In honor of the upcoming Amazon children's series The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red, we set out to explore origins and plot of the story that inspired this new show. It's a Brothers Grimm fairytale of a similar name titled, Snow-White and Rose-Red. It's a little darker than what is portrayed on the small screen, and the plot points aren't necessarily the same.
However, this classic story was so important to series creator Nicole Coady, it inspired her into adulthood. In our exclusive interview, we learned that Coady's mother used to read her many fairytales when she was a child. The one that stuck with her the most was Snow-White and Rose-Red. This tale of two sisters varies greatly from the tale of the unfortunate black-haired. pale-skinned maiden we all know. The Snow-White in the Grimm tale is a different girl from the Snow White who had been immortalized by Disney. The latter's story has withstood the test of time and has benefitted from Disney's insane/ingenious marketing for just over 80 years. Their character is known for living with seven dwarves after escaping her murderous stepmother. Snow-White and Rose-Red do nothing of the sort...well there is a dwarf involved, but it's a far different tale.
It was the original Grimm story that Nicole Coady chose to emulate with her childhood friends as they played. As an adult, Coady took her favorite tale to create a children's show.
But what is the story that inspired this new children's show all about?
Snow-White and Rose-Red is a story of two sisters who love each other deeply. Snow-White fair-haired and quiet. She enjoys staying home and helping their mother with the chores. When the chores are done, she loves to read. Rose-Red is the younger sister with more of a wild streak. She loves being outdoors and is commonly found there exploring the woods and running through fields. The girls live with their mother in a small cottage deep in the wood. The three live together in complete happiness, or so the story goes.
The two sisters spend their days picking berries and befriending animals. One night, as they sit with their mother, they hear a knock at the door. Rose-Red answers it to find a large bear. She is initially frightened, but the bear states he's just cold and needs to warm up by their fire. He comes in, the mother invites him to stay, and this bear comes back every night in winter to lay by the fire and play with the girls.
He comes every night until spring, saying that he has to protect some treasure from a dwarf...hmmm. He leaves, and the girls are saddened, however as he exits the door he gets his fur caught on a nail and leaves a tuft behind.
Soon after, the girls are in the woods collecting sticks when they run into a small dwarf trapped by his long white beard. He is mean and angry, but the girls do all they can to free him. Snow-White eventually cuts his beard free and off the dwarf runs. The girls meet the dwarf again in the woods not long after. They watch as an eagle swoops down and grabs the small man. Immediately, the kind girls reach for the dwarf and pull him to safety. In typical fashion, the dwarf is mad and runs off. Rude...
Again, on their way home, Snow-White and Rose-Red run into the temperamental dwarf once more. This time he is immediately upset by their presence, and he becomes terrified as a large bear joins them. After begging for his life, the bear gives the dwarf a smooth swipe, killing him.
The girls are shocked, but even more shocked to see that instead of their kind bear friend standing with them, there is a handsome prince. He quickly explains that he was the prince of the kingdom, but was cursed and turned into a bear. The dwarf stole his fortune and was trying to make sure that the prince never returned. After the dwarf's death, the curse was broken. In common fairytale fashion, Snow-White soon after marries the prince and Rose-Red marries his brother. Their mother comes to live them and they all live happily ever after. This tale is way less morbid and disturbing than many of the other Brothers Grimm stories.
The new Amazon show differs in its storyline, but the two kind sisters remain the same. Knowing the original fairytale will help us to better understand the origins and history of these fair maidens. Coady created this show with a goal to re-introduce us all to the art of old-fashioned storytelling. She also wanted viewers to explore the original Grimm Brother's story, so we did!
Snow White and Rose Red of the TV show spend their days happily in the forest exploring, but is there a bear? You'll have to watch to find out. The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red premieres on Amazon on June 15th! Make sure to check it out with your kiddos!
Have you read any Grimm tales? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!