I'm sure most of us were brought up on Disney's classic animations, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast. I loved them - more or less straight re-tellings of everyone's favourite fairy tales, with all the gothic menace of evil queens and witches, and handsome princes to dance with, marry and live happily ever after with.
And I have to say, there's still something magical about these films - although interestingly, my daughter stopped watching them at an early age, even although I kept buying them for her whenever one became available :). I think her attitude reflects today'sin general - we want more than beautiful, passive princesses enduring until their prince rescues them. Even the kids seem more cynical about this.
For me, Skrek was the first film that woke me up to this. From his line at the beginning "Aye, right, like that's ever going to happen" (approx!), I knew it was going to be fun! I loved his sweeping of Snow White in a coma out of his living room with an order to the dwarves: "Oh no, dead broad off the table!" Fiona as both ogre and fighting the forest bandits was brilliant. And who could forget Fiona singing to the bird like Snow White did in Disney's film, with somewhat different results :). Of course, the sequels went on to make the fairytale princesses Snow White, Cinderella etc, a lot more kick-ass, and I think that's what we expect now.
The new fairytale films that come out, like Tangled, veer away from the old norms, with humour and irony and yet they're still a tribute to the fairy tales, both read and watched, that we loved as children. If anything, the re-tellings we read,write and watch today, just show how enduring the original tales are, and how deeply they're imprinted on our psyches :).
Do you have a favourite among the children's fairy tale movies?