Saturday 19 November 2011

Are Fairy Tales Next Year's Big Thing?

I have been thinking this for a while now, but I was wondering if fairy tales will be next year's trend in the world of YA fiction? I know that dystopia novels have become popular this years (thanks to the huge success of The Hunger Games) and I do believe that this will continue over the course of 2012, but I am wondering if retellings of fairy tales will be fighting it out for a place in our bookshelves (as well as in our DVD collections and on our TVs).

Apart from the novels by Jackson Pearce (the hugely successful Sisters Red and Sweetly) and the movies Red Riding Hood (directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starring Amanda Seyfield) and Beastly (from the novel by Alex Flinn and starring Alex Pettyfer & Vanessa Hudgens) which most people feels was less than desired, 2012 seem to be the year that we're getting retold fairy tales more in our faces...

Both Universal Studios and Relativity Media are going head-to-head in their retelling of Snow White. While Relativity Media's Mirror Mirror seems to take a the whimsical and comedic look at the fairy tale, Universal's Snow White And The Huntsman goes down a dark, almost Lord of the Rings (and this movie is rumoured to be a start of a trilogy...) And we are still awaiting news about Disney's live action story of Maleficent, the evil queen from Sleeping Beauty and the mysterious The Order Of The Seven, Disney's reboot of Snow White set in China in the 19th century (no news on whether this film will be live action, animated or CGI)...

Not only is the battle being fought at the cinemas, but TV is also a battleground. Two of the biggest US TV networks are using "fairy tales in the real world" ideas. ABC has Once Upon A Time, a fantasy drama, while NBC has Grimm, a cop show that has characters inspired from the Grimm Fairy Tales. Both of these shows are rumoured to be coming to the UK, but no news on which channel has picked them up [EDIT: Grimm is rumoured to be going to the channel Watch. Once Upon A Time still hasn't been confirmed, though I suspect either Channel 4 or Channel 5.]

Now, do I think this will be the big thing for next year? I'm not sure. I will be intrigued to see if this has staying power. When vampires was the big thing, it lasted for several years as did magic (thank you Harry Potter and Twilight) and while we seem to be in the grip of dystopia, it will be very interesting to see fairy tales spark the imagination for both children and adults...


  1. Very interesting post! I'm really looking forward to a lot of these fairy tale stories :)

  2. What a great post, I enjoyed watching the trailers! Am a bit worried about Once Upon a Time since it's from the writers of Lost LOL. I'd still give it a go though. I think fairy tale retelling have gradually been creeping into the movies for a little while, like you say with Beastly and Little Red Riding Hood. I can't wait to see both of the Snow White movies and I'm fascinated by how the story can be told in two different ways - one dark, brooding and one comedic and light.

  3. You know what? I hope you're right. I LOVE fairy tales and the idea of retellings and bringing forward dark fairy tales (one of which I'm actually currently writing, funnily enough) is something that gets me VERY excited. Thanks for sharing I'd been interested in all of these but hadn't seen trailers yet!
    Once Upon A Time <- oh, look at that! ;)

  4. They do look good! I hope that this will be interesting, but I do hope that, if fairy tales are going down the retold route, that they go appeal to both boys & girls.