Lesser-Known Fairy Tales Worth Reading

August 19, 2014 12:23 PM

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Disney has a reputation for borrowing age-old fables and coating them in a happy-go-lucky sheen. "Tangled," an adaptation (albeit a loose one) of The Brothers Grimm's "Rapunzel," conveniently excludes the scene in which the lovesick prince literally jumps out of a castle window and blinds himself with thorns. "Snow White," also based on a Grimm tale, leaves out the part where the evil queen chows down on a boar's heart, believing it to be her step daughter's.

Unlike their animated counterparts, in which endured hardships are always rewarded handsomely with the happiest endings, the original texts tell singular stories, often set in indifferent universes. This indifference can seem cruel; "good" characters are punished without explanation, whereas "evil" ...

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