The Brothers Grimm: The Frog Prince

I much prefer the Grimms version of “The Frog Prince” to whatever detestable variation resulted in the saying “You have to kiss a few toads before you find your prince.”

This story is (thankfully) not about playing the field, but about keeping promises.

No kissing involved.

The Frog Prince retold by Edith H. Tarcov, illustrated by James Marshall
A relatively faithful retelling of the story, written as a “level three” first reader (for 1st and 2nd grades). The large print and relatively simple sentence structures make it easier for children to read – but this still includes an abundance of words and parts of speech. I enjoyed the little rhymes the frog says. I did NOT enjoy James Marshall’s illustrations, which were cartoonish (all the people reminded me of Alice from Dilbert.)

The Frog Prince by Jan Callner (Audio)
An audio retelling of the classic tale, with a full cast of characters and accompanying songs. There are some embellishments to the story, but most of them are positive developments (showing the princess’s evolution from self-centered brat to friend, for example). Also, there were a few amusing bits – after the fairy godmother exclaims her displeasure at not being invited to the Prince’s party, the narrator asks “Do you know what she did?” and answers “She destabilized the entire geopolitical balance of the region – that is, she turned the prince into a frog”. On the other hand, the songs drove me absolutely NUTS – or at least they would if I had to listen to them more than once. Overall, I won’t be listening again.

The Tale of the Frog Prince from Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre (DVD)
Having been rather disappointed in Shelley Duvall’s version of “Rumplestiltskin”, I was prepared for her “The Tale of the Frog Prince” to be less than stellar. Except that I couldn’t help notice that these were different actors – Robin Williams is the frog, and the back of the DVD case has accolades from the New York Times. I let my hopes rise.

The opening scene, where a narrator introduces the plight of a poor king and queen who couldn’t have a child, raised my hopes further – only to let them be immediately dashed when said king and queen begin harranguing one another.

From there? Well, lots of angry yelling, lots of name-calling, lots of innuendo. Yep, that’s right – all sorts of innuendo.

And a kiss. Of course, a kiss.

I wasn’t a fan. Obviously.