The Master Maid
A young prince is hired by a giant to clean his stables (because cleaning stables is all the rage among royalty?) The giant warns him to never go into any of the other rooms. Because following the giant’s orders would make for a very short and rather unremarkable story, the prince makes an immediate bee-line for the rooms. In one, he discovers the giant’s maid. Cue the goo-goo eyes.
The maid gives the prince a helpful tip about stable-cleaning, which sounds like it could be the beginning of a Clorox commercial, but is actually a lot weirder. Apparently, these stables are magic. For every shovelful he cleans out, ten shovelfuls fly back in. i.e. It doesn’t end well.
When the prince doesn’t screw up his first real-world job, the giant realizes he’s been hanging out with his maid, which means he did the one thing the giant asked him not to do. Most people in this situation would fire the guy and leave a really bad Yelp review, but said giant has a flair for drama. He drags the maid out and orders her to kill the prince and make a stew.
Uh-oh. How are the two lovebirds going to wiggle out of this one? Only Disney will tell.
(Or, you know, you could read the rest of the story on Wikipedia. But that’s no fun).
The Wild Swans
The king’s new wife decides to make her stepchildren’s lives a living nightmare. She turns the 11 princes (jeez, 11? No wonder bio moms never make it out alive in these stories) into swans. She can’t bewitch the princess because she’s too pure of heart (what does that say about the princes? Are we not rooting for them anymore) so she has her banished.
The queen of fairies appears before an exiled Princess Elisa and tells her there is a way to save her brothers from their swanny hell: she has to knit 11 shirts out of stinging nettles. As if that weren’t enough of a bummer, Elisa doesn’t even get to complain because the magic doesn’t work unless she keeps a vow of silence until the last nettle is in place.
Soon, people notice this strange, homeless lady stockpiling on nettles and assume she’s a witch, and Elisa has no way to defend herself. The clock is ticking. Can she evade the angry mob and finish her knitting in time?
*Ok, maybe Disney will have to switch out knitting for something else. We know that spinning wheels are bad news in the fairytale world, but magic knitting against the clock doesn’t make for the most riveting viewing experience.
Vasilia The Beautiful
We’re starting to feel like fairytales don’t know how to fairytale without using the nasty stepmom trope. Vasilia is a really awesome gal with a father who has terrible taste in women. Her new stepmom sends her out into the forest to fetch light from Baba Yaga’s hut. Baba Yaga, for the uninitiated, is bad news. The walls around her house are built of human bones, so you know this witch means business. Vasilia is too afraid to run away, so she huddles outside until Baba Yaga finds her, and gives her a series of impossible tasks to complete before she can take a light. Which, we guess, is better than eating her. But nonetheless, spooky atmosphere, a plucky heroine, and her animated doll sidekick (oh we didn’t mention that? And you thought the skull-fence was creepy) could make for a solid Disney film.
The Enchanted Quill
Here’s a heroine who has no idea how to cook or clean, even though she gets a job as a maid in order to be close to the (no doubt hunky) prince. But she does procure an enchanted quill, which makes anything she writes come true. Sure, she starts out by using it in the most mind-numbingly boring way (you don’t waste your enchanted quills on conjuring pretty silverware, dude) but soon she’s warding off pesky suitors using word and wit. We bet Disney could take this even further in the entertainment department.
And the best part? The big reveal at the end: the crow from whose wing she pulled the quill isn’t just any ordinary crow…
The White Snake
Can you say Dr. Doolittle meets Disney? A curious servant steals a bite of white snake from his King’s mysterious supper, and finds that he can now understand and communicate with all the animals in the realm. So when he’s accused of stealing the Queen’s ring, and facing dire punishment, he needs to find an animal who knows what really happened.
So what'll it be, Disney? The ball's in your court now.