Fairy tales matter because they allow us to play out situations that we would never get to otherwise, explore places that don’t exist in the physical world, and learn about who we are from a world that isn’t quite our own. Every time we play pretend as little kids or daydream as adults we incorporate elements of magic and adventure from fairy tales. Fairy tales give us a way to escape our own world for a few minutes in order to step back and place our problems in a new context perhaps giving us new ways to approach them. Maria Tartar talks about the ability of Fairy Tales to allow us exploration in “Why Fairy Tales Matter”. She states that they enable us to subjunctive, which she defines as the ability to explore what “might be, could have been, [and] perhaps will be” (Tartar 56). That ability is what I think makes them important both generally and personally. This class surprised me in two ways. The first was that fairytales could be read with an analytical view and lead to sophisticated discussions about the stories, the times and places they come from, and our world today. I always associated fairy tales in their pure form with children; that they were not much more than cute entertainment and I have now learned they can be so much more. The second way I was surprised was from the stories themselves I knew the originals could be violent but didn’t anticipate the extent of adult themes in stories like Blackbeard, Donkey Skin, or even the more sexual nature of the oral version(s) of Little Red Riding Hood. This comes in turn with the surprise that these stories weren’t exclusively written for children and some of them weren’t for children at all. I wish we would have had a chance to explore a few stories or versions from outside Europe such as collections from South America, Asia, Russia, China, Africa, or the Middle East. In the first reading from Ashliman, he discusses collections of stories from around the world like 1001 Arabian Nights or the Panchatantra. I think it would have been interesting not only to see fairytales/folk tales that were unfamiliar to us, much like we saw in Spirited Away but also to have had a chance to find what elements these stories shared across cultures and time.
Fairy tales matter, much more than most people think, to both children and adults. For children fairy tales provide another route of learning lessons and morals focusing on how to behave, treat other people and what life can throw at them. These tales teach them to deal with the bad times and recognize the good ones. In addition, they encourage children’s imagination to continue to grow, which many begin to lack as they get older. Fairy tales don’t lie and shelter children as parents often do and thus these tales prepare children for the “real world” that they’ll have to be apart of one day. For adults fairy tales represent a way to connect with their children. These tales also encourage adults to rediscover their imagination and remind them that anything is possible. This hopefully encourages these adults to change the unhappy aspects of their own lives, as many seem to lose a sense of what happiness is and the idea that anything can happen in adulthood. Throughout the semester I was consistently surprised to see how many fairy tales paralleled each other. For example, many included the same themes such as wealth and beauty. Some also seemed to appear in others as Bluebeard could be seen as incorporating elements of Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast. Also the creative license that Disney took with the fairy tales was quite surprising to me. Although he keeps the main themes he added certain elements to the ideas of love and magic, perhaps for the purpose of entertainment, that don’t appear in the original versions. I think watching some of the Disney movies and reading fairy tales back to back would have been worthwhile. In doing this I would have found it easier to see the changes made by Disney and present day culture as a whole as opposed to simply discussing them or reading them through the eyes of authors like Zipes.
Fairy tale characters are often used in order to connect to a broader audience. Many people hold these characters in a special place, and using them to promote ideas can be powerful. Here, artist Jeff Hong uses Disney princesses to give a stronger, closer-to-home meaning behind the problems our modern society is facing.
In this commercial for Adidas sneakers, Little Red Riding Hood outruns the wolf in her Adidas. The commercial is super old and the VFX are terrible but it’s a pretty good example of a fairy tale in an advertisement.
Fairy tales have had a drastic impact on our interpretation of marriage and weddings. Most people have experienced, or have observed little girls dreaming of the most beautiful wedding night, just like the ones portrayed in the fairy tales. Of course, this dream is inspired mostly by the Disney depiction of fairy tales, but nevertheless, fairy tales are still the driving factor in wanting such a grand wedding. If you look up fairy tale weddings, you will see beautiful decorations and sparkling, large wedding dresses often resembling aspects of “Beauty and the Beast”, “Cinderella” and even more Disney influenced fairy tales. Fairy tales often instill the fact that weddings and marriage is so beautiful and perfect. They are the example that most people want to follow with the term “and they lived happily ever after” ingrained in our culture and society. Of course, as we grow up, we know this is not always the case. No marriage, or even the weddings, are as perfect as these fairy tales lead us to believe.
This British advertisement twists the tale of the Three Little Pigs in order to promote The Guardian which is a news outlet both online and in print. This ad promotes a new form of journalism in which social media plays a major role in following viral stories. In this ad, The Guardian brings the classic fairytale we know into the real world and modifies it, making the Three Little Pigs the subject of murder and controversy. I find it interesting how this ad depicts the impact of modern day media in a clever and humorous fashion. Rather than seeing the Pigs as the cold-blooded murderers they are, the media portrays them as the victims and blames big business for their actions. This ad is appealing due to the manipulation of a classic story we were told as children into this major murder case in a modern day setting. It won Britain’s “Ad of the Year” in 2012 and even “Best Crafted Commercial” at the British Arrow Craft Awards.
I have posted both versions, the music video and the more upbeat arrangement, of Fairytale by Sara Bareilles. I have been listening to this song for years but in context with the class reading it addresses those themes of passivity and male framing. This song focuses on the tendency for fairytale princesses to have little to no agency in their lives often going with the prince because it is a better option than staying. In its description and video representation of the characters, it draws influence from the original and Disney versions of the tales. It discusses Cinderella and her failing marriage to a prince she didn’t know, Snow White and her obligation to serve [ the dwarfs], Rapunzel and how the prince found and picked her while she was ostensibly minding her business. I think she chose fairy tales as a vehicle to discuss a feminist perspective about her ability to choose something better than the next option, the love story, for two reasons. The first is the familiarity everyone holds for these tales making them an analogy that most people can follow. The second is the happy ending associated with them and how she opens the idea that maybe these endings aren’t really happy or at least not as happy as they could be.
Its interesting to see how elements of fairytales are still used in the modern world. In the video example presented, the company Ford uses the magic and fairy aspect to make a unique and quite humorous commercial to show off its latest model if the Lincoln. In addition, it makes the claim that it shouldn’t take fairytale magic to get the car you want and that Ford makes these seemingly unrealistic possibilities come true.
In this second advertisement by the insurance company Geico, the Three Little Pigs fairytale is modified to show how good their insurance is. To sum it up, the company states that even in unlikely events like ” a wolf blowing your house down”, Geico will cover the damage and do it at an affordable price.
In both examples, we can see how the elements of fairytales told generations ago continue to reappear in different forms to bring light and joy into not just our personal lives, but in our public lives as well.
To which the wolf replies, “The better to eat you with.. wait, is that a Kitkat..?This puts a humorous twist on the story.
BURGER KING AD:
“It’s Another Story.”
Another ad is this one for Burger King. Using Little Red Riding Hood is a good advertising tactic because it is a story that most people know and can relate to. Therefore, most people can find humor in these ads automatically because they are already familiar with the story of Little Red Riding Hood.
Fairytales have such a powerful impact on the world that we live in today and we don’t even realize it. They’re seen everywhere in advertisements, commercials, music, movies, tv shows and even in fashion. I mean who wouldn’t want to dress up and feel like a princess everyday in the clothes that they wear? Many fashion lines have been created to mimic certain fairytales and a popular one is Lauren Conrad’s Cinderella line. After the live action Cinderella had been released into theaters, Conrad had created this line and it had an overwhelming success. She was partnered up with Kohls which helped to sell this line and advertise its enchanting styles. The collection is dreamy, feminine and pretty just like any fairytale. The power of fairytales and the idea of being magical and beautiful that they emphasize allows for clothing lines such as this one to be so successful.