Going back to basics, the structure of a Fairytale usually consists of the following:

-Begins with Once Upon a Time, Once long ago, Long, long ago etc.
-Story setting is usually in a castle, forest , or town
-Story has good / nice characters
-Story has mean / bad characters
-Many of the characters are animals or members of royalty
-Story has magic
-Story has the numbers 3 or 7 in it
-Story has a problem
-Problem in the story is solved
-Good wins / outsmarts bad
-Ending is “happily ever after”
-In order for a story to be a Fairy Tale it must have most of these characteristics – 6 or more.

These tales are not always explicit to fairies, a lot of the characters involve trolls, goblins, giants, gnomes and magical enchantments that derive from folk narratives, legends, fables and traditions. Many people mistake that the primary audience for this genre is children, but tracing back  to older fairy tales they were intended for an audience of adults as well as children, but they were associated with children as early as the writings of the précieuses; the Brothers Grimm titled their collection Children’s and Household Tales, and the link with children has only grown stronger with time.

It is argued that Disney has helped establish this genre as a children’s genre with its overtly simplification of fairy tales ending in situations where everything goes right, as opposed to the pain and suffering — and sometimes unhappy endings — of many folk fairy tales.

I would personally like to break the molds of this genre, and go towards the route of a more morbid route in my final production. I think that it is always interesting to see a different take on a genre rather than following the same rules and regulations. This concept of avoiding the same concept has been done many a time with classics such as Shrek.

The Tinderbox

The Tinderbox” (Danish: Fyrtøiet) is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a soldier who acquires a magic tinderbox capable of summoning three powerful dogs to do his bidding. When the soldier has one of the dogs transport a sleeping princess to his room, he is sentenced to death but cunningly summons the dogs to save his life.

The tale has its source in a Scandinavian folk tale Andersen learned in his childhood, but similarities with “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp” and other tales have been noted. The story was one of Andersen’s first fairy tales, and was published by C. A. Reitzel in Copenhagen, Denmarkon 8 May 1835 in an inexpensive booklet with three other tales by Andersen. The four tales were not favorably received by Danish critics who disliked their informal, chatty style and lack of morals. In 1946, “The Tinderbox” was the source material for Denmark’s first animated film, and, in 2007, a ballet with costumes and scenery designed by Queen Margrethe II.

The Green Knight

In English folklore and literature, green has traditionally been used to symbolize nature and its embodied attributes, namely those of fertility and rebirth. Oftentimes it is used to embody the supernatural or spiritual other world. Historically speaking, the devil was sometimes toned green which may or may not play into the concept of the Green Man/ Wild Man dichotomy of the Green Knight. Stories of the medieval period also portray the colour as representing love and the amorous in life, and the base, natural desires of man. Green is also known to have signified witchcraft, devilry and evil for its association with the fairy’s and spirits of early English folklore and for its association with decay and toxicity.The colour, when combined with gold, is sometimes seen as representing the fading of youth. In the Celtic tradition, green was avoided in clothing for its superstitious association with misfortune and death. Green can be seen in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as signifying a transformation from good to evil and back again; displaying both the spoiling and regenerative connotations of the colour. Given these varied and even contradictory interpretations of the colour green, its precise meaning in the poem remains ambiguous.

Extracting the simplicities of standard modern fables, I find that there is always something much more darker in fairy tales than people expect, with animation and special effect techniques, children have grown custom to be unafraid of characters that I as a child would cower upon. A darker route to bring back these old tales would be an honor.

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