Snow White and Rose Red is of German origin with no known oral antecedents. The Grimms included the mostly original story in their collection and consequently popularized it. According to Stith Thompson, Wilhelm adapted the tale from a story, titled "The Ungrateful Dwarf,"by Caroline Stahl published in her own collection of German stories in 1818.
The elements of the story beyond the broad theme of the Animal Bridegroom is uniquely German. Aarne and Thompson have classifed the tale as type 426: The Two Girls, The Bear, and The Dwarf. In this tale, as well as Grimm's The Lion and the Frog, the Animal Bridegroom is a kind and gentle beast whom the heroines do not find threatening. The girls are not required to "tame" the bear; they must deal with the wicked dwarf instead.
The tale has not appeared outside of a small geographic region in central Europe. Thompson considers the tale to be part of the animal bridegroom themes, including Beauty and the Beast, that are all related to the Cupid and Psyche myth (Thompson 1945).