More quotes from Guillermo on the topic of fairy tales:
From Atomic Chat:
The reality of that is cemented deeply into the most traditional fairytales that used to come out of the most harrowing of environments. People tend to forget that Hansel and Gretel came out of one of the biggest famines in Europe. Fairytales come from times of plague, famine, war. And we’re also seeing brutal moments of mutilation, cannibalism, infanticide, murder, you know, but fantasised. It is make believe, but the horror deal comes as a direct descendant of the fairy tale.
From Combustible Celluloid:
(On fairy tale themes of PAN'S LABYRINTH)
"There is such a huge tradition in fairy tales of the pre-pubescent heroine going through the tasks and the rite of passage," he says. "There are even books written about it by feminists and studious people who analyze fairy tales. The most powerful example is a tale by Hans Christian Andersen called "The Snow Queen," where the girl has to go through an ordeal that is ambiguous and scary and vaguely disturbing to rescue the boy she loves. You can have all the other films and stories added to that pile, and it's really a tradition."
From HighBeam Encyclopedia:
EM: Where did the idea for Pan's Labyrinth come from?
When I first thought of the idea, I was reading a book called The Science of Fairy Tales. I started making notes about the essential images and symbols in fairy tales: the key, the dagger, blood spilled, the choice, the three doors, the moon, the mother, the rose, the toad, the root, the underground, the mandrake, the unborn baby as a token for passage. So I distilled these elements and took them into another context, which was fascist Spain in 1944.