Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by Barefoot Knuckle. Enjoy!
Hey everybody! It’s Barefoot Knuckle here and today I will be talking about the many similarities Fairytale Island has to other works in pop culture. Most of these are probably just a coincidence, but I think it’s very interesting to discuss, plus fun and hilarious at the same time!
Okay, this island has SO MANY similarities to other stuff, it’s insane. Of course there are the obvious easter eggs like the Poptropican Fairy Godmother being modeled after Shrek 2’s Fairy Godmother.
But Fairytale Island mostly reminds me of the Happily N’Ever After series from Lionsgate. Now although I only ever watched the first one, the second movie’s trailer was also reminiscent of the whole “Rumpelstiltskin causing Snow White to fall asleep” scenario.
The first movie (2006) was a lot like Fairytale Island though. You had one fairytale villain who seized power over all the happily ever afters and started messing them up so no one could have a happy ending. Then Cinderella learns how to be a strong, independent woman and everyone has different happily ever afters in the end.
Of course, they defeated the villain in the movie, and in the second movie as well, which was different from what happened in Fairytale Island. But other than that, Cinderella’s pink dress, Snow White’s purple and blue outfits, the dwarves’ tough looking design and the Prince’s personality and design all resemble how the characters are shown in Happily N’Ever After.
Another resemblance is the trend of showing fairytale princesses as modern, independent women. We saw this in Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018), where all the princesses gathered in lounge wear. And in Fairytale Island, the princesses are working girls. You can’t be lounging around the house when there are animals to cure, guitars to play, and pizzas to deliver.
(Also, comment if you want me to draw Poptropica’s princesses with Disney’s princesses and I will include it at the end of my next post!)
When Fairytale Island was first released, some fans noted that it was rare to see Cinderella as a Black woman, but it has been done before. In The Wonderful World of Disney (1997) Cinderella, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella was portrayed by Brandy (yes, that is her name). Although there isn’t much similarity in terms of dress design, her hair and crown does share a similar style to Poptropica’s Cinderella.
Combined with Happily N’Ever After’s Cinderella with her pink dress and story arc (though she never turned into a rock star), Poptropica’s new take on the classic princess had a lot of throwbacks to past concepts on the character. Also, is it just me, or does the pink hair and punk style remind anyone of the rock artist, Pink?
Then there are the character designs in the “Red’s Food Delivery” side quest. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Red Riding Hood in a modern tomboy look, since the movie Hoodwinked (2005) (another movie I’ve only seen the trailer for) portrayed Red Riding Hood as a tough karate girl who wore jeans.
Now Poptropica’s Red Riding Hood doesn’t seem like she’s specialized in any defenses, but she does have that tough girl look about her. And even though they don’t share the same personality, the grandma in Hoodwinked and the grandma in Fairytale Island share a very similar look. And from what I’ve seen in the trailer, the huntsman in Hoodwinked seems just as weird as the huntsman from Fairytale Island.
The whole island is kind of like a couple other middle grade book series about fairytales, like Whatever After by Sarah Mlynowski and The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer. Red Riding Hood’s pet in Colfer’s series, Clawdius, is just about the equivalent of Fairytale Island’s Big Bad Wolf.
And what about that Gravity Falls similarity with these little guys, huh?
The final easter egg I’ll bring up has to do with the island’s villain, Rumplestiltskin. You know that part where the player says his name three times and apparently he’s free? Well, the same thing happens in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice (1988) when this ghost couple and this goth girl say a creepy ghost’s name three times and he’s free to help them get revenge or something. It was recently adapted into a Broadway show (with a song called “Say My Name” — and that’s all I know).
But what do you guys think? Is Fairytale Island just a mashup of pop culture references? Is Cinderella’s pink hairstyle a nod to rockstar Pink? Did the creators intentionally put a Beetlejuice reference in the script? And what kind of pop culture reference would you like to see in Poptropica?
For more trivia, check out the PHB’s Fairytale Island Guide. Keep an eye out for my next posts! I think you’ll like them!
Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Barefoot Knuckle. If you did, you might also enjoy other guest posts here on the PHB!
The Poptropica Help Blog welcomes interesting Poptropica insights from anyone in the Poptropica community with thoughts to share. Interested in writing for the PHB? We’d love to hear from you! 📰✨