Super Hero or Happily Ever After?

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.
Me: Awww!
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?


37 thoughts on “Super Hero or Happily Ever After?

  1. Mae Clair says:

    I read fairy tales as a kid but most were the original stories that had much darker endings than the renditions today. I like my HEAs but I also love anything that takes a classic and puts a new spin on it. Case in point–Once Upon a Time–the only must see TV I commit to on a weekly basis even if it is through the use of my DVR. I love the spins they’ve placed on classic fairytales and how they’ve strung them together in one complex world.

    As for movies, I’ve enjoyed most of the ones you mentioned. The same trend is also springing up in books and I love it! Hopefully, Hollywood, network TV and publishers will hang onto that trend for a while. I’m more than happy to indulge.


  2. Jeff says:

    I like the trend, too. I wasn’t as fond of Snow White and the Huntsman, but it was because of Stewart. I loved Charlize Theron in it, though. I can’t wait to see Hansel & Gretel. It looks pretty good.


  3. filbio says:

    I also like the Grimms Tales better. Can’t wait to see Hansel and Gretel. Red Riding Hood was ok. I hate Kristin Stewart as an actress. She is bland with little personality to me.


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      I liked the action in Hansel & Gretel…and the chick who played Gretel is a bit of a badass. As for Kristen Stewart…yeah, she’s definitely not my favorite, either. Fortunately Chris Hemsworth was there for man candy.


  4. ramblingsfromamum says:

    Charlie Theron stunnning and Chris Hemsworth … well what needs to be said about that hunk of Aussie Man – not a great deal 😉 I loved them in Snow White. I haven’t seen the others so sadly I cannot review. Hansel and Gretel does look interesting, we saw the trailer when we saw Gangster Squad the other week. I’m going to be boring I was into Lassie and National Velvet Movies – animals. If I did see any other type of movies – I can’t remember them 😦 oh woah is me. xx


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Nothing wrong with animal movies. My cousin’s 3 year old daughter would pick horses over princesses any day. I, too, love animal movies as long as the endings are happy. No Marley & Me for this girl.

      How was Gangster Squad?


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      I’m relieved I wasn’t the only one. The action was pretty good, but I felt like the characters & plot lines lacked development. You didn’t really have much reason to care about them… What did you find disappointing?


  5. wordsurfer says:

    Fairy tales are definitely on the way back into popular culture and I LOVE it. I think those stories are so fundamental to us as humans and I was going to write a second post on fairy tales – you might just have given me the incentive to finally do it!
    I love the adaptations as well – most of the time, anyway – especially those with an original twist. I have to agree with Mae Clair that Once upon a time is done fabulously! I’ve only seen a handful of episodes so far, but I can’t wait to watch them all.
    Also, totally agree on Snow White and the Huntsman – I liked the really dark and dangerous edge to it and Chris Hemsworth… 😉


  6. Katie says:

    In college my senior seminar project was about the presentation of time in fairy tales, and how the sexual content and its implications aren’t really things we should be spouting off to children. I’m glad lately Hollywood is reflecting a little of that in movies now!


  7. Audrey says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with some of the movies coming out now. Having read the stories as a kid, I get so excited to see that the movies are raw and gritty but sometimes disappointed that the directors choose to go such a different way from the story I knew and loved. So while I’m still reconciling myself to it all, it’s still fun to see the action they’re packing into these great tales. I’m waiting for them to make Pushkin’s Ruslan and Ludmilla into a movie some day – it’s one of my favorites from Russian literature. And with the trend of witch movies lately, maybe we’ll see some about Babba Yaga too!


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Yeah. I completely get where you’re coming from. I mean, they made Honest Abe a Vampire hunter for goodness sake! There are moments when I see previews & just shake my head. And like I said, there were some disappointments in the fairy tale movies. But I’m definitely glad they took out some of the cavity infestation that’s become associated with fairy tales.


  8. Emma says:

    I have a big crush on Hawkeye, too, or rather Jeremy Renner. That man is hot! I first fell in love with him when he played a soldier in 28 Weeks Later (YouTube him) Looking forward to seeing Hansel and Gretel. I like my fairytales a little darker.


  9. amadiex says:

    You know me to know I favor the dark side. In fact that is what pulls me to the fantasy world in the first place. While as you stated Disney watered down version is cute but not interesting to me. When I starting to looking into the darker fantasy world, I felt more in tuned with it…LOL what does that say about me:))) I guess it was that some of these fictional characters fought back by unconventional means and I loved that especially grown up. I think that is also why I am in love with Amy Brown’s ( art because as an artist she successfully portrays that hint of a darker side.


  10. marydpierce says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I enjoy watching the bad guys/villians getting their butts kicked from the safety and comfort of my armchair view. I think that’s the appeal of all these kinds of tales. I also think that those dark tales told by the Brothers Grimm served the same purpose pre-TV and movie time.


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