Over the years, cinema has turned to classic fairy tales for adaptations, creating a genre of its own. With the recent releases of Cruella on Disney+Hotstar, and Cinderella on Amazon Prime Video, the reimagining of childhood classics is the mood of the season. Here’s a list of movies that have given twists and turns to our beloved fairy tales that could be modern, funny, and sometimes dark.
Based on the Swan Lake Ballet, where the princess is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse, the film is a modern retelling of the story where a ballet dancer (Natalie Portman) battles with a mental breakdown, due to devastatingly demanding training, competition, and a sinister instructor. This 2021 psychological drama touches on many disorders that the protagonist suffers from—eating disorders, compulsive behaviour, self-harm. That they are putting up a Swan Lake ballet within the film is disturbingly beautiful.
Snow White And The Huntsman
The 2012 Rupert Sanders directorial is based on the German fairy tale Snow White compiled by the Brothers Grimm, seamlessly blending the fairy-tale with the epic-fantasy genre. Starring Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, the film depict an armour-clad warrior princess with a mission to defeat the evil witch. It's like they put Snow White into the Game of Thrones.
The list is incomplete without Hayao Miyazaki Academy Award-winning animated feature, Spirited Away. Similar to the story of Alice in Wonderland, where Alice goes down the rabbit hole to magical land, Chihiro in Spirited Away gets pulled into the spirit with witches and ghosts and monsters. Miyazaki however has revealed that the film is inspired by Japanese myths and folklore.
Into The Woods
With Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, and Meryl Streep in leading roles, Into The Woods is an interesting take on fairy tales, combining the stories of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack from the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. It provides a modern twist to our beloved fairy tales.
Directed by Ron Howard, the film is an amusing reimagining of the tale of The Little Mermaid, wherein the Mermaid literally lands in New York City. The Hans Christian Andersen tale takes a cheesy and hilarious turn with the Mermaid's quest for love in the city. The movie stars Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah in lead roles.
The animated feature adapted from the book of the same name challenges the notions associated with "Prince Charming", and replaces the Prince with a nasty-looking ogre who saves the princess. Shrek is a great amalgamation of the world of fairy tales and popular culture. It even brings in Gingerbread Man, Three Little Pigs, and Peter Pan. It will make you laugh and then shed a tear.
Tale of Tales
This European fantasy film is a melange of various fairy tales from across the continent. Unlike Disney's sugar-dusted versions, the film does not shy away from including the darker and twisted elements of fairy tales. It is an exceptional watch if you're a fan of the epic-fantasy meets fairy tale genre.
A Cinderella Story
This 2004 modern retelling of Cinderella remains one of the most popular and loved adaptations of the story. Starring Hillary Duff, the film follows the structural integrity of Cinderella in a modern and young setting. The protagonist aspires to go to Princeton, leaves her cellphone instead of the glass slipper, and the fairy godmother is a loving diner manager that she works with. The film is still wildly fancied.
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