Netflixing: Revolting Rhymes

in tv •  8 months ago

Fairy tale deconstructions have been done to death.

There aren't many places left where they can go. We've already had the irreverent mock fairy tale.

And the grimdark gothic fairy tale.

And the urban, modern, reimagined fairy tale.

And they have all had their ups and downs. It's a difficult endeavor. After all, the original tales were great enough to survive for centuries, sometimes millennia. Anyone who tries to update, alter, or even attack these stories is necessarily committing an act of hubris.

Which probably proves the conjecture that Walt Disney was a genius. He approached these stories with a similar hubris, but pulled it off with such elegance that his renditions are now considered the definitive versions of each story.

But he never completely undercut the source material. Disney was not, on the whole, a deconstructionist.

Roald Dahl, on the other hand...

The Cruelest Children's Book Author


My kneejerk reaction is to say that Roald Dahl was some kind of sadist.

That's hyperbole, of course, but you can't quite avoid that notion if you're at all familiar with his work. His books and stories are united by themes of horror, dread, and monstrous death.

Consider his book, The Ice Cream Thief, in which the protagonist---a little girl---is fed inch by inch into a meat grinder and made into mutton pasties that her parents unwittingly eat.

Just kidding, I made that book up just now. But admit it: for a moment you actually believed it was a real Roald Dahl book. Because even though such a book was never written, he is the only person who could have written it.

And it just so happens that Mr. Dahl was deconstructing fairy tales before it was cool.

Revolting Rhymes


A short volume by Mr. Dahl became an early example of the folklore deconstruction genre. It thought to reexamine popular vignettes from the Grimm brothers through the point of view of a wolf, because nobody ever bothered to ask him how things went down.

And it was recently adapted into a television miniseries, which has happily found its way to Netflix.

The miniseries has two episodes:

  • Part 1 revisits the stories of Red Riding Hood and Snow White, as remembered by the wolf. He insists his version is the real one.
  • Part 2 is about Jack and the Beanstalk and also Cinderella.
Inasmuch as fairy tale deconstructions have cast a wide net. These stories can't be said to do anything that hasn't been done elsewhere. Though it's possible they were done here first.

However, the most refreshing part of Revolting Rhymes is in how little it actually changes the original tales. It does not seek to undercut the entire premise of those stories. Really, the only thing it does is make the main characters a bit more self-deterministic.

In this version, Red Riding Hood is no coward who freezes in fear until a wolf eats her. Instead, she fights back with a gun, which is unsurprisingly effective at dispatching wildlife.

Likewise, Jack is not content to be bullied by his abusive mother. Opting instead to send her into harm's way (and gleefully without remorse about the aftermath).

Snow White is equally proactive, taking her own revenge on the wicked queen, on her own terms.

The only character who is more or less the same is Cinderella, who, as usual, depends on a supernatural agent to solve her problems, though she is a bit more demanding about it in this rendition.

The Animation


The series is produced with two distinct animation styles: one for the present day frame story, and one for the flashbacks into the fairy tales themselves.

The frame story's animation is similar to what you will find in any of Illumination entertainment's films. They feature a lot of cartoonish character models but with realistic hair and texture effects.

The animation for the flashbacks is a bit more interesting, in that it is made to resemble stop-motion animation. The models appear to be made of clay or other craft materials.

The contrast is a welcome bit of depth to what could have been an ordinary animated effort.

But Where it Shines is in the Voice Work


You wouldn't think voice acting would be hard. It doesn't require the physical posture, poise, and face work that are necessary for performers of live action.

And yet good voice acting is astoundingly difficult to come by, especially in a TV miniseries backed by a small production company.

Such a welcome surprise then, is the voice acting in Revolting Rhymes, which is delivered with a controlled energy that enriches every moment of the experience. I don't know who these voice actors are, but they're not being paid enough.

My Judgment


Revolting Rhymes is a top notch experimental animated series---the kind that I would expect from extremely talented people who were doing this for a university degree.

It never rises to Pixar or Dreamworks levels of artistic excellence, but it is good and solid.

It is also blessedly short, delivering a concentrated narrative with no filler or fluff, and which will ultimately cost you less than an hour of your life to take in.

The only scruple I can find with the work is that, for a Roald Dahl adaptation, it is remarkably lighthearted. It has its moments of mayhem, certainly, but it's not quite the level of horrifying disquiet we are all accustomed to in Mr. Dahl's better known stories.

Ultimately, there's no reason not to watch it.

Previous entries in the Netflixing series:

Past Years

TV Shows

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 1
  • The Polka King
  • Little Witch Academia
  • Movies

  • The Boss Baby
  • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
  • Strictly Ballroom
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    Revolting Rhymes takes the classic fairy tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella, then mixes them together and serves them with a mischievous twist.

    I love Shrek movies!
    I like Cinderella, I really do. She has a good work ethic. I appreciate a good, hard-working gal. And she likes shoes. The fairy tale is all about the shoe at the end.
    Nice post!

    @talanhorne,
    I think I could find a time in this weekend to watch this series! It looks great, and personally I like anime movies! But most of them are just sh!t, sometimes anime or sometimes the story! I hope this might work well! Thanks for sharing this great review with us!

    Cheers~

    At first i resteem and upvote your post.Then i said that,very Interesting netflix movie my dear friend and it is my favorite movie

    Wow...smart and superb film review by @talanhorne sir...
    Actualy I'm hope watch this movie this weekend...

    Hello @talanhorne,

    Extraordinary good review about 'Revolting Rhymes'. Incredible writing about the TV series.

    ~@mywhale

    I really like Shrek Movies.
    Cinderella wonderful .Netflix provide a very great movies and series

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    Exceptional review about Revolting Rhyems...!!!

    100% Upvoted by @MinnowsPower

    Oh yeah, the Revolting Rhymes is an excellent animated film and he himself is very interesting! Thank you @talanhorne

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    100% upvote and resteem done sir
    U5dqwpsqJYeMweUwe78Xd8pmXeD7tgL_1680x8400.jpeg

    Looks very good to watch with my child very interesting read your judgment. Regards

    Revolting Rhymes
    2016 ‧ Animation/Family ‧ 1h 1m

    The old fairy story becomes an animation. Nice review.

    very beautiful, really amazing.upvote and resteem @talanhorne

    “Just kidding, I made that book up just now.” lol
    You are right, I did belive you.
    This wolf story I clearly remember from my childhood, I loved it. Now of course new version more modern has to be made.
    I love fairytale stories, not only animated, but especially when it’s based on true events.
    Great post though!

    I haven't known about Revolting Rhymes yet, but it has at least 7,8 out of 10 on imdb. I think I'll give it a try. Thank you for your detailed report and the hint to that unknown short animation movie. :)

    Wow amazing mivies review
    Some movie i watch and some movie i did not watch
    I hopeToday i will watch all movies.
    Thanks for sharing @talanhorne
    100% upvote and resteem done sir.

    This is valuable post. very frightening movie and good i think.
    @talanhorne
    Have a great day.

    Thank you for your efforts. it is interesting tv series and great work.And you are very good at writing articles.
    100% like and resteem

    Very nice..


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    @resteemia
    reteemed & upvoted

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    It's time to watch this anime. Fantastic review of it. Excellent post~

    Wow... It's an extraordinary review.... I love to see animated Netflix shows... Thanks for your post.… I like it

    I love Netflix and I am very grateful for my friend who allow me to use Netflix from her account for free. 😊

    ·

    You have really good friends.

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    ·

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    You've nicely explained title about Revolting Rhymes movie. I think it's best movie to everyone. Thanks for sharing.

    wow. amazing judgment Sir.I like Shrek movies. Very interesting article. thank you Sir.

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    Wow.... that’s great.... I am very much interested to see the Revolting Rhymes.... I like animated tv show very much in Netflix.... and your Netflix related blog inspired me a lot.....and I also love the fairytale like Cinderella..... it’s a great post.... thanks for sharing @talanhorne.....

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    @talanhorne, Looking to read and watch better fairy tales. Revolting Rhymes of Netflix series movie not interested me. Life some not much. But I can't give totally my judgement without watch. I give my idea only reading your post. Nice writing.

    shrek-forever-after-ss1.jpg

    I love sherk movies !!!! And my favorite also 😇

    I had your judgement and i am not gonna miss out on this one :D

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    ##Upvote/Resteem##

    This is valuable post and excellent writing with hopefully tv series .thanks for sharing.

    Upvote Resteem

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    Upvote Resteem

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    For your post propagation.
    Upvote/Resteem

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    @talanhorne

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    Netflix and @talanhorne great:)images.jpeg

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    The baby boss and captain these two movies are epic movie and funny . Though these movies are not similar to those fairy tale movies. But these movies got attraction of the audience. These movies gives new thinking. On the other hand in fairy tale movies we know easily what will be the finishing of these movies . Cause we listen these tale from our parents.I think may be this is reason writer just change the climax of the tale .
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful post.

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    @talanhorne,Great article. Execellent blog to write a history. Really original tales will stay alive for centuries and centuries after century.

    i am watching it currently but only watched it half till now and had to close due to some work but till now it was going great

    great movies @talanhorne. Thanks for sharing

    videotogif_2018.02.15_10.39.46.gif

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    I love to see animation movies especially Revolting Rhymes of Netflix Series really thanks to memorized and keep us entertaining. 100% upvote and resteem done .thanks once again

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    Wow! Nice post here.. I like Tom and jerry cartoon.. I watch it since 2003.. Thanks for your information.. Shrek is one of the famous movie.. Keep it up.. Stay blessed and be happy :)

    this is looks very quite interesting movie Revolting Rhymes interested to will be watch :) I love fairy tale

    " never do anything by halves . be outrages go the whole hog " from Matilda Rhold Dahl .one of my childhood favorites

    I love carton movies
    Thanks for sharing Thai keep it up

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    Well altering and making things new is kind of good but old things are well enough !Changes are necessary though,Netflix is indeed doing a great job by the way !I do like few as well !

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