Fairy-Tale Files, published once weekly, feature three variations of a fairy tale chosen by one of Fairy Tale Review’s editors.
The Syfy Channel’s 2007 revisioning of The Wizard of Oz includes two characters, Emily and Hank, parents of the protagonist, DG. It’s later revealed that Emily and Hank are androids who’ve been functioning as her caretakers since childhood. Though cyborgs, their humaneness has allowed DG to thrive in Kansas throughout the years.
Isaac Asimov explores the robot-as-caretaker theme in the 1940 short story (his fourteenth), “Robbie.” The title character is a robot that serves as a companion to a young girl named Gloria. Asimov claims he wrote this work to dispel the pervading mindset that viewed artificial life-forms as creations with an inherent proclivity for turning against their human creators.
What if an arch villain were to build a mechanical governess so he could further his plans for world domination? Stan Lee’s comic book character, Magneto, creates Nanny in Uncanny X-Men #112 (August, 1978) to bathe, feed and dress the imprisoned X-Men, whose motor-physical capabilities he reduced to an infant state. What did Nanny sound like? To quote the X-Men’s leader, Cyclops: “That voice! Like a marshmallow soaked in honey.”
And you thought your GPS was bad.
This edition of Fairy-Tale Files is brought to you by Fairy Tale Review intern Nola Christopher-Meziab and poetry editor Jon Riccio.