Once-there-was-a-king-224x125Have you ever noticed how parents seem to delight in terrifying their children? Whether it's old wives tales of wind changes leaving their faces contorted or the devil stealing their souls post-sneeze, there are endless ways for adults to keep children in a perpetual state of fear. However, the cruelest has to be those moments before bed, when they'll soon to be abandoned to a long, dark night with tales of cannibal witches or bone grinding giants stalking through their heads. Depicting the tragic story of a love triangle between a king, a princess and a page, Tytus Majerski's atmospheric adaptation of Polish writer Janina Porazińska's lullaby Once There Was a King, is cut from the same gruesome cloth that keeps nightlight companies in business.

Created as his graduation film from the Polish National Film School, Majerski combines stop motion, paper cutout animation with CG elements to build up the world of this dark fairytale. You can see how elements of the project developed in this making of video:

Kid's stories are a fertile playground for filmmakers, whether its revisiting a handed down classic or adapting the form for a new villain such as Suckablood. Let us know if you've raided the fairytale cupboard for any of your own films?