Well, Disney remembers it differently. Firstly Gerda and Kai are now sisters Anna and Elsa and there's a big guy with a reindeer sidekick. Oh yeah it's not called The Snow Queen any more, it's called Frozen. But other than that Hans Christian Anderson would totally know what you were talking about. We've come up with some more ideas for Disney to use...
2. Before I get to the point I'm going to get a quick rant off my chest. Disney teaches truly appalling life lessons. The basic moral of every single story seems to be "don't bother bettering yourself or gaining a skill set - just lie around being all passive and meek, and most of all beautiful, and the universe will eventually bend over backwards and give you everything you want. Hey, and if that still doesn't work out why don't you find the nearest powerful woman (who's usually strived for years to get the respect she deserves) and just kill her. Or better still get a man to do it for you. That'll fix everything".
The worst one of the lot though is Beauty And The Beast. Belle is forced to live with a vile, abusive thug who threats her verbally on a daily basis, isolates her from her friends and family, controlling her actions and not allowing her to have a life outside his home. But because she knows he loves her (it isn't his fault she makes him so angry!) he eventually turns into a prince and the domestic abuse was all worth it. She should have called the cops in the first 10 minutes of the movie. Or possibly Animal Control.
Anyway, with that in mind here’s my pitch for Hansel and Gretel.
We'll keep the basic story. After all it does end with an old woman being killed. We'll have her turn Hansel into some sort of cute animal rather than fattening him up. Let's say a pig - that's much more marketable as toys than an obese child. Oh and rather than Gretel coming up with a clever plan to defeat the witch lets just have the animals that ate the bread trail turn up and save the day after Gretel sings a saccharine song about being helpless - can't have a girl showing initiative and saving the day on her own. Oh and she can met a prince at the end. Bam, there we go - pub, anyone? Gareth
3. I think a friend of the family, too old for fairytales, gave my sister and me the stash of old fashioned Ladybird fairytale books. These are beautifully illustrated, and one of my favourites was the Princess and the Frog. It's a hilarious tale in which a spoilt princess accidentally drops her golden ball in a pond. A frog retrieves the ball from the pond on the promise she will repay him. And so begins the odd fairytale tradition in which young girls are tormented by a whimsical creature (only Snow White and Rose Red flip this trend on its head in the story of their oblivious torment of a dwarf) The princess has to share her tea with the frog, let the frog sleep on her pillow and is sooooo grossed out she weeps then EW she has to kiss him but hurrah! He turns into a handsome prince (FYI in the Grimm tale throwing the frog against the wall in disgust does the trick). I think Disney missed a trick when they made this in 2009 (which I FORGOT OK) I thought they would Mean Girls the shit out of this tale. The frog would be a total geek who stopped some compromising photos of the prom queen going viral. Then they kiss and he gets hot. And they held hands until college. Squeamish Kate
4. The Gingerbread Man is a great story: old woman bakes a gingerbread man. He comes to life in the oven and jumps out to run away. The woman and her husband chase but can't catch him... No-one can catch him... Until a fox gives him a ride across a river, and EATS him. Honestly I have no idea what the moral is. Don't run away or you'll get eaten? Anyway I don't think there's enough there for Disney. The remake? The ginger bread man escapes, but then realises that there is a gingerbread LADY still trapped in the oven, so he rescues her while she screams and fails to do anything useful. They leave together and have a series of whimsical adventures involving anthromorphosised creatures. The fox does initially want to eat them but after some amusing escapades realises it's just not polite to eat people, even if they're made of biscuit. And they all make friends and live happily ever after (until the sequel). Squeamish Louise