(7/20/05 9:17 am)
Re: Hansel and Gretel film ideas|
Oh dear; if you wanted to be unpleasant, and really imply starvation, you could have the family eat the kitten…
I don’t think I’m behind this bleak interpretation of the story. Couldn’t Hansel & Gretel actually be a comedy of obvious errors for children to spot as the story unfolds? Or perhaps it could be a wish-fulfilment satire on their prejudice towards parental authority? Either way, I’m sure children are supposed to find it funny, not scary.
As one of my bright classes once pointed out, why is the family
starving if they are surrounded by birds in a forest?
Even during winter, they could forage for berries, eat mushrooms,
hunt birds, or catch any number of wild rodents who would be docile
in a true starvation situation, and easy to catch if they were hibernating.
Note that the story places the family in isolation; there is no
mention of them living near anybody else. Even the witch’s house
is a new discovery for the children. As such, nature could provide
a bounty for such a tiny family unit in such a large area. And yet
they starve, white kitten and pigeon in-tact.
Why do the birds eat the mangy old bread crumb trail so obsessively when they clearly know the way to the witch’s house of baked delights? And why are the adults so very easy to trick and fool? This is not a morality play, it’s a farce.
I am not trying to be over-literal in this interpretation any more than I would criticise the wolf for talking in Little Red, or the bears for arranging a mortgage in Goldilocks. It’s just that H&G seems so anomalous in the collection of traditional fairy tales as to arouse questions as to its tone. The stereotypes of the weak father being so very weak, and the wicked stepmother being so very wicked suggests pantomime-style, exaggerated humour rather than bleak abandonment of parental responsibility.
That a bird leads them to the witch, and they are not traded, forced or tricked into her clutches puts this tale into a different category to, say, Red Riding Hood, or Rapunzel in my opinion. This is not the abandonment of children by adults, rather a power-trip on the part of the kids listening to the story.
Uh-oh, looks like a case of pointless over-analysis… apologies.
(7/20/05 9:21 pm)
It does seem over the top at times, but what tale isn't? You know, passive people are always extremely passive and wicked people are always very wicked.
This film has more of a horror element to it. Actually from the script, I don't think it's for anyone under 12. The witch is actually written as horrifying and there is a lot of blood in the cooking scenes, not to mention tons of ghosts, bones, and candy coated children.
It is shown that the family does eat, but not enough to keep them alive for long.