The project, “Now Upon a Time”, uses original fairytale story plotlines, but changes details so as to present stronger female characters
Spotted: Creative agency, The Martin Agency, has begun a non-profit project that will re-imagine classic fairytales for a modern era. The project, “Now Upon a Time”, uses original fairytale story plotlines, but changes details so as to present stronger female characters, and more positive role models for both boys and girls.
The project started when The Martin Agency’s SVP and creative director, Neel Williams, was reading a bedtime story to his two young daughters. It is well known that fairytales are heavily gender-stereotyped, with girls and women in the stories almost always rescued by their male counterparts, and Williams recognised how unhealthy and backwards thinking this is. Creatives at The Martin Agency rework the stories and produce new visual versions online, as well as podcasts and audiobooks. What is more, all of the material is free.
Thus far, the agency has reworked six stories, including “Lil’ Ruby Riding Hood”, and it has many more in the pipeline. The motive behind the podcasts and audiobooks is to help children to use their imagination, to aid busy parents who may not have time for a bedtime reading and, of course, to redefine gender stereotypes from a young age. The music and audio production was created for free by Rainmaker Studios, BANG and Pull.
The Martin Agency is keen to emphasise that the stories are not just for girls. Williams told Campaign US: “Yes, it’s addressing a bit of a princess problem, but the characters and storylines are appealing to everyone, and we need to put these positive role models and smarter, braver princesses in front of the next generation of young men.”
At Springwise, we have covered a number of innovations aimed at making education more accessible. These have included a wand that uses computer vision to read books aloud and a book platform that encourages reading through gamification.