I just discovered one of my favourite fairy tales told by one of my favourite film makers, the amazing and talented Lotte Reiniger, who pioneered stop-motion silhouette animation in the early 20th century. Here it is: “Puss in Boots”, by Lotte Reiniger, 1954.
An excellent series of three articles on how Disney is often the dominant version of classical tales, showing what the “originals” are like: “The Disney Effect”. I especially appreciate this because the author, Allie May, loves Disney, so this is not the Disney-bashing you might expect (“Oh woe, how The Evil Culture Industry has destroyed our beloved classic stories!”), but a fun and knowledgeable outlining of the elements of the source texts from which Disney wrote their films (or sometimes were just loosely inspired by).
“Red stone, blood stone,
Round and smooth and cold stone,
Make it stop, make it stand,
Take me over to the strand.”
That’s the rhyme the purple weasel tells the little girl to use when she gets to the raging river, on her way to the other side of the woods to give to bring the sorcerer his medicine…
That’s right – another story of mine got published on Enchanted Conversations! This is in the April edition of the magazine, which is all about Animal Tales. Mine has a purple weasel and a blue rabbit and, most of all, a black crow. And, of course, a little girl, whose name is Margie.
Unlike the previous stories I had published on EC, which were re-tellings of traditional tales, this one is an original. I was trying to go for the classic formula and tone – but of course, I’m…
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What happens when you stake everything on one particular version of a fairy tale? Find out in “Hitting the Wall”, my interpretation of “The Frog Prince”, posted on Enchanted Conversations:
“Become a frog,” they said. “You’ll have pretty girls lining up to kiss you. Sure way to get that girlfriend.” …
But what nobody had told me was that the folklore about frogs is different in Europe. Girls read fairy tales from books there, and the way the old Grimms tell the story isn’t what I’d always heard.
It was a nasty surprise…
To keep reading, go on over here…
It’s International Women’s Day today. It’s also Thursday, which invariably generates a flurry of Twitter posts under the hashtag #FolkloreThursday. So, of course, today a fairy tale nerd’s Twitter feed is awash in tweets about women in folklore.
“Ah, women in fairy tales,” you say, “damsels in distress, passively waiting for a prince to come rescue them – right?” Bwhahahahah! Excuse me while I laugh loud and long (not to mention a little scornfully). Yes, sure, they exist, the Sleeping Beauties and Snow Whites in their glass coffins or rose-covered castles (and we love ’em). But just as common are the wide-awake Beauties who are the ones that do the rescuing – of Beasts or Frogs, for example, to mention just two of the best-known tales. And not all of those tales’ happy endings are weddings, either – there are people other than lovers or boyfriends to rescue, you know.
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“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / by any other word would smell as sweet…”
I’ve been thinking of the term “fairy tale” in the last little while – partially inspired by William’s and Kyomi’s recent articles on the topic. They have both made an attempt to define “fairy tale”, as well as the related terms “legend”, “myth”, “fable”, and even the overarching “folklore”. I’m not going to bother with the latter here—you can go to their articles and read up on it; they’ve done a fine job already.
But when it comes to “fairy tale”, I found myself disagreeing with them on a few points (just a few minor ones, mind you). And being a congenitally opinionated person, I couldn’t resist shoving in my oar.
To start with, why do we even have to bother defining the term? Everybody knows what “fairy tale” means. Don’t…
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