2019 is set to be a ‘blockbuster’ year with live action versions of several Disney classics set to hit the big screen. Remakes of The Lion King and Aladdin are set to be released following the success of this year’s non-animated recreations of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast.
As most will know, these films are all adaptations of stories in other forms, such as plays, books or folktales. With the obvious advantages of better photorealistic animation and virtual cinematography technology aside, the question remains: why do we keep retelling the same stories, most notably folktales and fairy stories, in different mediums?
Perhaps it is due to the appeal of these folk stories to people of all ages. The original Hans Christian Andersen and Grimm brothers’ tales were far darker than the popularised versions we have today. There are over three hundred versions of Snow White, but the most notable recent versions (Maleficent and Snow White and the Huntsman) have taken a ‘grown-up’ tone – one far closer to that of the originals. Martin McDonagh’s new play A Very, Very, Very Dark Matter goes one step further taking a macabre look at the inspiration behind the work of Andersen. The capacity for people to grow and develop alongside ever-changing narrative makes these stories a reassuring crutch throughout life.
Part of the appeal of these stories might be the capacity to add our own stamp to them, as, when brought down to their fundamentals, they depict some of the simplest human emotions and relationships. The original story of Aladdin was still a rags-to-riches love story, but was set in China and showed the advantages that the eponymous hero gains from lying (a topic that Disney decided not to touch upon in their adaptation!) The upcoming film version of the story is also not set in China, but in Agrabah, and the 1940s screenplay placed the story in Baghdad.
English, Classics and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies students might like to further explore the concept of retelling of stories: the changes introduced and the strength of different mediums.
- Classics and Arch & Anth Reading Lists If you’re applying for Classics, or for Archaeology and Anthropology,... Read more >
- Oxbridge: the global impact Concerning UK university admissions, UCAS have released some interesting stats.... Read more >
- HAT mini mock paper The History Aptitude Test or ‘HAT’ must be sat by... Read more >
- Medical & Biological Sciences Reading Lists Medicine and the whole range of Biological Sciences are highly... Read more >
- US University Applications: How Decisions Are Made Article contributed by: Dr Jon Tabbert, US university admissions educational... Read more >
- Download an Economics Personal Statement “I have a keen interest in current affairs but have... Read more >
- The OA School’s Magazine: Issue 1 Last year, Oxbridge Applications launched its first ever Schools’ Magazine,... Read more >
- Download a Medicine Personal Statement Read our sample Medicine personal statement for application tips. Read more >
- PAT mini mock paper & answers The Physics Aptitude Test or PAT is required by Oxford... Read more >
- Are my grades good enough for Oxbridge? Grades are an area of much misunderstanding when it comes... Read more >
- Cambridge Law Test overview If you’re applying to read Law at Cambridge you will probably need... Read more >
- What’s so special about Oxford and Cambridge? Both Oxford and Cambridge have fearsome reputations. The Oxbridge system... Read more >
- COPA & International Deadlines Most deadlines are the same for all those applying to... Read more >
- Download an English Personal Statement “My background as a student at a European School, including... Read more >
- Human Social and Political Science (HSPS) Reading List If you are applying for HSPS at Cambridge, it is... Read more >
- Oxford and Cambridge Access Schemes Oxford and Cambridge aim to offer places to the best... Read more >
- International Application Calendar Keeping on top of the various deadlines and decisions when... Read more >
- Experimental Psychology & Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (PBS) Reading List If you are interested in Psychology, Oxford offers the Psychology... Read more >
- Information on choosing a course at Oxford or Cambridge “Perhaps it is because Oxbridge encourages more ‘traditional’ A Level... Read more >
- MAT mini mock paper & answers If you are planning to apply to Oxford to read... Read more >
- Is a “Religious Morality” rational? One of our Oxbridge graduate tutors, Emma, looks into the... Read more >
- July’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- Download a Philosophy Personal Statement “Philosophy of the mind is my particular interest, especially the... Read more >
- April’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >