Fairy Tales 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Willingham's Fables

In the graphic novel Fables, Willingham relies mostly on characters for its merit as an adaptation of fairy tale literature. There is a magical element to the story, as the wizards have the ability to make small apartments hold castle-sized rooms. But Willingham makes great use of the audience's previous exposure to popular fairy tales to further the plot by alluding to them. The story is full of winks and nods to characters we have studied inside class and outside in society. Detective Bigby Wolf; Snow White, director of operations; Jack from jack in the beanstalk; Mrs. Beauty and Mr. Beast (who have marital problems); Prince Charming as a don juan; even creepy old Bluebeard who killed his wives before "the amnesty." The scene of the invasion of fairy land is particularly interesting: dwarves and magical creatures, little red riding hood and the three pigs, it reminds me of the characters in Shrek (3 blind mice, gingerbread man, etc) getting together and singing and dancing in the swamp. All of these references weave together for a funny mash-up of characters we would never picture interacting together otherwise.

1 comment:

  1. I liked the reference to Shrek. Fables is a lot like Shrek because it does assume that all fairy tale characters live in this fairy tale world together and interact with each other. Into the Woods does that a bit as well, but not as much as Fables.