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As you all are probably aware, Disney’s The Princess and the Frog came out on the 10th. Or the 11th. Or…*not yet,* depending where you are. Here in Nowhere, MA and Nowhere, MN, we have yet to see the film, since the outside world doesn’t come in here often. But, we’ve been reading reviews, and preparing to see it on the 23rd, after which a review will go up.

Here’s the thing: I’m concerned about this film. I means it! Concerned. For one thing, I’m worried about gender and racial stereotyping. Tiana, for example, dreams of success…by owning a restaurant. Restaurant ownership is good. It’s also traditionally feminine: cooking, cleaning and sewing are OK things for women to do. Like Giselle in “Enchanted;” she opened her own business, to be sure, but it was a clothing store. Wassamatter, Disney? Don’t women become doctors, lawyers, actors and candlestick makers anymore?

Also, there’s the racial stereotypes to contend with. I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t judge, but isn’t it interestingthat a film which has been marketed as a breakthrough for having a Black princess actually has her spending most of the movie as a frog? Oh yeah, she gets turned into a frog. When she kisses Prince Naveen (he of the ambiguous ethnicity). Clip below

So what do we make of this? Is it OK that our heroine spends the almost entire time as a frog? Are Mama Odie and Doctor Facilier going to be 2D stereotypes? And what are the critics saying?
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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!

Hey all! So, you might have noticed that I’ve only recently returned to fairy-tale blogging. I’ve missed a lot of opportunities to post Fairy Tales on Fantastic Fairy Tale Fridays! So, instead of just jumping from October to February, I’m filling in the gaps.

That’s right! Over at the Fantastic Fairy Tale Fridays page, we have 9 new fairy tale for you, from all corners of the globe! We begin with a Columbian story told by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.

Now isn't that pretty?

Now isn't that pretty?

There’s a complete list of all the new fairy tales after the jump, plus what you can expect in the future!
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In Defense of Fairy Tales

Why do I write this blog, anyway? Why am I going to devote my life to studying fairy tales, writing articles and doing research that no one will ever know about or read? Why don’t fairy tale scholars do something more ‘useful’ – like cure cancer, or work at a battered women’s shelter?

Why do fairy tales matter?

It’s a tough question, actually. And tricky especially for me, I suppose. I was raised in a household where I was always told that I should grow up to give back to society. Studying fairy tales might be a lot of fun, but doesn’t seem to really give anything back to society. Or does it?

First, I want to dismiss the argument that a lot of people probably think of when they’re trying to justify their existences. The argument goes like this: “Well, it matters because it’s beautiful. Man cannot live by bread alone! Art and scholarship are needed, just like we need medicine and engineering.”

No. Art is a wonderful, glorious thing. But we don’t need it like we need medicine and electricity. And man can live without the artists, the writers, and the fairy tale scholars. Would they miss us? Maybe. After a while, probably. But taking away their doctors and engineers would be a lot more noticeable and hurt a lot more because society truly needs things like medicine and infrastructure.
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This one is even shorter! Also, take note: the film is no longer called “Rapunzel Unbraided.” But! This super short clip does give us a glimpse of….the hair! Click here to watch it. This site also has the Squirrel O’Magic clip that we previously posted.

Wave, hair, waaaaave!

Wave, hair, waaaaave!

So you’re all thinking: Dae, why are you so obsessed with Rapunzel? I mean jeepers, it’s only a Disney movie! You hate Disney! What gives, woman?

Well, kiddies, I shall enlighten you.

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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…

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dwarfs and Elves:

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of Disney’s film “Sleeping Beauty.” To commemorate this event, Disney is re-issuing the film on Platinum DVD and Blu-Ray. The DVD is packed with extras whose quality might be up for debate, such as a re-do of “Once Upon a Dream” with Emily Osment (of Hannah Montana). The DVD also includes a never-before-seen alternate opening and a “making of” featurette. The Blu-Ray has a lot of interactive features (explore Maleficent’s dungeon!), and includes the platinum DVD as well.

Disney has launched a super cute website to promote the film.

We here at Lit.Scribbles are doing something a bit different to commemorate this landmark occasion. We are offering our very own review of “Sleeping Beauty.” It isn’t your conventional review, so go over and take a peek!

You may also want to take a look at the e-text of Charles Perrault’s version of Sleeping Beauty, which differs greatly from both the Brothers Grimm version and the Disney version that travels under his name.

The Boston Herald has a dinky review of the DVD. I agree with the assertion that Princess Aurora (why does te review call her Beauty??!) is boring, and that the three fairies are the heart of the film. But I mean, seriously: that dinky battle between Philip and Maleficent seems unfinished. But hey, everyone s entitled to their own opinion.

So, Happy Birthday, Sleeping Beauty! I’ll send you a…a…oh, heck with it. I don’t like you anyways.

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