View Full Version : Fairy Tales/Myths/Fables Retold

11-10-2009, 03:32 AM
(This is for research purposes, but I wasn't sure if it'd be better off here or in the AW Book Club. Sorry if I'm wrong.)

I'm looking to compile a list of various retellings of classic tales. Anything is fair game, really - books, movies, whatever. Ella Enchanted, Ever After, 10 Things I Hate About You, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, O, etc.. (Wow, three of those were Cinderella-based.)

I'm thinking freely, too. My Sister's Keeper is a vague, modernized Cain-and-Abel tale, at least in my mind.

Any thoughts? I'm looking for the broadest list I can get.

Thanks! :)

the addster
11-10-2009, 03:42 AM
East Of Eden is also a modernization of the Cain/Abel thing.

Look at Disney movies, many are based on classic tales, The Lion King, Bambi, etc.

Most recent that comes to mind is the FX series Sons Of Anarchy being loosely based on Hamlet.

Kitty Pryde
11-10-2009, 03:46 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Dancing_Princesses#Book.2C_film.2C_TV_or_th eatrical_adaptations

*is winded from vigorous wikipedia-ing*

Lyra Jean
11-10-2009, 04:00 AM
East Of Eden is also a modernization of the Cain/Abel thing.

Look at Disney movies, many are based on classic tales, The Lion King, Bambi, etc.

Most recent that comes to mind is the FX series Sons Of Anarchy being loosely based on Hamlet.

What is Bambi based on?

11-10-2009, 04:04 AM
Wow, that's going to be a huge list. Huge.

Ten Things I hate about You is a modernization of Taming of the Shrew
West Side Story-Romeo and Juliet
Clueless--Jane Austen's Emma

Robin McKinley did a fantastic modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, entitled Beauty and Anne Rice did as well in erotic fashion--a three book series with Beauty in the titles.

Oh, and you can't forget Stephen Sondheim's masterly (and ultimately annoying) Broadway hit Into the Woods which intertwines many fairy tales into a single plot line.

Kitty Pryde
11-10-2009, 04:05 AM
Bambi the movie is based on Bambi, A Life In The Woods, a German novel!

the addster
11-10-2009, 04:14 AM
What is Bambi based on?

The man as god myth. Or man as master of all things myth. Manifest destiny, whatever. You name the story.

Kitty Pryde
11-10-2009, 04:23 AM
I had a second wind:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Snow_Queen#The_Snow_Queen_in_literature_and_cu lture

11-10-2009, 04:24 AM
Cohen Brother's Brother Where Art Thou, based on The Odyssey by Homer.

What Ever it Takes, Cyrano DeBergerac for teens. Roxanne, Cyrano for the 1980s.

Others will come to mind. I know that there are lots of myths retold in modern settings.

Rhys Cordelle
11-10-2009, 04:28 AM
Cruel Intentions was based on Dangerous Liaisons

11-10-2009, 04:29 AM
Troy - movie, the tale (?; could also be a historical fact i think) told by Homer about the Trojan war.

The Firebrand - book by Marion Zimmer Bradley, also about the Trojan war but from a different perspective.

The Mists Of Avalon - book by Marion Zimmer Bradley; the King Arthur tale.

Red Orm - book by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson about the Vikings and their myths, tales and whatnot;

The Egyptian - book by Mika Waltari, about Akhenaten. Though a historical figure, Waltari brings life to an era surrounded by tales.

11-10-2009, 06:36 AM
Firebird by Mercedes Lackey is based on a Russian fairytale.

Richard White
11-10-2009, 06:47 AM
Our own Jim C. Hines is turning some fairy tales on their ears.

I highly recommend his two current books (The Stepsisters' Scheme and the Mermaid's Madness).

11-10-2009, 07:29 AM
Sur La Lune is a very good resource for this sort of thing:


11-10-2009, 07:57 AM
Take a look at DC Comics' Fables series. There is an original novel as well, written by the author of the comic. The Lion King is an unauthorized swipe of a Japanese comic.

Kitty Pryde
11-10-2009, 08:04 AM
The Lion King is an unauthorized swipe of a Japanese comic.

Except for when it's based on the Bible and/or Hamlet...

11-10-2009, 08:35 AM
Oh, wow. This is all great. Thanks, everyone! Keep 'em coming. :)

11-10-2009, 08:44 AM
Splash (the movie) based on The Little Mermaid?

11-10-2009, 01:00 PM
I'd be willing to be so bold as to say that nearly (qualifier for safety) every story in western culture is a rehashing of an ancient Greek story, which in turn are probably rehashing of even earlier stories. Shakespeare wrote his immortal plays right after a number of Greek dramas and myths had been translated to Latin for the first time.

As far as story-telling goes, there's only so many basic structures that can be used keeping a story comprehensible and entertaining. Modernistic and post-modernistic literature taught as that much.

I think Shakespeare proves that it's not the story you tell, it's how you tell it that matters.

11-10-2009, 05:02 PM
Jacques Offenbach has composed a couple of unforgettable operettas based on greek mythology; Orpheus in the Underworld, La Belle Helene.

The legend of Robin Hood has been filmed oodles of times and here is a link to tell about them all; http://www.lib.rochester.edu/CAMELOT/rh/rhfilms.htm

The comic books about Prince Valiant are about the myth of King Arthur and Camelot;

The myths (?) of children brought up by animals have also become comic books, movies and books;
The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling
Tarzan, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Amala and Kamala, story first told by The Reverend Joseph Amrito Lal Singh. It has been filmed, but I don't remember the title or who made it.

The folklore myth about vampires has almost become a subculture today.

11-10-2009, 10:07 PM
For feral children myths add Korak and Ka-Zar to your reading list. Also hunting down information about the two real-life children by the name of Grenier who were found living amongst wolves (or dogs) in France. They weren't related as far as I can remember.

It might be a good idea to search through TV Tropes for general similarities which appear continuously in fiction and real life. The contributors have amazing knowledge of all kinds of obscure shows, books, comics and films.

11-11-2009, 02:38 AM
Spindle's End by Robin McKinley is a brilliant novel-length retelling of 'Sleeping Beauty'.

Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes contains some brilliant and irreverent retellings of traditional fairy tales including 'Little Red Riding Hood' and 'Cinderella'.

There's also Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner.

11-11-2009, 05:08 AM
Gregory Maguire's stock in trade is retold fairytales. There's Lost (A Christmas Carol), Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (Cinderella), Mirror, Mirror (Snow White), and the Wicked series based on The Wizard of Oz - Wicked, Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men.

11-11-2009, 06:07 AM
The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales, by Jon Scieszka. He also has a retelling of the Three Little Pigs. They're both hilarious.

11-12-2009, 08:44 AM
If you're interested in a more scholarly look into the origins and histories of many fairy tales, check out anything by Jack Zipes. I have been slowly but surely working through every one of his books my library can get ahold of!