Friday marks National Tell a Fairy Tale Day, and just about everyone knows the stories of “Sleeping Beauty,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Beauty and the Beast.” In no particular order, here are a few newer fantasies that probably don’t come to mind as quickly as the Disney classics.
A generation-spanning curse finally comes into effect when Penelope Wilhern (Christina Ricci) is born with the face of a pig. The curse will be lifted only if and when “one of her own kind” learns to love her, whatever that’s supposed to mean. “Penelope” is available on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video.
Based on Neil Gaiman’s 1997 novel of the same name, “Stardust” follows Tristan (Charlie Cox), a young man from the fictional English border town of Wall in the kingdom of Stormhold. One day, while searching for a fallen star, which he means to present to his beloved, Victoria (Sienna Miller), Tristan stumbles over the eponymous wall and finds himself in another world. The star, to his surprise, is named Yvaine (Claire Danes), and she is in grave danger. “Stardust” is available on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video.
In this musical romantic comedy, Amy Adams stars as Giselle, a young woman who dreams of finding her true love. When Giselle unknowingly interferes with an evil sorceress’ plans, she finds herself thrown out of her animated fairy-tale life and into a live-action New York City. Chaos ensues. The Oscar-nominated film co-stars Patrick Dempsey and James Marsden. “Enchanted” is available on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video.
“Van Helsing” (2004)
In this action gothic horror, Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) and Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale) join forces to defeat the nefarious Count Dracula (an over-the-top Richard Roxburgh). Ignore the negative reviews; this special effects-laden film is a great watch. “Van Helsing” is available on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
Based on Cornelia Funke’s 2003 novel of the same name, “Inkheart” follows literary adventurer Mo Flockhart (Brendan Fraser) as he attempts to keep his young daughter safe from the creatures he has inadvertently released from her storybooks. “Inkheart” is available on YouTube and Apple TV.
“Tuck Everlasting” (2002)
Winnie Foster (Alexis Bledel) runs off to escape being sent to boarding school. In the forest, she finds a mysterious young man named Jesse Tuck (Jonathan Jackson) drinking water from a stream that seems to be flowing out of the trunk of a tree. Jesse’s brother Miles kidnaps Winnie, bringing her to their family home where the Tucks say they will keep her until they can trust her with their secret. “Tuck Everlasting” is available on Disney+ and Apple TV.
“Ever After” (1998)
Inspired by “Cinderella,” “Ever After” follows a young woman named Danielle de Barbarac (Drew Barrymore) as she struggles to live with her stepmother (Anjelica Huston) and stepsisters (Megan Dodds and Melanie Lynskey) in 14th century France. The story is largely fictional, but real historical figures are woven into the plot throughout the film. Bonus: Dougray Scott as Prince Henry. “Ever After” is available on Disney+ and YouTube.
“A Knight’s Tale” (2001)
In this medieval comedy adventure film, Heath Ledger stars as William Thatcher, a young squire who dreams of becoming a knight. When the knight he squires for suddenly dies during a joust, William puts on the dead man’s armor and wins the tournament. Inspired by his victory, William continues training but falls short. And when it comes time again to face his rival, Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell), his work is cut out for him. “A Knight’s Tale” is available on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
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