Okay, it’s almost here… twelve days to Christmas and counting. So, in the vein of always trying to be a little alternative, my twelve days of Christmas starts now… with my TWELVE FAES OF CHRISTMAS!
That’s right folks, here’s my top 12 fairy stories for you to fire up over the Christmas season. So fill your fairy boots with these movies of the fae and the fantastical. Horror, fantasy and fairtytales all jumbled up in a countdown of 12 Faevourites for the big and the small screen. The list is in no particular order and is no guarantee of brilliance or artistic merit… just ones I like.
Stop rolling your eyes… the punning is over.
David Bowie. Tights. Say no more.
2.The Dark Crystal
Jim Henson creates world of elfin like creatures and a story line that means you can watch this over and over again… possibly back to back. A great family film with a dark edge. You can guarantee a few re-runs on TV over Christmas. Let’s hope this is one of them.
This is Peter Pan part 2, with a stellar cast and a Tinkerbell that’s a bit on the grumpy side if I recall. Perfect to veg out to after you’ve filled your face with turkey.
This film had people drinking Absinth in the vague hope that the green fairy, in the form of Kylie Minogue, would flutter through their window. Song, dance, productions that’s a total assault on the senses. It may not be set at Christmas, but the glorious “technicolour” certainly has a festive vibe.
A vengeful spirit, a malevolent Tooth Fairy. What’s not to love? Fairies in a lot of folklore are not pretty, pleasant things. They are evil little snots that cause mischief at best and steal your kids at worse. One to watch once the kids have gone to bed and after a day of cooking and cleaning up after people, you are in the mood to kill.
6.The 10th Kingdom
Technically a mini-series rather than a film, but many of our traditional fairy tales get an awesome reworking in this high production number. Originally shown in the UK around Christmas time if I recall correctly, and at nine episodes there’s plenty of quality viewing here to fill in the gaps in your TV schedule.
7.The Wizard of Oz
The one, the only, accept no substitute Christmas movie for me. This was on ever year when I was growing up and probably accounts for why I am such a massive Judy Garland fan. If you haven’t seen it you must do so immediately… go on, now, off you go.
8. The Slipper and the Rose
My earliest recollection of the Cinderella story (I was never a fan of Disney as a kid) with a pre-Thorn Birds Richard Chamberlain, a very young Gemma Craven and one of my all time favourites Margaret Lockwood (side note: The Wicked Lady is the best “highwayman” film EVER)
9. Forever After
A lovely reworking of the tale with Drew Barrymore as the titular heroine.
How I like my fairies… dark and vengeful
I’m tempting you here. This isn’t going to be out before Christmas, but Kenneth Branagh’s version of the fairytale is due to be released in March. With Helena Bonham Carter signed on to this, you know it’s going to be good.
12.Don’t be Afraid of the Dark (aka Dark Fairy)
You weren’t going to get off that easy! Another horrorful take of fairy lore with a good old fashioned reworking of what we know fae are – evil little terrors that steal children.
Encore, Encore I hear you shout. Okay, well here’s one last bonus film for you before I go. Changling fae or fire starting psychopath? I’ll let you decide. Dark, beautifully shot, disturbing, with a nod to Irish Folklore. My farewell ends on…
The Daisy Chain