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 […]

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 […]

But HOW are the Fairy Tales Mashed-up in Children’s Television?

Fairy Tale Mashups. We all know about them. We’ve all seen them in many forms, from books to movies to TV. Fairy tale narratives are so short, simple, and familiar that it’s easy to combine them to make something new and fun out of these old stories. Studying the ‘why’ of fairy tale mashups gets to the heart of what we do at the FTTV project, but this particular post is about the ‘how’. HOW are these fairy tales mashed […]

Fairy Tale Mash-ups in Children’s Television: Digital Humanities Strategies (featuring Arthur)

Of all of children’s TV, my favorite show is Arthur, the adventures of that beloved, perpetually-eight-years-old aardvark and all of his friends and family that has been on the air since the year I was born, making it the second-longest running animated series in history. A season 5 episode of Arthur entitled “Just Desserts” (link to watch) (IMDb citation) has always been one of my favorites. After Arthur eats too much candy, he is thrown into an imaginative dream sequence […]

One Fairy Tale Girl’s Experience at a Very Serious Academic Folklore Conference

On the final day of the Western States Folklore Society conference, while waiting for Dr Rudy’s presentation to begin, I had a brief conversation with Dr. Tok Thompson of the University of Southern California. After introducing myself and answering affirmatively that this was my first time at a conference, he said “Oh, be careful, they’re addicting. Once you go to one you never want to stop going to them.” It seems like a strange concept. How can listening to presentations […]

Fat Fairies, Mash-Ups, and Advertisements: the Hypnotic Effect of TV Fairy Tales

On April 7-9, 2016, the FTTV Project Participants traveled from Provo, Utah to Berkeley, California to present their panel at the Western States Folklore Society Conference. Ariel Peterson was first up with her analysis of fairy godmothers that usually appear as fat fairies (whether in actual body type or symbolized by a round dress). Lauren Redding showed off her data about gender comparisons and inclusion of animal characters that she compiled from the FTTV Database. She was able to display many interesting […]