A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Alice in Wonderland, Baba Yaga, fairy tales, Frank Beddor, Kati Bartkowski, Pinocchio, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Through the Looking Glass Wars, Vasilisa the Beautiful
Happy Valentines Day, everyone!
Now with that said, I thought I would do something a little different with Valentines Day this year, and in honor of all the years where my dates were Ben, Jerry, and a good book I think I’m going to talk about some fairy tales and retellings that have nothing (or very little) to do with romantic love. So, here we go…
Alice in Wonderland
This is a story that I go back and forth on whether I feel it’s a real fairy tale or not, but there is no denying that it certainly is a magical tale. By the definition that I gave back in this post, it fits the qualifications of a fairy tale, but not really a folk tale. Probably most people remember the Disney retelling of Alice in Wonderland with Alice falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, but the version that I’m going to recommend is The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor.
I picked it up because it had and awesome cover, but I was certainly not disappointed reading it. I especially love the twist with the Cheshire cat being an assassin with 9 lives. Interesting enough about this book, even though it’s YA, there is very little romance. It’s hinted that there could be a romance in future books, but it certainly doesn’t play really a prominent part in this book. The driving force behind this book is it’s amazing setting, and imagination. If you’re looking for a good retelling of Alice in Wonderland, you should really give this book a shot.
Here’s another one that I believe whenever anyone thinks about it they think of the Disney version of Pinocchio. But to go on a slightly darker note, the version that stands out most in my head is the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence. It’s an incredibly dark, futuristic version of Pinocchio following the story of a child robot. The acting in it is incredible, and there are some scenes that stay with you long after the movie is done.
Even though this movie has more or less of a happy ending, I would not recommend this retelling if you are looking for something light, or a feel good fairy tale.
And finally I’m going to recommend an original Fairy Tale that has many allusions to some traditional ones. Spirited Away is a Japanese anime movie done by the same people who made Princess Mononoke. It is about a young girl who has to do seemingly impossible tasks after her mother and father are turned into pigs for eating food at an abandoned amusement park, which is really an enchanted bathhouse.
This story is referred to as Japan’s version of Alice in Wonderland, but it seems to have more in common with the fairy tale Vasilisa the Beautiful (which happens to be one of my favorites). It even has a character called Yubaba, who is very similar to Baba Yaga. Anyhow…if you like animated movies, Japanese Anime, or just fairy tales in general, this movie is a total must see. The animation is beautiful, and the story is a lot of fun, too.
…there might be a little bit of young love in this movie, but since the main character is like 10, that certainly is NOT the focus. 🙂
Maybe next week I’ll do a post on my favorite romantic fairy tales, or fairy tale retellings, but until then, what non-romantic fairy tales did I miss? Have you read or watched any of these fairy tales? What’s your favorite non-romantic fairy tale?