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Remake that Fairy Tale

Is it just me or has there been a large influx of edgy remakes of fairy tales and/or Disney movies?

First there was Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland featuring Johnny Depp. I was so excited, maybe too excited; it sounded awesome but it did not quite meet my expectations.

Then there was Red Riding Hood with Amanda Seyfried produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. Seyfried did okay but all the other acting was weak. It did have some nice imagery though. How can you go wrong with a blood red cape against a snowy white background?

I have not seen the movie but I saw a very creepy/cool trailer for a naughty Sleeping Beauty remake which may or may not have to do with child prostitution? Either way, I want to see it especially since Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite Disney movie. (I think this was because I loved the fairies. For anyone who knows it, Alicia was the green one because that was her favorite color, Jon was the red one for some reason, and inexplicably, I was the fat, complainy blue one.) Also, what a beautiful movie poster.

I recently saw a trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman with Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen and Kristen Stewart as Snow White. I am excited for it, it seems dark and a bit scary.

Unfortunately, I then saw a trailer for a different remake of Snow White (coming out within a few months of the movie above) called “Mirror Mirror” with Julia Roberts as the evil queen. I like Julia Roberts but her fake British accent in this sounds atrocious and the whole thing looks like a joke. They are obviously targeting a different audience with Shrek-like humor but it really looks awful. It even has one of the dwarves say, “Say hello to my little friend.”

I guess you can also argue the “Twilight” saga follows this same theme (or did they start it?) because of its age old vampire and werewolf themes, but this one’s more a stretch.

I do not consider myself a movie buff or anything so don’t take my comments too seriously, but why is there a need for remaking all of these fairy tales? I always think they look good and then I am disappointed. Is this inevitable because nothing can really live up to something I loved as a child? It forever holds a place in my brain and when someone tries to change it, it has to be really awesome to work. However I will keep going to these movies even if I do get disappointed because there is that glimmer of hope that it will give me that warm fuzzy feeling of enchantment.

9 thoughts on “Remake that Fairy Tale

  1. Love this post. I was also really disappointed when I saw Alice in Wonderland. They sucked the enchantment from it and turned it into an epic Lord of the Rings-style battle.

    I don’t know why fairy tales are so big right now. The prologue of one This American Life episode talks about the “I wish” song that is very common in the beginning of fairy tale musicals. Maybe people find themselves identifying with this “I wish” sentiment these days more than ever.

    As far as making them edgy, aren’t directors really “re-edgy-fying” fairy tales? I say this because the earliest versions are so much darker than the Disney movies. Doesn’t the Hans Christian Anderson Little Mermaid attempt to kill the prince to regain her tail, only to fail and drown herself at sea? (And the whole thing about sea foam being dead mermaids, yikes!) And in the earliest French version of Little Red Riding Hood, there is no hunter who frees them from the wolf’s belly. Little red and her grandma are wolf lunch, the end. How else are little girls going to learn not to disobey their parents?

  2. That is true, I didn’t even think about the fact that fairy tales were crazy effed up back in the day. These versions are nothing compared to the original originals. I remember in middle school when we had to do science fair projects, one of my friends did “are disney movies too scary” and studied young children’s reactions while watching disney movies. I think she decided that they were. But maybe imagery is scarier than a story? Either way, I agree, maybe all of these crazy out of control kids you see nowadays need to be told a freaky old school fairy tale or two to set them straight.

  3. Have you seen The Brothers Grimm (, directed by Terry Gilliam? I have a major soft spot for Gilliam movies, so my opinion might be skewed. But, I enjoyed that retelling of fairy tails. Perhaps because it was less literal and a rather disordered mish-mash?

    1. It’s on my list, right after Brazil, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Time Bandits, haha

      1. Wow! Those are some of my favorite films. I love all three.

  4. Sleeping Beauty definitely looks amazing. As much as I love fairy tales and their often dark, gruesome subtext – most of these films are made for the masses and therefore are not as daring as they could be. Agreed that the Julia Roberts one looks awful. Disney is apparently making a movie musical of Sondheim’s Into the Woods – which is a darkish, adult take on a number of fairy tales. Will be interesting to see how that turns out. Tim Burton’s Alice was OK – but I am so over Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp. Also heard a rumour that Burton’s doing Pinocchio, which has potential as long as he doesn’t cast those two.

    1. Hm that Into the Woods does sound really interesting, it will be fun to see Disney use their powers for evil…well more than they do already.

  5. Sleeping Beauty is now playing in New York! @SF_Film Society calls it, “almost screamingly funny, a pointed, deadpan surrealist sex farce.” Hope it comes to SF soon!

  6. Bah! It’s been in SF all week, tonight’s the last night to see it!! Blast!

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