Showing posts from October, 2014

Disney, Fairytales, and Women, Part 8: Sleeping Beauty

You'll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream.

It's interesting to look at which fairytales are the most popular, the most enduring, and the most adapted. When there are stories all over the world of women and young girls fighting forces of evil and magic, saving themselves and their families with their intelligence, strength, cleverness, and steely resolve, why are the ones with passive female protagonists so popular? And particularly, what it is about sleeping beauties?
The history of folklore is absolutely full of women in long and/or enchanted sleeps awaiting men to awake them. Some of the oldest are Brynhildr of Norse mythology and Sittukhan from "The Ninth Captain's Tale" in The 1001 Nights. Giambattista Basile's "Sole, Luna, e Talia" or "Sun, Moon, and Talia" very clearly influenced Perrault's "La Belle au Bois Dormant," which the Grimms cleaned up considerably for their version, "Briar Rose." Bas…