Fantastical Reimaginings: Snow White 

Fantastical Reimaginings

Fantastical Reimaginings: Snow White
by Nicole S.
 
Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Image from Disney
"Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go....” If you can whistle the rest of this tune then kudos to you! (I sadly cannot whistle) I bet some of you can also name at least two of the dwarfs in Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. However, did you know that the original tale of Snow White is very different than the Disney version? 

History
The original Snow White fairy tale was published in 1812 by the Brothers Grimm in their collection “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” as Tale 53. In German the original title was “Sneewittchen”. The Grimms then revised the story in 1854. Later, in 1912, in the Broadway play of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, the dwarfs were given individual names. These names were later changed when Walt Disney released his first full length featured animated film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1937. Fun fact: The story of Snow White is not the same story as the Grimms fairy tale “Snow-White and Rose-Red”.

The Original
Snow White
Image from Story Berries
 In the original story, a queen is sitting at her open window sewing when she pricks her finger and three drops of blood fall onto the snow-covered black windowsill. She wishes to herself that she will have a daughter whose “skin is as white as snow, lips as red as blood and hair as black as night." Not much longer the queen gets her wish when she gives birth to a baby girl she names Snow White. However, the queen dies shortly after due to childbirth. Snow White’s father remarries to a woman who is beautiful but also wicked and vain as she practices witchcraft. She possesses an enchanted mirror that she asks everyday who is the fairest of them all? Each time the mirror answers back that she is the fairest of them all until Snow White gets older and the mirror changes its response. Outraged, the queen orders a huntsman to take Snow White into the woods and kill her. As proof, the queen asks that the huntsman bring back Snow’s lungs and liver so she can consume them and become as beautiful as Snow White. The huntsman doesn’t have it in him to kill Snow White so instead he lets her run away into the forest and brings back a boar’s liver and lungs to the queen to fool her. In the forest, Snow White discovers a small cottage owned by dwarfs. In this story the dwarfs demand the Snow cook and clean for them in exchange for their protection. The evil queen thinking Snow is dead asks the mirror who is the fairest. The mirror answers that it is still Snow White. Learning she has been tricked, the Queen tries three more times to kill Snow. The first time, disguised as an old peddler, she tricks Snow into trying on a corset that is so tight Snow passes out. However, the dwarfs save her by cutting up the laces. The second time, dressed as a comb seller, she tries to sell Snow a comb laced with poison which causes Snow to pass out. The dwarfs save her by taking the comb out of her hair. The third time disguised as a farmer’s wife, the queen uses a poisoned apple to do the trick. Passing out, the dwarfs believe her to be dead and place her in a glass coffin. A handsome prince comes by and wants to take her away even though they have never met. As the dwarfs carry her coffin out of their cottage to the prince they stumble and jostle the coffin causing Snow to spit out the apple that was lodged in her throat and awakes. (No kiss from the prince!) The prince asks Snow to marry him and she agrees. Together they invite everyone to the wedding including the Evil Queen. The Evil Queen asks the mirror who is the fairest and the mirror responds that the prince’s new bride is the fairest, not knowing it is Snow. She attends the wedding and is enraged when she finds Snow alive. However, for the attempted murders of Snow, the prince demands she wears red-hot iron slippers and must dance in them until she drops dead. 

Snow White Retellings
So, how much has this classic fairy tale changed over the years? Are the retellings similar or impossibly different? Find out more about similar tales below!
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 Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Image from hoopla digital
Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”
Available on: 
Hoopla as picture book and read along book
In the Disney version of “Snow White”, the prince and Snow meet at the wishing well in the beginning of the story. She is also 14 years old. The seven dwarfs all have their own names and the Evil Queen only tries to kill Snow herself once with the poisoned apple. It is also the Prince who wakes Snow up with a kiss and the dwarfs run the Evil Queen/Old Hag off a cliff. Besides that, most of the story is the same.

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 "Winter" by Marissa Meyer
Image from hoopla digital
“Winter” by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #4)
Available on: 
Hoopla as an audiobook and OverDrive/Libby as an eBook

In “Winter”, Princess Winter is loved for her grace and kindness by her Lunar people despite the scars marking her face. Winter deeply despises her stepmother Queen Levana and knows of her disapproval of Winter’s beloved childhood friend and palace guard Jacin. Levana believes Winter to be timid and weak however Winter has been undermining her for years. With the help of her friend Cinder, Winter attempts to launch a revolution and wage war on her evil stepmother. Can she finally get her happily ever after?
This story is in part of a larger story in the “Lunar Chronicles” series by Marissa Meyer. Each book takes the fairy tales you already know, like Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel, and gives them a futuristic sci-fi twist. 
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"Mirror Mirror" by Jen Calonita
Image from hoopla digital
“Mirror, Mirror” by Jen Calonita (Twisted Tale Series)
Available on: 
Hoopla as an eBook

“Mirror, Mirror” follows the story of Snow White but what if the Evil Queen had poisoned the prince? After Snow’s beloved mother passes, her father remarries and the Evil Queen is in power. Snow does everything she can to keep her head down and out of sight. However new information comes to light about her parents’ death, and the plot to kill her backfires. Snow, with the help of some wary dwarfs, a prince and a mysterious stranger, will embark on a journey to defeat the Evil Queen and take back her kingdom. 
This story follows the Disney’s version of the fairy tale with a slight twist that creates a new timeline and path for the story. Each “Twisted Tales” story is a stand-alone for each Disney fairy tale.
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Now that you know the real story and some newer re-tellings, check out these other Snow White re-tellings available on hoopla!
o “Snow White - And Other Examples Of Jealousy Unrewarded” by Amelia Carruthers
o “Shadow Queen” by C.J. Redwine
o “The Fairest Beauty” by Melanie Dickerson
o “Mirror Mirror” by Gregory Maguire
o “Tear You Apart” by Sarah Cross

Let us know in the comments which rendition of "Snow White" is your favorites! Hope you all live happily ever after! 

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org On 19 June, 2020 at 2:12 PM  

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