Edutainment Strategies: Sesame Street’s Story Book Community School

The first of four case study posts about my presentation for Western States Folklore Society’s Annual Meeting in April 2018. Introduced here, the presentation was titled Princess and the Letter P: Fairy Tales and Edutainment in Preschool Television. The other case studies can be found here. Sesame Street started in 1969 as one of the most groundbreaking shows in preschool television, originating the form of the pedagogical, publicly funded children’s show. The creators of Sesame Street had everything from a “pedagogical […]

Preschool Edutainment and Fairy Tales: The Groundwork

My last big project was about fairy tale mashup episodes in children’s television, and took a large-scale data approach. In choosing a new research topic, I remained interested in the phenomenon that, currently, fairy tales are marketed as “kid stuff.” If marketers want adults to watch their content, they usually sell it as either “gritty” or as nostalgic. TV uses fairy tales because the audience is familiar with the plots and motifs, but what about a child’s possibly first interaction […]

FTTV Visits Digital Humanities Utah

Two weeks ago, the FTTV team had the opportunity to attend DHU3, the Digital Humanities Utah conference. A quick trip up to Logan (even through the snow storm) was worth it to get to the conference generously hosted by Utah State University on February 23-24. It served as a great chance to meet people working in digital humanities, hear about their projects and ideas, and share about our own project. Our presentation format as a roundtable enabled all the members […]

Unbirthday Tea Party: “We’re All Mad Here” Event Recap

Our 4th annual Unbirthday Tea Party brought in a wide variety of Alice fans and fairy tale fans alike. Everyone knows that our research team is mad about fairy tales, and we wanted to share that passion by discussing the portrayal of madness in Alice in Wonderland adaptations across time. As the audience enjoyed tea and cookies, Erica and Lauren tag-teamed their way through a discussion of the original novel and early film adaptations, then followed up with an overview […]

From the Page to the Screen: Why We Study Fairy Tales on Television

Just as Scheherazade spun tales for the king that kept his interest for 1001 nights, so do the shows we watch spin tales that entrance and delight us until we’ve binge-watched our way through an entire series. From the oldest listed fairy tale based television program in our database, a Disney Animated Short on Cinderella that was released in 1922, to Toyota’s latest C-HR ad, also based on Cinderella, TV audiences have been treated to a wide variety of shows, […]

The ‘Why’ of Fairy Tales and Animation

Nearly half of the data points in our FTTV database come from animated shows or specials, including the oldest entries in our database, the 1922 animated short “Cinderella” (video) and “Three Little Pigs” from 1933 (video). This led me to a question. What is it about fairy tales that lends them so well to animation? Furthermore, what is it about animation that makes it such a great medium for telling fairy tale stories? As Paul Wells states in Animation: Genre […]

“Fairy Tale Weddings”: The Examination of a Misnomer

Week three of Applied English guest posts comes to you from Emma Anderson. This was written for Dr. Rudy’s 394r class from Winter semester, and similar posts will be continuing throughout the summer. Hope you enjoy!   Sunlight glistening through the ivied trellis. Flowers in full bloom. Birds chirping their sweet songs. A three-foot-tall pastry dressed in elaborate icing. A procession of satin, lace, and tulle along a pathway freshly strewn with petals. A long, graceful gown with a grandly […]

Young Meets Old: Contemporary Children’s Television and Traditional Grown-Up Fairy Tale Characters

Television for children has characters that are children, right? It seems like an obvious assumption. The most clear way to communicate to a viewer that a show is for children, besides using puppets or animation, is to have the characters on the screen be the same age as the target audience. How does this relate to fairy tales? Fairy tales have a tendency to be loosely structured and contain few details by way of location, age, or other characteristics. The […]

Visualizing Wonder: English 394R Winter 2017

English 394 is no ordinary English class, this class is specially designed to teach you marketable skills that will help you in the workplace. In this class, you will: Gain a working knowledge of the contemporary scholarship in the field of fairy tale studies in the context of media studies and adaptation studies Build a solid grasp of the field and practice of digital humanities and use those strategies to approach the study of fairy tales and television in innovative […]

Girls and Boys and Animals: Graphing Patterns in Mash-up Episodes

One of the unique elements of TV is that they don’t have to market towards a specific group to buy their product, the way movies, books, or toys do, so they work to make a product that will attract as many viewers as possible across a much wider spectrum. Though children’s TV is created with children specifically in mind, the shows want to attract as many different types of children as possible. This makes studying gender patterns of characters and tales […]