Once upon a time, way down below the ocean, there lived a little mermaid who longed to be part of a different world. This week, Derek and Laurel deconstruct one of the most beloved stories of all time, from its ancient mythic inspiration to its 19th Century origins—all the way to the classic Disney animated movie. We’ll break apart tragic themes and what it means to give a happy ending to a heartbreaking fairy tale, and explore the social hierarchies and family dynamics that make The Little Mermaid a perfect allegory for some of our worst fears. And, most importantly, everything comes back… to Plato.
Have you ever walked into the edge of the woods and wondered if the shadows moved? Was it a fairy, a faun? Ever considered the possibility that a magical realm lived just outside the grasp of humanity? On this, the 50th episode of the Midnight Myth, Derek and Laurel go back to the fairytales and myths that have shaped human existence as they discuss Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 masterpiece, Pan’s Labyrinth. Del Toro expertly intertwines the politics of 1944 Spain with magical realism, delighting our senses while challenging the conventions of traditional fairytale paradigms. The underworld, princesses and monsters get reinvented as they are juxtaposed to the reality of fascism and the oppression of dictatorship.
Thank you to all of Midnight Myth listeners, without you, we would have never made it to 50 episodes!