Grimm’s Children and the Darker Side of Fairytales

By Elizabeth Colombini

Grimm’s Children is the brainchild of Purchase seniors Christopher Cappucchi, Catherine Fioriello, and Samantha Gutierrez. The website, which was inspired by the stories of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, allows people to submit fairytale related work to the site. The Beat sat down with Christopher Cappucchi for a Q&A to discuss the project.

What is Grimm’s Children?

So Grimm’s Children is an interactive website. We just started designing. It was supposed to be for a senior project and then it grew a lot more than that.  Our friends really enjoyed it.  They didn’t know what it was about in the very beginning. They’re like, ‘It’s just a website where you can post stuff, that’s it.’ Then it started to grow into something more.  What’s more about it is we are not just one fairytale. We’re going into mostly all the Grimm fairytales and trying to stay as far possible from Disney. Trying to–all the Grimm stories were never for children. They were supposed to be to scare children and they were all supposed to be for the parents.  Some people think of Cinderella–‘Oh, yes, the beautiful blue dress.’ No. Cinderella’s original story was not about happiness. If you know about the original story, the sisters cut their toes off so that they could fit into the glass slipper. That’s the original one.  At the end of the whole story of Cinderella, their eyes get clawed out by crows.

How did you come up with the name Grimm’s Children?

Grimm’s Children is actually a play on the words Grimm’s Brother. When we came up with the actual website we wanted something to be playful and still have the ring of it being a fairytale.

Who came up with the idea for the site?

We are actually a group of three. It’s me, Katie, and Samantha. We all actually took Theresa Benaquist’s class. Theresa is adjunct professor ten years here at the college. She teaches a class called Dark Fairytales; an amazing class that I suggest anybody to take if they are interested in journalism, writing, creative writing. When we found out we were taking the senior capstone with her, we all thought, ‘Why don’t we use dark fairytales as our senior project because she’s teaching it again this semester?’ We are now using the entire class for our pieces of work to go onto the website.

What is your favorite fairytale now as an adult?

‘The Evil Queen’ and ‘Rumpelstiltskin’–my project for Theresa’s Dark Fairytales was to do a retelling of ‘Rumpelstiltskin.’ It was a huge spinoff. I ended up getting an A in the class and it made feel so excited and made me want to do this.

Grimm’s Children are currently accepting submissions on their site. There is a 48 hour reviewing process in which work is checked for its originality.  Anyone can submit and the work can be Grimm or Disney fairytales but they must be retellings in the writer’s own words.   Work can be submitted to www.grimmschildren.com

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