Fairy stories are famous for containing evil curses that are intended to stop the film's hero, or heroine, from finding their way home or falling in love. And new movie The Secret of Moonacre is no different.
When 13 year old Maria Merryweather's father dies, leaving her orphaned and homeless, she is forced to leave her luxurious London life to go and live with Sir Benjamin, an eccentric uncle she didn't know she had, at the mysterious Moonacre Manor.
Soon Maria finds herself in a crumbling moonlit world torn apart by the hatred of an ancient feud with the dark and sinister De Noir family. Maria relocates the book and continues reading, finally discovering the weight of her responsibility: she has been anointed the last Moon Princess of the valley.
It is up to her to find the magic pearls before the next full moon and end the conflict between the two families. If she fails in her quest, the dark curse following the Merryweather family will destroy Moonacre Valley for good.
To celebrate the release of The Secret of Moonacre we take a look at some of the most famous fairytale curses.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Whilst on the run from her evil stepmother, a young Princess, Snow White finds refuge with the seven dwarfs. The Queen tracks her down and in disguise, feeds her a poisoned apple but Prince Charming awakens her with a kiss.
When Princes Aurora was born everyone was invited to celebrate apart from the evil Maleficent. In revenge she places a curse on the princess - that she will die on her 16th birthday after touching a poisoned spinning wheel.
The three good fairies tries to undo the damage by casting a spell that will allow the princess - named Aurora - to awake from an ageless sleep with a kiss from her true love.
In an animated fairy tale world, a young girl meets and falls in love with the handsome prince of her dreams. News of this romance upsets the prince's mother, the evil queen, who uses her black magic to send the girl hurtling out of the animated world into the one place in the universe where there is no true love: modern day Manhattan. The now-real girl has to survive in New York City and find her way home again to her true love.
A young mermaid Ariel longs to be with the man she loves, Prince Erik who happens to be a human whom her father, King Triton forbids her to have contact with.
Ariel meets Ursula who turns her into a human for three days in order to give her time for Prince Erik to fall in love with her. What Ariel doesn’t know is that this is all a big plot for Ursula to overthrow King Triton and take over the kingdom!
The passage from this world to the fantasy kingdom of Stormhold is through a breech in a wall beside an English village. In the 1800s, a boy becomes a man when he ventures through the breech in pursuit of a fallen star, to prove his love for the village beauty. The star is no lump of rock, it's a maiden, Yvaine.
Tristan, the youth, is not the only one looking for her: three witches, led by Lamia, want her heart to make them young; and, the sons of the dead king of Stormhold want her because she holds a ruby that will give one of them title to the throne.
Assisting Tristan are his mother, the victim of a spell, and a transvestite pirate of the skies. Will Tristan win his true love?
Aladdin, a street-urchin accidentally meets Princess Jasmine whilst she was making her escape from the castle. Under the orders of the evil Jafar (the sultan's advisor), Aladdin is thrown in jail and becomes caught up in Jafar's plot to rule the land with the aid of a mysterious lamp which Aladdin has retrieved.
Aladdin forms a relationship with the genie from the lamp and he turns him into a prince in order for him to marry Princess Jasmine. That’s until Jafar get’s hold of the lamp!
Beauty and the Beast
Belle is a girl who is dissatisfied with life in a small provincial French town, constantly trying to fend off the misplaced "affections" of conceited Gaston. The Beast is a prince who was placed under a spell because he could not love.
The one way he could break the spell was to learn to love another and earn her love in return before the last petal from his enchanted rose fell, which would bloom until his twenty-first birthday.
But who could ever learn to love a beast? A wrong turn taken by Maurice, Belle's father, causes the two to meet and Belle finds the prince inside the Beast.
Cinderella's wicked stepmother turns her into a virtual servant in her own house and prevents her from attending the Royal Ball. Cinderella gets some unexpected help from the lovable mice Gus and Jaq, and from her Fairy Godmother in order for her to attend the ball and find the man of her dreams, the Prince.
When a green ogre called Shrek discovers his swamp has been 'swamped' with all sorts of fairytale creatures by the scheming Lord Farquaad, Shrek sets out, with a very loud donkey by his side, to 'persuade' Farquaad to give his swamp back.
Instead, a deal is made. Farquaad, who wants to become the King, sends Shrek to rescue Princess Fiona, who is waiting for her one true love.
But once they head back with Fiona, it starts to become apparent that not only does Shrek like Fiona, but Fiona is keeping something secret, she is in fact too an ogre.
The Secret of Moonacre is out on DVD now.