Top 10 Fairy Tale and Fantasy Movie Adaptations With A Twist

There have been countless film adaptations of classic fairy tales. However, there have also been many adaptations that chose to spice things up by giving these stories a modern angle and appeal or have changed up the details completely. Examples include swapping the wolf from 'Little Red Riding Hood' for a serial killer, or Pinocchio for a robotic boy designed to love. Welcome to WatchMojo.com as we count down the top 10 fairy tale and fantasy movie adaptations with a twist.
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Top 10 Fairy Tale and Fantasy Movie Adaptations With A Twist


Reinvention keeps old things interesting! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down the top 10 fairytale and fantasy movie adaptations with a twist.

#10 – “Hoodwinked!” (2005)


Kicking off our list is the “Little Red Riding Hood” tale re-imagined as a police investigation mystery. Weird combo, huh? This family-friendly cartoon is told through a series of flashbacks that illustrate different characters’ memories, and eventually everything is explained as one hilarious misunderstanding. The dark classic may be de-fanged to be more kid friendly, but it still teaches a valuable lesson: don’t talk to strangers!

#9 – “Snow White and the Huntsman” (2012)


We would never call this one of the better “Snow White” adaptations, nor would we say that Charlize Theron ranks second to Kristen Stewart in the looks department. However, this film does change up a timeless classic. How? Well, it turns the fair maiden into an armor-clad Joan of Arc-type warrior who’s on a mission to take down the witch. That’s pretty badass!

#8 – “Black Swan” (2010)


Based on the “Swan Lake” ballet, this film retells the story of a princess who’s turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. While none of these elements show up in a literal form, the 2010 edition modernizes the narrative and its subject matter by replacing the curse with a mental breakdown that results from her punishing training regimen and insidious instructor.

#7 – “The Company of Wolves” (1984)


“Little Red Riding Hood” is already bleak, but this adaptation is even grimmer due to its focus on the dark side of men. The tale is told to a young girl by her grandmother, who warns of deceitful and dangerous werewolves that take on pleasing forms. Adding magical, psychological and sexual touches, this variation on the story cautions against temptation and mirrors lessons we already know.

#6 – “Splash” (1984)


This is what happens when Hollywood shakes things up: you get “The Little Mermaid” in New York City! “Splash” turns a classic Hans Christian Andersen fairytale into a cheesy ‘80s rom-com: As you’d expect, this retelling focuses on the mermaid’s search for love. But, its literal fish-out-of-water premise brings the laughs as we follow the star on her trek through this strange new world on dry land.

#5 – “Freeway” (1996)


Did you ever imagine “Little Red Riding Hood” as a twisted tale about a juvenile delinquent who flees her abusive parents to live with her grandmother, and is then abducted by a sadistic serial killer-pedophile who’s posing as a therapist? Yeah, us either – and it’s probably the last movie where you’d expect to see Reese Witherspoon and Kiefer Sutherland together. Did they really have to bring necrophilia into it? Poor grandma.

#4 – “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” (2001)



It’s the future, and David is a replacement robot programmed to love. Made obsolete by the return of his family’s real child, David grabs his teddy bear conscience and goes in search of the Blue Fairy to help make him a real boy. Sound familiar? It’s a loose adaptation of “Pinocchio,” and just like its source material, this is a dark and depressing tale, complete with some serious moral questions.

#3 – “Shrek” (2001)


This animated comedy classic dares to swap Prince Charming with a nasty ogre, while also combining the fairytales from our youth with pop culture references. “Shrek” has everything from the “Gingerbread Man,” to “Peter Pan” and the “Three Little Pigs”! A fairytale for a new generation, this flick is memorable for more than just its comedy, because it challenges accepted expectations and stereotypes. Plus, there’s a talking donkey!

#2 – “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000)


It’s Homer’s “Odyssey”: The Musical! This contemporary satire is a lighthearted take on the timeless story: it stars George Clooney as a prison escapee named Ulysses who embarks a bizarre journey in order to return home and reclaim his family. Along the way, he encounters everything from sirens to a menacing Cyclops! Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but somehow this translation is brilliant.

#1 – “The Matrix” (1999)


Taking the top spot on our list is the iconic action movie where the hero decides to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes! Substituting Alice’s dream for a computer world, “The Matrix” subtly incorporates other elements from Wonderland, ranging from checkerboard floors, to the white rabbit, to feline appearances that call everything into question. And, like Lewis Carroll’s original story, it forces the protagonist on an uncomfortable quest of self-discovery.

Do you agree with our list? Which fairytale or fantasy film adaptation has your favorite twist? For more entertaining top 10s, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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