Monday, August 26, 2013

Ichabod Crane, Action Hero?

Fox's Ichabod in past and present Sleepy Hollow

 Much like the Disney-fying of all fairy tales on TV's 'Once Upon a Time,' -where the characters become unrecognizable in a soap opera format- Ichabod Crane's name recognition has transformed him to action hero, a polar opposite to what his creator, Washington Irving, intended. 

Is this a bad thing? Probably, especially if folks never read the original source materials on these folk stories and tales. Here we have a serious erosion of higher level thinking and great themes of literature. The original stories are actually more amusing and profound, even when Disney did them in the first place. 

Will I watch Fox's 'Sleepy Hollow.' Yeah, I will. I really like Roberto Orci's work, and the interaction of the Revolutionary period and current times compels me.


Steampunk Ichabod.

How did this happen to Ichabod? Johnny Depp's Ichabod, in the 1999 'Sleepy Hollow' film, transitioned Ichabod to a sleuth from a schoolteacher. It was a horror movie, with Ichabod finding the superstitions to be actuality. Part of the humor in the original story is that as Ichabod relates the old wives' tales to the old wives of Sleepy Hollow in the introduction of the story, he scares himself, too. There is plenty of inference that the Headless Horseman was probably a ruse.

So now the pedagogue (Irving's words) becomes time-traveling adventure hero. And a captain in the Revolutionary Army.

But is our true Ichabod, the nerdy, gawky, lady's man lost to the new generation of readers? Hope not-- "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" in the original version by Washington Irving was required reading in seventh grade til about 10 years ago. It is really funny. Kids can see the character development, make a plot diagram, and predict the outcome. The short story is great for developing literary chops while demonstrating why we read literature in the first place: enjoyment.

 So, let's enjoy all the versions. The last link is a summary of introducing kids to the original Ichabod, and links to Disney's hilarious version of Sleepy Hollow. Why not compare and contrast the old and new? That would be very enjoyable.

 The new Ichabod:

Tom Mison To Star As Ichabod Crane In Fox’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Pilot 

Sleepy Hollow new trailer introduces Ichabod Crane 

The oldest Ichabod:

You might also enjoy this summary of the original Ichabod. Disney's version always delighted all my classes, K-12. Even the high school seniors laughed aloud. It is a poem narrated and sung by Bing Crosby.

Tis the Season: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

 Tis the Season: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Tis the Season: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Tis the Season: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Ichabod an action hero? Not in the mind of creator Washington Irving.

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