Motion book publisher Madefire’s latest literary adaptation sees Heroes Club artist Ile Wolf tackle fairytales in his take on the Grimm’s Briar Rose (aka Sleeping Beauty). But will it be a magical fairy tale or a sleeping beauty?
Writer: Brothers Grimm
Artist: Ile Wolf
Price: Free from the Madefire iPad and app
Madefire‘s increasingly eclectic roster adds another literary adaptation to it’s line up with the Brothers Grimm’s Briar Rose – aka Sleeping Beauty – joining Dracula and Sherlock Holmes on the app’s front page!
The story remains the same as the Grimm original (they even get a writers credit) as a childless king and queen wish for a child from a fairy (or in this case a magical fish). W their daughter is born they only invite 12 of the 13 fairies of the realm to the celebrations so when the 13th arrives she curses the child to die on her 15th birthday by being pricked on the spindle of a spinning wheel. One of the fairies manages to change the curse to be eternal sleep not death and despite the king destroying every spindle in the kingdom Briar still manages to get pricked on her 15th birthday and the whole kingdom falls asleep for 100 years. After that time good old Prince Charming finds the castle, rides in to save the day and you know the rest.
Although this Madefire version remains incredibly faithful to Grimm’s original, artist Ile Wolf does have a bit of fun with the visuals giving Briar and co a slick modern Manga inspired look. It’s a refreshing change from the saccharine sweet Disney version and Wolf manages to give the individual characters plenty of unique features to help them stand out. Rose herself looks stunning, but it is the fairies who are the real highlights as they look like the forgotten roster from a Street Fighter reboot. She even gives this motley roster their own star turn with one of Madefire‘s patented panorama pages which lets the readers swipe to see them all in 360 degrees.
Wolf also has plenty of fun with the evil fairy, casting her as a king of Emily the Strange style teenage goth (but with hairy eyes?!) and crafts a superb action-packed scene when she arrives and curses Briar and her family. The screen zooms around as elements come in from all over the place and it’s probably the highlight of the entire book in terms of action as the rest of the story is fairly sedate.
This lack of action comes as something as a surprise on a first reading as based on the cover you would think Wolf had turned Briar into a kick ass female Anime heroine, but this isn’t the case. By sticking faithfully to the original story she at least avoids the trap of turning her into a cliched feisty female, but instead she doesn’t push the boundaries nearly as far as she could and so ultimately the book lacks a little bit of the x-factor to make it truly stand out from the crowd.
“Fans of Madefire‘s growing roster of kid friendly books like Heroes Club and My Little Pony will love this fantastic addition, as Sleeping Beauty is given a Manga-style motion book makeover courtesy of Ile Wolf. It looks stunning and has some great set pieces, but because it sticks so faithfully to the original story it ends a bit abruptly and lacks a truly jaw-dropping conclusion.”