Little Red Riding Hood: Where Fairy Tales meet Soylent Green

February 5, 2013 Children's Fiction, Fairy Tales, Family, Fantasy, Frightening 40


Happy Tuesday, Bookworms!

Once upon a time, I committed to Project Fairy Tale. The brain child of Alison at The Cheap Reader, a bunch of bloggers got together and decided to check out some fairy tale goodness. This month I’m going to be diving head first into all things Little Red Riding Hood… Within reason. I mean, I watched that movie with Amanda Seyfried in it the other day, and despite the fact that she’s gorgeous, that was one giant crap fest. (Seriously. There was a sexy folk dance. Let that sink in. Sexy. Folk. Dance.) I’m a book blogger, not a movie blogger, so I’m going to be reading a bunch of Little Red Riding Hood re-tellings and such. Good times shall be had on the way to grandmother’s house!

To start things off, I pulled out my big old collection of Grimm’s Fairy Tales so I could get a baseline story in place for my comparisons. According to the Brothers Grimm, LRRH meets up with the big bad wolf in the forest. He thinks she looks delicious, but knowing she’s on her way to Granny’s, he decides to devour them both. He distracts Lil’ Red by suggesting she pick some flowers (a girl after my own heart. Seriously.) Then he heads off to Granny’s, gobbles her up, and dresses up in her nightgown to lie in wait for Lil’ Red.

Because little girls totally can't tell the difference between their grandmothers and wolves.

Because little girls totally can’t tell the difference between their grandmothers and wolves.

Once Lil’ Red arrives, the wolf gobbles her up too. Jerk. Luckily, a woodsman happens to be walking by and sees the wolf looking bloated. He figures that by chopping him open, he may be able to save whatever he’d just eaten. Because, you know… Much like a snake, wolves unhinge their jaws and swallow their prey whole, right? Whatever, it’s a fairy tale. Anyhow, the woodsman saves the day, Granny and Lil’ Red come out in one piece, and everyone learns their lesson.

I’ve since lost track of this, but when I was in college, I wrote a kickass essay comparing an old (like way pre-Grimm) version of Little Red Riding Hood to the Grimm’s version. You know what happens in the old one? Lil’ Red arrives at Granny’s where she’d greeted by the Wolf-in-Granny’s-Clothing and invited to have a snack. Do you know what the snack is?!?!?! It’s GRANNY! After Lil’ Red eats some Soylent Grandma, the wolf gobbles her up. Only, he eats her properly this time, like a wolf does with the teeth and the chewing. So. Yeah. Not a happy ending.

How much do you love the bathrobe and towel in the background?

Freshman year of college I got my fairy tale on for Halloween.

In case that little anecdote didn’t make it abundantly clear, the fairy tales of yore are a heck of a lot different than the Disney-fied ones most of us are familiar with. I suppose when plague and famine are forever at your doorstep, you don’t have a lot of patience for misbehavior. You tell your kids the most terrifying cautionary tales you can come up with to scare them straight.

So Bookworms, what are your favorite fairy tales?

40 Responses to “Little Red Riding Hood: Where Fairy Tales meet Soylent Green”

  1. CorrieP

    I’d have to say Hansel and Gretel, cause you know nothing says “good night and sweet dreams” like frying kids in an oven. Also, I love the movie Ever After with Drew Barrymore, but no book so not really fitting.

  2. Megan M.

    I love Beauty and the Beast but I’m a little afraid of what the non-Disney version of that story might entail…

  3. ashley

    I found an old Grimms Fairy Tales book at a yard sale years back. Ive always loved Sleeping Beauty. Of course my kids are scared of Auroras trance like state when she goes to prick her finger. “Oh my! What’s wrong with her eyes? Why is the music scary”?

  4. Erica n Jorge Moreno

    Little Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood (from NewFangled Fairytales.)

    Literary Genius.

    Sent from Windows Mail

  5. Lindsay Law

    I read that as Sexy Fox Dance. Seriously disappointed to reread it as folk dance.

  6. picturemereading

    Too bad the movie wasn’t great..I keep hearing that so I haven’t seen it! Secondly I remember that version of Red Riding and yes it’s a horribly sad ending! Looking forward to your reviews!!!!!

  7. Amanda

    Sleeping Beauty has always been my favorite. Magic, pretty dresses, a prince, and LOTS of sleeping. What more could a girl ask for? And I agree with your above observance that Maleficent is the most wicked of the villains. I LOVE her.

  8. Quinn

    LOL, awesome post. I didn’t know that older version of LRRH. Totally dark, and I expect that from fairytales.

    Also, I know the movie with Amanda Seyfried – yeah it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. And I’m not that picky.

  9. Sarah Says Read

    I really need a book of the old-timey fairy tales before they became all wuss-ified.

    The movie with that Amanda chickadee was SO TERRIBLE. Although I also don’t like her as an actress (she looks like a fish!) so maybe I’m a bit biased.

    • Words for Worms

      I’m a little disappointed the Grimm’s tales aren’t more grim. I don’t know where the super scary ones would be collected. It’s a shame, too. Ghastly good times to be had!

  10. liese0409

    the fairytales in america are so sweet. We nce had a student from a america and she was shocked about how we knew the fairy tales in germany. they must be much more brutal…

  11. Grass Oil by Molly Field

    Rapunzel. I used to call it “Radishes” as a child because there was a radish patch outside her tower in the version I made my mother read me night after night. I loved this post. Did you ever see the updated version “Stinky Cheese Man and Fairly Stupid Tales”? oh! my boys loved that book!

Talk to me, Bookworms!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.