Fairy Tales in Film: A Lost Cause?

Despite its popularity in the written world, fairy tales are notoriously difficult to adapt to the big screen, especially live-action film. While the fantasy epic can see great success (though even that took decades of box-office failure), why is it so rare for a live-action fairy tale film work while animated fairy tales are among the best movies studios like Disney have ever made?
Analyze both the successes and failures, and discuss: why do fairy tales fare better in animation (such as Disney films) then they do in live-action? How is that a fantasy epic like Lord of the Rings succeeds while the Hobbit, by and large, fails? Address the curious case of the Narnia films, beginning strong with the relatively faithful Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, before crashing and burning with Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Is there something about animation that lends itself better to the relatively smaller scope of the fairy tale, as opposed to the more expansive world of an epic?

  • Hi! I would be careful and clear about how you categorize success and failure. The Hobbit, while not critically as successful as Lord of the Rings, was a commercial success making almost 3 billion dollars worldwide. In writing this article, I would also try to get a clear definition of a "fairy tale". Is LOTR a fairy tale? It depends on your definition. https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2015/02/11/the-hobbit-trilogy-grossed-almost-3-billion-and-no-one-cared/#c9d1b3148382 – SeanGadus 7 years ago
  • I would be careful with writing this. Narnia, LOTR and TH are not fairy tales. Yes, they are adaptations but they aren't fairy tales, they are fantasy, like Harry Potter. These film series are more compared to the Harry Potter series than fairy tale ones. I like that you want to look at the lost cause from animation to live-action films. I suggest looking into the Grimm's Brothers Fairytales, hopefully that will help you understand what fairy tales are. Do some more research into understanding fairy tales :) http://www.surfturk.com/mythology/fairytaleelements.html https://www.reference.com/art-literature/characteristics-fairy-tale-3fae6bcb14080f7e – meganstalla 7 years ago
  • Fairy tales are absolutely not a lost cause. In fact, I wish we had more and better adaptations of them, because they are so often the building blocks for modern literature and other media. – Stephanie M. 7 years ago

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