Today: February 21, 2024

Fairy Tales Retold

Glitzy Hollywood remakes of classic fairytales are as popular now as when they first hit the silver screen. To celebrate the release of Beastly on DVD from 29th August 2011, we have delved into the world of big screen magic and fantasy to bring you the best modern day counterparts to some of the world’s most-loved fairy tales.

By Dale Barnett

Glitzy Hollywood
remakes of classic fairytales are as popular now as when they first hit the
silver screen. To celebrate the
release of Beastly on DVD from 29th
August 2011, we have delved into the world of big screen magic and fantasy to
bring you the best modern day counterparts to some of the world’s most-loved

Beastly (Beauty
& The Beast)

is the re-worked version of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and includes of course the
much needed modern twist. Starring
two of the hottest teen idols around, Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens, as
high school students Kyle and Lindy, Beastly is set in New York City. When
Kyle, a wealthy and arrogant student with a bad attitude towards, well, anyone
who doesn’t hang out with the popular kids, gets cursed by a witch (played by
Mary-Kate Olsen) he is left disfigured and with only a year to find someone who
loves him on the inside. Otherwise
he will he be left with his monstrous appearance forever.

A Cinderella Story (Cinderella)

A Cinderella Story, as you might have guessed,
is a retelling of the eternally popular fairytale ‘Cinderella’. There may be a
mobile phone in place of a glass slipper, and royalty subtly switched for the high
school football team, but Hilary Duff definitely gets our vote as the new
generation’s Cinderella. Plus of
course, who could deny Chad Michael Murray the role of a modern day Prince

Red Riding Hood (Little Red Riding Hood)

director Catherine Hardwicke brought this dark tale spectacularly back into the
limelight through Amanda Seyfried’s Valerie – a beautiful woman torn between
two men in a gothic and romantic version of the fabled story. When the
villagers learn that their neighbours are being mauled and murdered by a
werewolf that roams the woods at night – a wolf that takes human form by day –
anxiety grows as they realise the beast could be any one of them.

Alice in Wonderland

Who else but Tim
Burton could bring this colourful tale back to life with such success? With a
darker and more sinister plot than ever before, the original characters are reinvented
through Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter when Alice finds herself back in
Wonderland to battle the Red Queen. Only now Wonderland is known as the curious
and frightful Underland and is completely under the control of the Red Queen.
Proving that fairytales are not always sunshine and roses (even if they are
painted red) Alice in Wonderland definitely makes it into our list of

Tangled (Rapunzel)

Disney’s first
entry into our list is Tangled, the animated musical version of the classic ‘Rapunzel’.
With a heroine who is a far cry from the traditional damsel in distress, and a
charming bandit to play the part of hero, the unlikely duo work wonderfully
together in this witty and unexpected story.

Snow White and The Huntsman (Snow White and The
Seven Dwarves)

Due to be
released in 2012, this is ‘Snow White’ with an even darker twist. With Kristen
Stewart taking on the title role of a new, tougher ‘Snow’, we are soon to be
treated to a maiden turned warrior. Trained and mentored by the huntsman sent
to kill her and hell bent on revenge as far as Queen Ravenna is concerned, this
retelling moves far far away from singing with little woodland creatures, and
we can’t wait!

Hook (Peter Pan)

With so many Peter Pan adaptations to choose from,
Spielberg’s Hook is by far the most modern version of JM Barrie’s classic.
Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams play the immortal roles of Captain Hook and
businessman Peter Panning respectively to perfection. When Hook kidnaps Peter’s children, the
latter must rediscover his identity and return to ‘Neverland’ in order to
challenge his old enemy. Not forgetting Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell – what else
could you want from a modern day fairytale?!

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (Hansel & Gretel)

Another 2012
release on the cards, Hansel and Gretel:
Witch Hunters, definitely adds a couple of new twists to the original Grimm
Brothers’ tale. Set 15 years after their ‘incident’ with the gingerbread house,
the not so sweet siblings are out for revenge on witches in their roles as
bounty hunters. Taking inspiration from darker versions of the folk story,
including Gretel’s episode of burning the witch to death in her oven, the two
sweet-toothed children have definitely learned to take care of themselves.

Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

Disney’s reawakening of their original ‘Sleeping Beauty’
is set to twist the story further, and focuses on the evil witch Maleficent
(who needs another princess anyway!). Rumoured to
heavily involve Tim Burton, it seems the film is set for a gothic touch with
Angelina Jolie is in talks for the title role.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights ( Robin Hood)

Our final entry
comes to us from the mind of comic genius Mel Brooks, and is the hilarious
re-working of ‘Robin Hood’. The story of the hero who ‘stole from the rich to
give to the poor’ was brought to life in the classic ‘Prince of Thieves’, but
has been somewhat altered with a fantastic ensemble of musical numbers, tomfoolery
and an appearance from Patrick Stuart as King Richard.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:

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