Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The cultural idea of fairy tales

To the dismay of fairy tale lovers, the phrase "fairy tale" is mainly used in culture in a condescending, even accusatory way. Though, as we who love the genre are quick to point out, fairy tales include many gruesome and gory details such as murder, thievery, and incest, this doesn't stop others from seeing the fairy tale as a trite and insignificant world where nothing ever goes wrong and everything ends happily. Really, we shouldn't need violence and sex to make a story worth reading, but how has this view of fairy tales managed to be prevalent? Even I catch myself sometimes using the phrase as a negative thing, as if I've learned two different definitions: the actual tales I know and love, and the cultural definition of a story that doesn't come true.

I've paid attention to when the phrase is used most negatively, and it seems to come with the assumption that someone is basing hopes for their own life off of expectations that it will end just like a fairy tale and will ultimately be disappointed. It may be true that fairy tales help set up unrealistic expectations in a young person's mind, but really, how are they that different than most other entertainment sources? What family friendly film, chick flick, or action movie doesn't promote the same hopes and wish fulfillment that a fairy tale does? In some ways, the more "realistic" movies can be more dangerous because they are supposedly set in the real world, but the lifestyles and romance and beauty we see in many films and books are just as much a fantasy as a world with secret kingdoms and fairy godmothers.

Though you never hear the phrase, "don't get your hopes up, it's nothing but a chick flick" or "I'm too old to believe in Hollywood stories," you have probably heard variations on those using "fairy tale," which has sadly born the brunt of criticism.

Now there are of course more realistic movies and books, just like there are fairy tales that separate from the norm-and we always have to remember that traditional folk tales are a totally different genre and we should have different expectations of them. I think maybe it's the nature of the "happily ever after" that turns people off. We like stories with resolution where the main character gets the guy or girl and a solution to a main problem has been found, but in fairy tales the character not only ends up better than he/she was before, but usually married to a King or Queen and ruling the country with unbelievable wealth at their fingertips. But again, this is a method of exaggeration and extremities common in fairy tales, and the fact that the world of the tales is so stark and extreme really makes it hard to believe that the listener is expected to base their own life expectations around it.

Some examples: In Miracle on 34th St (at least the old 1947 version), the mother refuses to tell her child fairy tales because she wants her to have a realistic view of life. It's later revealed that the mother herself expected her first husband to be Prince Charming and when he left she became bitter. Ironically, the movie ends with Santa Claus being real and she gets a better man anyway, so according to it, fairy tales really are true, in a way.
From the song "When there was me and you," from High School Musical:

"I thought you were my fairytale
My dream when I'm not sleeping
A wish upon a star that's coming true

...Now I know you're not a fairy tale
And dreams were meant for sleeping
And wishes on a star just don't come true"

Now I just find this humorous. Disney itself, in one of its cheesiest and most unrealistic hits, references back to the films that made itself famous as if the world wise high school girl's maturity is reached when she realizes fairy tales don't come true. But oh wait-in the end she DOES get back together with the cute guy and everything is perfect as they get the leads in the play, win the basketball championship, and she sings and dances in a cute red dress with all of her unified friends. Maybe I'm noticing a pattern...those who claim that unrealistic expectations are "just a fairy tale" are the ones who go on to create an unrealistic ending themselves, but somehow a little cynicism in the middle is supposed to heighten drama and and realism.

Now these were just the first two examples that popped into my head. I also hear the phrase thrown around in conversation a lot but nothing I can quote. Anybody have any examples from books, movies, conversations, etc., where the phrase "fairy tale" was used and perhaps abused?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gregory Maguire's Mirror Mirror

It's nothing new, but this weekend on a trip I read Gregory Maguire's Mirror Mirror for the first time, which as you can probably guess from the title, is a novel retelling of Snow White. Maguire is most famous for authoring the book Wicked, on which the musical was based. I have an old post on the book vs. the musical which you can read, but essentially, both are good, you just have to have different expectations for each. One is an inspirational family-friendly musical with catchy tunes which reverses the black and white villains and heroes of the book Wizard of Oz, another is an adult book which has many flawed characters and was meant to give depth and history to the Wicked Witch. It can be kind of a shock to go from the musical to the book unless you realize they're quite different and for different audiences.
Mirror Mirror was along the same lines as Wicked the book, but with no other expectations to go by it stands on its own as a strong retelling. The essential elements of the story are there-wicked queen, mirror, apple-but all a little different, and all woven in to history, an element I really love, set in Italy in the early 16th century. Again, this is an adult book-the characters are very frank about bodily functions, but really this is more historically accurate anyway. From the Publisher's Weekly review of it: "Fairy tales in their original form are often brutal and disturbing; with his rich, idiosyncratic storytelling, Maguire restores the edge to an oft-told tale and imbues it with a strange, unsettling beauty." Actually, despite their phrase "restoring the edge" implying that the edge is usually lost, this is one of the things I like about Snow White-really no retelling has been able to make it "dumbed down". Without the murder attempts it's not the same tale, and who can forget the demand for Snow White's heart brought back to the Queen in a box? Even Disney has these gruesome details.

Back to Maguire-Dwarfs are said to be creatures of the earth. Maguire's dwarfs are literally stone creatures learning slowly to take on more human characteristics such as individuality and quicker thought processes. It's really an interesting philisophical way to ponder humanity as if viewed from outside-this is an aspect of what can make fantasy great literature: the ability to imagine a world different enough from our own that we realize the profundity of characteristics of our world in matters we usually don't even think about.
I really enjoyed the book. Coincidentally, I happened to be in Washington DC last weekend, just at the time that the National Book Fair was going on, and Gregory Maguire was a featured author there-but I didn't get a chance to see or hear him.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A house-cleaning playlist

Disney princesses get a bad rap for doing domestic chores so often, but you know what? I do domestic chores too. I seriously listen to these songs every time I clean my floors:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Well, I may be a little biased...

This is a picture of me/Belle and the Beast. You can tell by the line drawn between our hands that we are holding hands. Naturally, we are surrounded by roses.

This was drawn by a very special friend of mine, Christy, whose artwork and reactions to Disney's Sleeping Beauty have been featured on the blog before. She's quite possibly the only person I know who loves fairy tales as much as I do...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Belle-Hey, Girl version

You may have already seen this, but my roommate just shared this with me...the opening number of Disney's Beaty and the Beast but with Belle's voice replaced by a gay man's ("little town...full of queens and homos"). It's pretty funny (maybe not for young children though, there is mild language).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

On Beauty and the Beast...

Betsey Hearne: "Beauty's is the journey to the underworld, to existence beneath the surface appearances. Along the way, she faces the danger all heroes encounter, a monster representing-perhaps created by-her own fear. Beauty's triumph is a strength of perception that leads to reconciliation with self, mate, family, and society. Her good looks become irrelevant, an ironic context for her previous failure to see. As her inner vision clears, she refocuses the old adage: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is not what one sees but how one looks at it, not passively, artificially, but actively, probingly. Her vision becomes a "burning gaze." Beauty, like the Beast, is an inner force. In dissipating her fears, she dissipates the fearsome aspects of the Beast.

..."The Beast is neither archenemy nor traditional hero. He is a much more poignant and affecting figure than the prince who succeeds him because he is in conflict with himself, while the Prince is perfect. The Beast combines a forceful nature with a gently naivete, brute strength with painful yearning. The Beast wants a relationship with Beauty; he will lure her but will not force her into it. Instead of trying to eat Beauty, he feeds her. He is powerful, yet vulnerably at the mercy of his unrequited passion. He is terrifying and also magnetic."

From Beauty and the Beast: Visions and Revisions of an Old Tale. I can literally open this book up to any page and know I'll find something beautifully written and thought provoking...however, one little comment-why does Beauty always get accused of initally judging the Beast by appearances? I think she's actually more than decent to him initially, and if she shows fear or loathing it probably has something to do with the fact that he threatened to kill her father for no reason. Even if not, did we expect her to accept a marriage proposal on the first night of their acquaintance?

On the subject of the fairy tale and judging by appearances-remember the movie Beastly? I gave it a not so favorable review...found this interesting tidbit via The Grimm Tea Party (couldn't resist looking into a blog that referenced both the Grimms and tea in the title):
"And what about the beauty character in the book? “...our beauty is a shy, sweet, book smart, average looking girl named Lindy. Lindy's appearance is the only thing that separates her from “Beauties” of past. With her red hair, freckles, green eyes and crooked teeth, she would have never been the Beast's ideal in his past life.”

Wait a moment, that doesn’t quiet sound like the character Vanessa Hudgens is portraying in the film... Oh dear. Melina ends her review on this note, “There is a movie adaptation of Beastly coming out and since Vanessa Hudgens is playing Lindy, I guess the moral of the story was lost in production.”"

Interesting...not really surprising for Hollywood, but I am more interested in the book itself now. That's a theme that more recent versions of the story emphasize-the fact that, at the end when the Beast transforms, in terms of status and beauty, they really have swapped roles. Jane Eyre has been likened to a Beauty and the Beast story, and it sort of happens in reverse order in that book, but Robin McKinley's Beauty as well as the original Villeneuve more or less assume that once the Beast is a handsome prince he won't love her anymore, a mere farmer's daughter. So really both of them love for the right reasons in the end.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Jealous Sisters

Once the Sultan was out in his kingdom and he overheard three sisters talking. The eldest was saying she would love to marry the Sultan's baker, for then she could eat all the bread in the world. The next said she would rather marry the head cook, for then she could have all the food she wanted as well as bread. The youngest and most beautiful said that she would rather have the Sultan himself.

The Sultan was amused and decided to grant the girls' whims. He summoned the sisters before him the next day and told them their wishes would be granted. The young women were embarrassed and insisted they had no idea they would be overheard, and were not worthy of such special treatment, but the Sultan carried out his plan. The eldest two sisters were married to the Baker and Head Cook, and the youngest was given a royal wedding and made the Sultana.

Soon the wives of the Baker and Head Cook grew jealous of their younger sister, the Sultana. They would get together and complain and discuss how they wanted to be revenged. Finally an opportunity arrived-the Sultana was pregnant. The sisters came to live in the Palace and spent all their time with her, and when the baby was born, a beautiful boy, they took the baby, placed him in a basket, and sent him floating down the river. They told the Sultan that his wife had given birth to a dog and he was furious. The Prince was found by the Sultan's gardener, who himself had no children. He took the baby home to his wife, who was overjoyed, and they raised the boy as their own son.

The same thing happened when the Sultana gave birth to another son, and the Sultan was even more furious, but the Gardener found the baby. Finally the Sultana gave birth to a baby girl, but once again deceived by the sisters, the Sultan became so furious he wanted her dead. But the Sultana was so well loved by the Grand Vizier and all the subject, they pleaded for her life. The Sultan allowed her to live, only on the condition that she be forced to sit in a box outside the mosque in the coarsest of clothes and spat upon by all who passed her. The sisters delighted in seeing their sister so humiliated, but she handled herself with such dignity that she won over the hearts of the people as well.

Meanwhile, the three royal children were being raised unaware of their true identities. But their adopted parents had noticed that they conducted themselves as people of high birth and provided them with all the education befitting people of their stations. The Princes were named Bahman and Perviz, and the Princess Parizade. The Princess joined her brothers at their lessons and learned just as much and just as well as they did. The Gardener wished them to have a beautiful place to live, retired from the Sultan's service, and bought them a lavish country house. The Gardener and his wife died before they could tell the children the secret of their parentage.

One day a pious old woman was passing by and Parizade showed her around the house and gardens. The woman was very complementary, but said that the house was lacking three things that would make it perfect-the Golden Water, the Singing Tree, and the Talking Bird. The Princess became obsessed with the idea of owning such priceless treasures, and her brother Bahman volunteered to go get them for her. Parizade said she would rather not put her brother in danger, but he insisted and left on his journey.

His instructions were to ride for twenty days with no stopping and then ask the first person he saw for the directions. He did as told and found a dervish with a beard so thick he had to cut it in order to understand what he was saying.

The dervish told him the way to the treasures, but warned him that on his way he would be taunted and harassed by the voices of all who had gone before him but died and were turned into black stones. The Prince was confident and went on his way, but became distracted and frustrated by the voices and became a stone himself.

Before the Prince left, he gave his sister a knife that would turn bloody if he should perish, and Parizade and Perviz were dismayed when they saw that their brother was dead, and Perviz insisted on going in his place. He came across the same dervish and succumbed to the same fate, and Perizade put on men's clothing and went to save them herself.
She heard the warning from the dervish, and decided to put cotton in her ears to block out the voices. The dervish was impressed by her wisdom, for no one else who had attempted the journey had had the foresight to take such precautions. The cotton blocked out most of the sounds, and Perizade was able to prevail over what she did hear. She successfully found the Talking Bird, who gave her directions to the other treasures, and to release her brothers and all the other men who were enchanted.

The siblings made their way home with their new riches and added them to their garden.

Not long afterwards, the Sultan was passing through and noticed the handsome and polite brothers and saw how well they hunted. He invited them to live with him in his Palace, but they refused on account of their sister. The Sultan asked them to consult with their sister, but the men forgot two nights in a row, and only on the third night did they remember. Parizade was concerned that they not insult the Sultan and suggested they consult the Talking Bird. The Bird advised that the brothers accept the invitation but also invite the Sultan to their house, and that Parizade should serve him a dish of cucumbers served with pearl sauce. Though she was surprised, she and her brothers agreed that they should listen to the bird's advice.

The Sultan was very impressed with their house and treasures. When the cucumber and pearl dish was served, he expressed his surprise, but the bird replied, "Surely Your Highness cannot be so surprised at beholding a cucumber stuffed with pearls, when you believed without any difficulty that the sultana had presented you with a dog, a cat, and a log of wood instead of children." The bird revealed the whole truth about the deception of the jealous sisters and the identity of the three siblings. The Sultan send word for the sisters to be executed and his wife to be released from her punishment, and the children and the Talking Bird returned to the Palace with their father.

The above tale is probably my favorite Arabian Nights tale I've read so far-maybe it's no coincidence that (at least in my edition) this is the last story before the Sultan proposes marriage to Scheherezade.

When reading ancient fairy tales from other cultures, it's hard to know how to interpret things. Were some parts meant to be accepted naturally or as a fantastic element? Are we supposed to agree or find it ironic and humorous? For exampe, when I read about the animal substitutes for the babies, I wondered if that was a fear some women had of giving birth to creatures. Certainly some women have been blamed for giving birth to girls and not boys, as if they had any control over it-but I liked the part at the end when the bird points out that the Sultan was being foolish for believing the lies.
I am often surprised when reading fairy tales at how the genders aren't always stereotyped as much as we think they are-I've found tales where gender roles seem to be reversed, but the particular collection of fairy tales that are famous today tend to fit the same patterns. But even so I was amazed that this tale was so pro-women. It's not just in Middle Eastern cultures that women have either been denied education, or educated differently than men, limited to languages and arts, but the story made a point of describing how Parizade learned all that her brothers did, even shooting with a bow and arrow, and she could "throw a javelin with the same skill as they, and sometimes better" (finally, an Arabian Nights tale I actually believe is told by a woman...) and when Parizade is riding to rescue her brothers, not only does her wisdom outshine their overconfidence, but "as she had been accustomed to riding from her childhood, she managed to travel as many miles daily as her brothers had done..." and she is capable in all physical tasks as well as mental.

Another thing that struck me was the apparant belief in the innate superiority of people with royal blood. I know that at least in Russia the royalty truly believed in their own innate superiority (I'm reading a book on it right now...) and really I think it would be impossible to be born into such power and priviledge and not let it go to your head. The gardener in the tale recognized their identity as royals due to their "beauty and air of distinction...their manners had all the grace and ease proper to people of high birth." It just seems so funny that people really thought of royalty as being a different breed of human...

The images in this book were credited to "Edmund Dulac and others," so that's all I can tell you for sure (the color plates definitely look like Dulac).
On another note, Blogger hasn't been letting me comment under my account, so I would have liked to respond to comments but haven't been able to. I really do appreciate being able to hear from other people...thank you for your time and thoughts and hopefully I can figure it out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The problems with trying to find morals in fairy tales

In Maria Tatar's Off With Their Heads!: Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood, she has a very interesting section on Beauties and Beasts, analyzing different types of Animal Bridegroom tales. Often, modern interpretations of tales such as Cupid and Psyche and Beauty and the Beast criticize the tales for what seem to be misogynist messages: "Never once do these stories show a heroine making a move in the direction of autonomy-the tales ceaselessly turn on the question of retargeting the object of the woman's devotion [from her father to her lover]." Tatar points out that women are expected to love because of duty and not passions, yet men rarely have the same standards applied to them.

Yet I have a very strong connection to the story of Beauty and the Beast and love the fact that Beauty learns to love someone despite how he looks-not because she's a woman, but because she's human. Many critics of the woman's expectation to accept whatever she's given are also under the impression that all Beasts are evil as well as ugly, a trend popularized by Disney, but this was never the case before (with the Marianna and Mercer Mayer picture book being the only exeption as far as I'm aware). As a single tale I think it's a beautiful, powerful, and challenging story, and yet if you look at the pattern of the tales told through history, you do notice disturbing trends. Cupid and Psyche especially is very condeming of feminine curiosity-Psyche is severely punished for looking upon Cupid, but who can blame a woman for wanting to look at her husband? Tatar points out that Psyche's act reveals she wants enlightenment-knowledge of her husband that goes beyond carnal (he's been visiting her every night and performing his husbandly duties under the mask of darkness). You would think this would be encouraged, but it proves to set off the chain of events that make Psyche miserable for years as she has to earn back her husband-another source of grief for modern people who loathe the implication that a woman's life should revolve around the man.

I'm still wrestling with the concept of how much you can condemn one tale for fitting into a pattern. Literary collections of tales, like Apuleius' "The Golden Asse", from which Cupid and Psyche comes, or the Grimms, have a direct source you can point to who had their own agenda. But folklore itself-those fairy tales that are supposedly handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth-have no one responsible for their messages and meanings other than collective humanity. It's just kind of sad that your appreciation of a tale can be diminished by knowing that it can be offensive, simply because it suggests things when studied alongside other similar tales.

But Tatar concludes with some very interesting observations that are important to keep in mind when studying fairy tales-you can't take fairy tales too seriously because even within one tale they will contradict themselves. Tatar says, "The many variants of 'The Search for the Lost Husband' remind us of the strength of children's fairy tales as moral magnets, picking up bits and pieces, if never entire blocks, of a value system. But since fairy tales seem to resist wholesale assimilation of a moral outlook or ethical orientation, they tend to offer mixed signals about the way to get ahead. One tale may impart a critique of dishonesty at the same time that it shows a boy defeating his enemies by cheating them. While it is tempting to look for a certain consistency in a tale's moral code (particularly since so many fairy tales have been pressed into service to provide behavioral models), it is rarely possible to find a story that does not encode competing moral claims."

Tatar uses the Grimms' The Frog King as an example. The heroine had to be forced to allow the frog to share her plate and bed even though she had given him her word, violently throws him against a wall, and ends up marrying the handsome Prince he becomes. Tatar's words: she is "selfish, greedy, ungrateful, and cruel, and in the end she does as well for herself as all the modest, obedient, magnanimous, and compassionate Beauties of 'The Search for the Lost Husband.'"' She contrasts this with a similar tale from England where the girl does obey each of the frog's requests, as her stepmother forces her to. The frog even asks that she chop off his head, and after hesitating she still obeys but still ends up with the same result. Tatar says that the tale could be meant to be humorous, as if obeying the commands of a villain would lead to a happy ending. In many fairy tales, whether you obey or violate a command, you get the same results.

Katharine Cameron

And remember that the fairy tales versions we are familiar with, especially from the Victorian period, were specifically written to be moral guidelines for children, therefore inserting messages in where they weren't before and sometimes contradict the actual facts of the story. But these messages we grew up with become embedded in the meaning of the tales in our minds and it's hard to see them as meaning anything different-but fairy tales can be read multiple ways. Though Tatar concludes that though Cupid and Psyche does have an unfortunate message of rewarding female self-sacrifice while condemning attempts at enlightenment, "it also celebrates the revelatory power of curiosity, the way in which the desire for knowledge of the beloved can deepen passion to turn it into love."

Monday, September 12, 2011

More on Dickens and the Fairy Tale

I found some more on Dickens' use of the fairy tale:

"Dickens himself tended to incorporate fairy-tale motifs and plots primarily in his novels and particularly in his Christmas Books (1843-5). It is almost as though he did not want to tarnish the childlike innocence of the tales that he read as a young boy-tales which incidentally filled him with hope during his difficult childhood-by replacing them with new ones. But Dickens did use the fairy tale to make political and social statements, as in Prince Bull (1855) and The Thousand and One Humbugs (1855), and his regressive longings for the innocent bliss of fairyland are mad most evident in his essay A Christmas Tree (1850)...

"What was to be was Dickens' adult quest for fairy bliss in his novels, and it is not by chance that one of the last works he wrote toward the end of his life was "The Magic Fishbone" (1868)...Here Dickens parodied a helpless king as a salaried worker, who is accustomed to understanding everything with his reason. He becomes totally confused by the actions of his daughter Alicia, who receives a magic fishbone from a strange and brazen fairy named Grandmarina. Alicia does not use the fishbone when one would expect her to. Only when the king reveals to her that he can no longer provide for the family does Alicia make use of the magic fishbone. Suddenly Grandmarina arrives to bring about a comical ending in which the most preposterous changes occur. Nothing can be grasped through logic, and this is exactly Dickens' point: his droll tale-narrated from the viewpoint of a child-depends on the unusual deployment of fairy-tale motifs to question the conventional standards of society and to demonstrate that there is strength and soundness in the creativity of the younhg. The patriarchal figure of authority is at a loss to rule and provide, and the reversal of circumstances points to a need for change in social relations. The realm of genuine happiness that is glimpsed at the end of Dickens' fairy tale is a wish-fulfillment that he himself shared with many Victorians who were dissatisfied with social conditions in English society."

-Jack Zipes, from his introduction to Victorian Fairy Tales: The Revolt of the Fairies and Elves

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Muppet Musicians of Bremen

Just discovered that the Muppets did a version of The Musicians of Bremen, and I recently shared photos from the German town of Bremen, and I love the Muppets, so here we go-

"Adapted from the classic Grimm fairy tale, The Muppet Musicians of Bremen was the third and final television special filmed for the Tales From Muppetland series. In this version of the story, four barn animals fled their evil masters and became a traveling Dixieland band. Kermit, formerly an abstract character but now firmly identified as a frog, narrated the story. While by this time Kermit had a clear animal identity and “look” to him, many of the other classic Muppet characters had been designed as more abstracted versions of real animals, or did not necessarily resemble any particular animals at all. The designs of the puppets featured in The Muppet Musicians of Bremen – Leroy the Donkey, Rover Joe the Hound Dog, T.R. the Rooster and Catgut the Cat, along with additional animal characters – set the design standard for future Muppets that would more closely resemble realistic animals"
More on how this short film influenced the history of the Muppets here-I also just discovered and I'm pretty sure it will change my life.
For more fairy tale-related Muppetry on Tales of Faerie, click here

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Fairy Banquet

"A man one time was led by invisible musicians for several miles together, and not being able to resist the harmony, followed till it conducted him to a large common, where were a great number of little people sitting round a table, and eating and drinking in a very jovial manner. Among them were some faces whom he thought he had formerly seen, but forbore taking any notice, or they of him, till the little people offering him drink, one of them, whose features seemed not unknown to him, plucked him by the coat, and borbade him whatever he did to taste anything he saw before him, "For if you do," added he, "you will be as I am, and return no more to your family." The poor man was much affrighted, but resolved to obey the injunction. Accordingly, a large silver cup, filled with some sort of liquor, being put into his hand, he found an opportunity to throw what it contained on the ground. Soon after, the music ceasing, all the company disappeared, leaving the cup in his hand, and he returned home, though much wearied and fatigued. He went the next day, and communicated to the minister of the parish all that had happened, and asked his advice, how he should dispose of the cup, to which the parson replied, he could not do better than to devote it to the service of the church, and this very cup, they say, is that which is now used to the consecrated wine in Kirk Merlugh."

Story from the Scottish Highlands, as found in Thomas Keightley's Fairy Mythology.

Image by John Anster Fitzgerald.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Disney Princess Designer collection

Disney Princesses may not be your thing, but you might enjoy looking at the Disney Princess Designer collection-the classic Princess' dresses have been given a more sophisticated makeover.
I like Cinderella's the best-it's a completely new silhouette but still traceable to the classic dress.

The store is releasing dolls with these dresses each week through October 24-you can read more on the Disney Store website.

Fortunately for me, someone had already scanned these images, but you can pick up the little brochure yourself at the Disney Store.