Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Remade, retold, redone ... to death?


Do you like remakes or retellings of classic stories? How about remakes of movies? It seems every time we turn around, there's a remake of an old movie. Most of the time, I'm not too thrilled with the new versions and don't go see them. I do like some. I was surprised how much I liked the newer versions of Horton Hears A Who, The Cat in the Hat, and The Grinch. I guess with kid's stuff I'm more open to it. Some classics just should not be redone, like Gone With The Wind, Casablanca, or The Wizard of Oz.

The other day when Neil was sick, the boys and I spent most of the day on my bed watching Looney Tunes cartoons. One of the DVDs was all about fairy tales. I was surprised to see how many versions of Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, and The Three Bears there were. I don't think we even saw all the ones they made. I loved the ones where they combined the famous characters into one show, like Little Red calling Goldilocks on the phone. One of my books, The Marshmallow Man, is a retelling of the classic story, The Gingerbread Man. I can't wait to see it when it comes out. Stephen Macquignon is illustrating it and I've seen one of his sketches of the main character. I'm sure the book will be really cute.

The boys and I love reading books that are retellings of classic stories. One of our favorites is The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig. That's a really funny one. That is one mean pig! My friend Nancy told us about one called The Three Little Dinosaurs and that's really cute too. Usually, at the end of our school year, I do some fun stuff with the kids with stories like this. I'll pick one story and then find different versions to read throughout the week. The boys love picking out the similarities and differences from the original stories. I'll probably do that again next week.

What are some of your favorite retellings? Is there a book or movie you'd love to see redone in a new way? Is there a book or movie that you would NOT want remade? What about classic old stories that have made their way into people's hearts through huge companies like Disney -- do you think anyone could ever retell The Little Mermaid or The Lion King and make it something people would want to see or read again? Do you think there is a story that's been retold to death?

16 comments:

  1. I'll have to check out The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, sounds adorable! The Three Little Dinosaurs is really funny; lots to pick out that is different and silly.

    I know when they did Grease 2 is was so stupid, I hope they don't do that again. I don't think that any of the Disney classics should ever be redone, they are priceless and would be completely ruined.

    If they ever do remakes of the Harry Potter movies/books I think I will have to start a riot. heehee Another one would be a remake of the Little House on the Prairie tv series, they shouldn't do that one either.

    I'm sure I could find a lot more. Good topic, thanks!

    Nancy

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  2. I like retellings. I think I'm especially drawn to Cinderella storries. So much fun!

    :0)

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  3. I enjoy a good retelling, it's the knowing of what sort of happens that keeps me warm inside. Kids love repetition too.

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  4. Ok - so my favorite retelling of a classic story is Bugs Bunny's Little Red Riding Hood episode. I still crack up whenever I see it. Ok I have another - Bugs Bunny's Goldilocks and the Three Bears episode. Oh my gosh! So funny!

    yes - I love Bugs Bunny!

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  5. A good retelling has it's place. But I'm not all that fond of most of the Disney movies because they often stray SO far from the original. Any kid today reading the original Little Mermaid might think the author got it all wrong. She didn't die at the end!

    One group of retellings I did enjoy complete was Fairy Tale Theater. Famous actors playing the parts...There were a whole bunch of them made. They stuck to the stories pretty closely and added a dash of humor.

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  6. I do like retellings with a funny or good twist!
    But there are some classic movies that should just stay classic with no remakes.

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  7. I love the Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig. And the Three Javelinas is cute. Bruce Hale did a Hawaiian one with Moki the laughing gecko and the movie "Hoodwinked" is just hilarious.

    I like retellings if they are well done. But movie remakes usually suck.

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  8. Some remakes I like and some I don't. Actually, most remakes I don't. But, there are some that I do. Like the Batman movie series. SO glad they remade those. =)

    Thinking of you tonnes! xo

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  9. I've enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies ;)

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  10. I’m always skeptical of retelling of the classics; I have been happily surprised from time to time including your story of “The Marshmallow Man” It is a great treat to illustrate it

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  11. My daughter's English class is watching Oh Brother Where Art Thou (retelling of The Odyssey) - that's one of my favorites.

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  12. Sharon Van ZandtMay 20, 2009 at 7:24 PM

    I love the remake of Sabrina. I could watch that movie over and over.

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  13. So I really like clever remakes. There was one that I read to my students at Christmas that was the cutest. I can't remember the name but its published by Holiday House I think. It's about the Goldilocks and the Three Bears but Santa is actually the character of Goldilocks and the three bears find his hat, gloves and such. Cute!

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  14. Hi Christina -- Was the book you read called Santa And The Three Bears? I blogged about that one in December. I was thinking it might be the same one you mentioned --

    http://renajjones.blogspot.com/2008/12/christmas-fun.html

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  15. I just found your blog--it's great!!!! I love remakes (ignoring the ones that are not so good). Ever After is the best Cinderella story. It seems like Orson Scott Card revamped sleeping beauty? Sorry, can't remember, but it was so intriguing... G

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  16. So, I couldn't leave it alone! Enchantment by O S Card. This full length novel combines dozens of fairy tales and begs to be discussed. Judaism, Ancient languages, Mysticism, feminism, cultural competition--truly a plot and story with complexity. The characterizations are deep from their names to their conversations and actions.

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