Damsels in Distress Now A Thing of the Past
In 1937, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfscaptured the imagination of children the world over.
The princess, from Grimm's fairytale, was presented as fragile and helpless, waiting for her prince to rescue her from the wicked stepmother.
But fairytales are being reinvented. Brave, the newest one in theaters, takes us to Scotland and Merida, a princess who rejects marriage and shows up the men in archery. Even Snow White is getting a remake, with two recent versions.
In Mirror Mirror, the lighter twist on the story, Snow White is feisty and smart.
She still ends up in the Prince's arms. But she also outsmarts the queen and wins the kingdom.
The second version, Snow White and the Huntsman, is ominous. The wicked stepmother is a dark soul.
Snow White battles for her kingdom. She even saves her man.
These films and others like them are sparking the appetite of young children for fairytales, says Wendy Tucker, a librarian at a Washington area elementary school.
"When the movies come out, they want the book which is great for me," said Tucker. "I try to encourage them to read the book before the movie, and oftentimes they've seen the movie and I tell them there is a book. They get excited."
While going for the newer takes, kids still appreciate the classic tales.
GIRL1: "They give us a different look of different time periods and how people acted back then. Also they include magic and fantasy."
GIRL2: "Sometimes I like the calm elegance of the old ones. But sometimes I sort of feel like I need a big production to be in front of me."
Once upon a time, parents read these stories to their children to teach them lessons, says Wendy Tucker.
"They wanted to emphasize how dark something was in order to make the beauty shine. And a lot of the fairytales and fables were told to children before television, radio was invented as a way for parents to control and teach good versus evil," said Tucker.
The stories still teach today, but the lessons have been modernized.