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Registered User
(3/8/02 6:53:26 am)
Top Ten Fairy Tales as Movies
My friend and co-CONspirator, Ziggy, posted this list:

Top Ten Fairy Tales As Movies

1) Princess Bride
2) Like Water For Chocolate
3) Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
4) Adventures of Baron Munchausen
5) Wizard of Oz
6) Ever After
7) Chocolat
8) Lawn Dogs
9) Edward Scissorhands

What do y'all think?

Registered User
(3/8/02 7:40:09 am)
Re: Top Ten Fairy Tales as Movies
Hi Janell!

Many of the movies on the list are definitely some of my very favorites. Princess Bride, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Ladyhawke especially.
But there are a few that are not mentioned that I feel should be near the top of such a list:

1. The Dark Crystal
2. Labrynth
3. The Never Ending Story


Charles Vess
Unregistered User
(3/8/02 8:36:56 am)
I think I've posted on this kind of list before, but...
Also need on that list:

        The Company of Wolves
        Donkey Skin (French)
        Beauty and the Beast (Cocteau's version)
        Ugetsu (Japenese)
Also these that are "fantasy" films and always on my list of must sees:
        Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Russian)
        Demon Pond (Japenese)
        The Shout
        Dreamchild (brilliant)
        Dragonslayer (great dragon!)
        Excalibur (w/ the sound off)
        Tottoro (Japanese, animated and blissfully sublime)
        Kiki's Delivery Service (same as above)

Registered User
(3/8/02 8:49:48 am)
Rape? In full armor?
"...Excalibur (w/ the sound off)..."

Isn't that the one where there's a rape-in-full-armor scene?
That scene always elicits one of my few party tricks (coughing "bullshit" discretely into my hand)...

And to you, Charles, for not saying, 'Hey."

Registered User
(3/8/02 8:53:22 am)
Sorry, my bad
Hi, Alina.

And Charles, there's a KASFA news server thingamabob
at where you can keep up with the scary new things going on in Knoxville fandom, and the Con, and some new special events and publications we have planned...

Anywho, enough jackin' my own thread, back to the Top Ten.

Registered User
(3/8/02 9:08:46 am)
Fairy Tales as Movies
I second Labyrinth, which I love (gotta dig that tape out and watch it again!), Princess Bride, and others, and would add Kurosawa's Dreams, which has several beautiful fairy tale sections.


Registered User
(3/8/02 10:23:58 am)
Re: Fairy Tales as Movies
I'd add to the list (and pretty much near the top for me) the Japanese film *Kwaidan*, for the second episode--the man who marries a snow woman--which is very much in the tradition of fairy tale.


Richard Parks
Registered User
(3/8/02 11:55:25 am)
Re: Fairy Tales as Movies
I'll second the Yuki-Onna segment of "Kwaidan" and add Akira Kurosawa's "Dreams." Mythic, fairy-tale quality to the whole thing, especially the story about the boy and the fox-spirits. I've never been able to get the image of the Village of the Water Wheels out of my head.

Edited by: Richard Parks at: 3/8/02 11:59:25 am
Richard Parks
Registered User
(3/8/02 11:56:49 am)
Re: Fairy Tales as Movies
Cross-posted with Elise, I see.

Edited by: Richard Parks at: 3/8/02 11:59:58 am
Laura McCaffrey
Registered User
(3/8/02 12:14:35 pm)
Re: Fairy Tales as Movies
I'll chime in with _Into the West_ and _Roan Inish (sp?)_
Roan uses selchie folklore and Into the West uses Tir Na Nog and other Irish folklore.

Laura Mc

Unregistered User
(3/8/02 12:42:02 pm)
More Movies?

Yes, I loved the Secret of Roan Irish. Wonderful movie. And how about the "Lord of the Rings?" I know it is new, but surely it belongs on the list.


Unregistered User
(3/8/02 12:46:18 pm)
As far as fantasy, there is also Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I can't get the edit button to work. Sigh.

Oh, and Charles, is that Donkey Skin the one with Catherine Denuve (sp?)? I would love to know if it is good.


Registered User
(3/8/02 1:30:38 pm)
So many great movies for me to rent!
I can't wait to go to the video store. My husband and I can never think of good movies to rent, now I have a whole list!

These may not be at the top of anyone else's list, but I've always enjoyed the muppet versions of fairy-tales. They always make me laugh out loud. Like the muppet version of the Frog Prince where nobody can understand what the princess is saying except for the frog:

princess: I want to quee the been!
King: If it were up to me you could quee all the beens you want.

Or something like that.


Charles Vess
Unregistered User
(3/8/02 2:23:32 pm)
Hi there JaNell... Excalibur is indeed full of sublime images right next to the perfectly rediculous. If I listen to the dialoge I start to laugh, as it quickly begins to sound like a Monty Python parody. But oh those visuals...hence the sound off trick.

Yes, the Donkey Skin I refer to is the one with Catherine Denuve. It's wonderful but not for everone's taste. In the end the Prince comes to the rescue in a helicopter and as the rest of the picture is fairly historically accurate you either hate or love the scene. I thought it was great.

I can't believe I forgot about the Secret of Roan Innish which is quite beautifull and very subtle.

Also: The STORYTELLER series for cable by the Henson folks was a lot of fun and I believe the've been released onto video.

        And there is another Japanese ghost story movie who's name I can't recall. In it two women return from the dead as avenging cat spirits. I will always remember the image of one of these women riding behind a mounted samurai warrior through a dense grove of trees. The warrior suspects his imminent death and slashs out with his sword. The woman leaps from the horse's back and using her cat claws quickly runs up a nearbye tree to escape. My mouth dropped on first viewing... Does anyone know the title of this one.

        Of course most of these films will be unavailable at any local video store. There used to be a wonderfull home video service called Home Video Library that rented only art/foreign/obscure films. Their cataloge was a wonder to behold. I don't know if they are still in business?

        Good luck and good hunting!


Registered User
(3/8/02 5:44:18 pm)
"...Excalibur is indeed full of sublime images right next to the perfectly rediculous. If I listen to the dialoge I start to laugh, as it quickly begins to sound like a Monty Python parody. But oh those visuals...hence the sound off trick..."

Hmm, maybe we need to find a soundtrack to run while the sound's off, like The Wizard of Oz/Dark Side of the Moon.

Registered User
(3/8/02 6:35:40 pm)
Re: Top Ten Fairy Tales as Movies
I'm going to add "Legend" to that list, there were some beautiful moments in it, and the music was amazing.

I'll also add the remake of "The Little Princess", "Photographing Fairies", and "The Navigator" (a sort of anti-fairytale)

For me, the best live action fairytale films are the ones from Hong Kong. If you guys haven't seen Tsui Hark's "Green Snake", or "Bride with White Hair", "Stormriders", "A Chinese Ghost Story" or any of the dozens of great films out of the hundreds made (it is a popular genre), get a hold of them! Many of the so called "kung fu" movies have strong fairytale elements as well.

Let me also recommend the "Swordsman" trilogy, "The Blade", "Wing Chun", and the unfortunately titled "Zu, Warriors from the Magic Mountain" and "Dragon Chronicles - The Maidens of Heavenly Mountain"

You guys didn't list "Sleeping Beauty" (my favorite Disney "fairytale" film) so I don't know if animation is included, but if it is, the animated "A Chinese Ghost Story" is good too.

Japanese animation also mines their rich tradition of folk and fairytales, most notably Rumiko Takahashi's work (Japan's best known female manga writer) often is based on retelling and reinterpreting Japanese fairytales and myths (as in her "Rumic World" work and "Inu-Yashu"), as are many of Miyazaki's films, "Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi" (Spirited Away) and "Mononoke Hime" (Princess Mononoke) most recently.


I remember the scene you are describing, and am going to have to go through my film collection and try to find it.

Edited by: cloudshaper at: 3/8/02 6:38:05 pm
Charles Vess
Unregistered User
(3/8/02 7:50:47 pm)
Opps, I forgot to mention...
        Fairy Tale, A True Story.
        Subtle. Charming. Magical. It was just perfect as far as I was concerned.


Unregistered User
(3/9/02 4:01:57 am)
Truly, Madly, Deeply

I second Princess Bride, Roan Innish, the Storyteller series (written by the man who wrote TMD).

Also Lost Boys.
The 13th Warrior (first 2/3)
bits of the the tv series Merlin
bits of tv series Tenth Kingdom


Laura McCaffrey
Registered User
(3/9/02 9:31:39 am)
Re: More
Oh Jane-
Good choice! Truly, Madly, Deeply is one of my all time favorite movies. Of course I'm married to a musician so those scenes of all the musician ghosts in the house at all hours has special meaning for me.

Laura Mc

Edited by: Laura McCaffrey at: 3/9/02 10:33:55 am
Unregistered User
(3/9/02 10:46:56 am)
Culture Shock
uh-oh. Maybe our village isn't that global yet ;-) I find that I know some of the movies by name and also by sight, but others are completely unknown to me. On the other hand, on my top-ten-fairy tale-movies list, there would be about 11 Czecheslowakian films... I think there was a thread on "3 hazelnuts for Cinderella" (or whatever the English title might be!) some time ago. But the others seem to be unknown to you guys?!

Luckily ;-) when Germany was reunited, all these beautifully made movies were aired on West-German tv, as a lot of them had been co-productions between East-Germany and Czecheslowakia. What I love about these movies is the respect and love they show for the tales. If the setting is medivial, then the castle is so, the dresses, the transport and every little detail. If it is Rennaissance, then it is so all the way. Plus, the stories are changed sometimes, but always with "due respect" (no Disney-zation!!)
Ok, in no particular order:
1. Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel - Cinderella; Czecheslowakia/ GDR
2. Wie soll man Dr.Mracek ertränken oder das Ende der Wassermänner in Böhmen - I love the title, because it is soooo long and funny/ the story is concerned with water spirits in human shape living in Prague in the 70s; Czecheslowakia
3. Froschkönig - Frog king, a GDR production with a decoration that reminds me of Bert Brecht's plays, and very weak in the costumes, but a nice twist: the story doesn't end with the smashing of the frog - he is transformed back into the prince, but must leave the princess untill she fulfills her promise of eating with him from the same plate, drinking out of the same cup and sleeping in the same bed. She does this disguised as a boy, and is tested by the prince in return with
a. peas on the stairs, so she trips (no crying, but swearing is the answer)
b. the room with the weapons (she throws around everything and finally even fires the cannon)
c. a drive with a carriage she has to handle, "because he is going to his bride" - instead of whistling a tune, she is crying, and is so discovered
The movie is quite funny, but retains a "fairy-tale feeling"
4. Wie heiratet man einen König - the story of the intelligent farmer girl who impresses the king with her knowledge and common sense, marries him but is thrown out again when she continues to help people who have been victims of the mis-judgement of the king. She is allowed to take what she loves best in the palace - and strangely enough, she takes the king with her... I'm sorry I had to describe it, because I do not know the English title! Again, this was from the GDR
5. Der Reisekamerad - the son of so poor a farmer, only death agrees to be his godfather. He becomes a healer (with the help of death) but fails to obey his verdict of who to heal and who to let die... Hard to describe, I'm so sorry I don't know the titles!; Czecheslowakia, I think
6. Glück und Verstand - Fortune and Intelligence making a bet who is greater; Czecheslowakia
7. Drosselbart - King Thrushbeard, Czecheslowakian version
8. Drosselbart - King Thrushbeard, GDR version
9. Drosselbart - King Thrushbeard, West German version from the 50s - I usually don't like those, they are so moralizing and strict-to-the-word - no imagination!
10. Die 3 Prinzen - three princes, but only two princesses?! Everybody's happy in the end anyway!; Czecheslowakia
11. Vom tapferen Schmied - a brave smith who frees the princess and becomes king; Czecheslowakia
12. Von einem, der auszog, das Fürchten zu lernen -
the guy who wants to be afraid, once in his life; Czecheslowakia
13. Cinderella with Leslie Caron - even though I always smile at the scene, when she is dancing on her "deathbed" - it is a bit much...
14. Ever after/ Cinderella with Drew Barrymore
15. I don't know the title, it is Russian (again, curtesy of the GDR, I suspect) and about a boy/ young man named Jemelja who is lazy and has his work done by a magic fish he once caught, drives around on his oven and still gets to marry the princess
16. Prinz Bajaja - this is a Czecheslowakian mix of the prince who is counselled by his magic horse to disguise himself as a pauper and the knight-versus-dragon story
17. A cute budget-version of the 12 dancing princesses, with only three of them; Czecheslowakia

And at least another handful or two of other fairy tales from Czecheslowakia and the GDR that I do not know the titles of at present...

We have a "Childrens channel" that airs every sunday at noon a fairy tale movie - guess where I got my collection of video tapes?! Sadly, they are repeating themselves...

Oh, and I must not forget the Swedish Astrid Lindgred movies, which are, strictly speaking, no fairy tales, but sooo good:
Karlsson, Michel and Pippi Longstocking and then, of course, the Brothers Lionheart (is that the English title?) and Mio, both of which could be called fairy tales.

So, I guess, I'm very European-centered...

Best regards from here to there :-))

Charles Vess
Unregistered User
(3/9/02 12:23:58 pm)
Another for the list.
How could we not list Fritz Lang's two silent films

        "Sigfried" and it's seguel, "Krimhield's Revenge" (I've probably mangaled both those spellings). Wonderfull epic sense of stortelling with all the visual touches of dragons, deep forests and dwarves galore.

        In my youth I saw a Russian film of the life of their folkhero Ilya Muroments the title of which I sadly don't remember. There were some spectacular scenes of giant armoured figures on horseback handing a magic sword to Ilya, a wind demon that Ilya pulls out of a bag and who then proceeds to blow all the corrupt nobels of the court out of the castle, a huge dragon and more. I'd love to see the film again even if it doesn't hold up to critical adult eyes.

        Lotte, do you by chance know the title of this one? Your list of German fairy tale films made my mouth water!!

        Jane those Storyteller episoides were mostly written by then screenwriter Anthony Minghella now director (The English Patient, The Talewnted Mr. Ripley). There is a very nice book version of the series published by Knopf, Jim Henson's Storteller written by Minghella and illustrated by Darcy May. He has a very nice grasp of the fairy tale, it makes me wish that he would direct/write one for the big screen.


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