Hop o’ My Thumb
A Hansel and Gretelesque tale, the witch is replaced by an ogre who possesses a strong body, great height and cannibalistic streak. Published by Charles Perrault in 1697, these characteristics laid the template for ogres to come. Of note, Hop’s daughters with their grey eyes, oddly shaped noses and pointed teeth. Interestingly, the grey-eyed trend made its way to humans through designer contact lenses by last century’s end.
“Kleinduimpje Efteling” by Jeroen Kransen—originally posted to Flickr as Hop o’ My Thumb. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Puss in Boots
Likewise debuting in 1697, this ogre treats Puss in a most gentlemanly manner (the tale was published in courtly Paris). His downfall, however, lies in his penchant for animal shapeshifting. Once our ogre assumes the form of a mouse, Puss does what comes naturally to cats, swallowing him whole.
A generous host, yes. A rocket scientist, no.
This 2001 movie transforms the ogre into a sympathetic character through his desire for acceptance. Shrek bares little resemblance to ogres past, his green skin and trumpet-shaped ears diverging from the standard look. A staple in the DreamWorks empire, the Shrek series includes four movies and two holiday-themed television specials, not to mention the short film, Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party.
Ogre lucre, anyone?
This edition of Fairy-Tale Files is brought to you by Fairy Tale Review intern Catherine Walker and poetry editor Jon Riccio.