Fairy tales today are thought of as warm, fuzzy stories, but when the Brothers Grimm and others penned them centuries ago, they were disturbing works. Death. Cannibalism. Slavery. Rape. These are themes that are far too ghastly for Disney and their pink Princess machine.
Of course, society tends to aim for pleasing the dumbest of its citizens, so our fairy tales and nursery rhymes have been diluted and completely rewritten and retold over the years. Below, check out a few versions of the timeless tales that aren’t quite so sanitized as well as one that is.
We’ll start with something Disney-esque to ease you into the dark world of twisted fairy tales. Jeffrey Thomas took the Mouse’s bitches and gave them entirely new looks and, presumably, backstories. Snow White has dwarf slaves (or is she their slave?). Pocahontas is a bloody mess. A scarecrow Cinderella pops out of a rotting pumpkin. This is much better than that sparkling crap the Mouse House uses.
Here’s another cutesy take. Little Red Riding Hood is taking everyone’s favorite wabbit, Bugs Bunny, to Grandma’s house for dinner (where, of course, he’s to be the dinner). A wolf takes a hungry liking to Bugs, and hilarity naturally ensues.
Here’s a darker Red Riding Hood, courtesy of artist Paul Gurcules. “Twisted Tales: Dread Riding Hood” shows that Red has the motivation and strength to finally kill that darn wolf that’s been chasing her down. I can only hope she said, “I cut you, bitch!” as she sliced into the wolf.
That Flickr photo is a bit of a creeper, isn’t it? I’m someone who traces her fear of spiders back to 1) daddy long legs hanging around on the porch, and 2) the mini-series “It” (Oddly, I’ve loved Spider-Man since I was four.). Thus, this McFarlane figure of Little Miss Muffet getting nailed by the giant spider gives me the willies big time. I think I’m going to go over here and watch the Sesame Street version instead.
The “Fables” comic books and took the classic tales and turned them on their ears. All the characters we’ve come to love have issues that they deal with in New York. Some parts of “Fables” echos the uprising story from “Wicked” (the book that the musical was based on), while others deal with the personal side of the characters’ curses/jobs/wishes. The “Fables” NYC isn’t a place where you assume “happily ever after” will happen.
Finally, even though the new “Alice in Wonderland” movie comes from Disney, everyone knows that Tim Burton won’t make everything pretty and straightforward, and Johnny Depp will be maniacal as always. This is one of the most anticipated films of 2010, and from the trailer alone, it’s easy to see why.