An anonymous writer has written a series of very short stories that append a nightmarish ending onto Disney’s fairy tale plots. There’s Snow White, of course, who is always kind but not so good; and Jasmine, who finds that the throne is a lonely place.
They’re not as beautifully written as, say, Neil Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apple—my favorite gothic retelling—but they do play with sweetness and cruelty in a way that I think is pretty fascinating. While almost all of the princesses keep their childlike innocence, the stories take them to very sinister places.
But I won’t spoil all of the dark and twisty turns for you.
What I will say is that this project is incredibly interesting to me because the Disney classics are themselves based on Grimm’s gruesome narratives. In their world, Cinderella’s sisters cut off their toes to help the glass slipper fit. And the original Flynn Ryder? His is blinded by thorns! And, let me tell you: there is no smolder with no eyes.
Let’s face it: Grimm’s original fairy tales have been taken apart and rebuilt many, many times. Disney took them and put a pretty paint job on some of the more gruesome aspects. But what’s head-tiltingly interesting to me is the question that has probably occurred to you by now: did the author know this fact? Or have the frilly lace and soft edges of modern fairy tales completely overtaken the dark and interesting fairy tales I read by flashlight when I was supposed to be sleeping?
What do you think of these distorted fairy tales? Let us know in the comments below!