Fairy tales arise from specific social and cultural conditions and are thus shaped by them. They usually reinforce the dominant social ideas and attitudes of that specific time. Hence, the ideas that are still socially acceptable remain in the fairy tale throughout the ages, and others are altered over time. In other words, the changing nature of fairy tales has its roots in social and cultural forces. They are not simply due to the opinions and approaches of different storytellers.
The result of this is a variety of appropriations of the text, to suit the cultural and social norms of the time. One example of this is Andy Tennant's film "Ever After". In this film version, Cinderella is Danielle who has a wicked stepmother and stepsisters, but in no way is she in need of rescuing; saving herself from her horrible family and the prince from gypsies. She overcomes hardship, marries prince charming, and lives happily ever after.
There are some similarities and some differences in the appropriation of Ever After. The similarities include, the young woman losing her father, being forced to work as a servant for a mean stepmother, winning the heart of the prince and overcoming hardship and the glass slipper and ball. These remain because they are universal themes that everyone consciously or sub-consciously desires, and are ideas that transcend cultural norms - The desires to raise oneself to a better medium of life, despite current circumstances.
The changes include having one mean and one nice stepsister, the prince and Danielle meeting several times before the ball, the lack of magical aspects, Danielle being rewarded with true love, not just riches and social status and the subversion of gender values; when Danielle saves the Prince from the wrath of the gypsy thieves. These...