On Nov. 8, 2012, Google created one of its elaborate Google doodles to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Since then, I’ve realized just how popular these fairy tales are, even 200 years later. Here are 10 ways you can keep up to date with all of the newfangled versions of these fairy tales.
1. Why not start by reading the original fairy tales? On the 200th anniversary of the Grimm’s fairy tales, Philip Pullman released “Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm.” He chose what he considers to be the best 50 stories out of the 210 the Brothers had collected, and adds his commentary throughout the book. He chooses a wide variety of stories, retelling familiar ones such as “Cinderella” and some that probably no one has heard of before, such as “Mount Simeli” and “Lady Heinz.” Please note: These are the original stories, not the Disney versions. These are dark and violent. Please do not come after me with a torch and pitchfork when Rapunzel does not go off with Flynn Rider, but instead ends up in a desert (oops, spoiler.)
2. If you want to, again, shake up the Disney stories that you think you know, try watching “Once Upon a Time” (ABC). It is probably one of the most addicting shows I have ever seen. A curse rips all of our beloved fairy tale characters from their world, and they end up in Storybrook, Maine, without memories of their past lives as fairy tale characters. I highly suggest starting from the first season if you want to understand what’s going on. The third season will start in the fall.
3. “Grimm” will also return for its third season in the fall on NBC. This TV series is pretty much like every other cop show. Except the main cop, Nick Burkhardt, finds out that he is a descendant of (guess who?) the Brothers Grimm, and it is his job to maintain the balance between humans and fairy tale creatures.
Before we get into all of the fairy tale movies, why not try reading a couple of other popular fairy tale-related books? I have only chosen a couple of books that happen to be popular, but for more reads, check out www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/fairy-tale-related, which lists 462 books in this genre (now you have got to believe me when I say fairy tales are popular).
4. “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey is probably one of the best books that I have read. Ever. To put it in perspective, it is a 416-page book that I read in two days. I would have loved to read it in one day, but that pesky school got in the way. This book takes place in 1920 Alaska, and follows the lives of a childless couple who discover a young girl on the first snowfall, bringing to mind the original fairy tale by the same name.
5. “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer is definitely more “young adult” and “teenager-y” than “The Snow Child.” In this book, which is android-meets-human-meets-alien, you get a very creative take on “Cinderella,” which turns out to be a surprisingly good read.
OK, now there are remakes, remakes and more remakes of fairy tales, all slated to be released in the next couple of years (there are even a couple out now.) So there is pretty much an endless supply of fairy tales coming to last you quite a long time.
6. “Jack the Giant Slayer.” When Jack accidentally opens a portal between the world of giants and humans, he reignites an ancient war between the two species.
7. “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.” This movie looks completely cheesy, but I haven’t seen it, so who am I to judge?
8. After “Alice in Wonderland’s” dark reimagining of the original tale performed so well (i.e. made a ton of money), other movies are following suit and remaking Disney movies to be live action. This includes “Pan,” “Maleficent,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty.” Not much information is known about these movies yet, but each movie has its own A-list celebrity starring, yet another sign of the popularity of fairy tales. Respectively (to the aforementioned movies), AnnaSophia Robb, Angelina Jolie, Emma Watson, Cate Blanchett and Hailee Steinfeld are hopping on the fairy tale bandwagon.
9. “Frozen” (slated to be released Nov. 27). Never fear, Disney will always continue to produce upbeat, child-friendly movies based off of fairy tales. This is a retelling of “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson. With Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell starring, this movie has the potential to be another Disney classic. Plus, it might just make you feel better after all of these dark reimaginings, which I really hope do not scar any Disney movies for you.
10. Can’t wait for all of these movies? Some of the fairy tale remakes that have been released in recent years include “Beastly,” “Snow White and the Huntsman,” “Red Riding Hood” and “Mirror, Mirror.”
Alissa Roy is a senior at Springville-Griffith Institute.