It seems that the fairy tale film is experiencing both the best of times, and the worst of times: enjoying increased critical and industrial attention, while the films deemed worthy of commendation appear to be relatively small. Cinematic interest in rejigging familiar stories is long established, of course, and fairy tales largely ‘presold’ in this respect, with star appeal, an epic scale and special effects best appreciated on the big screen all figuring prominently as major incentives for studio investment. However, recent examples have largely proved to be disappointing — particularly given the many talented figures involved in dismal projects such as Jack the Giant Slayer and Oz the Great and Powerful. The likelihood of further releases of similar ilk, effects-driven crowd pleasers without substance or staying power, would seem to corroborate critical misgivings about the co-opting of fairy tales for commercial ends. Nonetheless, as I said at the outset of this book, the more obvious fairy tale adaptations are by no means the most interesting examples, and although it is easy to become frustrated or discouraged in response to so many creative opportunities missed, it is more important to focus on areas of continued innovation and inspiration.
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