Fairy tale characters

What would these fairy tale characters be like in 2021?

We re-imagined some of the most popular fairy tale characters in their modern-day avatars. Here’s our take on how they’d think, talk and act circa 2021.
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Our earliest memories are filled with stories—stories of sweet and docile princesses, evil witches and charming princes that stayed with us even as we grew older. Snow White, Cinderella or Ariel, Belle, the Beast or Prince Charming, these characters enchanted us and enriched our imaginations. But as we grew older, we saw them in a different light. Princesses seemed naïve and passive, ‘happily ever after’ wasn’t always believable, and Prince Charming no longer had the same charm.

That said, a dive into the history of these fairy tales unravels some interesting facts. According to researchers at universities in Durham and Lisbon, the most popular fairy tales can be traced back thousands of years, reports BBC. These tales of fictitious, fascinating adventures were originally written for adults. It was only in the 19th and 20th centuries that fairy tales became part of children’s literature. These stories were passed down from one century to the next such that they came to influence our worldviews.

But the new age enthusiast wonders if these stories have any relevance in the modern world. Do the centuries-old messages translate to our realities today? How would our beloved characters be if these tales were written today? Would Little Red Riding Hood be naïve to trust the cunning wolf? Would Ariel’s dream in life be walking on land and meeting the prince? Would Belle still fall in love with the Beast? And would Prince Charming’s ultimate purpose in life be to find the damsel with the glass slipper?

With this in mind, we re-imagined some of the most popular fairy tale characters in their modern-day avatars. Here’s our take on how they’d think, talk and act circa 2021.

Snow White

Snow White-Soulveda

In 2021, Snow White wouldn’t run away from her stepmother, nor would she silently accept any injustices.

Snow White had skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood and hair as dark as ebony­—just like her mother had wished. But unfortunately, her mother dies at childbirth, and her father, the king, remarries. The new Queen owned a magic mirror, to which she would ask, “Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?”

When the Queen realises Snow White is growing up to be more beautiful than her, she sets a huntsman to kill her. However, Snow White manages to escape and runs off into the forest where she meets seven dwarfs who allow her to stay with them. In another attempt to kill Snow White, the Queen, disguised as a farmer’s wife, gives her a poisoned apple. A bite of it sends her into a deep sleep. The dwarfs watch over her, praying for her to wake up when the prince finds them with the princess he had met so long ago and breaks her sleep with a kiss, after which they lived happily ever after.

In 2021, Snow White wouldn’t run away from her stepmother, nor would she silently accept any injustices. She would be fearless and empowered. She would try to amend her relationship with the Queen through dialogue and take up more responsibilities as a princess. She will no longer be a damsel in distress, waiting to be saved.

Her stay in the forest, too, would not be limited to taking care of the dwarfs’ home. She would spread awareness about conserving the forest and nurturing an eco-friendly approach to create a sustainable environment.

Ariel

Ariel-Soulveda

In 2021, Ariel would try to benefit fellow beings dwelling in the oceans.

Ariel is a mermaid princess with the most enchanting and magical voice. But all is not well in her life. She is unhappy because she is confined to the ocean. She is curious about the human world and often swims to the surface to get a glance at it. During one such visit, Ariel saves a handsome Prince and falls in love with him. Now, all she wants in life is to be with him. She makes a deal with the wicked Sea-witch, who gives her a potion that would give her legs but take away her voice. Ariel eventually finds her Prince and they are finally together.

In 2021, Ariel would try to benefit fellow beings dwelling in the oceans. To stop her ‘beloved human world’ from polluting her home, she would educate them to be more responsible towards the environment. She would no longer just focus on her life with the Prince but also strive to keep the oceans clean. Ariel would be our quintessential woke environmental activist and a role model for her peers.

Mulan

Mulan-Soulveda

In 2021, Mulan would still be a warrior. But this time, she would fight for a different cause—perhaps for women’s empowerment.

Mulan was a legendary warrior woman, who wanted to protect the honour of her family and her father’s life. In the wake of war, the Emperor of China had released a conscription notice—mandating one man from every family to join the Imperial Chinese Army. Being the only daughter, Mulan cut her hair, disguised herself as a man, and replaced her ageing father. But she didn’t go alone. She had a small red dragon, Mushu, on her side. Together, and with the help of fellow soldiers, they not only won the war but also protected the emperor’s life.

In 2021, this fairy tale character would still be a warrior. But this time, she would fight for a different cause—perhaps for women’s empowerment. And she wouldn’t do that in disguise. She would march toe to toe with others, raising banners and yelling at top of her voice, with her hair floating in the wind. Be it any corner of the world, she would fight for women, as a woman.

Prince Charming

Prince Charming-Soulveda

In 2021, marrying Cinderella wouldn’t be Charming’s sole purpose.

Prince Charming is one of the central fairy tale characters in the popular Cinderella tale. He is the prince of the Faraway Kingdom, known for his good looks and kindness. Charming is a hopeless romantic. He falls for Cinderella in their first meeting at the Grand Ball. But before he could even know her name, she flees the castle, leaving her glass slipper behind. The prince then uses that to find Cinderella and marry her. That was his mission in life.

In 2021, marrying Cinderella wouldn’t be Charming’s sole purpose. He would have a much bigger purpose in life. In a world grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, he would endeavour to keep the people in his kingdom safe. He would fund noble causes such as arranging free vaccinations drives. The prince would be much more than just ‘charming’. He would be a conscious leader who cares about his kingdom.

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