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From Into the Woods to Grimm, fairy tales get real

in Fiction by

The term “realistic fairy tale” gets thrown around a lot these days, used to describe gritty books or movies that take a Disney-style fairy tale and un-Disney it. For an example, look no further than the soon-to-be-released movie musical Into the Woods. The first act is all traditional fantasy tales, told as you expect them to be told. But, by the second act, reality has taken hold and fairy tale characters are learning to deal with loss and betrayal. Or take a movie like Ever After, which tells the “realistic” story of Cinderella. There’s no magic here, only a poor girl who meets a rich prince and falls in love. She has mud on her hem and ideas about social…

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