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Apparently, the *billions* of dollars earned by Tim Burton’s re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland is triggering something of a Renaissance for fairy-tale adaptations in Hollywood. A 3D, Zombie Apocalypse kind of Renaissance.

First off, a 3D Cinderella could be in the works. Disney just bought a screenplay – written by the adapter of “The Devil Wears Prada” – for a Cinderella remake. I would get upset about this, except for the fact that nothing could possibly be worse than Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.

Cinderella III: A Twist in Time

Time-Travelling Cinderella: Yes, Disney went there.

But wait! There’s more! Hansel and Gretel is also getting a 3D update! And here I might actually die, because the movie is set to be born under the all-watchful eye of…Michael Bay. Ya’ll, I deeply dislike Michael Bay. The man is a rather evil sexist, and I tend not to like rather evil sexists. What can I say? I used to be Collective Coordinator for my college’s Women’s Center. Being a sexist just ain’t cool, peeps.

But that aside, I shudder to think what Hansel and Gretel will be like as a “3D action-packed FX experience.” ::shudder:: Things can be interesting without explosions! I just know that I’m going to have nightmares about this. Hansel and Gretel meets every obsession our culture has. Vampires! Zombies! 3D FX! Explosions! Gretel washing a sports car in a bikini! APOCALYPSE!!!

Hansel and Gretel in 3D

This is the face of the apocalypse.

Am I over-reacting? Yes, but it’s what I do, and I like to play to my strengths.

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You hear it everywhere, don’t you? People describe things like “Twilight” as “dark fairy tales.” Romantic comedies are always “fairy tale romances.” Any book with love, magic, a fairy, a prince, even *a pony* must be called a fairy tale. I think it’s written somewhere in a Very Important Book. Does this make me shudder? Yes. What do I think we should do about it? Absolutely nothing.

I think that one of my pet peeves is when purists in any given field start whining about how the Great Unwashed Masses are “doing it wrong.” “They just don’t understand” seems to be the sentiment. Why can’t they realize that the fairy tale is a historical, literary form which sprang up from a combo of French Salons, “blue books,” German bourgeois culture, with a little folk culture mixed in? Now what’s so hard about that?

Here’s the thing: I think that the over-use of “fairy tale” should actually be studied as an interesting phenomenon rather than decried as something silly. People are using the words because they mean something, or because they think they should mean something. So what exactly is that “something,” anyway?

Let’s look at two of my favorite example of this phenomenon. I know you’ll like the first one: it’s that timeless Julia Roberts movie Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman

The Fairy Tale of Our Time

You remember that scene from Pretty Woman , right? That one where Richard Gere asks Julia Roberts what she wants from him, and she gives him that whole spiel about the prince and the white horse rescuing her from the tower. “I want the fairy tale,” she says. Usually, this is the point in the film when I have a stroke. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Internet,

Yep! Litscribbles is back, and far more dangerous than ever! A lot has happened at FairyBlog HQ recently. Dae was in Germany, Catie was in France, and the both of them were too busy exploring the Wondrous World of Europe to sit at home in front of their computers. Good for us, sad for this blog…which has consistently maintained a surprisingly high hit-count, considering that we posted zip content this whole time.

However, all that is gonna change.

We’re not promising a flood of updates; after all, we are college students. College students writing theses. Dae is working on one about (what else?) the Brothers Grimm and Homeric Epic. Can a fairy tale collection be a deconstructed epic? Catie is tackling the TV show “Supernatural” and gender issues. Will they ever write a good female character on that show who doesn’t die a horrible death? So yeah…our time is limited. But our hearts are strong. There will be updates, even though they might not be super-frequent. So check your RSS feeds!

Here’s a little something (for those who are interested): Catie’s got an LJ for her thesis project! If you’re a Supernatural fan, mosey on over, read her thoughts, and share your own.

Here’s to our rebirth! Thanks for reading, and tune in soon!

Dear All

 

No! The Blog is not dead. Just dormant for a wee bit. I thought I’d be able to get things back online after Thanksgiving, but I’m in the middle of finals right now, and writing lots of fairy tale papers. Thanks to those of you who sent emails, though; that was super nice and gave me warm fuzzies. 🙂

I promise promise that I’ll have posts by December 17th (the day after I get home). Lost of posts. On the horizon: Neil Gaiman, Ever After (film), Fairy Tale Recipes (not kidding), and Andersen’s “friendship” with Charles Dickens.

So don’t leave! Pllllllease! I loves you all very dearly. 

Things shall be better soon…

Dae

Well. I have just finished the book. And boy oh boy oh boy oh boy…it was quite a ride. Please note: this review is also being posted in the Book Review section.

Disclaimers and Warnings! This review contains spoilers! I will tell you the ending. But don’t worry. I’ll writing “WARNING: ENDING REVEALED” before I get there. This review also contains ADULT CONTENT in the form of really bad kitty-kitty sex descriptions. You stand warned.

My Review

It starts off very well, actually. Yackle is in the Mauntery of St. Glinda, getting ready to die. She is lain in a crypt, and tells the maunts to come back a year later to sweep up her bones. However, that old crone just won’t die and is still alive (though blind) after one year without food or water in a smelly old crypt.

Enter: the Cowardly Lion. Sir Brrr, actually. Working (as we will discover) as a secret service member of Emperor Shell’s Loyal Oz. Remember Shell? Elphaba’s brother. He’s the Emperor now. Sorta an absolutist despot.

Loyal Oz is on the brink of war with Munchkinland, which has seceded from the state. And the mauntery is right on the border between the two states. Brrr doesn’t have much time – but he has to collect Yackle’s history before returning to the Emerald City. He’s been charged with finding out the whereabouts of Liir, anything about Elphaba, but especially…the location of the Grimmerie. That magical text. Where is it? And how can Shell use it to his advantage?

Here’s where Maguire is at his best. Political intrigue has always been his forte. It would seem that (because of stuff I’ll talk about later) Brrr is out of favor in the Emerald City. And not being cut out for life in the wild, he has no choice but to try and rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the State, so that he can re-enter Ozian society. So this information means a lot to him.

But (and here’s where the story really starts) Yackle won’t give up any information to someone she can’t trust. So, she brokers a deal with Brrr: she’ll tell him her story if he tells her his. And so the tale begins….

A Lion among Men

A Lion among Men

So far, so good. Brrr tells us about his childhood. He meets his first friend, Jemmsy (a soldier) when Jemmsy is stuck in a trap, dying. Brrr decides against going for help, and instead to watch over the man as he dies. Then he decides to go off in search of Jemmsy’s hometown, to tell his father of the son’s death. This, he thinks, will be a very useful thing to do, and someone will finally love him and be his friend. The way this part of the story is told is quite touching: we end up feeling for the Lion, both because of his stupidity (in letting Jemmsy die) and because of his patheticness (in trying so hard to be loved).

Unfortunately, the rest of the story (and Brrr’s character) never really moves on from this characterization. Throughout the novel, we feel sorry for Brrr (because the guy really is pretty stupid) and a little annoyed too (he’s ridiculously pathetic as well). And Brrr never really evolves as a character.

Anyway, Brrr ends up being responsible for a massacre of Glikkus trolls in the town of Traum (he refuses to help them get away from their attackers, and chooses to literally play dead instead of taking action). He thus earns the sobriquet “the Cowardly Lion.” Then its off to the Emerald City, where he uses money that the city of Traum gave him (as a sort of pay-off for his role in the massacre, but being stupid, Brrr doesn’t see this) to set himself up as a kind of interior decorator.

So far, its all right. We’re still waiting for the story to start, but we’re entertained.

Then come the Animal Acts (remember those from Wicked?) and Brrr, like so many, is forced to leave civilization. He goes out into the wild and has several unremarkable encounters. That is, until the book gets really terrible.

I mean really terrible.
Read the rest of this entry »

So far, it’s just a rumor, but…there are rumors a-flying that Glen Keane, that beloved Disney animator who has had his hand in everything from “The Great Mouse Detective” to “Beauty and the Beast” is – horror of horrors – stepping down as director of 2010’s “Rapunzel.”

The rumor comes from this site, which states that they have “an inside source” and an “inside memo” which says that Keane is backing out as director due to non-life-threatening health reasons.

YET! This site says that Keane was kicked off of the project by Lasseter (Disney’s head honcho). Wha? Why? Because he didn’t like the latest reel? And, once again, is this going to delay the movie? Pllllllease don’t do this to me…Disney…I just can’t take it anymore…

Be Nice To Me

Disney: Be Nice To Me

Some dude over at The Disney Blog repeats the rumor, and says that it has been verified by Floyd Norman. Yeah, but…doesn’t Norman not really work for Disney anymore? I mean, the dude is ancient…I thought he was just sort of their consultant? How would he know about all this insider drama?

Is this true? Will the project be slowed? Who will take his place? Or is this just silly, fluffy buzz? Thoughts???

…since writing the above, Wikipedia itself has posted the rumor. ::sigh:: Guess you know its true once dear old Wiki steps in…

Will this halt production?? Gack!!

As a side note! The New York Times Review of Books had (back in May) a very interesting summary of the evolution of the Rapunzel tale. It’s actually a great read – just look at all those contemporary adaptations – and makes for a good review, so we can all get ready for the film! (Yes, I know that it’s two years away, but I don’t care! I’m especially attached to this tale…)

Here’s an interesting excerpt:

In the Grimms’ tale of “Rapunzel” (though not in the Pentamerone), the prince is a fairly ineffective figure. After he climbs Rapunzel’s hair into the tower and is confronted by the witch, he jumps from the window in despair and is blinded by thorns. Both he and his beloved then wander about alone in misery for several years, but at last they are reunited and when Rapunzel’s tears fall on his eyes his sight is restored. In many modern versions the hero is a stronger character. These stories usually omit his blinding, or treat it metaphorically: he gets a concussion when he falls from the tower, and cannot remember Rapunzel and his love for her; or his glasses are broken and he can’t see her; or he believes that she has abandoned him rather than been banished to the wilderness by the witch. In the end, however, the lovers are reunited, one way or another. Men may appear to desert or forget you, the moral seems to be, but not forever.

I wonder how the film will address this? My gut instinct says that Disney (in true Disney-hero-mode) will cast the Prince as “Super Shiny Action Prince,” who will duel with Mother Gothel heroically! But because Disney seems very fond of klutzy people, here’s betting that – in the midst of an especially heroic parry-and-thrust – he falls out of the window. Whooops. Whether or not they choose to blind him will be very interesting indeed…

…that i have ever seen. This website, Grimm Fairy Tales.com, is possibly one of the more disturbing things that I have ever beheld (and yes, I saw what Walt Disney did to Snow White). This is a site where children can hear audio versions of the fairy tales (they have two as of this writing, The Bremen-town Musicians and Faithful John) read out loud to them, as well as follow along in print, and see the stories acted out by (poorly drawn, creepy) characters. What scares me the most, however, is the intro to the site, in which we are greeted by two goblins, both wearing T-shirts. One says ‘W’ and one says ‘L.’ You guessed it: the dancing, springing, jumping Wilhelm and Jacob…the Goblin version! Gaaaaaaah!!

“Hi kids! Welcome to the enchanted world of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.com! My name is Ludwig!” (Ludwig is pink with blue hair, and rather skinny. Also, side note: Ludwig did *not* collect fairy tales. That was Jacob and Wilhelm. Can you get any more elementary?)

“Und my name is Wilhelm!” (Wilhelm looks like an obese frog).

“We’re the Grimm Brothers!”

“Would you like to read a story, or play a game perhaps?”

“Just click the flashing button to begin!”

Wilhelm burps.

“Excuse me!”

WHY is Jacob Grimm now named Ludwig????

And it gets worse. These corrupters of the True Faith will not rest! All you have to do is mosey on over to Andersen Fairy Tales.Com to get sick to your stomach all over again! The curtain opens on a woodland scene, with a castle in the background, fairies flying all over…and Hans Christian Andersen, dressed in a purple waistcoat.

Hans: Hello there! I’m Hans Christian An-der-sen. Welcome to An-der-sen Fairy Tales.com. Come in! Read one of my stories. Learn a little, and play a while. Click the flashing button to begin!

Ahhhhhh!!!! My eyes!!!!! Thou shalt not turn the Brothers Grimm into Gremlin-Frog hybrids! Hans Christian Andersen is not Mr. Rogers on crack! I’m sure it says that somewhere in the Big Book. Doesn’t it say that somewhere in the Big Book? Parents: read your kids the books. Please oh please.

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