10 Best Fairy Tale Adaptations That Aren’t Disney

While Disney’s recent trailer teases a live-action version of its PinocchioGuillermo Del Toro’s upcoming animated film of the same tale and name – due for release in December 2022 – will vie with the media giant for the best recent screen adaptation of the wooden boy.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a non-Disney fairy tale adaptation has garnered equal, if not more, traction; of A Cinderella story at Grimmthere are tons of well-received movies and shows based on fairy tales that weren’t produced by Disney, and many deserve more recognition than they received.


ten Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

Taking the well-known fairy tale of Hansel and Gretelthe action-horror movie starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton twists the story and turns it into a darker, less kid-friendly tale than most are used to.

Related: Top 10 Best Film & TV Adaptations Of Pinocchio, Ranked Band IMDb

Although the film may have underperformed when it comes to critical reviews, it did well at the box office, proving to be a popular watch for viewers at the time. The film’s decision to take a darker, more empowering path for traditionally infantilized characters is an inspiring take that makes it one of the best and most admirable fairy tale adaptations, with its departure from the animated or sanitized versions. from Disney, making it an interesting sight for fans of various storytelling supports.

9 Tell me a story (2018-2020)

In a very different way to Disney’s take on the source materials but not uncommonly, Tell me a story also takes many fairy tales and twists them into something infinitely more sinister and grotesque than viewers may anticipate. It’s proving to work for the series, being applauded for its more realistic – albeit over-the-top – take on tales and their inherent problems.

The show’s brutality and grossness highlight the main themes and issues of popular fairy tales, encouraging audiences to explore their most sinister roots and darkest hidden meanings. In doing so, the show makes a name for itself as a more enjoyable and thoughtful adaptation that goes beyond the surface of common tales and exposes their complexities that go far beyond bright palettes and catchy soundtracks.

8 Bluebeard (2009)

The tale of Blue Beard is less well known than Charles Perrault’s sanitized and remastered fairy tales, but is certainly one of his scariest. Focusing on themes of the objectification of women and the limitations that patriarchal marriage imposes on them, the story tells the story of a wife who fails to follow her blue-bearded husband’s instructions and almost becomes his next. murder victim.

Related: 8 Dark Adaptations Of Classic Fairy Tales You’ve Never Heard Of

French cinema, Blue Beard not only succeeds in bringing this overshadowed fairy tale to the fore, but also deftly reflects the misogynistic and grotesque nature of many original fairy tales, something that modern Disney films omit through their romanticization. What’s more, the film’s intertwining storytelling – with a period story interspersed with modern life – and the horror-fantasy take on the old tale is a perfect adaptation of the gory tale.

seven Donkey Skin (1970)

Although there have been many unique adaptations of Cinderellaits predecessor tale, donkey skin is not as popular or widely adopted. Naturally, given that the original begins with the disturbingly taboo subject of a king determined to marry his daughter, then follows the untraditional adventures of his daughter escaping by hiding in a jewel-producing donkey skin and by finding a prince.

Despite this disturbing tale, donkey skin succeeded largely thanks to the acclaimed performance of Catherine Deneuve and her fidelity to the source material. It’s an accurate yet beautiful depiction of the unsettling story, with the grandeur and luminosity serving to juxtapose and therefore highlight the story’s chilling and downright haunting themes, especially in the final scenes where the princess and the king seem to reconcile.

6 A Cinderella Story (2004)

Perhaps one of the best-known non-Disney princess adaptations is that of Hilary Duff starring A Cinderella storyconsidered one of the best Cinderella movie versions with plenty of movie quotes and moments that still hold today – from the trope of the strangers to Sam and Austin’s lovers to Jennifer Coolidge’s iconic performance to the unforgettable Waiting for the Rain monologue from Hillary Duff.

The film strikes a great balance between an age-old tale and the present day, changing some of the problematic elements of Disney’s Cinderella to be more relevant and progressive. The chemistry between Hilary and Chad and the immense success of the first since Lizzie McGuire helped propel the film’s box office success, but it’s the way it modernized the traditional story that turned it into a timeless classic.

5 Shreek (2001)

Dream works’ Shrek proved to be one of his most successful ventures, with countless memes being used to encapsulate the Shrek series even 21 years later. The franchise has garnered a lot of praise for its heartwarming messages and lovable characters.

Which makes Shrek even better, it takes famous fairy tales and seamlessly adapts and integrates them into its narrative. By not making beloved fairy tales the central plot, the film is able to explore many new adaptations of their characters in supporting roles. Not only Shrek offer a plethora of great content for fairy tale lovers, but by putting them in the background they allow viewers to adore their intricacies and enjoy new grosser versions that weren’t previously represented on the big screen .

4 Tale of Tales (2015)

With an ensemble cast featuring Salma Hayek and John C. Reilly, Tale of Tales is a visually stunning cinematic masterpiece of fairy tale adaptation. The film was acclaimed by critics, who applauded its aesthetic and its unique, experimental approach to the tried-and-true algorithm of fairy tale remixing.

Related: 10 Best Adapted Fairytale Movies, According To Letterboxd

Departing from redundant adaptations of the same tales by Charles Perrault, this film draws inspiration from versions of the tales by Giambattista Basile. Basil’s unapologetically dark and gruesome exploration of fantasy’s thematic interweaving with realism makes it one of the best adaptations, taking its source material and turning it into an intriguing, mature and refreshing take on the well-trodden realm of fairy tales.

3 Grimm (2011-2017)

At first glance, NBC Grimm may not seem like a fairy tale adaptation. This is largely due to its implicit integration of tales into the series’ narrative and the many creative liberties taken to turn fairy tales into something new and holistically different from the childhood books and Disney movies that viewers are used to seeing.

However, these differences are precisely what makes Grimm such an exceptional adaptation of fairy tales, and a show that deserves a revival. Just as the stories themselves have undergone various revisions over their many centuries of existence, Grimm takes the tales of the Brothers Grimm and revitalizes them in a way that keeps audiences engaged by retaining the small nuances of the stories but portraying them in new, mature and exciting ways.

2 Ex Machina (2014)

For those unfamiliar with the history of Blue Beard, Ex-Machina – one of the scariest techno horror films – may seem far removed from any traditional fairy tale adaptation. But upon closer analysis, the parallels between the sci-fi film and the haunting story of a woman nearly destroyed by marital disobedience are all too clear.

Which makes Ex-Machina such a remarkable fairy tale adaptation is the way it manages to subtly integrate the tale’s central themes of societal restrictions, power dynamics and the desire for freedom, all through a commendable feminist lens. By taking the themes of an outdated and disturbing tale and converting them into a groundbreaking sci-fi thriller, Ex Machina is a great example of what fairy tale adaptations can achieve when they tell old tales under a modern and new angle.

1 Once upon a time (2011-2018)

When it comes to the best non-Disney fairy tale adaptations, the ABC Once upon a time takes first place, and rightly so. While the show’s extended airtime, impressive cast performances, and mass popularity speak volumes about its quality, the biggest contributor to the show’s success is undoubtedly its great storytelling. stories.

Once upon a time brought fairy tale adaptation to a whole new level of complexity and fame, intimately interweaving the vast majority of popular fairy tale characters, from the Evil Queen in Snow White to Peter Pan’s Hook. The show gave more depth and complexity to each referenced character and story, elevating the fairy tales into a complete and unified epic.

Next: 10 Hidden Gem TV Shows On Disney+ (For Adults)

About Monty S. Maynard

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