Anyway, on June 26, 1284, a piper “clad in many colors” lured the plague-bearing rats out of the town of Hamelin, Germany, and then when the townspeople refused to pay him, he came back and led 130 children away as well who were never seen nor heard from again. I don’t know about you, but I had no idea that particular fairy tale was true!
There is some debate as to what actually happened to the children of Hamelin – some posit that they were lured away by a serial killer, others attribute it to the plague, and still others hold that “the children willingly abandoned their parents and Hamelin in order to become the founders of their own villages during the colonization of Eastern Europe.” [From Wikipedia's article on the subject.]
In an odd twist, there’s a slight wrinkle in the town’s preparations for the 725th anniversary of the event next year: the rats are back. Rather than risking their children to a piper, however, the town officials are this time planning on trapping the rodents. Probably a wise decision.
Apparently the upcoming Snow White movie we mentioned a few weeks ago isn’t the only classic fairy tale being brought to life (again) on the big screen. Michael Bay’s production company The Institute has recently unveiled a teaser poster for their latest project: Hansel and Gretel (in 3D!).
(As an aside, I’m really hoping the 3D thing goes away soon. As someone who wears glasses and is prone to migraines, I never watch movies in 3D, because it is inevitably an incredibly uncomfortable experience. Maybe I’m just being an old fogey, but I was perfectly happy with good old-fashioned 2D movies. It seems to me that, more often than not, the 3D aspect is just being used to camouflage a lack of good filmmaking techniques. And while we’re at it, get off my darn lawn, you young whippersnappers!)
According to several sources, the lead character designer for Avatar, Joseph C. Pepe, has already signed on, though there’s no word on who’ll be directing. Will we be seeing some gingerbread-related Baysplosions? Only time will tell…
Fairy tales are big business in the entertainment industry these days. Two different versions of Alice in Wonderland have appeared on the silver screen, not to mention all the other fairy tale-related movies that have cropped up recently. (I admit, despite my intentions to do so, I never did see Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, though I hope to do so whenever I have a free evening. My husband and I rented the Syfy miniseries “Alice” to watch while we were on our honeymoon, but the DVD was scratched so we didn’t get all the way through it.)
Apparently the trend is set to continue. According to this article at Deadline New York, Relativity Media has acquired the rights to The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, which it calls “an edgy 3D re-imagining of the German folk tale written by Melisa Wallack.”
“This is not your grandfather’s Snow White,” Ratner said. “Melisa went back to the 500 year old folk tale and put in some of the things that were missing from Walt Disney’s film. His dwarves were miners, and here they are robbers. There is also a dragon that was in the original folk tale. Walt made one of the great movies of all time, but ours is edgy and there is more comedy. The original, made for its time, was soft compared to what we’re going to do.”
Sounds good to me!