May 31, 2022

Fairies On Film, By Amanda Bergloff


"What care I
for human hearts?
Soft and spiritless as porridge!
A faerie's heart
beats fierce and free!"
Oona From LEGEND ◆ 

Fairies...They live fierce and free in our imagination and in art, books, and film.

In film, fairies are generally depicted as human in appearance, ranging in size from a few inches in height to the size of a regular human being. They usually have the ability to fly by means of wings that resemble dragonfly or butterfly wings, and they can either be helpful or harmful to people. Plus, a fairy in a film always brightens the day for us here at EC.

So, to inspire some fairy magic in your day, we've picked eight fairies on film below that you may or may not have seen. There are so many films to pick from, and if you're looking for more, you can find a list of 40 Fairy Films HERE.

And share your favorite scenes of "fairies on film" in the comments section. We'd love to hear from you!
A Midsummer Night's Dream 
Written by: Charles Kenyan & Mary C. McCall
(based on the play by William Shakespeare)
Directed by: William Dieterle & Max Reinhardt
Starring: Anita Louise (Titania) Victor Jory (Oberon)
A Midsummer Night's Dream may be the most popular depiction of fairies on screen, since the play itself, by William Shakespeare, has been made into multiple films from 1909 all the way to 2017. Fairies are central to the plot, as they manipulate the human characters in the play for their own reasons.

This 1935 version is an exceptionally beautiful black and white film adaptation. Fairy Queen, Titania and her fairies seem to be made of starlight, and Fairy King, Oberon is a striking presence in his "cloak of night." With solid acting performances from the cast, gorgeous costumes and special effects, this film has a unique and wonderful depiction of fairies that influenced later films.
Click below to watch Titania gathering the fairies:
Click below to watch Oberon greeting Titania:
A Midsummer Night's Dream 
Screenplay by: Michael Hoffman
(based on the play by William Shakespeare)
Directed by: Michael Hoffman
Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, Kevin Kline
Another lush adaptation of the William Shakespeare play that sets the story at the turn of the twentieth century. With it's more modern touches from the 1900s in costume and production design, this film nonetheless shines a spotlight on the radiant Michelle Pfeiffer portraying Titania, and Rupert Everett as her Fairy King, Oberon, along with her lovely nature inspired woodland fairies.
Click below to watch Titania with her fairies:
A Midsummer Night's Dream:
The Royal Ballet
A Midsummer Night's Dream has also been adapted as a ballet, and The Royal Ballet filmed the performance, so we can enjoy the beauty of fairies through the magic of dance. The Fairy Queen, Titania (Akane Takada) and Fairy King, Oberon (Steven McRae) show off their power and grace in a way that is beyond mere words.
Click below to watch the Titania & Oberon Pas de Deux:
Written by: William Hjortsberg
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Tim Curry, Tom Cruise, Annabelle Lanyon
Yes, Tom Cruise once made a fantasy film. While Legend is more a tale of a human boy defeating Darkness while saving his human girl love interest, along with the last unicorn, it is the fairy, Oona, that stands out to me. When her love is rejected by the human, her "what care I for human hearts" speech makes me cheer as her fierce and free fairy spirit is let loose. Fantastic performance by Annabelle Lanyon as Oona, and bonus points for Tim Curry's outstanding "Darkness" character, too.
Click below to watch Oona's scene:
Fairy Tale: A True Story
Written by: Albert Ash, Tom McLoughlin, Ernie Contreras
Directed by: Charles Sturridge
Starring: Elizabeth Earl, Florence Hoath, Paul McGann
Based on the true story of the Cottingley Fairy photographs taken by cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright, that England became fascinated with in 1919 as proof that fairies actually existed. Years later, as adults, they admitted that the photos were faked using cardboard cutouts of fairies taken from picture books. However, until her death, Frances insisted at least one of the fairy photographs was real.
Original photos below:

This film dramatizes the events in a charming way, and quite honestly, I would have loved for my childhood self to have seen fairies like in the clip below.
Click below to watch a visit from the fairies scene:
(Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy)
Written by: Sergey Aksakov
Directed by: Lev Atamanov
Starring: Nina Krachkovskaya, Mikhail Astangov
There are many fairies in Disney films: Cinderella's fairy godmother, Pinocchio's Blue Fairy, and Peter Pan's Tinkerbell, but the most iconic fairy sequence to me is from Fantasia. It's everything I imagine fairies to be, floating around flowers to the music of Tchaikovsky. Beautifully animated and magical.
Click below to watch the fairy sequence:
Shrek 2
Screenplay by: Joe Stillman (based on William Steig's book)
Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon
Starring: Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Saunders
Many are familiar with the kindly fairy godmother who helps Cinderella by singing Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo in the Disney version, but the fairy godmother from Shrek 2 is a different kind of fairy godmother. Not only does she sing and mess with her son's love life, but she is definitely not helpful to the main characters, Fiona and Shrek. In fact, she causes them all kinds of problems, however, she does it in a fierce and fabulous way all her own.
Click below to watch the Fairy Godmother song:
The Sleeping Beauty:
Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre
Teleplay by: Jeffrey Alan Fiskin
Directed by: Jeremy Kaga
Starring: Beverly D'Angelo, Bernadette Peters, Christopher Reeve
In 1982, Shelley Duvall created Faerie Tale Theatre which was an American live-action fairy tale anthology series that featured prominent actors and directors of the time. Originally airing on Showtime, this series introduced a generation of kids to fairy tales that they could watch again and again on tape when it was released on VHS.

Set in a Russian landscape, this humorous version of, "The Sleeping Beauty" features fairies that look like they're a cross between Djinn and babushkas. With their blue faces and no wings, these fairies include a male one, too. Weird and wonderful with a standout campy performance by Beverly D'Angelo as Henbane, the bad "uninvited to the christening" fairy that places a curse on the princess.
Click below to watch the full episode.
~Bonus Short Film~
The Fairies of Blackheath Woods
Written & Directed by: Ciarán Foy
Starring: Katie Keough, Orla O'Rourke, Bernard Kelleghan
The fairies of this short film are not the cute, fun-loving fairies of the previous films, but are more in line with traditional fae folklore which is usually quite dark. This unsettling fantasy horror short is an eerie tale of following insect-like fairies into the woods. Filmed in Ireland, it won Best Short in seven different international film festivals.
Click below to watch the 4 minute film:
to inspire your own fairy tale...
And may a little fairy magic follow you home...
Enchanted Conversation's contributing editor, Amanda Bergloff, writes modern fairy tales and speculative fiction. Her work has appeared in various anthologies, including Frozen Fairy Tales, After the Happily Ever After, and Uncommon Pet Tales.
Follow her on Twitter @AmandaBergloff
Check out her Amazon Author page HERE
Join her every Tuesday on Twitter for #FairyTaleTuesday to share what you love about fairy tales, folktales, and myths.
Also, if you like sharing your #vss fairy tales on Twitter, follow @fairytaleflash and use #FairyTaleFlash so we can retweet!

Cover & Layout: Amanda Bergloff

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This made my day! I had never seen “The Faeries of Blackheath Woods”! Lovely roundup!!! 💖🧚