks or frequently dipping the pen in ink, now only requires printer ink refills or toner cartridges. Yet there are many stories, which are constantly told without a single change. The same stories we tell our children have been passed down from generation to generation. These are the famous bedtime stories or better known as fairy tales.

Whenever we talk about fairy tales, our imagination soars to a magical, mystical world full of rainbows and ponies. This is the world that Disney created for us. Disney always has its way of telling stories, elaborating situations and defining characters. Snow White was probably the very first animated feature, which defined the stereotype of a perfect damsel in distress. The film was adored by children and adults. The reason could be that we humans always expect everything to end well, with the good taking over the bad and then living happily ever after.

The truth is, most of these stories aren’t actually written with an “everything is fine” ending. As the biggest contributor to the stories was the legendary Brothers Grimm, the actual ending was mostly gruesome. However, there has always been a moral behind these stories. So the rework by Disney wasn’t really intended to add a positive aspect to the moral of the story but to make it suitable for a younger audience.

One of the biggest changes to the story is to “Cinderella.” We know it as a wonderful story with songbirds, sewing mice and a cute little fairy godmother. The only evil in the story is his stepmother and sisters, made worse by the naughty stepsisters. Apart from their treacherous behaviors, who can imagine anything cruel in the story? Yet in Grimm’s current version, the stepsisters are pretty ladies who desperately chop off their feet to get them into the slippers. But that’s not where it stops. The birds ended up stinging the eyes of the sisters to serve justice.

Other famous stories include the story of the bagpiper in which he actually leads the children to a river where they end up drowning. Thus, teach a good lesson to the traitors of the city. Likewise, in the original version of Snow White, the entire first part of the kiss is missing. Besides, it was not the heart that the queen ordered, it was the lungs that she wanted to be served for dinner. It was actually the jerk of the prince’s horse that woke the lady. Later, the queen was made to pay for her deeds by dancing to death in red iron shoes.

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