People come in all shapes and sizes in the world of fairy tales and real life. The main character of this Hans Christian Andersen story is named after her size: Tiny. No greater than the height of a thumb, Tiny struggles as moles and frogs try to make her their bride. Though Tiny befriends the woodland creatures who are closer to her size than normal humans, she eventually finds her place after meeting the small people who live amongst the flowers.
This book series by English writer Mary Norton (1903-1992) explores the world of tiny people living off of the goods they borrow from the regular-sized humans whose houses they occupy. The story follows the Clock family and their eldest daughter, Arrietty, who has not yet been allowed to go into the humans’ world and borrow like her mother and father. Being seen by humans is forbidden—until Arrietty encounters and forms a friendship with a character known only as the Boy, a visitor convalescing in the house after his bout with rheumatic fever. Norton’s work was adapted into an anime film by Studio Ghibli in 2010, and known in North America as The Secret World of Arrietty.
Prime Time and Beyond
Reality television shows about little people have become popular on channels like TLC and Lifetime. Little People, Big World followed the Roloff family, including parents Matt and Amy, who are both 4 feet tall, and their children, all who are of normal height except for their son Zach, who is a little person like his parents. The show ran for 239 episodes. Now in its second season, Lifetime’s Little Women: LA highlights the drama and adventures of six girlfriends living in Los Angeles, all of whom are little people.
This edition of Fairy-Tale Files is brought to you by Fairy Tale Review intern Mia Moran and poetry editor Jon Riccio.