Moderating Stories


An interesting concept I have come across is original fantasy stories being changed to be more light-hearted for a film or television adaptation. The stories are basically being censored to pull them even further away from reality. This is done to make the story more ‘child-friendly’; it also helps to make films more popular. Disney are one of the most notorious for doing this, as they adapt many fairy tales and mythological tales into films.

One of the most notable is the Little Mermaid which is based off of Hans Christian Andersen’s book. In the original tale, when the mermaid receives her legs each step she takes feels like she is walking on broken glass, and if she does not make the prince fall in love with her she will die. In the end the prince marries somebody else and she tries to commit suicide, resulting in her being trapped in purgatory for 300 years.

In the Disney version of Hercules he completes the 12 tasks which are part of the original  Greek myth, however nearly everything else is changed. An almost un-listable number of awful things take place in Hercules’ story. Hercules is sent down to earth by his father Zeus because Zeus’s wife, who is not Hercules’ mother, keeps trying to kill him; Hercules was actually born as the child of a rape. Megara the love interest in the film, was actually gifted to Hercules as a prize after he conquered many enemies. In the end she gives him 3 children, who he then kills along with Megara as Zeus’s wife infects him with madness.

An interesting example is Pocahontas as this is adapted from a real-life story, not a fictional tale. At the time the film is set Pocahontas would have been 11. It is debated whether or not Pocahontas did in-fact save John Smiths life,  but they were definitely not romantically involved. Pocahontas was captured by the English as a teenager, and quickly converted to Christianity, changing her name and abandoning her tribe. In the end she married an English tobacco farmer and went to England where she died at the age of 20.


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