Introduction and Myth
by Jamie Henthorn — Old Dominion University
October 03, 2012 – 10:51
Welcome to the new front page. With a new front page and editor position, MediaCommons’ front page can really function as a space that brings together the different projects of MediaCommons. We will accomplish this through bi-monthly posts on a common topic to start conversation.
With the fall television lineup finally starting, we’ve got fairy tales on the brain. Two of last year’s new shows (that return this week) were based on fairy tales, ABC’s Once Upon a Time and NBC’s Grimm. Additionally, we were graced with two films based on Snow White this summer, Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman.
These most recent additions to resurging interest in fairy tales mark a trend at least ten years in the making. In Media Res did a week on fairy tale as format in March of this year, discussing the successes and failures of the above and other resurgent interpretations. Included were considerations of the malleability of these traditions as the move into new and contemporary media. At the beginning of the summer, this Timearticle gave a history of the resurgence, starting with the DC’s Fables and argues that fairy tales are a feminine answer to the simultaneous superhero resurgence in popular culture. This implies an almost childlike interest in tales. The article links to a New Yorker article that reminds the reader of fairy tales with male protagonists that have fallen out of favor with society.
This consideration of the Grimm brother’s tales can, of course, also be put in the larger context of a focus on fantasy themed media that has continued to grab society’s attention. In an age where many individuals are constantly connected with digital technology, stories springing from traditional oral culture continue to fascinate.
Later in October we will consider fairy tales, publishing, and branding. We’ll consider ‘fairy tale’ stories about publishing on and offline as well as consider the connections between branding and fairy tales taking place in contemporary media.