Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Article: Hollywood's Love for Fairy Tales at NYT

There is an article at The New York Times discussing much of the fairy tale tv and film we're being offered this year. Buried within is a mini preview review of the film. From The Better to Entertain You With, My Dear: ‘Mirror Mirror,’ ‘Grimm’ and Hollywood Love for Fairy Tales by TERRENCE RAFFERTY:

“Mirror Mirror” works hard to let the audience know that it’s aware of its own silliness. Although the story is set in a vaguely medieval fairy-tale kingdom — easier to conjure now, with digital effects — the tone is cheerfully, unapologetically anachronistic. The mean queen seems to have stepped out of one of the riper episodes of “Desperate Housewives,” while practically every line in the picture is delivered like a sitcom zinger. (Was there really so much insult humor in the Middle Ages?) And the story has been altered to reflect more contemporary notions about the roles of men and women. Snow White is a much more can-do kind of princess than the passive heroine of yore, and this Prince Charming is quite a bit less masterful. He can’t stop Snow from saving him, when he believes that he should be saving her. “It’s been focus-grouped,” he protests, to no avail.

Despite — or perhaps because of — its rigorous lack of seriousness, “Mirror Mirror” may please its focus-grouped audience of children and tweens. (At the youth-intensive screening I attended, the seven dwarfs, a bickering band of brigands, stole the show.) It doesn’t tell us much about how we should think of fairy tales in our unenchanted present day, though.
The rest of the article briefly discusses NBC's Grimm and ABC's Once Upon a Time as well as some of the upcoming films. I'm expecting many more articles in the coming weeks, especially about upcoming films, since studios will want to ride the publicity bandwagon surrounding Mirror, Mirror.

So who is planning to see the film this weekend?


  1. "Was there really so much insult humor in the Middle Ages?"

    Yes. Yes, there was.


  2. This really grinds my gears: "The social realities on which the original fairy tales depend are almost incomprehensibly alien to 21st-century sensibilities; they reek of feudalism. And the lessons they’re supposed to teach our young don’t have much force these days." Then why the Sam Hades is this columnist, along with so many others, writing about it? And why do fairy tale books continue to fly off the shelves? Why are kids and adults still mesmerized by fairy tales in all forms? Because they are timeless and relevant.

  3. And good luck tracing "original fairy tales," or at least fairy tales that aren't inspired by other stories.