Cine, Beauty, Pan, and the Rest from the Woods: Fairytailing the Fantastic in Contemporary Film and Television



Princesses and evil witches, beauties and beasts, talking animals, magic, fairies, tests and impossible tasks. This course examines the fairy tale in today’s fantastic transmedial fiction with focus on television and films, but including other media too in minor scale (games, literature, art, advertising). The fairy tale is one of the fantastic genres (with horror, science fiction, and fantasy) and has been defined as having a positive stance of wonder and being used with pedagogical purposes in late-modern society, especially in the education of children. In postmodern time the genre has been used by feminist writers to question and subvert gender roles. This course examines transmedial fairy tale uses with focus on female characters and feminist theory, however, it does not exclude male characters. Theory will fairy tale studies and a biocultural approach including cognitive and anthropological research in magic and play studies.

1) the transmedial and intertextual use of fairy tale tropes, narratives, and iconic characters in contemporary fantastic media fiction, including Pan’s Labyrinth, Once Upon a Time, Beauty and the Beast, Enchanted, and Frozen. We examine texts from all fantastic genres, including horror, fantasy, children’s media, disney.

2) the psycological uses of fairy tale and its element of”wonder” for education, growth, change, development, questioning, mental awareness by both inidividuals and producers of media fiction. We focus on the genre’s links to psychological development.

3) the (post)feminist potential of fairy tales today. We will incorporate feminist and post/third-wave feminist critique of the fairy tale.

We look at a range of texts, most to be chosen by course participants. It is possible to work with individual projects/tv series.
Target groupMaster
ECTS credits10 ECTS