Maleficent and the 10 best films inspired by fairy tales...
Angelina Jolie stars as the live-action incarnation of Maleficent, the wicked sorceress from Disney’s 1959 animation, Sleeping Beauty. Essentially it’s about the untold story of the classic good-guy (in this case woman) turns evil due to betrayal. Once the land’s fiercest protector, her pure heart turns to stone and she battles against the king of the humans. Dakota Fanning’s little sister, Elle Fanning, plays Aurora and is cursed by the evil witch.
In celebration of the Maleficent's released on DVD and Blu-ray next week (Monday 20th) here are our top 10 films inspired by fairy tales…
10. Snow White and The Huntsmen
Rupert Sanders’s dark fantasy action film takes us into a wilderness environment with Charlize Theron as the fair wicked witch. Snow White, played by Kristin Stewart, is the raven-haired heroine, soothing savage beasts with her compassionate face. Oh and a digitally miniaturised Bob Hoskins plays one of the seven dwarfs. Starring Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman, this is based on the 19th century literary version The Brothers Grimm, who called their story “Little Snow White”. This emphasised the innocence of a young girl persecuted by her jealous stepmother. Theron being the flawless yet evil stepmother and Stewart embodying the pure-beauty.
9. Hard Candy
This one is Little Red Riding Hood based, in this case with Ellen Page as “little red”. She plays the character Hayley, entrapped by Patrick Wilson’s character, Jeff. Hayley believes Jeff is a paedophile and murderer who grooms young girls online. Not the sound of a typical fairy tale, but more an allusion to the original, plus Page gets to wear a red “riding” hoody.
8. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
From the original German fairy tale of a young brother and sister, lured in by a house covered with sweet treats, are then threatened by a cannibalistic witch living deep in the forest. However not so much the same with this film, apart from the brother and sister factor, this is overflowing with dark imagery and creepy-sexy witches. The preposterous sounding concept, foul language and blood-filled film sees Gemma Arterton and Marvel’s The Avengers’ star, Jeremy Renner as Hansel and Gretel.
Starring Legally Blonde actress, Reese Witherspoon, this is also based loosely on the 1697 story of Little Red Riding Hood. It’s a modern day retelling with Kiefer Sutherland as the “big bad wolf”. Witherspoon plays a white-trash version of little red who runs away from home after her mum is arrested for prostitution. But in the true “big bad wolf” scenario things don’t go so well for rapist/serial-killer Sutherland after he encounters “little red”.
6. The Little Mermaid
You know this one, story of a mermaid princess, big flowing bright red hair, wants to walk amongst the dry folk on land? Yes, that one. Well it’s based on the Hans Christian Anderson classic tale with some differences. There’s a talking crustacean for one. She does see the prince from afar in his ship, she does rescue him from drowning and falls in love, he doesn’t see her, and she does visit the sea witch (Ursula – voice by Pat Carroll) who takes her tongue (voice) away from her in exchange for legs. Typical Faustian bargain of making a deal with the devil. In the end Ariel wins and once again good triumphs over evil. Nice one Ariel.
5. Snow White: A Tale of Terror
Starring Sigourney Weaver, who plays a very, VERY, convincing evil witch, this film was marked with the tagline, “the fairy tale is over”. Weaver’s critically acclaimed performance earned her Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Costume Design and Outstanding Lead Actress. Obviously from Snow White fairy tale link and a worthy candidate for our top 10.
4. The Red Shoes
Martin Scorsese named it one of his all-time favourite films so we had to include it. Based on The Hans Christian Anderson story, with the same title, and is considered the best film made about the world of dance. Anderson’s story is about a morbid tale of a ballerina who is forced to dance to the point of death by her shoes. She is saved only by having her feet cut off. The 1948 version is about a love-triangle between ballerina Victoria Page, played by Moira Shearer, her beau and her art.
It won an Academy Award, nominated for another, won a Golden Globe and nominated for a Bafta all in 1949. Enough said as to why it’s in our number four position.
Not based on any one fairy tale but more of a mixture encompassing the lot. Disney borrows elements from many of the studio’s fantastical classics, Amy Adams plays the princess ‘Giselle’, Patrick Dempsey, “prince 1” and James Marsden is “prince 2”.
The tale of a fairy tale princess unleashed and it was Disney’s 50th animated feature. It’s a story based on the fairy tale Rapunzel, but in this version the famously long hair is a magical healer once sung to by Rapunzel herself. The fun really starts once Rapunzel breaks free from her tower.
1. The Princess and the Frog
The Number One spot goes to this 2009 animation of all animations. From the fairy tale of The Frog Prince by the Brothers Grimm, it broke the box office records ranking first place on its opening weekend in North America, grossing $267 million worldwide. The film received three Academy Award nominations at the 82nd Academy Awards; one for the Best Animated Feature and two for Best Original Song. Although losing to Up and Crazy Heart, it’s also our number one because it reinvented Disney animated musical films.