The Greatest Screen Fairy Tales

Once upon a time…

…Fairy tales became the Next Big Thing. Sure, they’ve been around a while in one shape or another, but they seem to be everywhere these days – from recent films Beastly and Red Riding Hood to not one but two Snow Whites on the way to the big screen. And then there’s Grimm and Once Upon A Time (boasting yet another Snow White) both coming to a TV screen near you soon (as long as you wish upon a star, natch).

Jayne Nelson checks out some classic big and small screen fairy tale adaptations which are essential viewing for a happily ever after…

The Troll Hunter (2011)

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Remember the Three Billy Goats Gruff? They needed to cross a bridge but were each harassed by the fearsome troll who lived underneath it, until the troll received his comeuppance when the final goat headbutted him off the bridge (seems cruel to us – the poor bugger was only hungry). It’s hardly the most complex of fairy tales but the surprisingly gritty Norwegian drama The Troll Hunter chose it as a starting point for a film that’s one of the best things to hit cinemas all year. ( Read our review here. )

Three amateur filmmakers decide to follow a poacher to make an expose on his life but discover he’s actually hunting giant trolls who secretly roam the Norwegian countryside. Hilariously, these creatures fart a lot, roar in outrage when they hear hymns and can smell Christians a mile off – all ingredients that make this straight-faced mockumentary a truly original monster movie. It’s the matter-of-factness that makes it so brilliant: the weary resignation of its “hero” as he kills yet another troll while the filmmakers gawp in shock, or the miserable weather that gives the action a feel that’s anything but fairy tale. Absolutely magical, in a really grubby kind of way…


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