Peter Rabbit and LOTR and the Big Bad Wolf
- Made curious by David Bratman's mention of it, I obtained on Interlibrary
Loan the book, THE CASE OF PETER RABBIT by Margaret Mackey.
She has a wonderful sentence on page 41 which I think applies well to the
"I have, at times during this work, been tempted to think that the first
requirement of a reworking of a text in a different medium must be the powerful
reimagining of the story within the constraints of the original story and also
within the constraints of the new medium."
The part about "constraints of the original story" is of course where many of
us think Jackson flubbed up.
Later she speaks of stories themselves and how children interpret the stories
In parallel, she quotes an anecdote (by Ann Trousdale, in =Children's
Literature in Education 20 (1), June 1989) of how the story of the Three Little Pigs
was read to a little girl in a softened, modern version (Disney) considered
more suitable for children: the Big Bad Wolf falls down the Pig's chimney into a
pot of boiling water, but all that happens is that he cries "YEOWWW!" in
pain, and rebounds up the chimney and escapes into the woods.
The child became very anxious on each viewing, stating that the Wolf would
come back. She even had some nightmares about the Wolf.
The final cure was reading her a version with an earlier and more "brutal"
ending where the Wolf is cooked, eaten, dispatched and done with.
Somehow I think this would have tickled CS Lewis.
But if you want to see a REAL switch, check out this Flower Child version:
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
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