Fairy Tales Retold and Resold

Do you find it strange that pop culture is revising and reselling fairy tales? I mean, these household tales were originally for children, but as noted in my previous post on fairy tales, some strange force (call it glamour) is bringing sexy back to vintage lore.

Consider these upcoming products/projects:

mulan once upon a timeOnce Upon a Time Season 2 – Sept 30

  • According to a sneak peak interview, the legendary Chinese hero Mulan will join a Prince in search of Sleeping Beauty. The actress, Jamie Chung also hints battles against Captain Hook from Peter Pan.

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version – Nov 8

  • Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials, retells 50 classic fairy tales with the usual dark, but imaginative flavor.

While an aside, I’m also writing a star-crossed love story in one of my novels, centering on two major characters, Meg and TJ. One is an outlaw while the other must bring justice. Like in Marie Lu‘s young adult novel Legend, these teenagers fall in love but their fates cause them to be enemies.

This Romeo and Juliet story goes deeper than Shakespeare and, if I may say, runs in Jung’s collective unconscious. My character TJ, the outlaw, retells an old story my nanny had told me when I was a wee child: the fable of the scorpion and the turtle (in other cultures, a frog).

In the folk tale, a turtle agrees to carry the scorpion on its back to cross a river, the reason being that if the scorpion stings the turtle, they would both drown. The end wouldn’t be surprising to cynics, but it may shock romantics:

“Though I love you, I must sting, for that is my nature,” TJ tells his lover Meg.

I think if I develop this idea further, it would make a sad/not so sad ending for them (and hopefully neither of them drowns).


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