in college I once had to study the sub category of the gothic genre influenced by fairy tales, and you’d be surprised how many people say stuff like “the princess characters are really passive and bad female role models, I much prefer the evil queens or the wicked step mothers/sisters, they’re active characters and know what they want”
and I’m just there like “yeah but attempted murder in this story. yeah but abuse in this story”
I’ve been drawing my own versions of fairy tale characters. From top to bottom- Belle, Maleficent, Wicked Queen, The Little Mermaid
You know how fairy tales are supposed to teach morals to young children?
Yeah, what was the point of Rumpelstiltskin?
It used to be one of my favourites as a child but I can’t, for the life of me, see what it’s moral is supposed to be. A man lies that his daughter can do something impossible to look good in front of the king, she protests but is locked up till she can spin straw into gold and out plops Rumpelstiltskin offering to bail her out in exchange for her first born. Somehow she marries and has a child to the king who not long ago would have killed her for not having an inhuman gift and he comes back for the baby, for whatever reason creating some kind of fair chance that she has to guess his name to keep her baby- by sheer luck someone hears him sing it, tells the queen and in rage he dies and they live happily ever after.
So what is the moral here? Life will throw weird situations your way but you’ll break lucky and everything will sort of work itself out?
watching the little mermaid anime (spoilers if anyone cares)
The whole thing is available on youtube, and if you follow me I’m going to assume you’re a fan of fairy tales, personally I’m watching for illustration inspiration. But this version is heart wrenching.
See in the original, as you may already know, the mermaid dies at the end at the prince marries another girl who he thinks saved him from his burning ship (his true savior was the mermaid but she swam away so he didn’t freak out at her tail)- in this version she waits for the sunrise of his wedding day, to the other girl, having left a note and her hair pearl by his side, he suddenly remembers that she saved him instead. He runs to find her and he begs her to come back but it’s too late and he watches her jump off the boat and dissolve into foam that goes all over the sky. However her dolphin friend said if she ever needed him to sign for him with her pearl by shining it in the sun. He saw that and just searches the sea calling her name never finding her
that’s sad y’all
in response to the previous anon here’s some photos of the fairy tale in progress. I have a vague idea for the plot of it but a solid idea for the aesthetic so that’s something
an illustration I’m doing of me and Stephen in a fairy tale style highly inspired by an artist (felixdeon) I will upload it again when it’s painted and finished, but this is the start
Something that will always grind my gears
when a film or tv show or anything based on a fairy tale comes out and the phrase “A DARK TAKE ON THE CLASSIC TALE” or something like that gets said. When anyone who knows anything about fairy tales knows that they’re kind of all dark and twisted, Hollywood just makes them more dramatic, modernises aspects and complicates love stories, they do many things with them that can sometimes pay off but I doubt they make them darker.
Angela Carter, love her, but even she didn’t necessarily make them darker. Maybe Sleeping Beauty, turning her into a vampire who eats boys is a bit darker than having a mother in law ogress that tried to kill her and her children, but she would have been the first to admit that she didn’t make an adult version of fairy tales, she just made her own stories using the most basic elements of classic fiction. Red Riding Hood is about sex and taking on the role of a woman in society. Snow White is about murderous, female jealousy over beauty. Cinderella has a lot of messed up daddy issues depending on what version you’re looking at. Rapunzel had sex, not dark but Disney forgot to mention that bit.
So point is, do what you want with fairy tales, reinvention is how they’ve stayed alive and I like seeing what people do with them. But just stop claiming you made it darker or edgier.
So these were illustrations from a twisted idea I had of combining sleeping beauty with the little mermaid. Wherein a prince is on his way to marry a princess but falls in love with a mermaid. The princess has to kill the prince before the sunrise but is cursed to fall asleep before she can complete it.
as I love fairy tales like nobody’s business I was wondering if anyone could point me in a direction for this; a version, a book, a short story, a film, a cartoon or anything based on the Snow White story where the title character is actually more interesting than the wicked Queen.