Mythical creatures have been inspiring us for millennia, with stories of dragons, unicorns, trolls and more captivating the imaginations of both adults and children alike. Indeed, mythical beings have formed the basis for many popular films and books, as well as some of the best theatre shows for families, such as Dragons and Mythical Beasts Live, where families are introduced to a host of fantastic beasts. So let’s take a look at how mythical creatures have influenced modern TV, film and literature.
Harry Potter series
The Harry Potter series includes an array of mythical beings, from the frightening basilisk to the wise centaurs of the Forbidden Forest. Most of the creatures featured in the best-selling books are drawn from European mythology, being rooted in Greek myths. They form a key part of the novels, proving integral to the plot lines of The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban in particular.
Trolls, elves and dwarfs are all a big part of JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit. Both a book and an epic film trilogy, this story features an episode where Bilbo the hobbit shows his cunning by keeping several trolls arguing for so long that the sun comes up and turns them all to stone. As a result, he and his friends avoid becoming a meal for these scary monsters.
How to Train Your Dragon
Often portrayed as fearsome creatures, dragons inspired the popular children’s book and film series, How to Train Your Dragon. In the adorable films, dragons turn out not to be the fierce, bloodthirsty creatures they’re assumed to be. Instead, they act more like cats and dogs, enjoying play and responding fondly to humans when treated with respect. They end up helping Hiccup and his friends and becoming a beloved part of life on the isle of Berk.
Perhaps one of the most famous and celebrated stories influenced by fairies, Peter Pan is beloved not only for the boy who never grew up, but also for his fairy friend, Tinker Bell. For over a century, children have believed that with a little bit of fairy dust and some happy thoughts, it’s possible to fly, and have enjoyed book, film and stage versions of this fun-filled adventure set in the magical Neverland.
Julia Donaldson tales
The celebrated children’s author Julia Donaldson makes great use of mythical creatures in her books, writing stories of unicorns, mermaids, dragons, and giants. Perhaps her best known creation, the Gruffalo, is surely a take on hybrid mythical creatures, with its large tusks, furry body and purple prickles.
If you want to explore some truly wonderful magical creatures live on stage, don’t miss the hit children’s play, Dragons and Mythical Beasts Live. Aimed at kids aged three and up, it uses stunning puppetry to tell the story of Dave the Hero Trainer as he searches for charms from various mythical beings. It’s one of the best children’s shows currently touring the UK, so grab tickets for a performance near you today!