Tracking Fairy Tales

Due 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 2. Upload ONE .doc or similar file to canvas with compiled documents describing adaptations AND log of fairy tale references. Minimum word count of adaptation = 250 words x group members. One grade will be assigned to entire group. Worth 10% of total grade.

Tl;dr version:

1) As individuals, keep a log of all (or as many as possible) references to fairy tales that you encounter on a daily basis. Routinely upload those to a shared google doc (and include link in assignment submission).

2) As a group, select a fairy tale (or fairy tale type) and as individuals search for and list of at least 10 contemporary adaptations; each group member describes one adaptation in-depth in ca. 250 words.


Maria Tartar’s Classic Fairy Tales collects a variety of different adaptions for well-known fairy tales such as Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast. The examples (e.g. Angela Carter) are mainly limited to written adaptations, but, as we’ve already recognized, fairy tales and their particular plot elements are not restricted to written narratives, and instead can be found in contemporary TV shows (Once Upon a Time, Grimm etc.), graphic novels, animated films, and even augmented reality apps.

As a group, you will select a particular fairy tale (such as Cinderella, or Hansel and Gretel) or fairy tale type (e.g. Fairy Tale Type 327, The Children and the Ogre) and compile a list of recent adaptations, of which at least 50% should be outside of the literary sphere. Your list should contain at least ten adaptations and it should offer an in-depth description of as many adaptations as you have group members.

Next, each of you will select one adaptation to describe. As a group you might want to coordinate and decide what elements of the adaptation each person will describe. Suggestions include describing the adaptation’s plot differences to the adapted version, commenting on elements that are implemented positively or negatively, discussing how the “original” fairy tale has been creatively reclaimed or subverted.

Each description of an adaption should contain ca. 250 words. If you decide to include a TV show and/or series, please refer to a single episode rather than the TV show/series as a whole. Please also provide us with a reference, how we can find/access the adaptions you found.

Note that the final course assignment will be a creative adaptation. When selecting a tale for this assignment, you might consider a fairy tale that you would be interested in adapting, reclaiming, etc.

Helpful links: ATU index: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

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