With so many modern re-workings of fairy tales combined with computer animation, movie goers can bask in the glow of their favorite childhood stories passed on to a new generation of kids. That being said, some fairy tale movies are better than others when it comes to entertainment value for children and adults.
Many of Disney’s original tales may seem dark by today’s standards. You won’t find any evil witches trying to prick someone’s fingers in good family entertainment today. Luckily, many modern movies have been lightened up for kids who need a safe way to escape into the movie world.
Here’s an examination of some of the best fairy tale movies for children in a contemporary movie setting.
“Shrek” is a tale of an ogre who tries to scare everyone away. At the beginning of the movie, Shrek befriends Donkey and eventually a persnickety princess named Fiona who has more in common with the big green guy than originally thought. Other fairy tale creatures inhabit Shrek’s world making this upside-down fairy tale complete. The second movie was just as good as the first although the third one was forgettable and the worst of the franchise. All of the “Shrek” movies are rated PG.
“Ella Enchanted” (2004)
Anne Hathaway stars as Ella of Frell in this live-action update of the Cinderella story. There are many lighthearted and funny moments throughout and Cary Elwes is perfect as the bumbling bad guy. There is one slightly scary and tense moment towards the end that may be scary for younger children up to age six or seven. “Ella Enchanted” is rated PG and based upon an award-winning novel.
“Tangled” is a take on Rapunzel and her long hair. Instead of being locked in a tower, her “mother” gave her an extra long time out in a tower. So long, in fact, her hair is long enough to get her out of the tower when she meets dashing young thief Flynn Rider. When they go on an adventure together and seemingly run from everyone, both characters find out about themselves and the true meaning of life with each other.
“The Little Mermaid” (1989)
“The Little Mermaid” is in traditional two-dimensional animation about a young mermaid named Ariel who falls in love with a land lubber with legs. She bargains with an evil witch to become just long enough to try to make the handsome man fall in love with her in this adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson tale.
There are plenty more choices for kids and families who love fairy tales but don’t want to be overly done or too scary. Other relevant titles would be “Beauty and the Beast” from Disney and also the live-action “Enchanted.”