Once Upon a Time: DJ's Favorite Fairy Tale Adaptations

Albert Einstein once said, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” I guess parents got the hint because it’s safe to say most of us are familiar with the timeless tales of mermaids, big bad wolves and glass slippers. Today, fairy tales still live on through exciting and inventive new retellings. And with Disney’s Maleficent hitting the big screen today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite fairy tale adaptations. Take a look:

My absolute favorite fairy tale is “The Little Mermaid”, sad ending and all. Yes, I love Disney’s animated film; yes, I love Splash; and yes, I love Donna Jo Napoli’s Sirena. Though not a strict fairy tale retelling — it’s more of a play on Greek mythology — it’s such a gorgeously written and romantic book that has the same sense of longing and loss that Hans Christian Andersen’s famous tale possesses.

If you know me, then you know I love Grimm’s “Little Red Riding Hood”. I’m not entirely sure why seeing as it’s a rather violent and horrific fairy tale (like most of them…). Still, I love pretty much anything and everything having to do with it, especially the film, Red Riding Hood. While it may not be a cinematic masterpiece, this Catherine Hardwicke-directed film hits the spot for me. With its beautiful scenery, sizzling love triangle and surprising plot twist, this is more literal retelling that will never get old.

I am also rather fond of Jackson Pearce’s Sisters Red, which is a quick read, but an exciting one nonetheless. Sisters Scarlett and Rosie m ake for great heroines while Silas is pretty darn swoon-worthy. This is an interesting take on werewolves and the Grimm tale, so be sure to read it ASAP!

While “Cinderella” has never been one of my favorites, I loved Tracey Barrett’s upcoming novel, The Stepsister’s Tale, which is an inventive and magical retelling told from the point of view of one of Cinderella’s stepsisters. Much like Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, this paints the usual antagonists and heroine in a new light, one that will forever change your opinion of the girl with the glass shoes and her evil stepsisters.

And let's not forget about Cinder by Marissa Meyer, which is a fantastic sci-fi story inspired by "Cinderella". What I love most about this book — and the series overall — is the diverse set of characters Meyer has created. And the romance? Perfectly sweet and forbidden. The latest in the series is Cress, which tackles "Rapunzel"!

Alrighty, RT readers, which fairy tales are your favorites and which adaptations have you loved the most? Sound off in the comments! And don’t forget to check out Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, in theatres today!