Thursday, April 24, 2014

Original Fairy Tales Compared: The Twelve Dancing Princesses by The Brothers Grim

I partiticipate in Project Disney from time to time. As you know Project Disney covers the original novels or fairy tales the became Disney movies, but every so often I like to read fairy tales that have not yet became Disney movies so that is when this feature will come in handy. This feature covers original stories by  Grimm, Hans Christina Anderseon, etc that have not been made into Disney movies. If there is a movie that I can find based on the tale I will review that also.

Book: The Twelve Dancing Princesses or (The Shoes that were Danced to Pieces)
Author: The Brothers Grimm
Publication: 1812
Source: Project Glutenberg or Read here 
Summary (from Goodreads):
Where do the king's beautiful daughter disappear to night after night? And who can solve the mystery of the twelve pairs of dancing slippers, worn to shreds by the morning?

The life of the fun-loving princesses of the classic Grimm fairy tale, as they boldly escape the confines of their father's castle. Each one is a character in her own right--a loving sister and a not-so-dutiful daughter--enjoying their moments of freedom as well as their beautiful brocade ballgowns. 

Review (Spoiler Free):
As with all of the Grimm fairy tales The Shoes the were Danced to Pieces was a very short story with little character development.

This story was much more light than most of the Grimm Fairy Tales. The princess were innocent in the fact that they danced the night away, but their father did not like it so he took matters into his own hands. I would have liked to get to know the sisters a bit better, but alas it gives book and movie creators a lot of room for creativity in their personalities. There just wasn't enough pages to really develop the characters. Unfortunately this is all I can say without spoiling the story. Take a few minutes to read the story and then continue reading below for my spoiler review/ movie comparision.

*Spoilers Below of both the movie and the book*

Disney has yet to tackle the 12 dancing princesses, but a few years ago a barbie movie featuring The Twelve Dancing Princesses or The Shoes that were Danced to Pieces by The Brothers Grimm. I have fallen in love with this movie especially the music used. It is one of my favorite Barbie movies. 

The story begins with a king who has 12 beautiful daughters, each one more beautiful than another. Then the living quarters are described. The princess's bedroom is an essential part of the story since
their underground dance palace is in their bedroom. The door is locked each night when the 12 princesses are in bed, but somehow when the king comes in the morning all 12 pairs of shoes are worn to pieces.

The king does not understand how the princesses are getting out of the bedroom to find a place to
dance so he makes a deal with the kingdom if somebody can figure out where the princess dance then they can choose a daughter to marry and will be king after the father dies. If the person is not able to find out where the princess dance after three days then they are to forfeit their life.

The barbie movie changes a number of elements. The father is blindly oblivious to the princess midnight dancing excursion because he is deadly sick. Duchess Rowena notices the princess worn out shoes and asks Desmond to sit outside the princesses chambers and tell her if anybody leaves. The thing is the princess do not have to leave their chambers to go to the magical dance palace. Another difference is that the princess can only go to the Dance Palace for three nights whereas in the Grimm tale it seems to be an endless amount of times.

In the original tale each of the princes that came to find out about the dancing princesses would try to stay awake to find out where they went, but their eyelids would grow heavy and they would wake in
the morning when the shoes were worn to pieces. Many princes had to forfeit their lives because they could not find out anything about the princesses.

Then there was a wounded soldier who met an old woman on the road. He joked that he thought he might go visit the castle, find out where the princesses are dancing, and becoming king. The old woman tells him that the task is easy that all he has to do is not drink the wine and pretend to be asleep. The solider did as he was told. When the eldest princess gave him the wine he let it drip onto a sponge he had attached to his chin and he fake snored like he was in a deep sleep. 

The solider watched the princess dress in their pretty dresses and touch each of their beds to open up a stair case into the Dance Palace. The solider followed the youngest one down. At the base of the stairs the Solider saw 12 princes in row boats. Each princess chose their beloved and got into the boat. The
solider rode across with the youngest. The prince could not understand why the boat was so heavy. The solider seemed to become invisible in the dance palace.  The whole time they were dancing the youngest heard the solider breaking off branches and worried that they had been caught. The eldest told the youngest not to worry that many others had failed. The next morning the solider did not tell the King anything, but instead followed the princess again the next night.

When it came to time to tell the king he showed the king the cup and the branches he had broken off.
Then he revealed the underground Dance Palace to the King. The King called in his daughters and they knew they had been betrayed. They confessed and the King asked the Solider which daughter he would like. He replied that he was no longer young and would like to marry the oldest. So they were married and he was set to become king after their father died. The princes were bewitched for as many nights as they had danced with the 12 princesses.

In the movie the princess have to dance on 12 tiles in their room to get to their dance palace in birth
order. Then they are transported to the dance palace that is made of gold and is absolutely beautiful. They too must go to the dance palace on boats, but there are no princes waiting for them. They dance with each other until their shoes are worn to pieces. They do have gold princes that dance with them some nights though.

When Duchess Rowena finally finds out where the princesses are going she forces Desmond, her
humble servant to smash each of the 12 tiles in their room that lead to the dance palace. They are stuck down in the dance palace and have to dance on the tiles to find their way home. They are never allowed to go back there again.

Their father figures out that Duchess Rowena is poising him to steal his crown and forces her to dance for the rest of her life along with Desmond. The princesses are allowed to dance as much as they would like. Derrek and Genevieve (Barbie) are married.
The Shoes that Were Worn to Pieces was a fun quick read. I especially had fun comparing it to the barbie movie which sticks to the basic storyline, but changes some elements. This is one of the lighter Grimm fairy tales. If I had kids I would probably actually be comfortable reading this one too them. I recommend taking the ten minutes to read The Shoes that Were Worn to pieces. 

*As usual I was not able to showcase all the fan art I found. I do not own any of the beautiful pictures shown above. I tried to give credit where credit was due, but if any of those links are wrong please let me know. If any of the pictures shown above are your pictures and you would like them not to be shown on this blog email me and I will get them taken down. *

Deviant Artists Queens RevengeMifti Stock and Sed Rah . Hosted by The Book Rat and A Backwards Story

I'm linking up to this wonderful event. I hope to have one anthology done to review before May 3rd and I may have one more Grimm Fairy Tale post or Project Disney post to put up during this timeline. 

1 comment:

  1. The Barbie has very very poor grasp of the original fairy tale.


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