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Skønheden og dyret (1989)

Beauty and the Beast (1989)

An anonymous reader sent this in to me recently, and I couldn’t be more delighted. This silent, stop-motion version of Beauty and the Beast may well be the most truly romantic version of the tale I’ve ever seen. Tonally, the Beast featured here is the closest I’ve seen to the Villeneuve’s. Visual callbacks to the tale of Persephone and beautiful, subtle acting evoke a world of longing and repressed emotion through the simplest of puppets. Animator Romana Burianova achieves something astonishing, and I recommend any fan of the tale allow themselves a half hour to sink into the beautifully pantomimed world of this gentle, soulful romance.

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A little bit of my fairy tale world, the dream house with animals, many flowers, fresh baked pies, fruits, warm chocolate milk and pure happiness, connected with the forest and the magic around me 🍒🍓🍇🍎🐄🐐🐇🐤🐢💐🌹🌲🌳🍃🍂🍁

“Careful,” said the snake. “You’re starting to sound like me.”

hey gyns let me plug a book for a second. its a childhood favorite of mine, but its also one of the best fairy tale books for little girls, imho. its called ‘the serpent slayer: and other stories of strong women, and its a collection of fairy tales from around the world whose main characters are women. some of my favorite stories from it include:

neesowa and the chenoo - when an injured chenoo (an evil, cannibalistic monster) stumbles upon neesowa’s camp, she throws the monster off balance by treating him with kindness and sharing her home with him as he recovers, which pays off when another chenoo attacks her camp.

grandmother skull - a young woman, neruvana, marries a man who kills her entire family and abandons her. thankfully, the skull of her grandmother comes to life to teach her how to survive and to help her get revenge. 

beebyeebyee and the water god - a young woman, beebyeebyee, falls in love with a water god who is slain by the envious people of her village. she gets revenge.

three whiskers from a lions chin - maria wants to help her husband, who returned from war a changed man, and the local bruja sends her off to get three whiskers from a lions chin, apparently a key ingredient in a magic spell that will bring her husband back to himself. when she brings the whiskers back to the bruja, the woman explains that there is no magic spell, but that with time, and the same patience she used to get the whiskers, she can help her husband recover. 

the old woman and the devil - a brilliant old woman faces off with the devil in a bet to convince him to leave her spot in the shade. she outwits him, and undoes the harm he did as well.

duffy the lady - a version of rumplestiltskin where a housekeeper who cant knit or spin accepts a deal with a devil who will do the tasks for her for three years, if she will marry him at the end of the three years if she cannot guess his name. spoiler alert: she can. 

sister lace - a creation myth about the stars, when the emperor hears of sister lace’s incredible lace-making abilities, he has her brought to the palace and ordered to marry him. when she refuses, he has her imprisoned unless she can spin him a live rooster. her skill and blood bring the bird to life, but she remains imprisoned, until, eventually, she finds her way out. 

a marriage of two masters - a very intelligent young woman who speaks only in riddles meets a man who sees the world the same way, and as they decipher one anothers riddles, they fall in love. 

clever marcella - marcella, a genius, fascinates the prince, and they agree to marry, provided she not interfere with his rule. when she feels compelled to challenge a ridiculous ruling he made on a case, he orders her to take whatever she likes from the palace and then leave. she solves the problem as anyone in love would, compels the prince to see the error of his ways, and becomes the kingdoms chief justice.

the rebel princess - to escape an unwanted arranged marriage, judith and her ladies-in-waiting take to the open sea. when they come across a ship of pirates who decide they will each marry one of the women, the crew steal their clothes, their treasure, and their lives. by the end of the story, judith has been crowned king in place of an heir-less king who drowned. 

its just a really, really good book, with a portrayal of women that most fairy tales dont have. theyre kind and wise mentors and teachers, not wicked stepmothers and ugly hags, and an undeveloped marriage to a man isnt their be-all and end-all. i really encourage you to get a copy for any little girls in your life, especially who enjoy fairy tales. 

Reinterpretations of myths and fairy tales that explain weird shit in the plot are infinitely preferable to edgy reimaginings that add nothing

Ending goldilocks with “and then the bears mauled her and used her vascular system the way Pooh uses a jar of honey with a misspelled label” isn’t clever. You know what is clever? The big bad wolf being an elderly female werewolf, hence why it was able to disguise itself as an old woman so easily. Clever is Cinderella being a faun, hence why her shoes were actually a pretty damn good ID and why her ugly step-sisters cut off their heels to fit into them and why her godmothers were fairies. Clever is medusa’s monstrous visage being a stealth blessing from athena to protect her from ever being raped again

So yeah, leave Alice being a psychotic kitchen knife murder in the trash where it belongs and start talking about how, given his physics-defying “inventions”, whole rooms made of enticing candy and gingerbread and habit of turning children into food, Willy Wonka is probably a batterwitch like the one from hansel and gretel

moon spinner

I love literally any framing device. I love reminders that the story I’m reading/watching/hearing is a story that is being told, in the universe in which it happened or in another. I love the sense that these characters, these events, are remembered, and retold. Did you know that “legend” is the root of the gerundive conjugation of the Latin verb “legere”, so that a literal translation is “[that which] should/must be read”? I love the narrator of Just So stories, and Christopher Sly in The Taming of the Shrew, and the fact that the entire comic Girl Genius is canonically historical fiction written by two very minor characters, decades after the events of the story. I was very young when I first read Sam and Frodo huddling on the burning slope of Mount Doom and talking about how they would one day be spoken of at homey firesides as “Nine-Fingered Frodo and the Ring of Doom”, another mighty chapter in the great tale goin back to the Beren and Luthien and the Silmarils, and Feanor and the Trees, and the creation of Arda itself - read it in a copy, you know, of Professor Tolkien’s translation of a leatherbound book he found in a barn in the country one day, in which the original author had inscribed the tale (so-called) of the Downfall of the Lord of the Rings, and the Return of the King (as seen by the Little People, being the memoirs of Bilbo and Frodo of the Shire, supplemented by the accounts of their friends and the learning of the Wise. Together with extracts from Books of Lore translated by Bilbo in Rivendell.) 

Telling stories is like 80% of how people communicate!! Tell me about your day! Did you hear that Janet from Accounting is sleeping with Brad from Marketing! I have so much homework; here’s twenty pictures of my dog; I got into a car accident on my vacation, let me tell you about my experiences, because they are worth remembering and retelling.

Fuck! Me! Up!

Fairy tales are 500% better if you assume that all the elves and goblins and strange women lying in ponds are just making up the rules of magic as they go, and every time they bring up a new complication for the protagonist in their heads they’re like “shit I didn’t expect them to think of that WELL ACTUALLY”.