Fairy tale mania is sweeping the country. If you don’t believe me check the movie listings. You can check the TV listings and you’ll find plenty of these tales being spun, or fractured or rewritten.
This isn’t exactly new but I think it’s at a higher level now than at any time and I don’t see the trend dying out.
Why should it? Fairy tales are terrific stories in themselves so when you take one of these stories we’re familiar with and fracture it, there are lots of things that can happen.
- New characters from other fairy tales might sneak in. (The Gingerbread Man keeps sneaking into my stories)
- The character can be changed in many ways. A sweet princess might become a ruthless warrior (Snow White) or a small girl grows up to hunt vampires (Gretel)
- The stories happy ending might become anything but. (I love doing this in my tales so readers are always wondering about the ending)
- The setting can change.
The list goes on and on. A skilled writer can take a tale and expand it.
One of the best examples I can give is TV’s Once Upon a Time. What a concept. Fairy tale characters put under a curse and living in today’s world without knowing their true identities.
Actually the curse thing and living in a modern world had been done before. The Charmings was a weekly TV show where Snow White and Prince Charming and others lived in the real world but knew their fairy tale identities. I loved this show until they changed the actress who played Snow White. Paul Winfield played the magic mirror and was hilarious.
Once Upon a Time has taken this concept much further and the tale continues to entertain watchers every week.
In the movie theaters there is Maleficent. I haven’t seen this but the publicity is huge. Even Hansel and Gretel have grown up and fight vampires on the big screen.
You’ll find Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood pitching products in the commercials.
Grimm is another show that takes these tales and myths and brings them into today’s world but I have to admit many times I’m confused as to what tale they are referencing. It must work though because it has certainly gone beyond a one year run.
It can still kick up a debate as to why not only kids but adults as well enjoy fairy tales. Personally I think it’s because these stories are simply entertaining. Snow White is one of the most popular fairy tale characters ever and why shouldn’t she be? The story has everything.
There’s a magic mirror and an evil stepmother and seven dwarfs. A prince kisses her and brings her back to life so the story also has romance. I had a blast fracturing that tale. My concept was to keep the general theme of Snow White but then add twists and turns. I took a lot of liberties because I knew that was a story that pretty much everyone was familiar with so they would understand the humor.
That’s also one of the keys to the fairy tale mania we’re experiencing. At least in my opinion. Those who know the story from their childhood have grown up and enjoy watching the different ways the stories are rewritten. It works.
I like to say these fractured or rewritten fairy tales can also be enjoyed by immature adults.