Saturday, November 3, 2012

Review of Fables, Vol. 2: Animal Farm, by Bill Willingham

Today I continue my discussion the Fables series with a brief review of Volume 2, which is the story arc known as Animal Farm.

To briefly recap volume one, we had all of our fairy tale characters living in a secret community in New York City, after they were forced to flee their homelands centuries ago. Snow White is essentially in charge, Bigby (the wolf) is now in human form and is sheriff. Snow White's lesser known sister, Rose Red, fakes her own death and is now (in volume 2) being punished with community service. Snow drags Rose with her on a trip to the farm, an upstate chunk of land where non-human looking fables hide from the mundane world. There they find discontent among the farms inhabitants, with a revolution being plotted against the human fables, perceived now as jailors and overlords.

Positive Comments

Now, at no time in my academic career was I actually made to read Animal Farm by George Orwell. At one point, we did read a summary and watch part of the movie for the purpose of knowing something about it, should it show up on one of our AP tests. I know the general idea, but not necessarily the details. However, I did find recognizable and humorous nods to the original story in this book, and I felt that was very smart.

I found the entire plot of the book engaging. It seemed realistic to me that the farm dwellers would ultimately feel underprivileged and restless, and that this might lead to violence. The real kicker for me was when Goldilocks turns up as a vocal ring leader on the side of the rebellion, she being sympathetic to the animals in light of her history. It was so shocking and so hilarious to see her grown up and wielding a gun--a serious stroke of genius.

We are given more ideas on what it is that makes fables tick, in terms of immortality and power. We are basically told that human belief helps to keep them alive. Not a new idea in the fantasy realm, but still one worth exploring in this world.

Critical Comments


Once the revolution comes to it's conclusion, we become removed from the story as it's now told second hand. I was a little disappointed, as I thought they could have shown a lot more in terms of the aftermath. It would have provided an opportunity to see more of the nonhuman fables, many of whom were glossed over so very briefly.



All I can really say is that you have to try the series to know if you'll like it. It's a great take on twisted fairy tales, and it's a lot of fun--it's humorous, smart, and quirky. I liked the plot of volume 2 perhaps a hair more than that of volume 1, which was more of a murder mystery and therefor not my cup of tea. So I will say that if you've read the first installment and felt kind of "meh" about it, it's worth trying this one to know for sure. 4 stars.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thoughtful comments are appreciated! I always respond to them, and I usually return the favor! Happy reading!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...