Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Home Depot's Self Sufficient Fairy Tale Femmes

There's a new advertising campaign for Home Depot to promote their new 'Do-It-Herself' Clinic, the idea being to encourage women to take basic home improvement classes, and it's a nice twist on the usual fairy tale damsel-in-distress advertisers normally use. The designer, Sarah Riddle, has these femmes being truly self-sufficient.

From Trendhunter Magazine:
The campaign features reworked fairytales in which the heroine did a little DIY home improvement to thwart the bad guys. There’s Little Red Riding Hood, who’s just installed locks to keep out the Big Bad Wolf; Rapunzel, who successfully made her own ladder to escape; and Little Bo Peep, who put up a fence to keep her sheep where they belong. Fantastic work!
The direct mailer 'invitation' has a little story about a needy girl who finds her answer by helping herself (thanks to Home Depot of course) ......and the posters show fairy tale heroines taking charge of their situations and looking very smug as a result.This gets a 'bravo' from my book. I do like the combination of urban fantasy meets fairy tale - it's a very satisfying combo.

You can see more of Sarah Riddle's ad campaign work here.

Belle's Library

What's in Belle's library at Walt Disney World in the Epcot France Meet & Greet Pavilion?

Photographer Scott Thomas got a good look, snapped it and shared it in a post.

From his post:

Books from left to right are Little Red Riding Hood, Grimm (as in the Brothers Grimm), Perrault (Charles Perrault, the Frenchman who wrote many French fairy tales including Cinderella - he's the reason we have the glass slipper - it's actually a mistranslation from the old French) and King Arthur. Research done by my Disney trivia lovng and French honor student daughter, Krystal.

Go check out the rest of the details at his blog.

Note: The above photo is from one of the shops in the Epcot France 'district'.

Monday, June 29, 2009

"To the Best of Our Knowledge" Podcast Episode Focuses On Fairy Tales

The podcast "To the Best of Our Knowledge" focuses on fairy tales this week. The episode is just under an hour long and has interviews with each of the people mentioned below and excerpts from their work (where relevant) included in the entertaining discussion on the importance of fairy tales during hard times - for not only children but adults too.

The following summaries of the podcast contents ae from the website and I've added the relevant books and links so you can find the people and the works discussed:
Annie Gauger has edited an annotated version of the classic novel ”The Wind in the Willows.”Nina Paley has re-told the story from the Ramayana using animation, Indonesian shadow puppets and a ‘20s era jazz singer.Musharraf Ali Farooqi translates ancient Indian tales of sorcerers and wizards, originally written in Urdu.Maria Tatar talks about what makes fairy tales so compelling to children. *Jack Zipes discusses Kurt Schwitters’ life and work, particularly his surreal fairy tales.

You can listen to the interesting podcast HERE.

* I have a post, with reviews, coming up on 7/3/09 all about Maria Tatar's new book.

Fairy Tale 'Sheets'

How cool is this? A bedtime story you can sleep under!

These blankets are from the Bedtime Stories Project by Tiago da Fonseca.Looks like this tale is Sleeping Beauty if the words 'spindle' and 'kingdom' are any clue. What a perfect bedtime story... (Check here for more pictures.)

Happy napping!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Disney's The Princess and the Frog - New Behind the Scenes Featurette

In case you don't already know, Disney is releasing their first hand-drawn fairy tale feature animation film in a LONG time during this holiday season - specifically December 11, 2009 (yay!).

It's called "The Princess and the Frog" (you can see the official poster below - click on it for a larger view) and is based on the classic fairy tale "The Frog Prince", also known as "Frog King" (you can read the 'original' text and all about it's history and more at the SurLaLune site).

A new featurette, called "The Return to Hand Drawn Animation" has appeared in the last day or so and has a ton of behind-the-scenes glimpses from the rough and clean-up animation of "The Princess and the Frog" as it was being made. (I'm sure this will be on the DVD eventually).


As always, there's a lot of controversy surrounding Disney's first 'black princess' story, complicated by being set in New Orleans but rather than rant, I'm choosing to enjoy another fairy tale coming to the screen in the tradition that made Disney great in the first place. Yay for hand-drawn animation! (And that has nothing to do with it being hubby-and-my vocation - OK maybe a little... ;D)
Here's the official website, already with a number of goodies (although the featurette above hasn't made it there yet), including a gallery, some film info and a game so far as well as the trailer.

For those who haven't seen it, or want to see it again with nice definition this time, here's the official trailer:

Film Credits (from IMDB):
Directed by
Ron Clements

John Musker

Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ron Clements
Rob Edwards
Greg Erb
Don Hall
story supervisor
John Musker
Jason Oremland

John Goodman ... Eli 'Big Daddy' LaBouff (voice)

Terrence Howard ... James (voice)

Keith David ... Dr. Facilier (voice)

Anika Noni Rose ... Princess Tiana (voice)

Oprah Winfrey ... Eudora (voice)
Jim Cummings ... Ray (voice)

Jenifer Lewis ... Mama Odie (voice)

Bruno Campos ... Prince Naveen (voice)

Jennifer Cody ... Charlotte LaBouff (voice)

Elizabeth M. Dampier ... Young Tiana (voice)

Breanna Brooks ... Young Charlotte LaBouff (voice)

Jerry Kernion ... Mr. Fenner (voice)
Michael Colyar ... Buford

Now, bring on the crazy merchandise!

Fairy Tale Photography - 2 Extremes

From re-invention of Disney classics by the amazing Annie Leibovitz to the grimmer side of Grimm by Belgium based artist Bruno Vilela, there's a whole lot of fairy tale photography going on.

Fashion photographer, Liebovitz, did three series (and a single additional) of photos showing celebrities as Disney characters for Disney's ad campaign for the themeparks for 2008.

You can see more Disney-classics-by-Liebovitz here (please note there are three sets of photos plus an additional single high-rez photo of The Little Mermaid in their archives).

Bruno Vilela, on the other hand, chose to portray the darker side of the tales. He focuses on Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood (both looking very zombie-like). Click here to see the whole gallery - just click on each photo to go to the next one.

The rather morbid photos of Vilela's dead fairy tale heroines can be found here under 'Bibbdi Bobbdi Boo'.

Somehow, as beautiful as the Liebovitz photos are, they still give me a touch of 'the creepy', though in a different way from Vilela's.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Shoe Stories of Claudia Lynch

[I told you there would be shoes!]

They're not all fairy tale shoes, and by fairy tale shoes I don't mean shoes fairy tale characters would wear. To quote The Times-Picayune:
"...not so much what Snow White would wear, mind you, but what Snow White would be if she were a shoe."
Claudia Lynch is known for designing and illustrating fanciful shoes, most being unlikely to ever be made, let alone worn, but she has a wonderful story for each. Better still, now you can carry them around. Claudia Lynch has officially become a bag lady. (You can buy at least one of them at here. Her "Siamese Shoe" - pictured at the top of this post - is currently under 'totes'.)

Again from The Times-Picayune:
"Lynch accompanies each illustration with witty narratives, filled with puns, just under-the-covers innuendo and intentional typos, that bring the shoes to life. On the surface, the illustrations are PG, but an adult viewer's imagination can easily make them quite a bit more racy."
Here are three examples:

Cinderella Skate

"Hi, Handsome. I had a ball last night."

"Me too, Pumpkin." I was a little surprised to hear from her after her disappearing act the night before.

"You're a real prince," she said. "Maybe I'll see you again some time." With that, she hung up.

I couldn't get her out of my mind. There was something phony about this dame. It was almost as if she'd been coached. And I had the nagging feeling I'd seen her somewhere before. But where?

Just before midnight, it struck me.

"I'll be seeing you, all right, Pumpkin," I thought. I might be a real prince, but I was on to her, and I wasn't going to be able to let her skate on this one.

Red Riding Hood Shoe

"Hello, Red. Nice outfit."

As she sashayed past, I let out a discreet whistle. In this neck of the woods, that was still considered a compliment.

"What's in the goody basket?"

"Nothing you'll ever get to sink your big teeth into," she winked. "My Grandma always told me to look out for wolves like you."

"That's good advice," I said. As I watched her skip away, I wondered if I'd ever work up the nerve to aks her out on a date.

Snow White Shoe

She'd taken a big bite out of my ego.

"You're a small, dopey, rotten man!" she shouted. "Why are all men so rotten?"

She was the one to talk. As I dodged the contents of the fruit bowl, I reflected on what she'd said. Bruised ego aside, I didn't think I deserved it. Not all of it, anyway.

"You're not exactly Snow Whitte. Who died and left you queen?"

"That's not fair."

But it was. Of all the things I'd ever wanted to say to her, it was the fairest of them all.

For more shoes and stories go visit her wonderful website here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood (with Christina Ricci) & Other Stories Now On DVD

This has been a long time in coming.
On June 16th, David Kaplan's award winning film of Little Red Riding Hood, starring a 16 year old Christina Ricci, finally became available.

Sinister fun.... Absolutely gorgeous film... woozy, Murnauesque sets, narration from Quentin Crisp, and, above all, the preternaturally expressive visage of Christina Ricci as an all-too-knowing Red.
--Hazal-Dawn Dumpert, L.A. Weekly.


16-year-old Christina Ricci stars as a not-so-innocent Red Riding Hood in writer/director David Kaplan’s underground cult classic hailed by viewers as "breathtaking", "a masterpiece", "perfection", and "one of the greatest short films of all time". With narration by Quentin Crisp, based on the folktale "The Story of Grandmother". This short film collection includes new director's cuts of Kaplan's rare award-winning short films "The Frog King" and "Little Suck-a-Thumb" as well as audio commentary from Kaplan and folklore scholar Jack Zipes.

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to screen in over fifty international film festivals where it received several awards including the Silver Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival and the Prix Panavision for Best U.S. Short Film at the Avignon Film Festival. After a successful theatrical run in cities across the country, LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD was televised on The Sundance Channel as well as in Sweden, Spain, Brazil, Australia, and the U.K. The film is currently being used as an educational device in universities worldwide.

Here's the trailer to whet your appetite. ;)

Think You Know Your Fairy Tales?

Take this quiz by Trivia Park!

This isn't your basic fairy tale quiz. This one is for the real fairy tale enthusiast!

Find out some interesting historical facts and discover similarities across cultures while you have a bit of fun testing your knowledge.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Fairy Tale Tarot for 2009 from Lisa Hunt

Artist Lisa Hunt has completed the artwork for her new 78 card Fairy Tale Tarot and is presently putting the finishing touches on the companion book.

As you can see by some of the examples here, each card presents a fairy tale character in a story situation, bringing different aspects of the stories to light.

Lisa's blog has a delightful amount of behind-the-scenes insights into her process as well as a wonderful collection of working-to-finished art for many of the cards and is worth stopping by to browse and read through.

You can also follow Lisa on Twitter to get the most up-to-date alerts on her art and the release of her Fairy Tale Tarot sometime this year.

Fairy Tale Review White Issue now Available

EDITED FOR CORRECTIONS ON 6-25-09 (at 7:30pm) - Additional text are in italics and colored red. (Thank you Kate!)

This literary publication was solely founded and edited by Kate Bernheimer, a writer and fairy tale scholar well known to those who study fairy tales. [She edited the wonderful book "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales", and has written a number of fairy tale based novels.]

From the website:
Fairy Tale Review is an annual literary journal devoted to contemporary fairy tales. The journal hopes to provide an elegant and innovative venue for both established and emerging authors of poetry and prose. Fairy Tale Review is not devoted to any particular school of writing, but rather to fairy tales as an inspiring art form.
A summary of the contributing authors for this issue and some previews are here. There is also a CD of the white issue being made with lots of music contributions as part of the presentation.

Previous issues - blue, green and violet - in addition to being available through their website and through the co-publisher, University of Alabama Press, are now available to buy through Amazon.com (please note the journal is housed independently and has no other affiliation with the University)

For more insider information check out the Fairy Tale Review blog.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tim Burton's Wonderfully Weird Wonderland Launches Publicity Campaign

Alice in Wonderland is getting a Burton-style make-over. His visually stunning and surreal style should make a good match for the equally surreal story.

From aPARENTly Speaking:
The movie, which combines live action, motion-capture, CGI and 3-D, opens March 5, 2010, and stars the usual Burton crowd: Johnny Depp plays the Mad Hatter, Alan Rickman is the Caterpillar, and Helena Bonham Carter channels the Red Queen.
USA Today got a nice preview and is posting some stunning visuals for you zoom into and move around in with your mouse for a better look. Click here to check them out. There's also a small photo gallery of some of the characters with a little actor profile for each.

It looks like they're just launching their publicity for the movie so expect more Wonderland-weirdness to appear over the next few months.