Once upon a time, when you wanted to relive a childhood fairy tale, you’d have to scrounge up old Disney VHS tapes. But these days, the magic is returning to the big screen—albeit in slightly warped, often darker retellings. Take this year’s double-whammy of live action Snow White films. Neither qualified as cinematic gold: Mirror Mirror was even goofier than the original cartoon (in which little men had a lengthy soap battle and woodland creatures formed an army) and Snow White and the Huntsman had Kristen Stewart (whose only talents include looking confused, biting her lip and bagging attractive Brits). Still, at least Hollywoodtried to revitalize classic stories of magic and romance. With a new slate of fairy tale films in the works, maybe viewers will live happily after sooner than they think. College Magazine explores Twinkle Town’s upcoming efforts to breathe new life into the works of Walt, Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm.
Just like Broadways’s Wicked turned the spotlight on the Wicked Witch of the West, this 3D film will put Maleficent, the horned sorceress-turned-dragon villain from Disney’s 1959 Sleeping Beauty, on center stage. International seductress Angelina Jolie will return to her goth roots as the leading lady in the 2014 film. We know this much: Jolie is co-producing, Elle Fanning is slated to play the dainty Aurora and the producer, the script writer and producer designer all worked on 2010’s Alice and Wonderland. It’s pretty much guaranteed to look good, and hopefully Jolie uses her acting chops to turn the original — one of the least-remembered Disney Princess films and literally a snoozer — into a hit.
Oz: The Great and Powerful
Once you get past the improbability that Renaissance Man/ultimate hottie James Franco would be caught dead in Kansas, the Comic-Con trailer for this spin on L. Frank Baum’s classic looks pretty…wonderful. The lush, colorful scenery promises cinematography worthy of the Land of Oz. Not sure about Mila Kunis’ casting, but Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz are radiant as always. And with Spiderman’s Sam Raimi behind the camera, odds are we can count on a fresh twist rather than a cheesy send-up.
In a land far far away (okay, it’s called Winter 2012), we heard faint whispers of an epic union. Guillermo del Toro, the film beast behind the wondrously horrifying Spanish fairy tale Pan’s Labyrinth, announced he would wed his considerable talents to those of the beautiful Emma Watson in a reimagining of Beauty and the Beast. Potterheads and horror fans unite! The deal is sealed, but those involved remain mum since the film isn’t even in production yet. But that hasn’t stopped this writer from freaking out. Watson, who was way to pretty to play frizzy-haired nerd Hermione but still totally pulled it off, is perfect for the bookish Belle. I nominate Mrs. Weasley as Mrs. Potts. And did we mention that the writer behind Bridget Jones’ Diary is penning the script? Most Disney classics have been criticized in our modern feminist world, but this movie is sure to pack girl power and a fiercely independent spirit into its heroine. Please be better than the V-Hudge, Mary-Kate Olson disaster movie Beastly.
Arabian Nights 3D
Miley Cyrus will have to kiss her new fiancé goodbye: Aussie Liam Hemsworth is set to film this update on Middle Eastern folktales in Kazakhstan. I’m skeptical about anything with “3D” in the title, and my fears only mount when I remember that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will co-star. But Hemsworth is easy on the eyes and has proven to be a better thespian than Miss Hannah Montana, so only the sands of time will tell. If all goes according to plan, Anthony Hopkins will do what he does best as the tale’s villain. You know what they say: nothing pairs better with an Arabian adventure flick than fava beans and a nice Chianti.