A-Z Challenge

F is for Fractured Fairy Tale (Fairy Tale Spotlight A-Z)

What exactly is a fractures fairy tale? It’s a classic tale with a new twist (whether it needs one or not.) Hollywood seems to be under some sort of fractured spell lately churning out revamped fairy tales by the dozen.  I must say I am drawn to these movies like a moth to a flame. My expectations are high as my childhood memories get rewritten.

Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” turns the table on a classic German fairy tale. In the classic, after being abandoned in the dark forest by their father, Hansel and Gretel escape the witch who lives in the gingerbread house (how quaint)  just moments before she gobbled them up. (Can you say cannibal?) “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” fractures this tale by embellishing the ending. In this version the vengeful children kill the witch that held them hostage and become bloody, ruthless bounty hunters searching the world over for witches. Talk about revenge!

Jack the Giant Slayer” is a totally twisted version of the English fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. This new version exposes a fierce race of giants trying to reclaim the Earth that was once theirs before they lost it in a previous war. It would seem as though Jack inadvertently opened a portal between their worlds and now he  and a princess are caught in the middle of this epic battle. (Stupid magic beans.)

“Snow White and the Huntsman” gives much more weight to the part the huntsman plays in this considerable darker version of yet another German fairy tale. In the classic, the huntsman is only mentioned briefly in the beginning of the story. The 2012 version makes the huntsman a focal player and he even gets the girl in the end. Hoorah! An additional twist is the much darker Queen who seems to be modeled after the historical figure Countess Elizabeth Bathory. The Queens devilish wardrobe was for me, the highlight of the film.

“Maleficent” is perhaps my favorite fractured fairy tale.  It focuses on the antagonist telling the tale from her point of view. I love a story best when I can relate better to the antagonism  than the protagonist. A sympathetic bad guy rocks.  Maleficent’s back story is revealed as Sleeping Beauty takes a backseat to the dark fairy in this important prequel. Things are not ever as cut and dry as they may appear. What is your favorite fractured fairy tale?

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18 thoughts on “F is for Fractured Fairy Tale (Fairy Tale Spotlight A-Z)

    • I have seen a few episodes but feel lost because I did not watch it from the beginning. But yes, fractured fairy tales are all over T.V. too!

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    • Yes! I went to you-tube and viewed a few before making this post. they are not nearly as clever as I remember. In fact they are kind of awful. If you have not seen one in 30 years maybe you shouldn’t. 🙂

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  1. I had an idea once for a mash-up of Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty set in the future–a sort of sci-fi fractured re-telling. I might write it one day. Fairy tales are such a rich source of story ideas. As Marissa Meyer has shown with her Lunar Chronicles, you can be very creative with your use of the original while still maintaining familiarity.

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    • That is a story I would love to read. Yes, Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles as well as Cameron Jace’s Grimm Diaries are both interesting interpretation of old favorites.

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  2. I love them all! I really liked Maleficent’s back story as well! No one is all bad or all good. People have layers. I like characters that have two sides. An antagonist is much more scarier if he looks and acts like everyone else, and you don’t know they’re bad until they do something. If you know someone is bad right from the start of the story, you know it’s coming. But when you don’t know…that’s scary!

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    • I would love to write a whole series of fairy tales from the bad guys perspective. That’s what Cameron Jace has done in “Snow White’s Sorrow.” He actually flip flops Snow and the Queen to shed light on the fact Snow is the evil one and her poor mother is just trying to keep her from acting out.

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      • Hmmm…that’s interesting. But do people really like the bad guy being the main character? I’m not reading Snow White’s Sorrow, Snow is my favorite fairy tale character. I like what they’re doing in Once Upon A Time thought. The characters have layers, good and bad! Very interesting!

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      • Maleficent is the protagonist in the Sleeping Beauty tale and was the lead in “Maleficent.” It worked very well. I think it just depends on how well the story is written and if it works. “Wicked” is another popular example. Just for the record, I won’t be reading “Snow White’s Sorrow” either. The author offers a set of diaries that act as prologues to each of his books. I did read the diaries for the first 6 books and found his twists to be quite interesting. (Moth to a flame. Moth to a flame.)

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    • I have seen a few of the Once Upon a time episodes but because I did not watch from the beginning it’s a bit hard for me to follow no. I may need to Netflix them.

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  3. I adore Roald Dahl’s version of Little Red Riding Hood. I remember reading it aloud to my daughter and he absolutely chortling with laughter. She’s lovely – really she is – but Dahl’s dark humour was just spot on.

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  4. Great post, thanks for sharing. Glad I found you amongst the 1600+ bloggers in A-to-Z. I too thought of the old cartoon’s that were part of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show and I would have to agree that they were much funnier when I was younger 🙂

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  5. I’ve read a few fractured fairy tales, but never seen Maleficent or Snow White & the Huntsman. You know I’m going to have to now! I hope at least one of them is on Netflix. 🙂

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