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.
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!
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!
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!
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?