Friday, October 7, 2016

Grimm's Fairy Tales: The Frog Prince


Illustrated by Scott Gustafson
(All things Frog Prince are being discussed in detail in this post)

If you ever been read or have read The Frog Prince yourself it has probably been from a collection of a Mother Goose like book. It's the nice version where a princess drops her favorite golden ball down a well and a frog fetches it for her. Now everything is basically the same from the original but I didn't realize how selfish and ridiculous a story can be.

In the original version of The Frog Prince, the girl runs away from the frog forgetting all about her deal with him because she only cares about her golden ball. Basically, this girl is extremely materialistic. Then comes the time where the frog calls out to her and she complains about him to her father. Now I've got to commend this father. He asks her what happened and tells her to do right by the frog who helped her in her time of need. The girl is being really bratty about it but allows the frog to eat from her food and sit by her. Eventually he is supposed to sleep in her bed. Now this could have been a great lesson. A wonderful lesson for all those boys and girls who don't want to share or are a little too self-absorbed but NO. The princess gets fed up with the frog and throws him across the room and POOF! He becomes a prince and they get MARRIED! What kind of lesson is that? You couldn't have made it that she became friends with the frog eventually and saw the error in her ways? NO, if you throw a talking animal across the room you might luckily get married to a prince. I. Don't. Get. The. Point.

Tiana is not amused.
                                                                                                                                                                 
Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
I'm sure you know the Disney version that's completely unlike the original. The twist in the story is really needed but the moral learning seems to come from the frog himself. Tiana does a nice thing, works hard for her money, but then turns into a frog! And the selfish frog/prince is the one who learns... what really? He falls in love so now he's less selfish I suppose. I actually really enjoyed this retelling other than that lightning bug. The story made so much more sense then the original.

What I really wanted, because I knew there was no changing that non-lesson story, was to learn about faithful Henry in the original story. Henry is a servant at the end of the story who tied three bands around his heart from keeping it breaking. At the end of the story they broke out of Henry's sheer happiness. Now that's interesting! I want to know more about Henry's background and where that love came from. I want to know the reaction Henry had to this girl who is the definition of a brat. I want to know what happens next and not the Jon Scieszka version because that girl would not want to end up a frog. (Just realized that the lightning bug was probably Henry from the story. Mind blown.)

What do you think about the original tale of The Frog Prince?
What do you think would happen after their happily ever after?

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