Fairy Tales 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

thoughts on Fables

I very much enjoyed the modern twist Fables gives the fairy tale genre. The tales keep the characters from fairy tales, but other than their names, they are extremely different. All the princesses are divorced, the wolf is a good guy, and they now live in a place where the fairy tale world is a distant memory.
I think that this is very reflective of our generation. We live in such cynical times that it makes perfect sense to create a story where fear and death are the main complements and fairy tales are nothing but naive children's dreams- a distant memory.
Interestingly, to me the book was a cross between "old-school mysteries" and modern day Law and Order style tv shows. It opened up with a introduction, the discovery of a crime, then an investigation follows but instead of a trial the resolve includes a "parlor scene" and a sort of happily every after.
I particularly found the "general amnesty" concept to be a nice twist. Characters who had violent past were not supposed to be judged on actions they claim happened hundreds of years ago. (Bluebeard specifically). It is like the creators are purposely trying to dismiss any preconceptions we as readers may have about fairy tales, yet at the same time, Snow White couldn't- therefore we cant either. All they can do is challenge our perception of fairy tales, but even though they will never completely change. Snow White will always be Snow White, the Wolf will always be the Wolf, etc.


  1. I agree that this more modern take on the fairy tale story is intended to reflect our modern society. We constantly reports in the news of violence and murders, and we see shows like CSI, Law and Order, and Criminal Minds. I guess it is sort of suggesting that in our world today there is no such thing as a "happily ever after". It's also interesting that you note "Fables" leads us to challenge our perception and accepted views of fairy tales. We definitely hold these stories a certain way in our minds, and because we know them so well it can be difficult to change our perception. "Fables" does a good job of suggesting another way to hear the fairy tales that we know so well.

  2. That's funny you liken Fables to Law&Order, because I compared it to CSI in my post, too. The fairy tale definitely has been reworked and rendered cynical to reflect our dark modern era. I really like your point that the "amnesty" element attempts to shake us of our preconceptions of the fairy tale characters. Indeed, I was a bit shocked meeting Snow White for the first time. She is not a blissful, helpless ornament who sings to animals but a strong, assertive, and sarcastic modern woman.