Fairytales with a TwistSeptember 27th, 2012 by May
This week’s new release Hotel Transylvania connects known horror characters like Dracula and Frankenstein in a new and original story. This is another step in a recent growing trend – using known fairytale plots and characters in non traditional ways. Here are some past, current and upcoming examples:
The Charmings (1987-1988)
This humorous TV show preceded the current fairytale trend by more than 20 years. It tells the story of Snow White and Prince Charming who are magically transported to the 20th century and now have to deal with raising a family in the modern world. The evil step mother, who is transported with them, does not make things any easier.
Red Riding Hood (2011)
The naïve tale about a little girl who deals with a big bad wolf turns in this dark adaptation into a complex love triangle where a fully grown Red Riding Hood needs to choose between a werewolf and a hunter… Despite some mocking reviews, the film is an eye candy and includes some very beautiful moments.
Once Upon a Time (2011 ongoing)
One of the most successful shows of the last winter season has an interesting premise: a young woman arrive in a small town and discovers all of its inhabitants are characters from old fairytales who forgot where they came from. Each episode focuses on a different character – Cinderella, Snow White, Red Riding Hood etc., and as the show progresses it turns out they are all connected.
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Snow White is a really popular character, as you’ll also see down the list. Here the story takes a dark and almost Jesuit turn when Snow White emerges as some sort of messiah to save her people from the soul-sucking evil queen. The film was successful enough for a sequel to be planned, although the latest events involving Kristen Stewart made producers announce it will revolve around the huntsman instead of Snow White.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
Remember that story about the two little orphans that get lost in the forest and encounter a candy-covered gingerbread house that belongs to a witch? Well, those kids are all grown up now and their current job is to hunt witches, while armed in leather suits and crossbows. Who would have thought they would turn out this way…
Grimm (2011 ongoing)
Inspired by the classic Grimm’s fairy tales, this popular TV show chronicles the life of a homicide detective who discovers he is a descendant of an ancient group of hunters, meant to keep the balance between mythical fairytale creatures and the human world.
Mirror Mirror (2012)
Yet another Snow White version, this one is the closest to the classical fairytale from this list. But even in this relatively “regular” version the director chose to take a lighter, more humorous tone when dealing with the story, which resulted in Indian dances and slapstick jokes throughout the film.
Jack the Giant Killer (2013)
The fragile border between the men’s world and the giant’s world is mistakenly breached, and who better to solve this problem and fight off the giants than Jack, the giant killer. It may be hard to believe, but this epic and pompous synopsis belongs to the current adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk. Yes, the one with the boy who plants a magic bean and climbs it to the clouds.
Beauty and the Beast (2012)
In light of successful fantasy-teen-romance titles like Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, Beauty and the Beast tries to be all that and a bit of a police drama too. Apart from the known legend, this series is also based on the 1987 TV show by the same name, which was a big success at the time.
Although still in the far future, this film marks an even greater increase in the alterations fairytales are getting these days. It is a high profile Disney production depicting the story and motives behind the evil witch in Sleeping Beauty. Angelina Jolie as the witch is surely an intriguing casting choice, but it makes you wonder how a character that frightened the hell out of kids worldwide will now become the story’s focal point…
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