We retell world-famous fairy tales and adapt them to modern times, teaching children courage, empathy, and compassion for a better, more just world.
Many fairy tales were originally written to teach children and young adults important moral values. But in more recent reinterpretations, those key life lessons have been lost, replaced by simplistic messages and stereotypical social norms. As such, modern versions of fairy tales like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are very different from the originals, teaching kids that girls must wait passively to be rescued by a ‘masculine’ Prince Charming, and that beauty is limited to the colour of one’s skin and the clothes one wears.
Our aim is to reclaim the lost lessons from these fairy tales but adapting them for today’s children.
The concept: challenging stigma through fairy tales
Twisted Tales is an entertaining and teaching universe of fairy tales told through an animated film, an augmented reality book, four audio tales, and a creative learning playground for children, teachers, and families. Each fairy tale within this universe aims to tackle a particular stigma: from physical, developmental, gender, and status stigma to the stigma of sexual assault.
The aim of the project is to teach children to think differently about diversity, social values, and gender roles, and to encourage creative and meaningful conversations between parents, educators, and children.
The process: creating through participation
From the very beginning, this project has been developed with the participation of children and their parents. Through a series of workshops, children have been inspired to create illustrations, sounds, and animation based on the story heard.
Book illustration and animation: different elements were then taken from the kids’ illustrations and combined to create a specific character or object. This newly created aesthetic was then translated into motion, combining 2D animation with stop-motion of real objects, props, and sets co-created by the children.
Closing song: in a burst of creativity sparked during one of the workshops, the children themselves wrote a song about our Cinderella, which was later recorded in the studio with a music producer, resulting in the theme song for the animated film.
Augmented Reality: an element still in development, the augmented reality app was conceptualised with seven students from the School of Humanity, aged 16 to 18. Building on relevant existing data and results of prototype testing, they developed an engaging and inclusive concept for the app, which aims to enrich the reader’s experience through participatory game-based tasks.
This approach ensures that the children and young adults have a co-creative and participatory role from the very outset of the project. So from an early age, they are shown the value of teamwork and co-creation as opposed to solitary creation.
By rewriting world-famous fairy tales such as Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, we aim to highlight the importance of understanding the challenges faced by discriminated individuals, and educate children and parents on how to challenge and reduce stigma.