I was on the phone with a gal pal of mine last week when plans for the weekend came up. Her boys were going to be camping with her husband, so she was planning mother/daughter time.
Her: My 12 year old daughter has her first celebrity crush.
Her: So let me ask you a question. If a 12 year old had a crush on an Avenger, who do you think it would be?
Me: Probably Captain America…or maybe Thor.
Her: Right! Captain America was All-American…clean cut. Thor…well, everyone has a crush on him these days. But not my daughter!
Me: Really? Who is it? I guess I could kind of see Hulk! Please tell me it’s not Ironman…he’s just a bit naughty for a 12 year old!
Her: Not my daughter. She has a crush on Hawkeye!
Me: Ok…I can see it. His a bit of a badass boyscout…but with a dark side.
Her: Yup! Jeremy Renner…most of his characters are that way. I guess she’s a lot more like her mother than I realized, LOL!
Me: (laughing) I guess so! I really loved him in his Bourne movie.
Her: Absolutely! So, since hubby and the boys are away this weekend, I’ve decided to indulge her crush and take her to see Hansel And Gretel…Of course, that indulges me, too.
Well, as it turned out, hubby and I took a very good friend to see that same movie to celebrate her birthday…. If you haven’t seen the trailers for this movie yet…let me give you a taste.
As I sat there watching previews before the movie started I couldn’t help but think back to my childhood. Growing up, I remembered being told fairy tales…just like most of you. The usually started with a Princess…had an Evil Witch (or maybe a Dragon) and had a happy ending! They were mostly sweet and light…kind of like the Disney movies.
But there was this other side…the Fairy Tales I read about. Yes, I was that girl who checked out Grimm’s Fairy Tales from the library when I was in 3rd grade. I was fascinated with how different many of those tales were from their Disney counterparts. They were darker…scarier…definitely not so saccharine sweet! And I LOVED them! In fact, I loved reading them as much as I thrilled reading Greek Mythology! It seemed more realistic somehow…even at that young age. It also fed my thirst for “other” worlds and adventures. It opened my mind up to possibility! I wouldn’t say I was cynical already…but I was well aware that the sugar of Disney tales…while cute and great for “little” kids…was just too “goody two shoes” to be within the realm of possible.
It seems that there Hollywood is finally starting to tell the darker, scarier versions of these stories, too! I first noticed it with Red Riding Hood (which I still need to see)…
That movie was followed by Snow White And The Huntsman…which I DID see…and enjoyed! Sadly, I’m not a huge Kristen Stewart fan, and this was the movie in which she had the “affair” with her director. She was actually pretty good in this movie…though, there’s no question that Chris Hemsworth definitely stole the show. I also really liked that Snow White ended with her Prince, and not The Huntsman…leaving him available for my fantasies.
While watching Hansel & Gretel (which, in my opinion….was good, not GREAT), they played a preview for Jack The Giant Slayer…an interpretation of the Jack In The Beanstalk story. It looked action packed…and awesome! It was also pretty cool seeing Obi Wan playing this kind of role…and yes, I’m well aware of the fact that he was played by Ewan McGregor…but I love the series enough to always associate him with that character. See for yourself…
Now my buddy WordSurfer can get all in depth as to the history and import of the darker fairy tales… And I’d agree. But most important to me is the fact that it’s pretty awesome to see some of my favorite stories from my youth being brought to life (albeit with all sorts of different Hollywood twists) in these action packed movies in the same way that all my favorite superheroes are! The fact that a couple of them are playing dual roles as superheroes/fairy tale heroes is just icing on my cake!
Don’t get me wrong…there’s room for those Disney princesses… I still enjoy those stories, too. But there’s nothing quite so thrilling to me as a bit of action packed nostalgia. So let me ask you…what kinds of books/stories/characters were you drawn to as a child? What do you think of this new Hollywood trend?