The fairy tale Snow White from the collection by Brothers Grimm is for sure one of the best known stories in the whole world. As far as I know it is pretty new and in my opinion some sort of hybrid made from several other classic fairy tales. It posses characteristics of The Sleeping Beauty (conflict with a jealous witch, long sleep, similar to death), Cinderella (absent and incompetent father who married a wrong woman), Wolf and Seven kids (magic number seven, dependence from the outside force), Hansel and Gretel (fighting with magic in a hut in the woods), ...
If we, on the other hand, compare two famous collections of fairy tales from Perrault and Grimms, this fairy tale is by far most known of all missing in Perrault’s Tales and Stories of the Past with morals, more known by its subtitle (Tales of Mother Goose).
Snow White and her evil stepmother in disguise (Theodor Hosemann, 1852)
As you can expect, I will provide some interesting facts and speculations on Snow White, fairy tale mostly known from Grimm’s book of fairy tales.
- There are numerous versions of fairy tales with the same elements as in Snow White available online. There is a Celtic version with a king who married Snow White, then lost her because of her jealous mother (!) and got her back with a lot of help of his new wife and in the end happily living ever after with both (!) wives. And there is an Italian version of a jealous stepmother who convinced her husband to leave her in the woods, where she reaches a hut with seven robbers. If we look at Basile, a great resource for many classic fairy tales, we find Snow White in some aspects similar to Sleeping Beauty and other to Bluebeard…
- Seven dwarfs in Snow White can be understood as immature men (who are not men enough for Snow White). They are incapable to turn her from a girl into a woman. They obviously can’t protect her (she can't do that too) and her only hope is a prince (he is a real man) who came by to rescue her and make her his wife.
- The most popular version of Snow White today came from Disney Studios. This is one of the first versions of the fairy tale with names of the dwarfs (being undeveloped and incapable for taking care for Snow White they really don’t need names) and the first with a kiss (all older versions provide almost the same solution: the object causing the death is removed from her respiratory tract and the girl start breathing again). It is also the first full length synchronized animated movie in color ever. Snow White and Seven Dwarfs by Disney had an astonishing budget, pushing the company on the edge of bankruptcy and became a big hit in the box office. It's one of the most important milestones in Disney’s business.
As a special bonus, let's name all the dwarfs from the fairy tale:
These are Disney's names, but to be honest, we should clarify he was not the first who named them and gave them individuality through a special set of characteristics unique for each one of them. The oldest known list of names for the Dwarfs in Snow White comes from a Broadway play staged in 1912. Here they are:
There are other lists as well, but you probably don't need to know them, right?
Can you add your own thought or two on Snow White?