Recently, I read an article about the remake of Snow White with Julia Roberts. Then I saw another article which talked about Kristen Stewart as Snow White. Same movie. No. Last I read, they had not signed Julia Roberts’ Snow White. Kristen Stewart is Charlize Theron’s Snow White.
A while back Red Riding Hood was released by Warner Brothers, and coincidentally directed by Twilight’s Catherine Hardwickle. I have to admit, I was anxious to see this movie, and although I did enjoy the twists: wolf to werewolf, loner boyfriend, surreal dreams, etc., I don’t know how I feel over all about the rewrite of children’s fables into adult stories.
Now, having said that I have to also admit that I am one of those folks that always wondered why the princesses always were in some state of waiting on their heroes to rescue them.
Rapunzel locked away in a tower.
Snow White…poisoned and waiting.
All of this began to make me wonder what was the real purpose of fairy tales, and which came first the tales for adults or the tales for children.
Wait for it…
Yep, you guessed it…it would seem that in a lot of cases with the fables I researched they were originally intended for adults.
What I didn’t know was that originally not only were the fables for adults, but also had a sort of class association. Women of lower status told the tales to children sort of as teachings. As they became more associated with children inferences of sexual or violent natures were cut from the stories. Although some folks disagreed because they believed it took away the value of “teaching” from the tales. But, as this continued more and more we were left with the versions we have today.
All of it is fascinating to me. I find myself in conflict. A part of me loves the idea of fables that teach children the importance of making certain choices or decisions. Another part of me does not like the overtones: women need men to rescue them, women’s helplessness, etc.
So, why not rewrite them? Then another part of me asks “When do we write something new?”
Honestly, I’m completely confused, but I guess we’ll all find out how folks feel because the battle of the Snow Whites might tell us what we need to know. Will the children or the adults win?