Sleeping Beauty through the ages:
Previous versions of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale date back to the fourteenth century, in which the film is set. A fourteenth-century romance called Perceforest (printed in France in 1528) contains an embryonic version of the story we know today. An Italian soldier, Giambattista Basile, adapted the tale for his “Sun, Moon, and Talia” story printed in 1634. Details of these versions are shocking, even repulsive. For instance, in some of these early versions, the King, or sometimes even the Prince, impregnates the Sleeping Beauty character as she’s sleeping, and then leaves her. She awakens not at the kiss of the Prince, but at the birth of her twin children.
. Everything painted in black, green, scarlet, or sickly purple hues is evil. These colors mark Maleficent’s clothing, her castle’s interior, and the atmosphere outside of her castle.
Aurora and her father’s kingdom are painted warmly in an array of bright colors: oranges, blues, pinks, and yellows. Anything rendered in these colors in the film appears happy, friendly, relaxed, and loving.
Differences from fairy tale:
Though Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is similar to the fairy tale version, there are several differences. In the fairy tale, Snow White's mother wishes for a child with "lips as red as blood, hair as dark as the window frame, and skin as white as snow". This does not occur in the film, as Disney's Snow White is shown with only her stepmother, the Queen, and there is no scene of her biological mother.
In the fairy tale, Snow White accepts three gifts from the witch (a girdle, a poisoned comb, and the apple), but is rescued from the first two gifts by the dwarfs. When she is offered the apple, she is unwilling to eat it and only accepts after the witch takes a bite of the apple that is not poisoned. However, in the film, Snow White only accepts one gift (the apple) from the witch after she helps the witch inside the dwarfs' house (some of the woodland birds attacked the witch as a warning, which was misinterpreted by Snow White). She bites the apple after being told that the apple is magical and that one bite will make all of her dreams come true (namely marrying the Prince).
In the fairy tale, Snow White is not awakened by the prince's kiss. Instead, the prince buys the coffin and Snow White's body from the dwarfs and has it carried with him towards his castle. During the journey, a piece of apple in Snow White's throat becomes dislodged and she awakens.
Lastly, in the fairy tale, Snow White faces her stepmother one final time after eating the poisoned apple. The stepmother attends the wedding of Snow White and the prince, but she is stopped from causing further harm by being forced to wear hot iron shoes to her death. In the film, the stepmother (as the witch) is chased up to the top of a mountain by the dwarfs after giving Snow White the poisoned apple: when she tries to dislodge a boulder onto the dwarfs to kill them, lightning strikes the edge she is standing on and she falls to her death, along with the boulder falling and presumably crushing her.
After the Queen discovers that she is not the most beautiful woman in the land, she decides that she must put an end to Snow White in order to retrieve her position. When sending the huntsman to kill her doesn't work, the Queen takes things into her own hands by creating an apple poisoned with the sleeping death.
Connected with the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, the apple is a symbol of sin and evil. In this case, the apple itself has been poisoned in order to murder Snow White. The audience discovers through the film that the apple does not dictate the end of everything, though. Although Snow White seems to be completely dead, she is actually waiting for true love to wake her up. Finally, her Prince comes.....
Beauty and the Beast:
There are many feminist aspects of both tales. Kathi Maio makes the point that the story is teaching girls how to tame the beast or your mate. The story shows the Beast as ugly and mean and Beauty starts to tell him what to do and he starts to listen and then at the end eventually transforms him into a prince. Another aspect that only appears in the Disney version is that Beauty loved to read and back then women didn’t read or learn much at all, at least not the middle class. Beauty loves to read and everyone in town thinks she is weird for it but she does it anyway. She is much more intelligent than many of the other town folk. The Disney version also gives the father a goofy kind of role where Beauty has to watch over him and almost be a mother to him. The Disney version has a lot more feminist aspects than the Beaumont version.
Aladdin is different to other fairytales that inlcue all the disney princess's who are portaryed as being perfect through their beauty and personality as well as they marry the prince at the end. In Aladdin, Jasmine is the princess who lives in a castle where Aladdin is not a prince and is poor.