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Showing posts from October, 2013

The Little Mermaid Statue, the Dancing Mermaid, and the Mori Girl, By Nora Stasio, Fairy Tale News Reporter

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Editor's note: Nora Stasio, fairy tale news reporter, travels from Denmark to San Francisco to Japan in her exploration of mermaid and fairy tale influences in this column. I'm intrigued by the Mori and Hama girls from Japan, but haven't used any pictures for fear of stealing artist's images. But Nora is right, the images are really lovely. So go to the Google machine.

Denmark native Hans Christian Andersen has inspired artists of all kinds throughout his career as a master storyteller. His most famous tale is undoubtedly The Little Mermaid, whose heroine inspired one of Denmark’s most treasured and famous landmarks. August 23rd of 2013 marked theone hundredth anniversary of the Little Mermaid statue, which resides off the shores of Copenhagen, Denmark. 



In the early 1900s, Carl Jacobsen was a wealthy philanthropist with a great love of the arts. He took particular interest in a ballet version of The Little Mermaid produced by Copenhagen's Royal Theatre, which starre…

The Red Shoes: A Fairy Tale Film, By Christina Ruth Johnson, Vintage Fairy Tale Sleuth

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Editor's note: Christina digs into the treasure trove of film to bring us her latest vintage fairy tale find. And get a load of the fabulous images she dug up! Today, fairy tales seem to be popping up in one form or another everywhere we look, especially in popular visual media (as Nora’s columns continue to affirm). It is fun to look back, however, and realize that fairy tales have been inspiring the film world for decades, and not just by way of Disney.
In 1948, a movie was released that critics to this day herald as one of the most influential films ever to grace the early screen: The Red Shoes. This British film, released in 1948, was written and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It was based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story of the same title. In fact, the very first image of the film is a gothic still-life of a wax candle atop an old book with this author’s name flourished across the spine. A pair of red ballet shoes rests in front of the book. Blood-red, pain…

The Little Girl and the Mannequin, By Benjamin Chang

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Editor's note: Benjamin's story so evoked the lovely joys and sadness of classic Hans Christian Andersen tales like "The Little Mermaid," I couldn't resist it.

Dedicated to Buddy Chang— beloved dog, friend, brother, and son.May you live a thousand years.

tailor had been saving money for years and finally was able to buy a little store on the corner of a street.He found himself a good wife who was also skilled with needle and thread, and they worked very hard to keep their business afloat.


The wife made a big mannequin and a little mannequin and placed them in front of the shop.She placed the finest adult clothing on the big one and the cutest children’s clothes on the little one.

Soon, the couple had saved up enough money and decided to have a child.Months later, the tailor’s wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl with hair as black as …

The Flower Garden, By Sabrina Zbasnik

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Editor's note: I am devoted to flowers and gardening, so this story, more of a fable than a fairy tale, was an easy choice. The dark little twist a the end is a reminder that all "enchanting" stories have a touch of death in them.

Hidden behind the castle walls grew the sublimest garden in the whole of the kingdom. Braving miles of bandit festooned-road people traveled just to get a glimpse of the inviting and exquisite flowers, many never wishing to go back to their own humdrum verdure back home.
From this garden each day the princess would pick one flower to adorn her hair. The people loved their little princess, remarking upon her beauty nearing full bloom, "She is more elegant than a rose and fairer than a lily."
The early morning sun drifted over the castle's high walls to reach the sleeping flower bed. In her own time each lovely flower would stretch and awaken for a new day. As they worked on their primping and sprucing up to face the world so would b…

The Burger Bargain, By W. Klein

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Editor's note: This story, which in part focuses on the mundane objects of our 21st-century world, is truly enchanting. It is delightfully twisty toward the end.
Once upon a time in a far-off land, there was a miller who defeated a dragon and outwitted three trolls to rescue a princess.  After these remarkable adventures, the couple married and settled down to live a quiet life in their enchanted castle.  The princess -- now a queen -- gave birth to a boy.  On his christening, three fairies gifted him with three magical objects which he was to keep with him at all times.  The first was a stone which, when thrown into standing water, could reveal to him the answer to any question.  The second was a top with an arrow painted on it.  When spun, it would always land in such a way that, when it finally came to rest, the arrow would point the one who spun it towards his home.  The third was a shell which -- when held to his ear -- would allow him to hear beautiful music to soothe his sou…