Thursday, November 17, 2011

Who's the Fairest of them All?

I LOVE fairy tales. Being a child of the 70's, I grew up with the books, not the Disney movies with 2 exceptions (the classic Snow White 1937 animated masterpiece and the equally wonderful 1950 animated Cinderella). In the last 20 years Disney has recreated animated and live action versions of many of the fairy tales we all grew up with, some I've enjoyed, many I have not. Disney has never been one to stick to the original story. Understandable for the Disney audience since most fairy tales are dark, scary gruesome tales of betrayal, death and sadness that only occasionally have a happy ending.

Years ago when I started collecting rare books I began buying fairy tales at antique stores and online auctions. I have a few wonderful books including:
  • Aesop's Fables, 1887. Not fairy tales, but fables. Charming stories with beautiful illustrations.
  • The Children's Blue Bird, 1913. Wonderful stories with stunning illustrations. The frontispiece illustration is of a little boy and his sister (Tyltyl and Mytyl) perched on a bed peering at the vision of a witch and a magical land, "The hat was no sooner on the little's boy's head than a magic change came over everything." You will have to read the stories to figure out what the blue bird symbolizes.
  • The Fairy Mythology by Thomas Knightly, 1850. Fairies, elves, spirits, it's all here. Irish author Knightly introduces what is now widely known as the modern leprechaun in this book.
  • Legend of the Rhine, 1869. This stunning book of German fairy tales is a treasure.
Fairy Tales are popping up all over TV and films right now. I've started watching Once Upon a Time on ABC and after a rough couple of episodes it seems to be hitting its potential. Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin is fantastic. There is also Grimm on NBC which I have saved on my DVR but yet to watch, I've been told it's gruesome. Nice.

In 2012 there are 2 versions of Snow White being released. Universal Pictures is releasing, Snow White and the Huntsmen. The trailer looks interesting, I appreciate that is appears they are retaining the darkness and fear of the story. Strange casting choice of Kristen Stewart as Snow White, I'm hoping her Snow White is stronger that the whiny Bella she is famous for in the Twilight films. Charlize Theron looks lusciously psychotic as the Evil Queen.

And Relativity Films has made Mirror, Mirror. Hmmm, trailer is funny and odd. Julie Roberts as a snarky Evil Queen could be great. Snow White is played by singer Phil Collin's daughter. Nice to also see Nathan Lane in the film too.

I am including both trailers below. Enjoy!

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