C Merry has created an epic rambling fairy tale that weaves her own modern perspective through the classic stories that children have been familiar with for centuries. The result is both humorous and unsettling. C Merry combines these tales with mythology and Christmas to explain things that have been long forgotten. It’s a beautiful way to start the holidays. You’ll find out that the Pied Piper had money troubles and was working out of his van. Santa Clawz is a wormhole-travelling wildman who began the holiday tradition of sneaking into houses to counteract the effects of war. Instead of dropping bombs, he dropped gifts. He was also descended from grizzly bears.
The story unfolds over a series of partially animated illustrations that are gorgeously detailed, showing squiggly pen lines inside every detail. These pictures are backed by a dense and mysterious soundscape.
What C Merry seems to be doing is connected the world’s most charming tales for children to the much deeper and darker subterranean world of mythology. It works. She has created a mystical world of danger and beauty.
You can also read the entire illustrated tale at the author’s blog.
This 1954 RKO Radio Pictures film was based on Engelbert Humperdink’s opera and directed by Michael Myerberg. Be warned: the actress who plays Gretel gives what is possibly the single worst vocal performance in the history of animated films!
Ray Harryhausen, the great stop-motion animator of dinosaurs, sea creatures and dancing skeletons made this version of Hansel and Gretel in 1951. The dolls are a bit off-putting if I must be honest about it. But it’s got some great movement and settings. This is one of a series of films he made for children after World War II.
Once on a time a mouse, a bird, and a sausage became companions, kept house together, lived well and happily with each other, and wonderfully increased their possessions. The bird’s work was to fly every day into the forest and bring back wood. The mouse had to carry water, light the fire, and lay the table, but the sausage had to cook.