Almost all children are fans of fairytales, watch movies based on written fairytales, and even dream of being princesses/princes.  Whether it is because they enjoy the romantic plots of the fables, the sword fights, or the devilishly clever creatures, children swarm to see these movies and ask to hear recitations of them constantly.

But, fairytales originally were not meant to be cute and cuddly.  Sometimes the princess wasn’t saved, the prince was killed, or a large amount of characters were killed.  For example a lot of young children will know the Disney movie Tangled, which is about Rapunzel.  Disney did not follow the Grimm tales about Rapunzel.  The real story is that Rapunzel and her prince have a large amount of ‘fun’ in her tower, and she ends up pregnant, but doesn’t understand why her clothes are getting so tight.  She then asks her ‘mother’ why her clothes are so tight and ends up in a desert, where her mother had also blinded and left her prince to die.  They eventually run into each other while wandering through a forest and they live semi-happily-ever-after with their twin son and daughter.

Because of pop-culture today, no one really reads the old Grimm brothers’ fairytales, and so they are unaware of the real stories and how completely gruesome they are in reality.  That’s where Jack Zipes comes in to play.  Zipes has re-translated the Grimm brothers’ fairytales in a way that still harbors their original gore filled nature, while also shedding new light on the stories (which were supposed to be a critique on society during the Grimm brothers’ lifetime). Zipes even admits that the original tales were not written for the consumption of children or common adults.

Warning, don’t pick up the book unless you want to be scared out of your wits.  I’ve read a few of them and I can attest that they are much more graphic than I expected.  To check out more about Zipes’ translation click HERE.