Monstrosity and Morality: Controversial Evolution of 35 Fairy Tales

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26Tin Man's Metal Identity

Tin Man's Metal Identity

The Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz series was once a man named Nick Chopper. A witch cursed his axe, causing it to gradually dismember him. Each severed part was replaced with a metal counterpart until he became entirely made of metal. When he encounters his surviving human head, they argue over which one is the real Nick.

27. Dina Sanichar, a feral child found in a cave in Bulandshahr, India, served as the true inspiration behind 'The Jungle Book.' Raised by wolves, Dina struggled to adapt to human society for 20 years, unable to learn how to walk or talk. He developed an addiction to smoking and eventually died from tuberculosis.

28. The fable of "The Ant and the Grasshopper" features a grasshopper who spends the summer singing while the ant diligently works to store up food for winter. When winter arrives, the starving grasshopper begs the ant for food, but the ant rebukes him. This fable inspired Disney's film "A Bug's Life."

29. In the original ending of the Inca-inspired animated film "The Emperor's New Groove," the titular Emperor demolishes a rainforest to build a theme park. Sting, a defender of indigenous rights, threatened to leave the project unless the ending was changed.

30. The Italian fairy tale "Petrosinella" (later known as "Rapunzel") includes an enchantress who discovers the pregnant mother's craving for rapunzel, a type of plant. In exchange for rapunzel, the enchantress demands the newborn child as payment.

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31Juniper Tree

Juniper Tree

In the German fairy tale "The Juniper Tree," a wicked stepmother decapitates her stepson, cooks him into a stew, and unknowingly serves it to his father. The boy is later resurrected as a bird and seeks justice against his stepmother.

32. The Pied Piper of Hamelin is based on a real event. Evidence suggests that a large group of young families from the German town of Hamelin migrated together to settle new lands in Poland. Over time, the "children of Hamelin" became intertwined with the story, while the rats were a later addition.

33. Lang Bobi Suzi, a Belizean folk tale, features a female monster who punishes naughty children by whipping them with her giant breasts if they refuse to obey her commands.

34. In the Chinese fairy tale "The Wolf of Zhongshan," the protagonist employs clever tactics to trick a wolf into entering a bag and then beats it to death with a hoe, resulting in the wolf's demise.

35. Baun the Cat is a character from Russian fairy tales who possesses a voice that can cure any sickness. However, the cat often uses its voice to lull people to sleep and then devour them. The only way to defeat the cat is to wear an iron helmet to block its voice.

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  1. Yep, not surprised. At age 8 I got a real Grimms Faerie Tales book at an auction, read the gruesome, macabre and depressing stories in shock. I’d say the world those stories came from was as bad as ours or worse. So much for romanticizing the past.



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