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Why Fairy Tales Are Hot In Hollywood
The fairy tales you were raised on are hot property in Hollywood once again. I'm sure you've seen the ads for "Beastly", a Beauty And The Beast redux, and "Red Riding Hood", the visually stunning thriller starring Amanda Seyfried. Forthcoming are a slew of projects with big names attached. Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie and Kristen Stewart are all said to be starring in versions of Snow White. There's even a t.v. drama premiering this fall called "Once Upon A Time". So why, in 2011, are these oft-told tales from childhood experiencing a resurgence? Here are a couple of theories:
When times are tough we like to escape from our own reality. Fairy tales these days are essentially fantasy. Many include mysticism, magic or supernatural events. Have you noticed the recent proliferation of supernatural themes in t.v. and movies? The words "fairy tale ending" are in the common vernacular. Blame Disney for this...they started it in 1937 with "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs". The original fairy tales were dark, violent morality lessons and not at all designed for children.
Another reason for their popularity? Nostalgia. Who doesn't have some memory from childhood about Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, or Thumbelina? Or Hans Christian Andersen, Mother Goose, Arabian Nights...they are like old friends. Probably one of the first stories you experienced as a child, reading on your own or being read to by Mom or Dad, was a fairy tale. Modern interpretations transport us back to a time when life was easier.
The stories feature the epic battle of good versus evil with instantly recognizable villains. And the underdog always prevails. They are easily understood by all ages and have a timeless quality. Every culture has them...even as far back as 1300 B.C. in ancient Egypt.
Movies based on fairy tales are a pretty safe bet for movie studios. Disney's success with Beauty And The Beast (the only animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards), The Little Mermaid, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty et al., has led other studios to cash in too. The Shrek franchise and the upcoming Puss In Boots, for example, are loaded with satirical references poking fun at fairy tale characters. Every studio has at least one story with a fairy tale "spin". And the biggest reason of all that studios love fairy tales? The movie rights are totally free.
Entertainment Weekly article
- Hollywood\'s Next Big Thing: Fairy-Tale Movies | Movies | EW.com
From 'Little Red Riding Hood' to 'Snow White' and 'Beastly,' grown-up versions of many kiddie classics are heading to the big screen.