Cinderella is one of the most adapted fairy stories. There are thousands of versions across the world, ranging from family-fun classics like Disney’s Cinderella and A Cinderella Story, to modern, post-feminist interpretations like Ever After.
Not many people realise that Cinderella was in fact a folk tale which told the story of a young woman living in unfortunate circumstances before her luck suddenly changes, resulting is happiness and good fortune. The folk tale, which was first published in 1697, continues to influence popular culture internationally today. Its premise and characters are well known and many films have been made based on the ancient Cinderella premise.
More recently, Cinderella has featured young actors in popular American chick-flick adaptations such as A Cinderella Story, starring Hilary Duff (Lizzie McGuire) and Another Cinderella Story featuring Selina Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place). The third in the franchise is Once Upon A Song which tells the story of Cinderella in a contemporary musical. To celebrate the release of Once Upon A Song, we have put together a top 10 list of modern fairy tales.
1. Tangled (2011) This Disney animation is an updated version of the German folk tale Rapunzel. We see Rapunzel - now 18 - escape from her tower to explore the real world. Disney's unique twist on this story is that her hair is not only long and strong, but it also has magic powers and glows. The film received excellent reviews from The New York Times who said it had the unmistakable quality of old-fashioned Disneyness.
2. The Brothers Grimm (2005) Based on the men who collected some of our favourite old German folk tales, The Brothers Grimm is a creepy but action-packed film starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger. The adventure-fantasy film, directed by Terry Gilliam, is set in French-occupied Germany during the late 18th century and sees the two brothers pulling cons. However after stumbling across a genuine fairy tale curse, they are forced to use bravery and courage to overcome it. The film -which grossed more than £60 million internationally - received good reviews and was described as "a great compound of rip-snorting Gothic fantasy and Python-esque dark comedy" by Gene Seymour of the American paper Newsday. Most Gilliam films have elements of fairy tale, but the comedy-drama, The King Fisher which stars Jeff bridges and Robin Williams, is based on Arthurian legend. It was a huge hit and earned an 85% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes as well as being dubbed as a 'ravishing romance' by Rolling Stone.
3. The Wizard of OZ (1939) With songs such as 'We're Off to See the Wizard' and 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow', the Wizard of OZ is a well loved modern fairy tale adapted from the 1900 children's novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. It stars Judy Garland and Ray Bolger who are all strange characters in Dorothy's vivid dream. The musical-fantasy is still highly praised by critics today and it has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
4. Hook (1991) The last thing we expected was for the boy who never grows up to head into the real world and end up as a goofy, middle-aged lawyer. This star-studded adventure features comedy actor Robin Williams as Peter Pan, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell and Dustin Hoffman as Hook. Despite how strange it is to see Hoffman in ringlets, it is one of the most fun and uplifting fairy tales about. From thrilling sword fights to fun flying scenes, this film has something for everyone. It was nominated in five categories at the 64th Academy Awards and was later made into a video game.
5. The Red Shoes (1948) Based on the fairy tale "The Red Shoes" by Hans Christian Andersen, this feature sees a young ballerina who joins a ballet school and become the lead dancer in the dance production called The Red Shoes. The film, which uses the story within a story device, stars Scottish actress Moira Shearer and the Austrian Anton Walbrook. The score was written by British musician Brain Easdale who has not only produced film scores but also operas including Rapunzeland The Corn King.
6. Mirror Mirror (2012) Snow White has in fact been adapted twice this year. Firstly in Mirror Mirror - a fantasy comedy film staring Julia Roberts - and secondly in the recently released Snow White and the Huntsman. It is an unusual take on the original Grimm tale because it sees Snow White as a warrior rather than a damsel in distress. And rather than dwarfs, Snow White has to face monsters and trolls. Mirror Mirror on the other hand is a magical and light-hearted film which was described as "an exuberantly charming fairy story' by The Telegraph who gave it 4/5 stars.
7. The Princess Bride (1987) Based on the 1973 novel of the same name by William Goldman, this rom-com has had a cult following since its release. The Rob Reiner direction was a huge hit and reached the number 50 spot on Bravo's 100th Funniest Film charts, as well as reaching the charts of publications including Channel and AFI. It was well received Roger Ebert wrote a very favourable print review, and the New York Times praised it for its cast and sweetness. The film starred Cary Elwes (Liar Liar) and Robin Wright (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).
8. Alice in Wonderland (2010) This well-loved tale by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was totally revamped and 'Burtonised' by the famous director who cast Johnny Depp (of course) as the Mad Hatter and Helena Bonham Carter as the evil Red Queen. This computer animated feature is a vibrant and quirky re-visiting of the 1865 novel which has a star-studded cast including Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen and Matt Lucas as both Tweedledee and Tweedledum. It won Best Costume Design and Best Film Music at the British Academy Awards, as well as winning Best Fantasy Film and Best Costume at the Saturn Awards.
9. Enchanted (2007) This film is everything you expect from Disney - it is uplifting, funny and includes all-singing, all-dancing musical numbers. We see Giselle, a typical happy, pretty Disney Princess, who is cast down a magical black hole that takes her away from the animated world of Andalasia into a live-action New York City. Starring Amy Adams (The Muppets) and Patrick Dempsey (Maid of Honour) the film uses stunning visual effects to bring the magic to life. It was positively reviewed by critics and Amy Adams was highly praised for her role. It won Best Fantasy Film, Best Actress for Amy Adams and Best Music for Alan Menken at the Saturn Awards.
10. Edward Scissorhands (1990) Burton's romantic-fantasy film is inspired by Der Struwwelpeter, a popular German children's book by Heinrich Hoffmann. Edward is an unfinished creation, who has scissors for hands and ends up in all sorts of chaotic scenarios. The film received many nominations at the Academy Awards, British Academy Film Awards, the sci-fi Saturn Awards, as well as winning the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. In addition, it has been awarded an impressive 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and still remains a classic today.