Anybody who knows me knows that I love fairy tales. It’s not just the Disney movies, but the stories by Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm. We all have our favorite stories. Mine are The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Thumbelina, and Beauty and the Beast.
By now you guys know how I feel about stories…they are ways of understanding ourselves and society without leaving our rooms, they allow us to go on incredible journey’s to far off places, and fairy tales do this the best. There is a magic in watching princesses find their princes and themselves.
I will admit that there seems to be a formula for fairy tales. In the words of Belle, “far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise.” Some are defined by the characters they contain like goblins, elves, witches, mermaids, dwarves, and obviously fairies. Others are defined by the endings and whether or not the characters get a happy ending.
These are the stories we tell our children. To inspire them to believe in things that seem impossible and in things they can’t see. The stories for bedtime that will inspire our children to fight monsters and brave mountains. Fairy tales are not limited to stories that have been turned into Disney movies. There are more to fairy tales than princesses and talking animals. I would consider one of my favorite fairy tales to be The Hobbit. The story of a reluctant traveller who goes on a quest to help defeat a dragon. If you’ve never read it I would encourage you to because it is a story with intrigue and depth.
Something about fairy tales that I love is that they can be retold and reinterpreted in modern versions or classic stories. Anybody who knows me knows that I have this thing with mermaids. I completely believe they exist, though I am not sure if they are entirely friendly, but unlike a vampire I would love to meet one. That being said The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite movies, but there are only so many ways to tell that story. Once Upon A Time has done a good job of changing fairy tales to fit a modern day setting.
Unlike The Little Mermaid, Cinderella is one of those fairy tales that can be told in numerous different ways. One of my favorite interpretations is the movie Ever After. If you haven’t seen it you should consider yourself deprived. It has a cast of incredible actors: Drew Barrymore, Dougray Scott, and Angelica Houston to name a few. Most critics of Ever After say that the Drew’s British accent ruins the movie, but I always thought it weird that anyone had a British accent in a story that takes place in a French court: everyone is British, including the Prince. It has one of my favorite lines when a queen is telling the Brothers Grimm the true story of her grandmother “the little cinder girl.” They say, “And they lived happily ever after,” and she says to them, “the point gentlemen is that they lived.”
There is beauty in a story where the good guys win and the bad guys get what they deserve because we all know that is not how it works in real life. There is a magical quality when you are reading a story about a girl who lives in a gutter who becomes a princess, and realizes she was one all along. There is a highly naive quality to fairy tales that remind us of our childhood when everything was simple. If you haven’t seen it you should. If you love fairy tales or hate them comment below with your favorites. Now go and write or live your own fairy tale.