My Fairy-Tale Mixtape

When I saw Inkgypsy’s Once Upon a Time blog on fairy-tale mixtapes (inspired by Adam’s fantastic take on Andrew Lang), could I resist? Of course, the problem is that I could easily have listed all d’Aulnoy’s tales, but I have tried to restrain myself to a few key favourites. I’m sure I’d reorder this and swap out tales, but I do have a pile of grading to sort through, so I think this will have to be a ‘quickie’! I’ve also included films and novels, because I don’t see why there’s a reason to be restrictive when it comes to fairy tales!

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  1. Finette Cendron, Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy
  2. Viola, Giambattista Basile
  3. The Devil and Gasparino, Giovan Francesco Straparola
  4. The Princess Bride, William Goldman
  5. The Discreet Princess; or The Adventures of Finette, Marie-Jeanne Lhéritier
  6. Pretty as a Picture, Giambattista Basile*
  7. Riquet with the Tuft, Catherine Bernard
  8. How The Milkmaid Struck a Bargain with the Crooked One, C S E Cooney
  9. The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse, Susanna Clarke
  10. The Savage, Henriette Julie de Murat
  11. Labyrinth, Jim Henson
  12. The White Doe, Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy
  13. Peau d’Âne, Jacques Demy
  14. The Pig King, Henriette Julie de Murat
  15. The Green Serpent, Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy
  16. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
  17. Mandosiane in Captivity, Jean Lorrain
  18. The Old Woman’s Hide, Italo Calvino
  19. The Cave of the Golden Rose, Lamberto Bava
  20. Constanza/Constanzo, Giovan Francesco Straparola
  21. Puss-in-Boots, Angela Carter

You might notice the lack of Grimms. What can I say?

 

*Just today I was reading a blog post about a Medieval tale of a woman who sort comfort with her own model of Sir Gawain, which immediately made me think of this tale.

The Future of Fairy Tale in Film

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The other week, the Monash Fairy Tale Salon set off to see the Christophe Gans La Belle et la Bête (2014). It is a scrumptious film and while some found the transformed dogs a little too on the nose and the emotional transformation of the Beast a little undercooked, the visuals were more than enough to delight a fairy tale fan. I particularly loved the giant stone sculptures that were the Beast’s hunting comrades transformed and Beauty’s devotion to her pumpkin patch. As always, the Beast is better as a Beast. It’s always a little disappointing when he becomes a prince again.

There is a lovely, short piece on animal transformation on the Fairy Tale Review site, particularly notable for including female examples.

There is so much cinematic potential in animal transformation and while I’ve loved watching multiple versions of the Beauty and the Beast narrative, I really would love to see filmmakers break out a little.

What about d’Aulnoy’s The White Cat, for instance?

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Not only would it be a film beloved of cat people everywhere, but whenever I read about the disembodied hands, I think of Labyrinth (1986), so I can see definite potential!

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Not to mention d’Aulnoy’s other transformed Princess, Babiole.

a9442These tales have largely fallen out of our popular fairy tale corpus, but they’re amazing tales and have so much to offer the adventurous filmmaker.