Where Did the Disney Princesses Originate?
This princess from Disney’s 1959 ‘Sleeping Beauty’ originally had a lot more story left in her after the falling-asleep-and-getting-woken-by-a-prince part. The original version, published by Charles Perrault in 1697 and adapted from ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales,’ revolved around a princess named Briar Rose. While the first part of the tale was somewhat similar to the Disney version, the second part clearly reflected the Grimm influence, complete with ogres.
As it turned out, the handsome prince had one pretty major flaw: his mother was an ogress. Sleeping Beauty didn’t find this out until she became queen and had two kids with the guy: a daughter named L’Aurore and a son named Le Jour. During a vist, mommy dearest attempted to kill and eat her daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Luckily the king saved his family just in time and threw his mother into a pit filled with snakes.
Disney’s ‘Little Mermaid’ of 1989 bore some similarities to the original character, portrayed in an 1837 ballet by Hans Christian Anderson. Both versions traded their mermaid fins and voices for shapely pairs of legs so they could head to shore and land a prince.
The original Little Mermaid garnered more sympathy, however, because the sea witch cursed her withterrible pain every time she bore weight on her legs. Without anything to talk about, the only way she could try to impress the prince was by dancing. Ouch. To add insult to injury, the prince married another girl, and the mermaid dissolved into sea foam.
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