Friday, January 28, 2011

Here Come the Angsty Fairy Tales

I have a weak spot for fairy tales.  I loved them as a child, and I fell even deeper in love with them after taking a fairy tale course in college.  The class covered everything from the historical reasons behind wicked stepmothers to the gritty original Brothers Grimm endings (did you know Cinderella's stepsisters cut off parts of their feet to fit into the glass slipper? And they dripped trails of blood?).  

Therefore, I'm highly interested in the angsty versions of fairy tales—geared toward the YA fantasy-loving audience—coming to movie theaters in the near future.  Even though I'm often a purist when it comes to classic stories, I find myself secretly trying to guess the human identity of the werewolf whenever I see the trailer for Red Riding Hood (see below).  Online tidbits about Snow White and the Huntsman and Maleficent pique my interest like a candy-covered cottage.

I admit, the finished projects might be best enjoyed if one is under the age of twenty.  Catherine Hardwicke, director of the first Twilight movie, helmed Red Riding Hood, and there is certainly a Twilight-y vibe in the trailer.  But I'm a person who's tempted by books and films that promise to be "modern fairy tales" or "bedtime stories come to life."  I'll be seeing these movies. 

Like my college course taught me, the oral fairy tale tradition means these well-known stories grow and change throughout the years.  Even the Grimms themselves might understand our modern enjoyment of Snow Whites who kick butt and the portrayal of woodsmen as heartthrobs instead of hairy axemen.  If these are the ingredients we need to deal with the dangers of today's world, then bring on the rebooted tales.  

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