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amdp89
Unregistered User
(9/13/03 6:55 am)
The Frog Prince Lesson Plans for 300 Level Course
Hi Everyone,

I have found this site to be invaluable. I am throwing something out there and if anyone can contribute I would appreciate it. We are going to be doing a class on Fairytales in my Children's Literature Course.

I wanted to take a class to focus on the two versions of the Frog prince and then I wanted to tie it into reality TV and Joe Millionaire ( i.e., The Prince turns into a frog). Any suggestions on how to tie this all together??

Thanks in advance for your input.

Ann

gormghlaith
Registered User
(9/13/03 9:55 am)
Re: The Frog Prince Lesson Plans for 300 Level Course
In the version I am familiar with from childhood, the princess makes no disguise of her disgust for the frog. He becomes a prince only after she violently throws him against a wall, not being able to stand him any longer. (Actually, where did the whole kiss-a-frog thing begin?) In Joe Millionaire it was the opposite, sort of- the ladies were fawning over the pretend prince, and now that it's over, and he is 'revealed', there's all sorts of odd comment in the media from the women who took part. I donít think he was revealed as a frog for his lack of money so much as for his un-princelly personality; that and the inexplicable desire to deceive a bunch of women in a castle in the first place. There's all sorts of versions of the frog prince on this site, so maybe a closer parallel can be drawn from one of those. It seems the tale where a prince, disguised as a poor servant, tricks a princes into kissing him by giving her toys, revealing her pettiness, would fit in somewhere too, but that does not involve a frog.
-incidentally, when watching the final episode with my friend- purely for cultural reasons, just as I watched that 'who wants to marry a millionaire' show in car-wreck fascination years ago- all I could think of the girl who 'won', Zora, was that she was Snow White. Talking about her good works and poverty, I expected bluebirds to sing and fawns to sidle up. Maybe the fairytale characterizations of the women- the lilith Sarah, the pure Zora- which seems so purposeful on behalf of the producers, would be of interest, too.

here are some 'froggy' post-show articles online (mostly gossipy reality-TV sites):
www.realitytvworld.com/in...p?sid=1321
www.realitytvworld.com/in...php?s=1133
www.realitytvworld.com/in...php?s=1049
www.nydailynews.com/news/...6876c.html

www.blast.net/hart/zora.htm

Joe a crude jerk, Sarah in playboy, Zora rescuing Serbian relatives? gloppy stuff. hopefully, any of this is helpful!

amdp89
Unregistered User
(9/13/03 10:37 am)
Frog Prince Lesson Plans
Thanks for the input. I like the Snow White angle. That is worth pursuing. I will also look at the web sites you suggested.


-Ann

Lotti
Unregistered User
(9/13/03 11:41 am)
Interesting variant from former GDR
Hello Ann,
I remember a TV/Movie-version from the former GDR that gives the story a nice little twist. It is the "classical" frog prince, with the Princess Henriette refusing to eat, drink and share a bed with the frog prince. I'm a bit blurry on the kiss-or-throw-question, but think she throws him against the wall. When he turns into a prince, she expects a kiss and happily-ever-after. That is when the story really starts: She turned him back into a prince, but he is still enchanted and removed to the castle beyond the end of the world untill she fulfills her promises made to him. She starts out on her journey and encounters water, fire and, I think wind, who would help her if she promised to let them destroy her country. This time, she won't make a promise she can't keep and comes off each encounter worse the wear. Singed, drenched and miserable she comes to the castle, but the guard tells her that women are not allowed inside. She disguises herself as a boy "Heinrich" and changes a necklace (?) with the master of the wine cellar for the privilege to serve the prince wine, drinking from his cup right under his nose. "You were drinking from my cup!!" "Yes, I did!" The master of the cellar is summoned and tells of the bargain. "Where did he (i.e. the princess posing as boy) get such female stuff?" the prince asks and has peas strewn on the stairs to the cellar. She falls down, but spots the prince and the master of the cellar watching her - so she starts cursing "like a boy" (quite cute there, she doesn't know swearwords so she tries to make them up). "This is no girl" Next is the cook, a golden coronet and the food, which she steals from the princes plate. "You were eating from my plate!!" "Yes, I did!" The cook is summoned and questioned, revealing the bargain, showing the coronet "Where did he get such female stuff?" . She is shown the weaponry, realizes again it is a test and starts swishing swords around, throwing knives and finally fires the cannon. "This is no girl." Lastly, she bargains with the valet and gives him - the golden ball. She hides under the bedcovers and again "You were sleeping in my bed!!!!!!!!!" "Yes, I did." Enter the valet, who is a bit smarter, saying there was no bargain, but the ball was a gift. "Where did he get such female stuff? Maybe "he" is no he, after all?" The prince has her drive his carriage "Because I want to visit my bride". She drives but starts to weep and doesn't look where she is driving, The carriage "jumps" a little. "Heinrich, the carriage is breaking" "No, not the carriage, it is my heart" and so on three times untill the prince tells her he knows who she is, and SHE is his bride, because she finally kept her promises.
I find this version very interesting for a number of reasons. The fact that she did throw him against a wall, never mind keeping to her end of the bargain throughout the whole story, always disturbed me as a kid. It just wasn't right! Second, the story is full of dry wit. Even so the moral issue is stressed time and again, the dialogue "plays" with sentences from the original fairy tale without ridiculing it. The film is definitely no Disney-iced-cake-thing, but full of irony. Also, the whole film has a cute "low budget" look to it. The spare stage decoration reminds me of Bert Brecht plays, and I'm not sure this was intended right away or just made the best out of a low budget.
This has become quite a long post - but I would appreciate your comments. I keep wondering everytime I see the film wether I like it better than the original or if I find it too obvious an "improvement".
What do you think?
Regards, Charlotte


I just found this website where fairy tale films from the former GDR are listed - not much info, though (look for Froschkoenig):
www.umass.edu/defa/films/kinder.htm

Helen
Registered User
(9/15/03 1:51 pm)
Interpretations of "The Frog Prince" ...
One of the most interesting interpretations of "The Frog Prince" that I've come across can be found in Doris Brett's poignant memoir, _Eating the Underworld_. In a semi-fictional interlude, one of her characters ponders the story, coming to the conclusion "That was what the stories were about - covenants. Each of the girls [in the various versions] had struck a bargain with the frog. That was what was different from the other stories. In the other beast-husband stories, the girls had been passive, the victims of someone else's bargain. In 'The Frog Prince' stories, the girls had struck the agreements *themselves.* 'The Frog Prince' girls had made their bargains for various reasons - to recover something precious, to heal a mother, appease a tyrant. Each girl had spent the rest of the story trying to deny the cost of those bargains, but they had made the bargains themselves... That was why the violence had been necessary - it was the violence of recognition; the violence of splitting open secrets, the truth, the innocence, the frog; the force that they had allowed to bind them; the energy necessary to break free." (Vintage, 2001, p. 132-133). The question of agency thwarted adds another element to the princesses actions, one with fascinating implications ...

janeyolen
Registered User
(9/16/03 3:51 am)
My take
If you find a copy of my book TOUCH MAGIC I have a short section on the frog prince variations.

And about the peas strewn on the floor etc., that's picked up from another fairy tale about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to fight in her father's/brothers place (Mulan is a variant) and one version can be found in my NOT ONE DAMSEL IN DISTRESS with notes. We also talked about this particular story at some length here on Surlalune somewhere.

Jane

Claudia Carlson
Unregistered User
(9/20/03 5:59 am)
Re: The Frog Prince Lesson Plans for 300 Level Course
The anthology I coedited with Jeanne Marie Beaumont, The Poet's Grimm: 20th Century Poems from Grimm Fairy Tales, has 8 poems based on the frog prince.

I think the kiss vs the smash against the wall an interesting point. However it started, it has stuck--why?

DonnaQ
Registered User
(9/20/03 1:23 pm)
Re: The Frog Prince Lesson Plans for 300 Level Course
hometown.aol.com/writeonq/page4.html

Edited by: DonnaQ at: 9/20/03 1:26 pm

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