5 Fairytales that need to be Retold

5 Fairytales that need to be Retold

BREAKING NEWS: I’m obsessed with fairytales!

I know, shocker, right? You would think after twenty(-something) odd years I’d have grown out of this by now, but no. I know most folks are pretty sick of the thousandth rendition of Cinderella and Snow White, but I say BRING ‘EM ON! It’s no secret that Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite fairytale, and authors could write about it till even the cows don’t want to come home anymore and I still wouldn’t get sick of it.

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But. That is not what we’re going to talk about today. Instead, I’m turning my attention to the still-somewhat-common-but-not-quite-TOO-common fairytales that I really wish we could see more retellings of! Most of these you’re probably familiar with, and yet I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen them retold in YA/Adult format. And that’s just wrong. I get it, sometimes it can be difficult to take a 2-page short story and turn it into a full-length novel, especially if it’s never been done before. But these following 5 tales are JUST popular enough that I don’t want to hear any more excuses! They’ve been fighting for the spotlight for decades and I say, let give it to them!

5 FAIRYTALES

THAT NEED RETELLINGS

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

Am I tooting my own horn here? Eh, just a little bit. But I’ve pretty much adored the story of the little tin soldier with the missing leg ever since the 10 minute short featuring the story on Fantasia 2000. And I can’t understand why, even with that little boost from Disney, it’s not more popular! It’s got everything a classic fairytale needs! A kind, underdog hero! A beautiful damsel in distress! An evil, conniving villain! A swashbuckling adventure on a boat! These things are actually IN the original tale! So what gives? In this case I most definitely am taking matters into my own hands and writing my own re-imagining of this tale, but there is still SO MUCH room to see how other authors could interpret it!

Rumplestiltskin

This is probably the one I’ve seen with the most retellings, but I don’t care. I WANT MORE. You can honestly blame ABC’s Once Upon a Time for my obsession with Rumplestiltskin, and I now thoroughly believe that just about anything can be taken and in the right hands be turned into a heart-wrenching romance. Or you know…a horror, if that’s your thing. Basically, there’s still a LOT that can be done with this tale! Let’s get to it people!

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Pinnochio

Okay, have you ever actually read the story of Pinnochio, bro? Like, for realsies? Because this is not some short little story you can read in 5 minutes. Pinnochio is long…like, really, really long. I’m pretty sure it’s a series in its own right, and that in itself means it has the potential to go a THOUSAND DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. Some of the crap Pinnochio goes through is seriously dark, and there’s just so much to work with! I mean, it could probably be retold as a whole trilogy or something. And I think I just gave myself a new idea…

Hansel and Gretel

Didn’t they make a TV show about these two? Something with vampires? I don’t know, my point is, you got these two siblings (and aren’t we always saying how much we want more SIBLING power instead of just romance?), in a spooky forest, with witches. If you tell me authors can’t do anything with those three things then I call fibber. This is a story that is literally begging to be retold, it’s practically doing all the work for us!

The Gingerbread Man

Okay, here me out and STOP THINKING OF SHREK. Ugh. I feel like this is one of those stories that everyone has SO ingrained in their minds as being “purely for children” that we’re completely ignoring some seriously interesting concepts. I mean, it already gives me Frankenstein’s monster vibes off the fact that a man essentially baked another man to life. Come on! And if that’s not interesting enough, how about the fact that the Gingerbread man was essentially a trickster at heart? Maybe even a villain? Who cannot die? DUN DUN DUN!!!

Alright, so are we all in agreement here? There needs to be more fairytale retellings, AND we need more tellings of obscure fairytales! Dang, these aren’t even that obscure! Trust me, the really forgotten fairytales are for a later post. For now, let’s keep it easy. Most of us know these fairytales, they’ve definitely been in popular culture long enough that it’s time someone took them and really created something unique. I’m ready for them. You’re reading for them. So where are they???

Have you read any YA retellings featuring these fairytales? Do you like retellings in general? Any other obscure tales you’d like to see brought into the spotlight? What’s your FAVORITE fairytale? 

18 Comments

    1. Author

      Omg, there SO is!! To be honest, I only recently really started researching it when I considered retelling it myself and I was BLOWN AWAY by just how much there is! I genuinely am toying with giving it it’s own side series or something, it seems like such a waste to ignore all its potential!

  1. YES AND YES!! I always keep saying we need more obscure retellings! I also want to see more ballets retold?! Like I loved that Winterspell was a Nutcracker retelling, but I want to see Swan Lake too…and oooh Phantom of the Opera! And I’m actually doing a modern-Pinochio retelling. 😉

    The gingerbread man seems like it could have cannibals in there.😂

    Also the Seven Brothers who turn into swans!! Or the Master Thief!!

    Ahhh there’s so many cool things to explore eeep.

    1. Author

      Omg, whyyyy did I not add Nutcracker to this list!?!?!? I was even toying around with writing one last year, I freaking LOVE that story!! And yes to ALL your suggestions! Literally every single one of them <3 You really need to talk about your Pinnochio retelling more too, I'm excited to hear about it 🙂 Not that I get obsessive when I hear other people are writing retellings too haha.

  2. 1) If anyone ever bakes my poor, tired writer heart back to life, maybe I’ll revisit my idea for a series in which Hansel and Gretel team up with Red Riding Hood to bring justice to their fairytale forest… Those short drafts sitting on my laptop somewhere were a romp!

    2) OUAT’s Rumplestiltskin forever, dearie. <3 <3 <3

    1. Author

      Omg, yes please! For some reason, I always seem to forget Red, and now that you mention it, it all clicks together perfectly! I hope you get back to it someday, the premise sounds awesome!!
      And I permanently adore Rumple now thanks to OUAT 😉 Fav story FOREVER <3

  3. I’m not familiar with the first two, but VERY interested in seeing retellings for the last three! I can definitely see so many different things they can do with Pinocchio–I’m thinking something along the lines of Pinocchio x Iron Man… And I’m only half-kidding. xD As for Hansel and Gretel… I think in the movie they were witch hunters? I vaguely recall watching it and wanting something deeper and darker. WHICH BOOKS CAN DEFINITELY DO! And The Gingerbread Man would be SOOOO unique! Lots of potential stories like with Pinocchio.

    1. Author

      Witch hunters! Yes. That makes way more sense than vampires, haha. But it’s the PERFECT example of how to take something short and relatively simple and expand it into it’s own whole world! MORE PLEASE! <3
      Also, I highly recommend The Tin Soldier 😉 it's quite short!

  4. I do like fairy tale retellings but honestly, I get more intrigued by the ones that focus on fairy tales that aren’t as common (or in terms of people re-doing them) so I LOVE all of your ideas. The Gingerbread Man could go in all sorts of ways!

    -Lauren

    1. Author

      Yes! To be honest I feel like the Gingerbread Man could go soooooo many different ways, and I might just have to add it to my future list of stories to tackle. I think the problem is people just have this initial reaction of laughter or brushing it off because it’s a silly rhyme they remember as kids.

  5. Ooh, I love this! I kind of geek out about fairy tale retellings. There is so much potential in these stories for something really spectacular. As a kid I devoured most of the Gail Carson Levin retellings, and I loved the musical Into the Woods. The idea of combining fairy tales always got me really excited. (Also I love the Steadfast Tin Soldier short on Fantasia!)
    I would love to see more retellings! I had an idea for a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling, but I haven’t gotten far on it. This post has reinspired me!
    Great post!

    1. Author

      Oooh, I’d love to hear more about your Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling! That’s one I’ve only seen a handful of times, and I’m surprised it’s not been made into some kind of Disney musical, haha. I have tentative plans for one in my series later on down the road, but I’m definitely struggling with it. I’m happy you liked the post! 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  6. Yay fairytales! I definitely agree that we can never get enough fairytale retellings and Iove your suggestions for some new retellings of less popular stories. Yes to a Hansel and Gretel sibling-focused retelling!

    1. Author

      Right? I’m totally ready for a brother-sister buddy story with witches and lots of twisted sweets. It’s such a well-known story I’m actually surprised it’s not used more often.

  7. Ahh this is amazing! I love the Tinsoldier story, but it’s so underrated I almost forgot about it! I really want to read more story about Snow White and Rose Red and Bluebeard 🙂

    1. Author

      Oh, Rose Red! That definitely should have made it on the list!! I’ve not yet read Bluebeard (I actually didn’t realize the character was from a story), so I’ll have to check it out 🙂

  8. Yes! These are also the kinds of retellings I want. Ones that aren’t completely obscure and unheard of, but that also haven’t been done much. Like Hansel and Gretel. I really want a H&G retelling too. And I want to read Spinning Silver since that one is a Rumplestiltskin retelling! There are so many stories out there with so much potential.

    I’ve never seen the Tin Man movie, but now I want to! And clearly I do not know the gingerbread man story because someone baked a man into life??? I need to look into this lol.

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