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Fairy Tale Ideas
A blast from the past...a series of fairy tale ideas for short films from the KFMG fairy tale short film era. Gruff has obviously already been adapted...


Three Billy Goat’s Gruff (Norwegian tale...not a Grimm’s)

Story: Three goats need to cross a bridge under which a troll lives who wants to eat them. The first goat is the smallest and convinces the troll to wait for the next goat who is larger and a better meal. The troll waits and the second goat convinces him of the same. The third goat comes along, is huge and tosses the troll in the river with his horns.

Adaptation: Could be adapted as a thief waits under a bridge and a traveller convinces him to wait for the next fellow who is wealtheir, etc. until the third traveller is huge and throws the thief into the river.

Simple concept. Short story. Few if any props/effects required.

Three Billy Goats Gruff story link


The Singing Bone (Grimm’s)

Story: A wild boar in the forest is killing people, livestock and ravaging crops. The king offers a large reward to whoever kills it. No one would go after the powerful boar so the king offers his daughter as reward. Two poor brothers, the older cunning and prideful, the younger innocent and good-hearted, agree to kill the boar. They enter the forest at opposite ends, with the innocent one being given a special spear by a dwarf to kill the boar becase of his good-heartedness. This he does and with the boar over his shoulder on the way out of the forest finds his cunning prideful brother had stopped to drink and party at a house instead. The older calls the younger to celebrate with them. Later while crossing a bridge home at night the older kills the younger, buries him under the bridge and takes the boar. Everyone believes the older brother caught the boar and the younger must have been killed by it. Years later a shepherd drives his flock over the bridge and sees a small bone, picks it up, carves it into a mouthpiece for his horn. When blowing on it, the bone sings about having been killed by his brother. The shepherd plays it for the king, the king has the skeleton dug up and upon seeing it the older brother is sewn into a sack and drowned in the river.

Adaptation: Doesn’t need to be a forest, doesn’t necessarily need to be a dangerous animal, or animal doesn’t need to be shown. The rest is workable. Could be a dark medevil feel.

A more involved story, still doesn’t require large cast. Would need some props...bone(s), sack, thing to be sought/captured, etc. Probably the most ambitious undertaking of these suggestions.

The Singing Bone story link


Clever Else (Grimm’s)

Story: Time for Else to get married. Along comes Hans but won’t marry her unless she’s smart. Hans, the maid and Else’s mother and father sit upstairs while she is told to go to the celler and fetch some beer. While pouring the beer Else sees a pickax stuck in the wall above her and begins to cry thinking if she marries Hans and they have a child and the child grows up, goes to the celler to pour some beer the pickax will fall, hit him in the head and kill him. She stays there crying for her foresight. Mother, father, the maid and Hans are getting restless so the maid comes to see what the trouble is. Else explains how the pickax will fall on the head of her grown son if she has a child with Hans if she marries him. Maid breaks down crying too. After a while mother goes down, hears the same reasoning and stays with them crying. Eventually father comes down to see what is holding them up. He is told Else’s clever thinking and he too stops and cries unendingly, each of them remarking how clever Else is for seeing how her future child will die. Finally Hans goes down to see the trouble, is told the same story, sees how clever Else is and agrees to marry her.

Adaptation: Nothing really needs to be changed.

The story is actually a bit longer but this is the fun portion. Simple, almost no props. Hilariously stupid...why not just take the pickax down?

Clever Else story link

more stories continued in next post...
Art and Structure design studio -
Godfather Death (Grimm’s)

Story: A poor man has a 13th child and decides to ask someone he meets on the road to be the godfather; it turns out to be death. Death promises to make the boy rich and famous, tells him as a young man to be a doctor and when someone is sick watch if Death is at the head of the patient, the young man will cure the patient but if Death were at the patients feet he could not interfere. The young man tricks Death by turning the table/bed around so Death would be at the head not the feet in order to save a victim and claim a large reward. Death warns him not to do it again but when a king’s beautiful daughter is on her death bed and is offered in marriage if the young man saves her, he tricks Death again. Death grabs the man and leads him to a dark underground cave filled with candles of different size and duration explaining they are people’s lives. He shows the young man a small candle stub about to go out and explains it is his life. The boy pleads death to give him a new one and Death says one can not be lit until another goes out. The young man pleads for Death to place the stub on a larger candle so when it goes out it continues on the large candle. Death pretends to agree but in so doing allows the stub to go out. The young man drops dead.

Adaptation: The godfather and young child element isn’t necessary. Could simply be a deal wih death. Lends itself to a dark and shadowy atmosphere. The candle room could be fun and inexpensive.

Simple story, requires few props. Great part for Death.

Godfather Death story link


The Turnip (Grimm’s)

Story: Two brothers, one rich, the other poor. The poor becomes a farmer and plants turnip seeds. One grows enormously large and as he has no use for a giant turnip, offers the rare oddity to the king as a gift. The king, astounded by the turnip gives the farmer riches in return for this one of a kind gift. The other brother, now jealous of his formerly poor brother who is now richer than he, decides to give the king a gift of all his riches...for if the king gave so much just for a giant turnip, imagine what he would give in return for having been given riches. The king is beside himself with how generous the formerly richer brother is being with his gift and says he has nothing he could imagine giving in return for this generous act...except...a rare giant turnip!

Adaptation: Doesn’t have to be a king. Doesn’t have to be a turnip, but easy story with great face-palm moment at the end.

Simple story, few props.

The Turnip story link


A Tale With a Riddle (Grimm’s)

Story: Three women are turned into identical flowers but one is allowed to spend nights as a woman in her own home. One night as dawn approaches and she has to go back to the field she tells her husband if he picks her she will be free of her curse...and he does so the next morning because as she was not in the field all night she was the only of the three identcal flowers not covered in dew.

Adaptation: None really needed. Husband could be changed to suitor.

Simple story...partial artsy abstract element with flower shots...almost could be a silent “emotive” film...little dialogue.

A Tale With a Riddle story link
Art and Structure design studio -
These sound like fun. The Godfather Death sounds like fun, and the Singing Bone is really creepy.
"Our films don't get finished, they just get released."
John Lasseter
The Singing Bone is great material for a short, very "Grimm's" film. It is a bit of a production though to do right propwise, etc. As I mentioned above I think it is the more ambitious of the bunch.

When we voted on stories to take for the dueling shorts idea, Godfather Death came in a very close third behind Clever Else. The scene at the end could be especially visually fun with all the candles in the cave, though this is where a better camera may be desired, as I believe the type of cameras we've been using wouldn't be clear enough to see all the candles, foreground and background...or the flames, etc.

Jesse Widener
Art and Structure design studio -
Agreed. Godfather Death had my vote from the beginning, which may have related to my somewhat apathetic feelings towards the Clever Else project. I think I might even start working on a script for Godfather Death and Singing Bone.
"Our films don't get finished, they just get released."
John Lasseter
If anyone is still interested, I can post the script to Clever Else here and people can look it over and decide if they want to help out. I think it would be a fun project, but I cannot do it alone. Okay, I can, but it would take a lot of time and I do not have women's clothing. Plus, I think this should be a group project, not just a Jason Boese project. So, let me know if you are interested in seeing my script.
Ban reason: Continued bashing of others only hinders you. Please just make films! (Permanent)
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Have you written anything for the Godfather Death? I still think you should do it!

(04-12-2012, 02:21 PM)CFoster316 Wrote: Agreed. Godfather Death had my vote from the beginning, which may have related to my somewhat apathetic feelings towards the Clever Else project. I think I might even start working on a script for Godfather Death and Singing Bone.
I haven't yet; I have a lot of projects in the works right now. I hope to start it soon though.
"Our films don't get finished, they just get released."
John Lasseter

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