Friday, July 30, 2010

New Tangled Featurette from Disney

Disney has just released a featurette about Tangled (the Rapunzel movie) due out in November. I am embedding it below:

The slightly relieving part is that Rapunzel does appear to be the main focus more than she appears in the first trailer. And the movie is very lush in appearance.

And after seeing all of these images of Rapunzel's long hair, I wonder how many little girls are going to beg to let their hair grow this winter...

Joseph Campbell on Power of Myth With Bill Moyers on DVD

Joseph Campbell on Power of Myth With Bill Moyers

Joseph Campbell on Power of Myth With Bill Moyers will be released on DVD on September 21st.  This is an expanded set of a long out-of-print series.  It is especially of interest to those interested in mythology.

From the press release:

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers: The seminal PBS series on world mythology! "Dazzling and still potently relevant" - San Francisco Chronicle. "Fascinating" - The New York Times. "Compelling" - The Wall Street Journal. "Stirring and elevating" - Los Angeles Times.

These stimulating conversations between inspirational scholar Joseph Campbell and veteran journalist Bill Moyers created a national sensation when they first aired on public television. In lively, expansive dialogues, the two men discuss how myths hold the key to understanding human experience. They may vary superficially from culture to culture, but at their deepest level they all reveal the path to self-fulfillment, social integration, and ultimately, transcendence.

Joseph Campbell taught for nearly 40 years at Sarah Lawrence College; he authored and edited scores of books and inspired generations of scholars and artists. Journalist Bill Moyers distinguished himself at Newsday, NBC, CBS, and PBS; his many honors include lifetime achievement Emmy and Peabody awards. Join Campbell and Moyers as they touch on topics as diverse as world religions, marriage, the virgin birth, and pop culture. Filmed at George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch and New York's American Museum of Natural History, this series fires the imagination and the intellect. NOTE: Contains nudity and violent images
The set has the original series with these episodes:

Episode 1: The Hero's Adventure
Whether it's Buddha, Moses, Jesus, or the Knights of the Round Table, the heroes in every mythic tradition undertake the same archetypal journey from departure through fulfillment and return.

Episode 2: The Message of the Myth
At their deepest level, myths teach us how to live-with ourselves, with others, and with the mystery at the heart of life.

Episode 3: The First Storytellers
All of our culture's rituals have their roots in the myths of ancient hunters, who told stories and performed rituals to bring their lives into harmony with nature.

Episode 4: Sacrifice and Bliss
Like a seed that dies only to be reborn, the archetypal hero must undergo the death of the ego to achieve new life and the revelation of bliss.

Episode 5: Love and the Goddess
From kama to agape to courtly romance, Campbell explores the mythology of love and the role of the female as the giver of life and form.

Episode 6: Masks of Eternity
All cultures create "masks"-names and images for God-to serve as metaphors for inexpressible transcendence, the being beyond all being and the idea beyond all thought.

There is also a lot of bonus material, some of it supposedly released for the first time--I haven't confirmed that and don't have a complete list. Although this isn't the first time this has been released on DVD, it has been out of print for a while and this new version appears to be bigger and better than the previous release.

Whether or not you agree with everything Joseph Campbell wrote or said, it is important to know and understand his work since it is referenced so often. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Book: The Grimm Reader: The Classic Tales of the Brothers Grimm by Maria Tatar

The Grimm Reader: The Classic Tales of the Brothers Grimm

A few weeks ago I wrote a lengthy entry, Reading Grimms; or, Picking an English Translation, Etc., in which I mentioned the upcoming The Grimm Reader: The Classic Tales of the Brothers Grimm by Maria Tatar.  It is now available on Amazon for ordering--although I see that it is already out of stock temporarily--although  the official release is August.  This is a new translation of 40 Grimms tales.  I haen't seen a copy yet, so I don't know how much introductory or extra materials there are beyond an introduction by A. S. Byatt.

Here's the publisher's description:

Forty of the most famous and celebrated stories from the Brothers Grimm translated and edited by a leading professor of folklore.

Even after two hundred years, the tales collected by the Brothers Grimm remain among our most powerful stories. Their scenes of unsparing savagery and jaw-dropping beauty remind us that fairy tales, in all their simplicity, have the power to change us. With some of the most famous stories in world literature, including “Cinderella,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Snow White,” as well as some less well known stories like “The Seven Ravens,” this definitive collection promises to entrance readers with the strange and wonderful world of the Brothers Grimm.

Maria Tatar’s engaging preface provides readers with the historical and cultural context to understand what these stories meant and their contemporary resonance. Fans of all ages will be drawn to this elegant and accessible collection of stories that have cast their magical spell over children and adults alike for generations.

I know this will be an automatic buy for many libraries and some readers--Tatar's name is enough to insure that--but it also promises to be a new translation worthy of comparison to the other best ones. (See that previous blog entry I mentioned above.)  I have gained a much great understanding and respect for translators this past year after working through several for my upcoming Sleeping Beauties--I have translated roughly 20 tales for that collection.  Tatar approached the project as both an expert on German and the Grimms, so I expect this to be an excellent offering, especially considering her previous books.

Muppet News Flash: Jack and the Beanstalk

Today's Muppet News Flash: Jack and the Beanstalk

This is the last one I'm posting. I've been traveling this week and posted these before leaving. Thanks for indulging me!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Muppet News Flash: News on the Three Pigs

Today's Muppet News Flash: News on the Three Pigs

This one is perhaps the cleverest of them all...and the most like a real news report so even more amusing. Those pigs made me laugh, "How would you feel?"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Red Riding Hood by Beatriz Martin Vidal

These are illustrations for Red Riding Hood by Beatriz Martin Vidal found via Children's / Fantasy Illustrations.  I went exploring and found Beatriz's website where the captions for the pictures were also provided.  Wow, they add to the impact with just a few words.

These are apparently illustrations for a book of the tale to be published in 2010 (this year) by Oxford University Press, but I can't find any other reference to it on OUP or elsewhere.  I am traveling right now so my mad internet searching is limited, but I will share if I learn anything else in the future. 

She also has some other fairy tale illustrations on her site, but this Riding Hood receives the most extensive treatment.


First Encounter

Grandma and Wolf

Coming out of wolf

Second Wolf

Muppet News Flash: Three Little Pigs

Today's Muppet News Flash: Three Little Pigs

I think is is my favorite one. Love the Count!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Red Riding Hood and Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Seyfried is one of the biggest names in Hollywood right now in her age group, so it's no surprise that she is currently filming Red Riding Hood as the lead and is slated to also play Cinderella in the near future.  I'm actually happy with this since I have enjoyed her since her Veronica Mars days.

Anyway, there are several behind the scenes pictures of Red Riding Hood appearing around the net, mostly of the cast in their various costumes which are interesting out of their context.  You can see an entire gallery at TooFab.

There are also a few pictures with more information about the movie at The Daily Mail: Amanda Seyfried steps back in time in a fairytale costume (but takes her iPad and Blackberry with her).

Amanda stars in the lead role in the gothic retelling of the fairytale, which centres on a medieval town that has been terrorised by a werewolf for generations.

Her free spirited character Valerie is at the centre of a love triangle between a rebellious woodcutter, played by Shiloh Fernandez, and well-to-do suitor, played by Max Irons.

Director Catherine Hardwicke, who also worked on Twilight, says Julie Christie will step in as Amanda's grandmother, who is 'sexy' and 'bohemian' rather than an 'old granny'.

Sounds interesting...

Muppet News Flash: Sleeping Beauty & Frog

Today's Muppet News Flash: Sleeping Beauty & Frog

Yes, that makes two Sleeping Beauties.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Errol Le Cain's Twelve Dancing Princesses

The Twelve Dancing Princesses (Picture Puffins)

Via Errol Le Cain's website.  I really wish many of his fairy tale titles would be reprinted!

Muppet News Flash: Rumpelstiltskin

Today's Muppet News Flash: Rumpelstiltskin

You know, I know I saw most of these as a kid, but they really aren't at all familiar...but I think this is one of my favorites. I love the hotline for some reason.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Slippers of Cinderella by W. Graham Robertson

The Slippers of Cinderella: An Impossibility in One Act was written and illustrated by W. Graham Robertson and published by William Heinemann, London, 1919.

Watercolour and pencil on paper

Signed with monogram GR lower lef
18.00cm wide 20.50cm high (7.09 inches wide 8.07 inches high)

Read more about W Graham Robertson.

Via Children's / Fantasy Illustrations and Online Galleries.

Muppet News Flash: The Princess and the Mattress

Today's Muppet News Flash: The Princess and the Mattress

Never heard of Princess and the Cookie before...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Steampunk and Other Princesses

Reader Chrisy W. sent me the link to these reinterpretations of the Disney Fairy Tale Princesses.  There are six in all at HelleTitch's Deviant Art site.  I am showing my three favorites and you can click through to see the others.

This last one is perhaps the least original of the bunch, but I am a sucker for the dresses and colors.  The superheroes made me laugh and the steampunk is very current...

Thanks again to Christy for sharing!

Muppet News Flash: Sleeping Beauty

I'm of the Sesame Street generation. It was part of my childhood and I can still sing some of the songs from the early years of the show. And while I admit I always preferred the Muppet Show version of Kermit, I love him any way he comes. So I was delighted to find some of the Muppet News Flashes on Hulu.

Today, I present Sleeping Beauty:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Anti-Tales: The Uses of Disenchantment Symposium

Anti-Tales: The Uses of Disenchantment Symposium will be taking place on August 12-13 at the University of Glasgow.  (That's the same weekend as Faerie Escape in Atlanta, by the way, so lots of opportunities available.)

I am going to copy and paste the entire description for your interest in case the page is taken down later:

An interdisciplinary research forum and subsequent publication of proceedings (Cambridge Scholars Publishing) based around the currently under-researched notion of the 'anti-tale' to be held at the University of Glasgow, 12-13 August 2010.

Our confirmed plenary speakers are Dr. Anna Kérchy (Senior Assistant Professor, University of Szeged) and Professor Aidan Day (Professor of English at the University of Dundee). Our resident artist is Robert Powell (Edinburgh College of Art).

The anti-fairy tale has long existed as a shadow of the traditional fairy tale genre. First categorized as the 'antimärchen' in Andre Jolles' seminal Einfache Formen (c.1930), the anti-tale was found to be contemporaneous with even the oldest known examples of fairy tale collections. Rarely an outward opposition to the traditional form itself, the anti-tale takes aspects of the fairy tale genre and re-imagines, subverts, inverts, deconstructs or satirizes elements of them to present an alternate narrative interpretation, outcome or morality. Red Riding Hood may elope with the wolf. Or Bluebeard's wife is not interested in his secret chamber. Snow White's stepmother gives her own account of events and Cinderella does not exactly find the prince charming.

The anti-fairy tale takes many forms. Some revisit and deconstruct familiar narratives (as above) or formulate new stories, characters and ever-afters, relying on and subverting familiar archetypes and plot devices. Following Jolles' seminal, respected text, the subgenre of the anti-tale has become dominant, as writers such as Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman and Phillip Pullman, artists such as Kiki Smith, Anna Gaskell and Kara Walker, and filmmakers such as Matthew Bright and Jane Campion have produced a diverse collage of anti-tales.

However, despite this creative surge, there has not been adequately attendant academic engagement with the genre. Respected academics such as Wolfgang Meider, John Pizer, Jack Zipes and Cristina Bacchilega, have all touched on the concept without developing it further – the concept being outside the parameters of their usual research interests. Following our current use, revival and redefinition of Jolles' nomenclature we invite others to consider their research material through the critical lens of the anti-tale.

We believe the concept to be exciting and under-developed, and that this project will stimulate a rich new investigative field of study. This project is interdisciplinary in its scope, and we have received proposals from a diverse range of disciplines including scholars and students from: Literature, History of Art, Media/ Film Studies, Philosophy, Creative Writing, and Geography. Our call for new research on 'anti-tales' is intended to provoke creative, imaginative responses, and we are looking forward to a very promising conference!

Learned about this via The Fairy Tale Cupboard who is participating in the symposium.

SurLaLune Titles Now Searchable on Amazon

My first three books can now be searched or browsed through--at least for a limited number of pages--on  You can see the table of contents and see some of the tales.  I plan to have expanded information on SurLaLune soon, but have been working hard on upcoming titles instead.

Sleeping Beauties will be available soon although it isn't listed yet.  More about that in a few weeks...

The Frog Prince and Other Frog Tales From Around the World: Fairy Tales, Fables and Folklore about Frogs  Rapunzel and Other Maiden in the Tower Tales From Around the World: Fairy Tales, Myths, Legends and Other Tales About Maidens in Towers  The Fairy Tale Fiction of Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie: Selections from "Five Old Friends" and "Bluebeard's Keys and Other Stories"

Also, don't forget to sign up for this month's giveaway ending on July 31st.  I'm only putting the entry box on the blog instead of SurLaLune proper to thank all of you regular readers, especially during these slow summer months!

New Play: Grimm Produced by Company One

Reader Anne M. sent me a link to this first article and then my quick news search discovered another one added below.

From Refurbished fairy tales: Seven playwrights join together to create their own versions of the Grimm stories by Louise Kennedy:

Once upon a time, there was a little theater company that wanted to stage something ambitious for its summer show. So the little theater company, whose name was Company One, decided to adapt some of Grimm’s fairy tales for the stage.

It was an idea that the prince and princess of Company One, Shawn LaCount and Summer L. Williams, had long dreamed of bringing to life. But how, they wondered, were they to accomplish such a feat? So they sent out messengers through all the land to request that seven fine playwrights (seven is a very important number in fairy tales; cf. dwarfs, sisters, swans, et al.) should put their hands to the task.

Well, actually, this particular time being 2010, they made a few phone calls. They reached out to some surprisingly big names on the Boston scene: Gregory Maguire, Melinda Lopez, Lydia R. Diamond, Kirsten Greenidge, Marcus Gardley, John Kuntz, and John ADEkoje.


The directors are using the novelist Gregory Maguire’s play, “The Seven Stage a Comeback,’’ as a sort of framing device for the other works. Scenes of the Seven Dwarfs mourning Snow White after she leaves with Prince Charming, then setting off to find her, are interspersed throughout the evening. But this play, like each of the others, has its own distinctive tone and style.

Some of the playwrights used their tales as a mere jumping-off point, with very little outward resemblance between, say, “The Frog King’’ and ADEkoje’s “Cry Baby Jones’’; some took a middle ground, like Marcus Gardley in “Half Handsome and Regrettable,’’ which keeps the characters but changes the story. And others, such as Lopez, in “Stories About Snakes,’’ and Diamond, in “The White Bride and the Black Bride,’’ staged the originals more or less intact.

And more from Not necessarily happily ever after: ‘Grimm’ reworks old fairy tales as modern allegories by Don Aucoin:

Why do Grimm’s fairy tales continue to resonate long after the spell they cast in childhood has seemingly given way to adult cynicism, “Shrek’’-style satire, and empirical data suggesting the statistical unlikelihood of happily ever after?

Perhaps it’s because the tales, for all their preposterousness, touch on something so primal that there is a part of them that stays with us.


But “Grimm’’ works, for the most part, as a showcase of seven distinctive voices who add a contemporary flavor to the tales that underscores their enduring potency — for good and for ill.

(While the playwrights are ostensibly the stars of this evening, the cast acquits itself quite nicely, with especially indelible performances from Tasia A. Jones, Lonnie McAdoo, Nicole Prefontaine, Becca A. Lewis, Molly Kimmerling, Keith Mascoll, and Kris Sidberry).

The frame for “Grimm’’ is supplied by Maguire, of “Wicked’’ fame, whose “The Seven Stage a Comeback’’ opens Acts 1 and 2 and delivers the poignant final moments.

Whereas “Wicked’’ imagined the lives of the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch in Oz before Dorothy entered the picture, “The Seven Stage a Comeback’’ presents the forlorn spectacle of the seven dwarfs after Snow White has embarked on a new life with her prince (leaving behind the poison apple and the glass coffin).

No more hi-ho for this despondent crew. The dwarfs feel utterly lost without the onetime center of their existence. “She stole our laughter,’’ one laments. So they head out on an expedition to bring Snow White back home, and thus restore a sense of purpose to their days.
You can read more about the play and tickets at the Company One website.

Thanks Anne for the heads up! And if anyone gets to see this production, please share your thoughts...

Hansel and Gretel in 3D?

I really do need to start a spreadsheet to keep up with all of the possible fairy tale related films in development and production for the next few years. This time Hansel and Gretel is up for grabs.

From Michael Bay's The Institute to Produce Hansel and Gretel in 3D Source at

Michael Bay's The Institue will produce Hansel and Gretel in 3D, an action-packed visual FX-filled version of the classic Grimm Brothers fairytale.

In addition to the infamous witch in the gingerbread house, the film showcases the legendary creatures of German mythology. These Teutonic beings will be designed by Joseph C. Pepe, the lead character designer from Avatar. The film is live action.

The movie is being produced by The Institute and Kalliope Films. The Institute was co-founded by Michael Bay and Scott Gardenhour. Kalliope Films was founded by Kira Madallo Sesay. Scott Gardenhour and Kira Madallo Sesay are the producers on the film.

The movie is scheduled for a spring 2011 shoot on location in Germany.
Is anyone else as worried about this one as I am?  There will be "legendary creatures of German mythology" in this tale?  The white dove or the duck they escape on?  Has anyone working on the film read the tale recently?

And may I add that while I have fully embraced ebooks, I am not anywhere near jumping on the 3D film bandwagon? 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Free Audiobooks including Alex Flinn's Beastly

Audio Book Community is giving away two free audiobooks each week through August: I've downloaded the first two myself and they supposedly work on iPods, iPhones, iPads, etc. and my own attempts to import the MP3s into iTunes were successful.

I'm posting this here because there are some popular YA novels included and one is even a fairy tale retelling--Beastly by Alex Flinn--which will be a movie release in March of next year. (It was originally slated for this month, but has been bumped.)

I am going to build Amazon links to the non-classics titles so you can read more about them. To get to the free audio book versions, use the link provided above.

The schedule is:

July 15 - July 21
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

July 22 - July 28
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

July 29 - August 4
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Available August 5 - August 11
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Available August 12 - August 18
Beastly by Alex Flinn
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Available August 19 - August 25
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Available August 26 - September 1
Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens