Fairy Tales 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Into the Woods and Fables

Both Into the Woods and Fables contain elements from different fairy tales. They are both mash ups of various story lines. Into the Woods contains plots from Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and jack and the Beanstalk. Fables has characters from all sorts of different fairy tales. The characters have been forced out of their homelands and are living in New York.
Since both have characters and stories from traditional fairy tales, surely they can be considered fairy tales themselves. There are however, some key differences between Fables and Into the Woods and traditional fairy tales as well as between the two of them.
In Into the Woods, the basic story lines and endings of the various fairy tales are the same as the traditional ones. Also, there is a narrator as in many traditional fairy tales. The movie also opens with the line "Once upon a time." In Fables, the tales have been altered and they are in a modern setting rather than the setting in which they were originally written.
A difference that both fables and Into the Woods have from the traditional tales is the role of men in the stories. In both the men are not typical examples of princes from fairy tales. In fables for example, Snow White and her husband have split up because he was cheating on her. In Into the Woods, the Princes married to Cinderella and Rapunzel end up getting bored with their respective marriages and start to lust after new princesses and show a fickle nature not generally associated with fairy tale princes.
The differences in these representations and the traditional fairy tales from which they were adapted are I believe a reflection of the times that each were produced. Clearly, Into the Woods and Fables both have modern twists like the infidelity of the princes.

1 comment:

  1. As you note, Fables has a modern setting and the tales have been altered. This particular fact makes me question if it is a fairy tale or not. It is certainly based off of fairy tales, but the author's voice is very present, making me unsure if the original author would have projected such future narrative events for them. And at the same time the outcomes for the fairy tale characters is left to imagination. For example, the Wild Man is an amazing character whose story is self-titled, yet we don't know how he became the Wild Man. So in a way, Fables connects to the fairy tale genre. This week's blog asked an interesting question and I think your response is really insightful. It really makes me think about things I did not mention in my response due to my uncertainty on how to really explain what a fairy tale is in itself.