JJ VILLARD'S FAIRY TALES - BOYPUNZEL SPOILER-Filled Review: A Fresh And Twisted Take On An Age-Old Tale

Adult Swim's newest animated series is called JJ Villard's Fairy Tales and the first episode puts a spin on the story of Rapunzel. Read on for our review of Boypunzel, but beware, it's filled with spoilers!

Reviews Opinion

Those interested in fairy tales and other such lore will be thrilled with Adult Swim's recent addition to their programing block, JJ Villard's Fairy Tales. The series takes every day tales like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, Pinnochio, Rapunzel, and more and flips them on their head, delivering them in a twisted manner suitable only for mature viewers -- hence its home on Adult Swim.

We were given the chance to speak with the creator JJ Villard (King Star King, Shrek 4ever After) himself as well as voice actors Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Alan Oppenheimer (Neverending Story, He-Man). They all expressed their love and passion for the project so we decided to check it out ourselves.

The first episode features voice talent from Doug Bradley (Hellraiser), Heather Langenkamp (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things, It), and other horror genre veterans, as does the entire series. When we spoke with JJ, he mentioned that he put together a list of his idols and most of them were willing to sign on for the series.

Judging by the solidity of the first episode and the ease with which it hit its intended mark, Villard was wise in choosing the handful of actors at his disposal that he did for the pilot. Boypunzel is exactly what is sounds like, with Finn Wolfhard's main character being the gender-swapped version of the usual "princess trapped in a tower" which is in itself a trope. Villard flips the entire idea on its head by putting a male in the shoes of the hostage, and it opens the window to new possibilities.

One such example is that the plot of the story involves Boypunzel meeting a girl and gaining feelings for her, easily misplacing his trust. This girl pushes him to express his hidden disdain for his captor "mother" and he becomes Manpunzel, facing off against the witch that housed him against his will his entire life, entirely blind to the fact that she also turned his real parents into watermelons and smashes them. 

This crude fate also catches up with the girl that Boypunzel cares for as she is also turned into a watermelon. Truly becoming a Manpunzel, our hero revolts and destroys the witch, flying off into the sunset with his newfound love -- though it is quickly revealed to the viewer that this girl was the witch all along.

Not only did the twisted humor make for a completely different take on Rapunzel, but the actual plot reveal that the witch was behind everything the entire time made for an unexpected and excellent ending to an already fun-filled episode. Though it only clocks in at a quarter-hour, the episode is self contained and delivers everything it needs to with a perfect flow.

Boypunzel makes for an impressive first installment of a strikingly original idea. While Rapunzel may be a household name, no one has ever seen the tale told with such visceral and raw adult-rated humor, until now. If the rest of the first season lives up to this standard, Adult Swim has another huge hit on their hands. - Five out of five.


JJ Villard’s Fairy Tales is a new, twisted, fun take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tales like Cinderella and Snow White. The charm and cuteness of the original stories remain, but now they've been updated and packaged into a ball of raw, visceral, gross weirdness. The animated quarter hour series is created, and executive produced by JJ Villard (King Star King) and produced by Cartoon Network Studio.

JJ Villard's Fairy Tales airs on Adult Swim on Sunday nights at 12:15 am (Sunday into Monday).
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