Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Guillermo del Toro and Fairy Tales

From Guillermo del Toro explains the biggest mistake people make in telling stories for children by Charlie Jane Anders:

Is there a limit to how dark a movie for kids can get? And do you think animated films are getting closer to classic children's books, and less like cartoons?

One of the master of children's fiction is one of the guys who acknowledged fully the darkness of the world — that is, Roald Dahl. He did really brutal passages in The BFG. There's really very, very creepy and violent [stuff] in The Witches. And so on, and so forth. He really scared a lot of [kids] from that side. He is the reason why... when the line is crossed, and then it doesn't function as a children's story any more — it can become an adult fairytale. It can become a fairytale that adults can enjoy. And I think there are some of those, particularly in the Eastern cultures. Like 1001 Nights — a lot of those stories are very harrowing. And people forget that a lot of the tales that the Grimm Brothers collected, they were actually meant to be told to adults. People think, "Oh, they were children's stories" — [but] not in the beginning. They were meant to be told to adults, to entertain them. But yes, to answer your question: It can get too dark.
There's much more at the article, of course. And I have to say I am anxiously awaiting del Toro's Beauty and the Beast. Which doesn't start shooting until next summer. Darn it. Because so much can happen to stop it. Like fairy tale weariness which I never suffer from but the public might...

1 comment:

  1. One of the things about the old fairy tales is that many come from a time before childhood was childhood as we know it anyway. As recently as 100 years ago, children were viewed more as unformed adults and there was also no conception of adolescence as we knew it today. More changes in the world than just technology.