Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Touch Of Reality To Classic Scenes Makes People Think Twice About Fairy Tales

Photographer Matt Hoyle uses a mix of computer graphics and photography for his art with memorable results.

Under his hand, adding a realistic touch to classic fairy tale scenes highlights the creep factor in many of these. Are we really OK with Snow White falling unconscious in the hands of seven men? They may be little but they're obviously very much men. (You can see his full gallery HERE which also shows other examples of his work.)
At a time when the dark side of fairy tales in very much in vogue, images like these are making parents think twice about reading fairy tales to their kids. (You may remember this New York Times article from 2009 HERE which cited a list of tales parents no longer read to kids. There's also a new one, prompted by art book publisher Taschen who released a fairy tale collection in October this year of stories and beautiful illustrations, HERE.) While I don't advocate showing creepy images to children, I think the stories and the dark possibilities make it doubly important for these tales to be told to little ones.

I learned a lot from Snow White as a child (especially what NOT to do) and the story remains one of my favorites as I age and begin to better understand how women age. Rapunzel, who once showed me there are worlds beyond your tower now reminds me not to be overprotective as a parent. Donkeyskin showed me (and still shows me) I can change my expected destiny if I'm pro active about it. Beauty and the Beast showed me the importance of courtesy and manners as a child and now reminds me to be patient (and remain courteous) in relationships. Red Riding Hood showed me I could be smart as a child when the odds were against me, if I kept my head and now reminds me to be more understanding and protective of precocious young girl-women, among other things.
There are many more lessons I've taken over the years from the tales quoted above, not all of them necessarily related to the ones cited here. Suffice it to say, no matter what age or where I am in life, the tales never stop speaking to me. My most resonant lesson remains the same though: there is a path through the woods, no matter what the woods look like and no matter the manner of creatures who step into your path. I'm so grateful for fairy tales and how real they can be. :)


  1. I find it appalling that parents won't read the classics to their children anymore! Imagination and the lessons within are so important and fables, myths and faerie tales are *the* best way to get the points across to children. I agree with you!

  2. fabulous post. i agree with your statement, even though fairytales are supposed to have a darker side, they are still incredible treasures to share with children. i cherish every fairytale ever told to me, then and now.