Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Steadfast Tin Soldier retold by Cynthia Rylant; illustrated by Jen Corace (2013)

Why retell this story in the first place?

And then take out the sad ending, and replace it with a happy ending... why Disney-fy it?

In the Alderson version I just read, boys throw the tin soldier in the fire for no reason - pointless cruelty. And the winds of fate blow the dancer into the fire with him, where they are both consumed - but can not consummate their relationship.

The Rylant version has him pop out of the fire into the arms of his beloved - who had never even acknowledged him to begin with.  And he certainly never made his love known to her, one of the themes of the story.

Bah.  Why?  Wasn't Hans Christian Andersen a good enough storyteller?  This was an original story, no a fairy tale based on the oral tradition.  I think changing the ending is uncalled for -  a literary travesty.

The Steadfast Tin SoldierThe Steadfast Tin Soldier by Cynthia Rylant
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Why did the story need to be retold?  And then why change the ending so much? Every story doesn't need a happy ending.  I think Hans Christian Andersen was a good enough storyteller than he didn't need any additional help from Cynthia Rylant, no matter how great a writer she is.  Very disappointing.

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