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Other stories featuring story book characters in the real world

posted by Jennifer on - last edited - Viewed by 989 users

Are there any other stories featuring story book characters in the real world that you enjoy? This isn't a thread debating about whether they took the ideas of Fables or not (especially since it would be a little hypocritical for me of all people, since I've put story book characters in the real world in my own comics ;)), but rather just discussing other stories of this type that we enjoy.

My mother kept telling me about Once Upon a Time ever since it started, and I finally decided to watch it on Netflix. I ended up really enjoying it. A lot of it is the Disney version of the storybook characters (which is really not surprising considering what network it's on), with the named dwarfs (Dopey and Grumpy), the genie being from Agrabah, Beauty being named Belle and having a suitor named Gaston, etc. But the stories themselves are noticably different and interconnected that makes them interesting. I'm actually finding the story book backstories more interesting than the main story where the storybook characters are cursed to live in our world and live normal lives without remembering who they are until the spell is broken. The twists in the stories and the backstories of one dimensional characters (like Rumplestilskin or the Magic Mirror) are actually really well done.

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  • I'm really enjoying Once Upon A Time (which, yes, when it was originally starting, was compared with Fables). It's one of the shows I most look forward to each week when it airs.

    There are many instances where fairy tale characters and their tales are told in a different light. Bringing them into our world may not be so common, but here's some examples I can think of worth reading/watching:

    - The Shrek movies, and Puss In Boots, turning the tales on their heads
    - Witches Abroad, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett, where the "evil" witches are the heroes who are trying to stop the "Cinderella" story from happening, because the people in it are being forced against their will to play their required roles. Lots of good fairy tale parody in there.
    - Jasper Fforde's Nursery Crime novels "The Big Over Easy" and "The Fourth Bear". Set in an alternate England where nursery rhyme/fairy tale characters live with normal people, centering on Detective Jack Spratt. The first one involved Humpty Dumpty and the second of course is based on Goldilocks.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

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    The Child Thief is a brutal and adult transformation of the Peter Pan myth. I think the book fits quite nicely into the collection we're assembling here.

  • grimm-nbc-tv-show-e1325312794609.jpg

    The TV series Grimm pretty much goes in that direction, featuring a cop who finds out that he is a decendant of the Grimms, a line of guardians protecting the world from mythical creatures. The plot is inspired by tales of the Grimm brothers, not exclusively though.

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    Oh, and Hoodwinked of course, a very cool animation movie! A must see! :D

  • Ooh I love Hoodwinked! However, I heard that the long delayed but finally released sequel Hoodwinked Too is actually pretty crap.

    Grimm is developing nicely too, but it can be quite slow moving at times.

  • @Molokov said: Ooh I love Hoodwinked! However, I heard that the long delayed but finally released sequel Hoodwinked Too is actually pretty crap.

    Never heard of a part two... will need to take a look.

    @Molokov said: Grimm is developing nicely too, but it can be quite slow moving at times.

    I find all of the syndicated cable programs do have that problem, while usually staying very true to their idea - so I approve to that style of telling stories.

  • Lots of Neil Gaiman's books include this sort of thing, particularly American Gods. Also Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series of books are good and include other characters in a contemporary setting.

    If you like this sort of writing, I'd also recommend Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. A little different but a fantastic book.

  • And for deconstructions, Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett fits the bill quite nicely. It isn't set in a real world, but as Sir Pratchett puts it, in a mirror of our world.

    Wich is kind of fitting considering the theme of that book in particular...

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