6 magical fairytale films

Anna Walker

Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the fairest fairytale of all?

Fairytales are the ultimate form of escapism. We’ve seen handsome princes, tall towers, heroic knights and mythical beasts dominate cinemas in the last 10 years and it seems the trend isn’t going away any time soon.

Still in the pipeline are live action re-imaginings of Pinocchio, Mulan, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, which will star Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ewan McGreggor, Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci and Emma Thompson – quite the cast!

In deference to this current golden age of fairytales, we’re headed to a Kingdom far, far away to bring you six films that prove you’re never too old for a good old-fashioned folk story.

 

6. Red Riding Hood (2011)

Amanda Seyfriend stars in this Gothic retelling of the Grimm brothers tale. Valerie’s wealthy parents have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry (Max Irons) but she has already fallen for local boy Peter (Shiloh Fernandez).

The pair decide to elope, but their plans are scuppered when a werewolf begins to terrorize the town. The plot thickens further when it’s revealed that by day the evil werewolf lives among the villagers…
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5. Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

 

When young farmhand Jack (Nicholas Hoult, About a Boy, X-Men) unwittingly opens a gateway into the realm of the giants, an ancient war is reignited as the goliaths fight to reclaim the land they once lost.

As Jack charges into battle for the love of Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson, Poldark) he finds himself face to face with creatures he recognises only from legend. The film also stars Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Bill Nighy and Eddie Marsan.
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4. Mirror Mirror (2012)

‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?’

It’s a rare day that Julia Roberts asks that question and doesn’t hear her own name in reply – but all is not as you’d expect in the world of Snow White.

Lily Collins’ Snow White grows more beautiful than her wicked stepmother every day and so is banished from the Kingdom. In the shelter of the woods, she meets seven dwarves who help her to defeat the Queen and reclaim her birthright. Oh, and marry the handsome Prince of course.
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Bonus points to the film for ending with this bizarre Bollywood number:

 

 

3. The Brothers Grimm (2005)

Once upon a time, there were two legendary storytellers. Matt Damon and the late-great Heath Ledger play the infamous brothers Grimm in this Meta Terry Gilliam romp.

When Will and Jake Grimm journey into a real enchanted forest to help rid a village of an evil witch, they soon encounter many of the fantastical creatures and characters that populate their own beloved fairy tales.
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2. Stardust (2007)

Based on the Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess graphic novel, Stardust follows the plight of young Tristan (Charlie Cox, The Theory of Everything) as he struggles to win the heart of his beautiful but cold love Victoria (Sienna Miller, Foxcatcher) by going in search of a fallen star (Claire Danes, Romeo and Juliet, Homeland).

This fantastical journey will take Tristan far beyond the walls of his small village and onto a path plagued by an evil witch (Michelle Pfeiffer), the ghosts of some dastardly Princes and a pirate named Captain Shakespeare (Robert De Niro).
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1. Into the Woods (2014)

 

Fairytale worlds collide in this Oscar nominated musical. A baker (James Cordon) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are desperate for a child, but a curse placed upon them by an evil witch (Meryl Streep) prevents them from ever having children.

In a desperate bid to break the curse they enter the woods, where they meet Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Cinderella and a boy named Jack with some magic beans…

Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Frances De La Tour and Tracey Ulman also star.
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The sing off between two Prince Charmings is a particular highlight:

 

Bonus Film!

If you like your Fairytales on the seriously darker side then Hard Candy is not to be missed. Ellen Paige is 14 year old Hayley Stark, a modern day Red Riding Hood, and Patrick Wilson the sick man who pursues her. Beware this isn’t one for the children!
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