Question of the Week #26: Once upon a time...
Monday, May 18 is Victoria Day, a holiday in British Commonwealth countries celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday. Her reign lasted from 1837 to 1901, the longest of any royal in British history.
Many stories, plays, and novels feature kings and queens, but they may figure most prominently in fairy tales.
What's your favorite fairy tale?
If we're going to escape the realm of Disney, I'll go with "Bearskin," the soldier who beats the devil by following the devil's instructions to a "T" and making himself look terrifying for seven years. Not only does he get the girl, he gets the gold, and he's a darn good guy.
May 18, 2009 10:32 am
Cinderella without a doubt. The ultimate romantic fairy tale, and doesn't every little girl dream of being Cinderella? Also it provides fab adaptions, The Slipper & the Rose, Ella Enchanted, Ever After to name but a few.
May 18, 2009 12:13 pm
On the whole I'm not fond of fairy tales, as I find them rather sinister. I do however have a soft spot for The Ugly Duckling. Now that's what I call a happy ending, even if it's only royal by association!
May 20, 2009 8:18 am
I particularly like the stories from the Grimm Brothers.
May 20, 2009 12:05 pm
I was always fascinated with "The Velveteen Rabbit." The idea that my favorite stuffed animal could actually be a living thing was thrilling. Really, a child's imagination can, in a way, make that happen.
Peter Pan as told by J. M. Barrie is also very, very good. I only read it for the first time this past year, and I loved it--it would have been absolutely dazzling to have read it as a child. I wish I had. The idea that children can do anything when not stopped by the cynicism in the world is a beautiful one.
May 21, 2009 4:49 am
Unfortunately, growing up with Disney, my mind demands that I think in those terms. If I were to choose only from that genre (although I am capable of choosing from others), I would say that my favourite fairy tale is MULAN. She is the only female, Disney protagonist that saves the day without the ultimate aid of a man. I'll take that kind of animated, magical feminism any day.
May 21, 2009 9:20 am
May 21, 2009 10:20 am
May 21, 2009 1:28 pm
Hansel and Gretel is good -- I like the idea of an edible house. Also, for me, the gruesomeness of the story is more interesting and preferable to the damsel-in-distress / princess stories that usually come to mind when one thinks about fairy tales.
May 22, 2009 9:39 am
butler64: I completely agree with you. Go Mulan!
May 23, 2009 8:04 pm
I would have to go with Grimm's "Rumpelstiltskin". It has it all.
May 25, 2009 2:29 am
I'm a Hans Christian Anderson fan -- let's go with "The Little Match Girl." Yeah, morbid. The best ones are, in origin if nothing else.
May 27, 2009 1:29 am
I love fairy/folk tales. "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" is one of my favorites as is "Bluebeard." Giambattista Basile's "Stories from Pentamerone" are some of the oldest, predating Grimms'. Basile offers one of the oldest versions of Sleeping Beauty.
May 28, 2009 8:09 am
My favorite is probably Grimm's Snow White. While I like the Disney version as well, it's a little too sugar coated for me.
May 28, 2009 5:03 pm
I teach elementary school and we do a study of fairy tales. We have a list of elements to look for. It is fun to analyze the stories and see that there really is a "formula" that they follow. "Cinderella" is by far the classic fairy tale and has been re-done many times and by many different cultures.
May 29, 2009 6:27 am
Jack and the bean stalk.
May 30, 2009 1:42 pm
Sleeping Beauty-Bruno Bettelheim wrote The Uses of Enchantment: the meaning and importance of Fairy Tales which is a wonderful read.
Jun 2, 2009 7:52 pm
The wildest fairy tales I know (deeply disturbing so beware!) come from Struwwelpeter (aka Strubelpeter) which are about what happens to a boy who doesn't listen to his parents (I can't remember the name of the English translation.) My son loved them. One that involves a child playing with matches who subsequently burned to the ground made made my daughter burst into tears. My 90-something year old uncle still remembers reading them as a child.
Jun 5, 2009 11:18 am
by susandanziger (admin)
Cinderella; A Cinderella Story, Another Cinderella Story.
Jun 5, 2009 3:01 pm
The Princess and the Pea
Jun 7, 2009 2:51 pm
Jun 7, 2009 3:04 pm
I grew up with Disney. So mine are Alladin and Beauty and the Beast. If I had to pick one besides, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.
Jun 16, 2009 9:56 pm