I read lots of fairy tales when I was a kid and while I loved them, some of them really scared me. My father (a known curmudgeon) has for years claimed that movies like Cinderella and The Little Mermaid are “social programming for children” and refused to let me watch them growing up. But the folk tales upon which they were based were sort of the same thing. They were cautionary tales to promote moral choices, used to scare children into doing the right thing.
Plenty of people other than my dad talk about how the modern, pop-culture versions of classic stories are somehow bad for kids, that they promote gender stereotypes or bad ideals. It leads to me to wonder about the older versions. So much of kid-culture is predicated on these stories by The Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Andersen. And yet some of those original stories are downright terrifying.
So I wonder, are the new versions really that bad? Especially in light of how scary the source material can be?
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