Category: fairy tales

Why everyone needs to see The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Why everyone needs to see The Huntsman: Winter’s War

I had planned to do the first of my DIY Publishing posts today but then I saw The Huntsman: Winter’s War and kept thinking about it and decided I wanted to talk about this instead. Everyone needs to see The Huntsman: Winter’s War for one simple reason: so they make more. Those who know me have heard me say for years that in Hollywood you vote with your money. The first Huntsman (of the Snow White variety) made $56.2M opening weekend and went on to $155M domestically. So, of course they made another one. Winter’s War made $20.2M opening weekend. There’s plenty of reasons Winter’s War did so poorly. The […]

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myth vs fairy tale

myth vs fairy tale

For several years I’ve thought about the distinction between myth and fairy tale. It’s an interesting conversation and this is just a blog post on what could probably be an entire college course. In some ways the two might seem unrelated, especially since we exist in a culture that recognizes the stories that are myths and the stories that are fairy tales, by their titles if nothing else. There are, however, similarities. Both are forms of fantasy narrative. We don’t really create either anymore (and the how and why of that is an entirely different post). And we retell both frequently. So what makes one a fairy tale and another […]

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Fairy Tale Legacy: Enchanted

Fairy Tale Legacy: Enchanted

I know it’s not a proper fairy tale but Enchanted was really the first movie that set me down the path of understanding the fairy tale legacy. I know a lot of people love this movie, and this post isn’t meant to diminish that in any way because it is a fun, sweet movie. The thing is, Enchanted was the first time Disney essentially said, ‘We spent decades making movies about these fairy tales. We’ve made these princesses weak and naive and utterly sweet. We’ve made these princes stalwart and therefore unrealistic, unflinching heroes. It’s a farce and we need to fix it. We need to show real men in […]

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Fairy Tale Legacy: The Snow Queen

Fairy Tale Legacy: The Snow Queen

We have this false idea that fairy tales are about weak and passive heroines, damsels in distress. So we are always fighting against a fairy tale legacy that doesn’t exist. The interesting thing about The Snow Queen is that most retellings center their story around the villain rather than the heroine. Hans Christian Anderson’s story was all about Gerta, this girl who went to the end of the world to rescue her friend and adopted brother, Kay. She is waylaid and helped and thwarted in her quest. But it is very much her quest; her choices to save him. Disney’s Frozen, perhaps in opposition to the fairy tale legacy, eliminates […]

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Sci-fi and fairy tale legacies

Sci-fi and fairy tale legacies

I really wanted to pull off a sci-fi fairy tale legacy. How cool would that be to look at a sci-fi story that’s really a fairy tale and explore how it fits into or defies the fairy tale legacy? But I couldn’t find one. Mostly I looked at tv shows because that’s my favorite sci-fi medium, but I also thought through books and movies and I couldn’t find anything. Which got me thinking – what makes a story a fairy tale? Does it have to be a retelling of one of the classic tales (like Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles)? Does it have to include fairies (like The Treachery of Beautiful […]

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Fairy Tale Legacy: Snow White

Fairy Tale Legacy: Snow White

We have this false idea that fairy tales are about weak and passive heroines, damsels in distress. So we are always fighting against a fairy tale legacy that doesn’t exist. Snow White is a bit of a confounding fairy tale and in 1937, Disney did it no favors. We all know the essence of the story – the envy and vanity of the queen, the huntsman and the dwarves and the poison apple. Snow White was the first full length animated feature Disney made and their Snow White is sweet and soft spoken and a bit naive. But there’s a reason for that. In the original Grimm fairy tale, she’s […]

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Fairy Tale Legacy: Twelve Dancing Princesses

Fairy Tale Legacy: Twelve Dancing Princesses

We have this false idea that fairy tales are about weak and passive heroines, damsels in distress. So we are always fighting against a fairy tale legacy that doesn’t exist. The Twelve Dancing Princesses was one of my favorite stories as a child. I liked the dancing and the sisters and that it seemed different from so many of the “typical” fairy tales like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty and especially Cinderella. What I discovered in researching it for this post is that it may be one of the quintessential fairy tale legacies. Even without a Disney movie. Because most versions turn the princesses into victims which neither the Brothers […]

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Fairy Tale Legacy: Jasmine

Fairy Tale Legacy: Jasmine

We have this false idea that fairy tales are about weak and passive heroines, damsels in distress. So we are always fighting against a fairy tale legacy that doesn’t exist. We all know Disney has a reputation for sweet, passive princesses and throughout this series I’ve seen where that is both accurate and also unfounded. Especially in the 90s, Disney movies were full of independent, interesting heroines. Belle and Ariel are pretty accurate representations of their fairy tale. Jasmine, however, Disney improved considerably. I will confess I didn’t actually read the tale for this post. I wikipedia’d it and also referenced Project Disney for comparisons. There is a princess in […]

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Fairy Tale Legacy: Rapunzel

Fairy Tale Legacy: Rapunzel

We have this false idea that fairy tales are about weak and passive heroines, damsels in distress. So we are always fighting against a fairy tale legacy that doesn’t exist. Rapunzel is the girl trapped in a tower, known mostly for her long hair. It’s easy to see why we’d think of her as passive. She grows up with no doors and no stairs. And she’s been there so long she knows nothing of the world or any life but the witch. No wonder Disney would feel the need to make her lively and vivacious – bold even when she’s afraid – charming in her innocence and willing to take […]

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Fairy Tale Legacy: Snow White and Rose Red

Fairy Tale Legacy: Snow White and Rose Red

We have this false idea that fairy tales are about weak and passive heroines, damsels in distress. So we are always fighting against a fairy tale legacy that doesn’t exist. The Snow White few people know and another of my favorite stories as a child. I think I loved that they’re sisters and again that their story isn’t the “typical” fairy tale. I like the roses and I liked that my favorite Snow White was so much more interesting than the one everyone thought of – the sweet, childlike Disney heroine. It’s hard to write a fairy tale legacy post about Snow White and Rose Red. Because if you’ve read […]

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