Now, when I was very little, some of the first VHS tapes that I had were made by the Golden Book company, and they each had a few stories on them that used pictures from the Little Golden Books along with voiceovers for the characters(with some of the pictures digitally edited to give them a "movie" feel).
Now, even though I had about five different VHS tapes from this series at the same time, there was really only one that I watched when I was three. I wouldn't watch the other ones until quite a bit of time later. This particular VHS tape was titled, "Richard Scarry's Old MacDonald's Farm, and Other Animal Tales."
Now, I watched this video A LOT when I was young, and it was one of my favorites. I come across it on YouTube sometimes, and I just HAVE to watch it, because I get all nostalgic. In fact, I re-watched it right before I came to write this post.
This VHS includes three stories by Richard Scarry. The first is about Old MacDonald, and how his kids throw a huge family reunion at his farm. Oh, and they grow pickles too, which is even funnier when you're an adult and watching this, because you know that pickles don't actually grow. You have to grow cucumbers and pickle them to get pickles!
The other two stories were Richard Scarry's adaptations of "The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids," and "The Bremen-town Musicians." These are both based on fairy tales, and since they were my introduction to BOTH stories, I decided to talk about them both. But, in order to keep my posts from being too long, I will cover "Bremen-town Musicians" in my next post, and just talk about "Wolf and the Seven Little Kids."
Now, before I begin, I strongly suggest watching this entire VHS before you read my thoughts about it, because it is HILARIOUS! The entire VHS has been up on YouTube for quite a few years, and you can watch the entire thing by clicking on this link.
The story is, of course, way softened in the Richard Scarry version. In the original, a wolf is trying to get into a house where seven young goats live while their mother is away, but they won't let him. He tricks them, and they let him in.
The original Brothers Grimm story implies that the wolf completely successful at his trickery, while the Richard Scarry version portrays him as a stereotypical idiot. And it is very funny. Plus, the kids get to slam the window on his fingers, so... Yeah!
In the original, the wolf swallows all the kids whole (except for one, who hides). He goes to rest under a tree, and the mother goat cuts him open, frees the kids, fills him with stones, and sews him back shut.
In the Richard Scarry version, the wolf puts all the kids in a sack, so that he can take them home and have a feast. While he's resting under the tree, the mother goat cuts open the sack, frees the kids, fills the sack with stones, and sews it back shut. Wouldn't it have been easier just to untie the sack?
The ending to the Richard Scarry version is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from the original ending. In the original, the wolf takes a drink by the lake, and the heavy stones inside him cause him to fall in and drown.
In the Richard Scarry version, the wolf is completely humiliated! He gets home, opens the sack, and finds that there are stones in it instead of goats. He is angry and hungry, and the story doesn't end there! No! It has more to it, as the wolf gets humiliated more! He doesn't die at the end, but at the end, I'm sure he'd rather be dead than in the situation he's in! I'm not even going to spoil it for you. Watch it yourself, because it's hilarious!
I know this is kind of strange coming from a partial-purist, but I actually like the Richard Scarry version better than the original. Maybe it's just because of the nostalgia, but it's just SO funny! It's the version that always pops into my head when I hear "Wolf and the Seven Little Kids."
Next time, I'll get to the other story, "Bremen-town Musicians." Stay tuned!