A Fantastic Fairytale Fad

Fairytales have emerged as the latest movie fad. How long will this last? A lot longer than you think.

The fairytale seems to be all the rage in Hollywood today. Over the past couple of years, we have witnessed fairytales such as Alice in Wonderland and Red Riding Hood reappear into our lives. This year, Snow White made her way to the big screen; but she is slightly feistier than we last remembered. Next year doesn’t seem to be looking any different with “comebacks” from our favorite fairytales both Jack and the Beanstalk and Hansel and Gretel. The fad looks to be far from over. Why the sudden interest in fairytales? Perhaps it has more to do with success.

Movie trends have spanned across various genres and themes over the years. The fairy tale is no exception.  First came American Pie which led to a series of movies centering on teenagers who desperately wanted to explore their sexual fantasies (Eurotrip, Roadtrip). Then came Harry Potter who gave a green light for all the other goblin-filled movies (Percy Jackson, The Golden Compass) to follow pursuit—ultimately paling in comparison. David Heyman, producer of Harry Potter, shares his insight, “We weren’t trying to emulate anything, and we didn’t have too many people in the mix trying to say what it should be. You’ve got Jo Rowling’s voice and the director’s voice. We’re not creating a product; we’re adapting Jo Rowling’s books.” Audiences can’t be fooled for too long. This is ultimately why imitated works usually do not live up to the originals.

Many films with comparable storylines go into production at the same time. Computer animated films have been a huge culprit of this. Have you noticed animated movies come lumped together exploring both the same themes and terrains? Surprise. Animation first explored the harsh realities of those living in the soil (A Bug’s Life, Antz) and then moved to the depths of the sea (Finding Nemo, A Shark’s Tale).  CG even shed light on some mysterious creatures that we didn’t even know existed (Monsters Inc., Shrek). Once computer animation was able to convincingly capture Mother Nature’s wrath, we were flooded with volcanoes (Dante’s Peak, Volcano) and asteroids (Deep Impact, Armageddon) and other natural disaster movies. Now audiences can look forward to being haunted by their favorite childhood stories.

Hollywood isn’t entirely to blame for the new crave. Many moviegoers enjoy rediscovering those sentimental fairytales from their youth. It is a nice escape from their routine lives. Additionally, Fairytales have done extremely well on the big screen in the past several years. After all, can you really blame movie executives for striking the iron while it’s hot? Movie executives are merely attempting to reproduce the success. At least that’s what Hollywood screenwriter and veteran William Goldman maintains. While the overabundance of fairytales may seem like a cheesy fad, it’s been very lucrative. Don’t look for the craze to die down anytime soon.

Serge is the founder of Edictive and is a seasoned production professional as well as a leading technology product specialist in film production management space