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We were set the task of using various online/Web 2.0 tools to modernize a traditional fairytale or myth.
Our group got together and began researching various fairytales, and decided upon the popular story of ‘Sleeping Beauty’. From this, we delved into the origins of the tale, which is not as innocent and child-appropriate as the contemporary Disney classic!
The original tale was written by Battista Basile, which was published in Italy in 1636. The story follows a young girl – Talia who fell into a catatonic state after a splinter of flax was driven under her fingernail. Her father, a King locked up the castle with Talia still inside and left; another king moved in on the castle, and found Talia alive but unresponsive. The king took her to a bed and raped her, before returning to his own wife. Some time later the King returned to Talia, who was awake and surrounded by two children, named Sun and Moon. Talia had given birth in her comatose state, but one of the children managed to suck the poison flax out of her fingernail. The Queen found out about the King’s actions and she sent for Talia and the children, ordering the cook to kill the two children and feed them to the King. She then tried to burn Talia alive, but the King found out and burnt the Queen instead, to which he found that he had not in fact eaten his children, the cook had hidden them away and served lamb instead. The King, Talia and the children lived happily ever after.
The story we are more familiar with, where Sleeping Beauty is awakened by the kiss of her true love is drawn from a story called “The Glass Coffin” collected by the brothers Grimm – which is a lot less violent.
We decided to follow the themes of the Disney version for our contemporary remix. We follow a woman, ‘Aurora Bellezza’ – Bellezza meaning ‘beauty’ in Italian (in keeping with the original story) and Aurora being the name of Sleeping Beauty in the Disney classic. Aurora pricks her finger on a pin whilst driving and consequently has a car accident, which leaves her in a coma. Her friend and on/off partner ‘Phillip Charming’ (modern Prince Charming) sees a news article about the accident and uses modern technology and social networking: emailing, Google maps, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon etc. to complete his quest of visiting Aurora and hoping to see her awake – which he manages with a kiss. The couple gets married and lives happily ever after.
Incorporating social media networks, video and online games, YouTube etc. was a really effective way of creating a contemporary visual appeal which is relatable to everyone nowadays. It juxtaposes the original tales, and brings a new and modern way of telling a classic story when these means of communication were not available, where people relied on hand written letters, word of mouth and messenger boys who would travel far to send a message that we could convey through one Facebook status. Amazon was also a great contemporary way of showing how we manage our lives and activities, and how far we’ve come where we now don’t even have to go to the shop to make a purchase. The game ‘Skyrim’ represents the dragon slaying aspect of the Disney story, the graphics of the game signify the advanced technology and animation, accompanied by a rock music interval, to signify the action and danger, whilst remaining humorous. Furthering this, we used music throughout to entertain, and accentuate the visuals and synchronised these to match what was shown on screen, for example when Charming is purchasing a ring, Bruno Mars sings, “I’ll go get a ring…I think I want to marry you”. The remix begins with a lullaby, soft song, as this is typical of the child-orientated Disney classic fairy tale.
Information found at: http://www.infobarrel.com/Fairy_Tale_Origins_Sleeping_Beauty
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