BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly

Article Title

Outside Perspectives


Amber Taylor


BYU Studies, antagonists, story, BYU Jerusalem Center


I think most of us are familiar with a recent trend in storytelling to revisit and tell a traditional tale from the perspective of the antagonist. The live-action Disney movie Maleficent, for example, provides an empathetic backstory to the terrifyingly evil, but otherwise flat, character of Maleficent in the iconic animated version of Sleeping Beauty. The popular musical Wicked, by Stephen Schwartz, does the same with the character Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. Even children’s books have gotten in on the postmodern storytelling action. In The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Alexander T. Wolf tells his side of the story, in which he explains that a simple sneeze and the need to borrow a cup of sugar to make Grannie a birthday cake have been misunderstood and blown way out of proportion, leading to the erroneous conclusion that he is the bad guy.