Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tim Burton's Long Lost Disney Project: "Hansel & Gretel" (1982)

This "long lost" film resurfaced on YouTube last year while I was in recovery and I found my note to myself to post the news on OUABlog when I returned, just today. (The images included are some of Burton's concept art for the project.)

A little background:
The film was conceptualized and created by Tim Burton whilst in Disney's employ. It aired one time only on Halloween night in 1983 on the The Disney Channel, due to the Disney Executives horrified reactions when they saw it on air, and I think, in this instance, they were right. It doesn't really fall within the Disney branding, and I wouldn't have been pleased to find a little one watching this either! (Did no one check the show before it aired? Yikes.)

The film was included in the MoMA exhibit that featured Burton's earlier and lesser known works and history a few years ago but hasn't been available to see anywhere before or since (except in Paris for a similar exhibition).

The movie is usually classified stop motion, though it uses real (amateur) actors, all of whom are Japanese*. (Note: it's also Tim Burton's first time working with live actors, which may be apparent in the quality of performance, though his direction is often very imaginative.) In yet another interesting choice, (especially for the time period) the same male actor plays both the Stepmother and the Witch. Seen throughout are designs now considered "Burtonesque", many of which might be considered precursors to other film designs seen in Frankenweenie and The Nightmare Before Christmas. There's interesting use of birds in this one too (duck and swan in particular), and that little toy duck looks remarkably like one Jack Skellington has Halloween town make as one of the presents.

From Wikipedia:
Filmed for $116,000 on 16mm, this live-action short film featured a cast of amateur Japanese actors, kung fu fights (despite kung fu being Chinese) and Japanese toys, as Burton was obsessed with Japanese culture at the time of production. The film's design style and color schemes paid homage to the Godzilla movies and is said to be heavy on special effects, making use of front projectionforced perspective and even some stop-motion animation.
Here you go. Enjoy! (Or, be creeped out):
Hansel - Andy Lee 
Gretel - Alison Hong 
Stepmother / Wicked Witch - Michael Yama  
Father - Jim Ishida 
Dan Dan the Gingerbread Man (voice) - David Koenigsburg 
Features early work by Stephen Chiodo of the Chiodo Bros. Studio as well as the late Joe Ranft of Disney and Pixar. 
Music by John Costa of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood fame!(source)

Can I just say: I'm just not going to ask what the Father did to the Stepmother, and I will stick with my regular Gingerbread Men, thank you very much!

* Has anyone else noticed the Asian (specifically Japanese) fascination with Hansel and Gretel? I wonder what it is about the tale, exactly?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Discussing the "Pan" Teaser Trailer: Are Our Children's Stories Adaptations Getting Too Grown Up?

This trailer has been out for a while. I just never got the chance to post it (or discuss it). There haven't been any new ones yet that I've seen, despite the release date closing in. I have to wonder if they're not rethinking a few things...

Before I discuss, here's the trailer:
I'm not sure how I feel about this adaptation, and I'm not talking about the casting, (cough-Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily??-cough).

In my mind neither Pan nor Tink are exactly sweet (they're actually a little frightening in some ways) but the rest of Neverland and the surrounding story by Barry are more "light-childhood magic" than using dark, looming adolescent themes. I think that's an important aspect of the Peter Pan story, particularly as it deals with the joys of childhood (which might be nice to see an example of, since that's barely acknowledged anymore in any child shown in the media that's over five years old, though true childhood extends far longer) and why you might not want to grow up.

In case you're not aware, this is a prequel to Barry's classic, how Peter became Pan, so you'd think it would be focused on the POV of a child, but this trailer isn't telling me that at all.

I think this is perhaps my main problem with making all adaptations "dark". Mostly, they're not truly adult versions but instead they teeter on that YA/New Adult precipice where everything is uncertain and generally not quite as straightforwardly free and joyful as children's storytelling and tales, yet these versions also aren't layered enough to properly explore the raised issues.

There's no doubt our culture is youth-skewed, but with a specific YA focus still being dominant in both TV series and novels, children aren't getting much of a chance to be "real and as naive as they should be children" either. Children's entertainment these days seems largely to talk down to children, or is so filled with "educational value" so that there isn't that escape into the imagination that children need and crave, where they can explore and learn on their own. Instead, ironically in this case of a Peter Pan interpretation, they're encouraged to "grow up".

As a parent whose son is just the right age to introduce to wonderful worlds of live action fantasy and imagination with a little (but not too much) danger, I'm finding a lot of modern movies just aren't up to the task and I'm having to hunt down DVD transfers of much older classics. What's missing in children's movies at the moment is straight forward (fairy) tales that allow the child/person to enjoy and take them at face value but also have enough layering (yet not too much explanation and detail to make it so specific) that allows a stretching of the imagination and new understandings of themes when the child is ready to go there.

One thing is certain: this version of Peter Pan isn't going to address that issue at all. It's going for that elusive pre-teen male demographic that's so hard to attract. But I'm not certain it's hitting the mark there either. Just look at the posters. Not a single smile or overall joyful palette of color. Where is the humor, the sense of fun, the role play? The magic here is "serious" and Neverland does't really look like somewhere a kid would want to stay...


Note: Pan is set to open in theaters on July 24th.

Enchanted Forest for Sale

The Enchanted Forest attraction in British Columbia is officially looking for a new caretaker.

From The Huffington Post:
That magical place in southeastern B.C. known as The Enchanted Forest is up for sale. 
The 38 acres of fairy tales come to life — the Three Little Pigs' houses, a castle with a dungeon (and prisoners!), and the shoe where the old woman lived with so many children she didn't know what to do — has been listed for $2.7 million. 
The "turnkey business," as it's advertised, has grown through the years to include B.C.'s tallest treehouse as well as the SkyTrek Adventure Park, which boasts zip lines, climbing walls, and bridges suspended in the wilderness. 
...It attracts 85,000 visitors each year.
Can you imagine owning - and caring for - this place?

I really hope they find a buyer who loves it and wants to continue the magic for generations to come.
(Anyone have $3M spare I can, ahem, "borrow"?)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Live Action "Cinderella" Funko Pop Vinyls Coming Your Way

A bit of merchandising that caught my eye...

People go nuts over these pop culture Pop Vinyl figurines and they quickly go "out of print" and become pricey collectibles. I will admit I have a select few of my own...

This is one of those that I have my eye on, set to be released in March as a tie-in for the upcoming Disney/Branagh live action Cinderella remake.

Cinderella will be featured, of course, and I imagine Cate Blanchett, I mean, the Stepmother will get one eventually too, but this little Gus Gus in Cindy's shoe could be useful for any retelling of Perrault's Cinderella, right? ;)

More details HERE.

"Disenchanted" Goes Off-Broadway

A brief announcement from
Who needs princes or glass slippers anyway? After a successful limited engagement off-Broadway over the holidays, fairy tale musical lampoon Disenchanted! will return to New York for an open-ended run. The comedy will begin performances on March 16 at Westside Theatre Upstairs. The cast and opening night will be announced shortly. 
Featuring a book, music and lyrics by Dennis T. Giacino and directed by Fiely A. Matias, the tuner features your typical “princess posse” in a show that’s anything-but-typical. Snow White, Cinderella, Belle and more toss off the tiaras and get real in a not-for-kids musical where fairy tales will never be the same.  
And here's a couple of excerpts from a comprehensive overview to give you an idea of what this is about, in case you haven't heard of it before:
In the Disney movie, Pocahontas is hot. She has flowing, silky hair that reaches her waist, which is as big around as her forearm. She has large breasts and wears a short, tight dress. When she meets John Smith she falls instantly in love. In real life Pocahontas was a hero. She bravely saved people's lives and died very young. She was not especially attractive. When she met John Smith, she was 10 years old. 
In a song in the middle of "Disenchanted," Pocahontas sings about that disparity. Why, she asks, was such a life story not good enough? Why did Disney have to turn the valiant child into a curvaceous adult? 
It's on of the most substantial and poignant moments in "Disenchanted," with a beautiful performance by Lulu Picart as the "real" Pocahontas. The rest of "Disenchanted" is a lot sillier than that song, but the entire show is smart, very funny and even subversive. 
...The idea behind the show is that a bunch of iconic female characters from fairy tales, folklore and history are unhappy with the way they're been portrayed in pop culture. They're tired of being depicted as helpless Barbies in distress who are just waiting for their prince to come.

Read more here:
You can read the rest of the review, along with more pros as well as it's cons as a show still in the making, HERE

This is scheduled for an "open-ended run" off-Broadway, which says a lot about how successful it was. I'm curious to see how big a press covering it will get in 2016 when it is scheduled to start touring nationally. International shows are currently in development too so that will be interesting to keep tabs on as well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Emma Watson Is Disney's New (Feminist) Belle

You've heard the news: it's been EVERYWHERE (Heidi of SurLaLune was so right - even though I was offline for the better part of three days I still heard about this!) but I thought I should clarify those things that confused me when I heard (so, perhaps other people too) as well as why this is a "to be watched" development.

Emma Watson has been expected to be a Beast's Beauty (of one film or another) for at least four years, since Guillermo del Toro chose her for the lead in his live action adaptation. When things on that production dragged out and schedules got shuffled, the film stalled, with del Toro eventually steeping down from Director and just remaining on as Producer only. I'm guessing this is when Emma Watson started being open to other options to play Beauty (she was fairly vocal about her enthusiasm for the story and the part).

And now it's official. Emma Watson will officially be a Disney princess. (And is no longer attached to the del Toro project - of which there appears to be little-to-no news, unfortunately, other than the lovely note that del Toro gave his blessing for Disney to hire Watson away from his project.)

Which is REALLY interesting because... she's recently been in the headlines for HeForShe, real feminism = real equality campaign, as an ambassador for UN Women.

Why is this interesting? Because, in true equality style, Emma Watson strongly expressed her concerns for men as well as women, which means, you can be sure she's going to be critiquing the script from a true feminist standpoint (ie. equality for all) both how Belle is portrayed and developed, as well as the Beast.

I think this is partly why it's been such big news. Ms. Watson became a social media darling with her outspoken yet diplomatic equality speech, all while looking like the fashion icon she's become. Now she's everybody's favorite feminist and, in many ways, the new American & UK (and the world's!) "sweetheart".

But what will this mean for a Disney live action version of Belle?

Will there be overt changes to the story and character developments, or will it mainly be in the form of shifted nuances? We shall see, but for a story that sits, for most viewers on either one side of the spectrum (empowered female taking charge of her life and learning) or the other ("disguised Stockholm syndrome"), rather than somewhere in between, it's a tough and brave call to take up this role and not compromise yourself. (You know critics as well as both "feminazis" and anti-feminists will be going over this with fine tooth comb!)

I know I will be watching the development of this one because, while I understand how it is the favorite tale of many fellow fairy tale friends, I will admit that I am not completely comfortable reading the story* - any version of it frankly.

The TV show Once Upon A Time ("parented" by Disney) hasn't helped at all with the Disney interpretation either. It has Disney's version of Belle paired with Rumpelstiltskin as her Beast (an fairly fresh twist as a concept) and although, again, I understand the popularity of the couple by the "Rumbelle" fandom, for most of the show, Belle (to me) appears stupid for putting up with what she does and for not seeing the constant negative patterns. Putting a sword in Belle's hand from time to time, or showing her dark bondage-y side* doesn't balance this out. It just makes her seem even more stupid! (I was so very relieved when Belle finally forced Rumpel over the town line, never to return, though it hurt her so - one of the best performances of this "Frozen" season - though we know he will return, because this is OUAT after all...)

Other than that we know... it WILL be a musical! (Singing lessons, dancing... see her Facebook announcement above for the exact wording hints.)

And what of the Beast?

There is no news yet on how the Beast will be portrayed/handled and perhaps that's also due to the part still being written. There are many ways the handling of the Beast could go, though (CG/human hybrid tech, CGI with voice actor, prosthetics plus, animal/hybrid-animal with voice actor, human-behaving badly... the possibilities are only limited to your imagination really), as far as the story goes, we can expect it not to deviate too much from the original Disney classic. At least, not in quite the way Maleficent did from Sleeping Beauty (those two films shouldn't really be considered versions of each other at all - more like distant relations!)

Perks of Being A Wallflower author, Stephen Chbosky is officially on to take up the challenge of the script.

And we will (all) be watching...

In the meantime, it's time to bring this image out of the archives again:

* And this is from someone who views Snow White as being quite empowered in her own historical, seven year old way!
** Yes, Bondage Belle: did you miss that twist in the previous season? That actually seemed to start dealing with more of the issues than the regular sweet Belle ever has, though they backed off from facing anything head on, before Belle turned into sweetness-and-light again.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ask Baba Yaga: How Do I Get Rid Of A Demanding Work Ethic?

Baba Yaga by James Schultz
How to have a guilt-free break, rest or, even, more difficult a REAL vacation? That tug of "still much more to do", never quite goes away and today, as I'm about to leave to go on a mini-vacation with my family (the first in about a decade) I find myself more worried about all the "to-do's" than the potential wonderful time, (even though it will be a busy one that I don't really have a chance of looking lazy while doing). 

I both wondered and dreaded what Baba Yaga would have to say about it, especially as she's known for giving almost-impossible tasks to those asking for her help, like she's about to do with Vasilissa above. Inspired by the way Baba Yaga's house is giving the girl a "leg up" in the image here, I decided I'd swallow my dread and and see what she had to say about it. As it turns out, someone recently asked a similar question...

Today's timely question and answer (via poet and oracle Taisia Kitaiskaia* of The Hairpin):
(Originally posted at The Hairpin HERE)

We know making magic takes hard work but I often forget about that brewing, hatching and baking time... Point taken.

In fact, you know what? Rather than spent my last minutes working like crazy, I'm going to commit myself to being in the 'golden afternoon' with my family as we prepare for our trip. So you probably won't see news from me until later in the week but I will be back - probably tired but hopefully I'll have some 'gold' to share as well. ;)

What do you think of Baba Yaga's advice?

Want to ask Baba Yaga a question of your own?
You can!
There's now an email address where you can send your questions
directly to Baba Yaga herself.
AskBabaYaga AT gmail DOT com
To encourage Baba Yaga to continue imparting her no-bones-about-it wisdom (ok, there may be some gristle in there... bones too), I suggest we not to leave her box empty... 

Thank you Baba Yaga (& Taisia).

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. Born in Russia and raised in America, she's had her poems and translations published in Narrative Magazine, Poetry International, and others.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Enchanting Photography of Margarita Kareva

I've been wanting to share these images since before the New Year and now that Winter is waning (especially in Southern California), it's high time I did just that.

The photographer of these fairy tale-like images is Margarita Kareva. Not only do all of her images invoke fairy tales or other worlds of faery but she is also wonderfully prolific. It's hard to believe she's only been doing serious photography for less than half the time I've had this blog! Not only that, I could post a photo every day for a year and still not cover all the best ones to date. (You've probably seen many different images of hers around social media and Pinterest!)

This series posted here, however, is one I keep coming back to over and over.

Admittedly, I have a great love of Russian tales and am drawn to anything that hints of them but I don't think I'll be the only one here who feels like they're looking at a captured fairy tale moment. My favorite by far is the one posted at the top, though. If any of these hold a tale, that one does, though I love the hen close-up too. That could just be because I love chickens and all their magical weirdness though... Does anyone know about Russian ovamancy? Unlike much of the divination practices you hear about, the Russian version seems like so much day-to-day magic  - something that fits well in a Wonder Tale. Another subject for another tale...

Margarita Kareva says that (she) seeks to embody dreams in (her) photos. (She) only became strongly attracted to shooting three years ago, but (already) has a portfolio full of bright, creative and magical images. Margarita says that you just need to "learn every day, all your life."

I'll have to share more of her work another time (there are many different series) but in the meantime, if you have a little time (ok, more than a little time!) you can head over to her page at 500px and see the amazing portfolio there.

If you feel so inclined to write a story to go with these, do share. I always feel the whisper of tales when I look at these images...

Friday, January 23, 2015

"The Mythology of Grimm" by Nathan Robert Brown

Spotted (and snagged) in Barnes & Noble last week was the relatively new release The Mythology of Grimm. (Actually, for the first time in a VERY long time, the fairy tale and folklore section was both full and had a good selection of newer books I hadn't seen in the wild before.)

The book is not authorized/endorsed by anyone affiliated with the NBC TV series Grimm but is written by someone who has published several works with regard to mythology and pop culture.

The book is much more than a fan discussion of the TV show elements. It begins with a condensed but clear historical overview of popular fairy tales collectors and their work. As you would expect, the Grimm brothers and their work on Household Tales feature prominently, but also Perrault, Joseph Jacobs and the Aarne-Thompson-Uther tale classification system and other well known names (to readers here anyway) are mentioned as well.
It then heads into a discussion of the weaponry used in Grimm, which is what you'd expect from a fan-aimed book but in the show a weapon is usually creature/Wesen-specific and directly related to the mythology surrounding the creature or tale the overall story is drawing from. in this way, it's a good overview of the types of challenges and creatures within the stories.

The rest of the book goes into (essentially) tale types used and retells the Grimm version of the most popular incarnations. For example, Little Red Cap is retold with a brief introduction to the tale's context/history but with commentary and a good sense of humor).

Here are the chapter titles discussing the tales (I'll put an explanation next to the title in brackets, in case you're not familiar with the show and the titles reference isn't obvious):
The Illustrated Grimms Fairy Tales - Pop Up Book
by V L A D I M I R stankovic

  • Red Hoodies and Cross-dressing Blutbaden
  • Bears, Blondes, and Butchery
  • Dancing to the Piper's Tune
  • Ultimate Showdown - Blutbaden vs. Bauerschwein (Three Little Pigs)
  • Sexy Goats and Eager Beavers (The god Pan and Bluebeard)
  • Wild Chicks with Long Hair (Wild children & Rapunzel)
  • Giants, Ogres, and Giant Ogres
  • Bread Crumbs and People Eaters
  • Coins of Blessing, Coins of Curse
  • And Now... Dragons! Or Dåmonfeuers (The Four Skillful Brothers)
  • Cabbages andCookies, Donkeys and Love Spells (Donkey Cabbages)
  • Chicks in Comas
  • Weird Little Guys with Funny Names
  • Foxy Fuchsbau (The Fox and the Cat)
  • Wesen of the NewWorld (multiple legends/folktales/lore)
  • Greco-Roman Wesen (Greek myths - Minotaur & The Slave and the Lion & Pompeii

After the retellings, the author discusses how each tale was referenced in the TV show with well considered research details that won't overwhelm a non-academic. I think he's done a good job at drawing people into the tales this way.

But it doesn't stop there. The chapter on Red Hoodies and Cross-Dressing Blutbaden, looks at legends that echo the motifs, violent crimes and mental illnesses that could be seen to be related to the tale and much more. Each chapter discusses real world related scenarios, personalities, legends and more, giving the idea that perhaps these tales aren't quite as fanciful as they first appear.

Each chapter also has "sidebars" (though they're often at the top of bottom of the page) of related trivia (titled Tasty Morsels) and definitions of less-common words (eg "nosegay"), a breakdown of what a German word used in the show means and more (these are titled Grimm Words). I'm a big fan of side bars and these aren't just for show. They definitely are designed to intrigue and keep the reader going back to the text (in other words, they do their job well).

I haven't read much of the book yet but it's only due to time. For me this will be a quick read (if I can get more than ten minutes in a row to concentrate!) and while readers looking for a light read will go more slowly, it should still easily keep their interest throughout. The reviews I've seen are in the very good to excellent range, which is great to see, especially as all the reviews I've read are by people who don't really read fairy tales or even had any idea there was a whole field of fairy tale scholarship.

So far, I'm impressed with the book (especially since I expected it to be more along the lines of fan writing and not really be "scholar-light") and am really glad to see it sitting with other pop culture studies such as those of Supernatural and True Blood. These shows have all inspired people to study myth, folklore and fairy tale in depth and I couldn't be happier to see that happening.

My one complaint is that the books focuses on the first season of Grimm and the show has referenced many, many lesser known tales since (and some popular ones too, but it's the lesser ones that are fascinating to me). But I wouldn't want it to be any bigger. It's already a little hefty and any larger would be daunting so instead of really complaining I'll just request that a second book is written and released so all the tales and folklore and legends are covered/revealed to the fans (and spawns more folklorists!).

Note: For easy reference two glossaries are included at the end: "Wesenology" and Grimm Terminology.

Here's the blurb:
NBC’s hit television series Grimm pits modern detective Nick Burkhardt of the Portland Police against a cast of terrifying villains—lifted directly from the pages of classic fairytales. In the world of the show, the classic stories are actually a document of real events, and Nick himself is descended from a long line of guardians, or Grimms, charged with defending humanity from the mythological creatures of the world. From The Big Bad Wolf to Sleeping Beauty, The Mythology of Grimm explores the history and folkloric traditions that come into play during Nick’s incredible battles and investigations—tapping into elements of mythology that have captured our imaginations for centuries.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Illustrated Movie Tie-in Book For "Into The Woods" Late Release/ Blu-ray Now Available For Pre-Order

Here's the announcement and an excerpt from the press release earlier in the month for a special edition, movie tie-in book for Disney's Into The Woods (I believe this was supposed to be out before the movie but it seems there was a printing delay. Not exactly sure why this was announced in near-mid January).

Interesting to note is that the book is via TCG rather than directly from Disney's publishing house and is illustrated as well as having photos (I haven't seen it myself but everyone is wowed with how lovely it looks):
The Theatre Communications Group (TCG) has published a movie tie-in edition of the book and lyrics for the musical, Into the Woods. 
Famed composer Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics and stage directorJames Lapine created the book. This new edition will feature eight pages of full-color photographs from the film adaptation which stars Meryl StreepEmily BluntAnna KendrickChris Pine, and Johnny Depp. 
(From the press release:) 
Into the Woods brings to musical life Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Ridinghood, Rapunzel and other well-known fairy-tale characters. Interwoven with these classic tales is the story of the baker and his wife, whose longing for a child is thwarted by the mischievous witch who lives next door. Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine have fashioned a modern musical classic which has been performed countless times all over the world since its Tony Award-winning debut in 1987.”

Sounds like it might be worth picking up if you ever want to discuss the movie down the road. I'm sure such an edition will be hard to find not too far in the future!

And we have a Blu-ray with special features (I hope there are LOTS!) coming on March 24th. 

It's now available for pre-order. Here's a poor quality pic of the new cover (the one showing on Amazon is supposed to be replaced - just be sure if you pre-order and want the extras that you're ordering the correct version).

From Broadway World:
(Both) the Blu-ray and DVD editions are now available for pre-order, as well as a HD digital download, set to be released in March, with a preview of the cover art now available to view.
Of note, the INTO THE WOODS Blu-ray is rumored to contain a director's commentary, extensive documentary featurettes and the excised new Sondheim-penned song sequence, "She'll Be Back", performed by Meryl Streep.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Fables" Movie Gets "Kick-Ass" (& "Stardust") Screenwriter

Snow White by James Jean front cover for the expanded edition re-release of the Fables Cover Collection
(coming Feb 2015)
Here's some news that's getting pop culture (and possibly some fairy tale) geeks excited again: Warner Bros and the Fables movie has announced they have a new screenwriter: Jane Goldman. She's known for the recent movie Kick-Ass, Stardust, two X-Men films, and has most recently worked on Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (currently in pre-production).

In pop culture terms, Kick-Ass got a lot of 'street cred' (critics either thought it was an smart and outrageous black comedy or thought it was just violent and distasteful - I haven't seen it so can't comment), so people are REALLY excited to see what she will do with Fables.

Here are some quotes from the press release interview with Producer David Heyman (best known for the Harry Potter movies and, at the moment, Paddington), care of Slash Film and Comic Book Resources:
Rose Red by James Jean
back cover for the expanded edition re-release
 the Fables Cover Collection
(coming Feb 2015)

[Arcel] did a draft, and now he’s supervising Jane, who’s doing a draft. Hoping that it’ll come in and we’ll be able to move to the next stage. All these things always take longer than you want. And ‘Fables’ is not easy, by any means, but I think it’ll be pretty great.

Heyman also spoke about what attracted him to the property:
I’m drawn to stories about outsiders, and I think the Fables are outsiders. They’re people torn from the place where they were raised, by The Adversary. They arrive in a New York City-type place, and how we’re approaching is that they’re people who are all separate, and how they ultimately have to form the community in order to survive. They’re all inhabiting their own little universes within this world. But they have to form this community, and that really appealed to me. And I just think the characters are so vivid. And I also think the farm is, again, it’s very human. That’s what I like. It’s a challenging film.
The long-running Fables comics are rapidly drawing toward their final release (I cannot quite believe it!). They're in the midst of the Happily Ever After story arc (the Finale) and issue #148  - Chapter 8 of the last story - was released today. The last story arc echoes the opening, focusing on the two female leads, Snow White and her sister Rose Red and their ongoing troubled relationship (a different take again on the meaning of Beauty and the Beast here...).

Below are the synopsis for issue #148 and the cover. (The cover appears to be the Snow White character, surrounded,or being attacked, by red roses.)
 Chapter Eight of Happily Ever After; The Last Story of Beauty and the Beast

At long last Rose Red learns the truth about her mother, her sister and herself. This is why they’re so magical. This is why all of that wild magic is affecting their lives now. And this is why one will ultimately have to kill the other. Apparently that’s what siblings in this family do. 
Plus: Terry Moore illustrates the backup feature, “The Last Story of Beauty and the Beast.”