Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Duck version of "Three Billy Goats Gruff"

Donald Duck & Co #36, 2015

This week the Scandinavian weekly Disney comics features a new story written by Tormod Løkling and drawn by Arild Midthun. And this time we get the duck version of the Norwegian fairy tale Three Billy Goats Gruff. That fairy tale is probably the best known among all stories collected by Asbjørnsen & Moe and published in their collection of Norwegian Folktales. A lot of work under the Disney logo is based on tales in collections like Grimms' Fairy Tales, Aesop's Fables and the work of Hans Christian Andersen. But I’m a bit surprised there’s not more stuff inspired by the Norwegian Folktales. There's a lot of fun and interesting material to use! In the animations I can only think of the trolls in Frozen that might be inspired by tales in this collection.

This new comic story starts with Huey, Dewey and Louie telling Donald they are going to star in a school play based on the fairy tale. And they need a grown up to play the troll… I guess we already know who’s going to make a drama out of the drama :)

Three Billy Goats Gruff

It’s not the first time Arild Midthun has drawn stories inspired by Norwegian fairy tales and folklore. Back in the 80’s he and Terje Nordberg (now also an author of Disney comics) collaborated on a short-lived series simply called "Troll". And the first album has a hidden reference to this fairy tale as well.

A troll under the bridge. From the album "Troll" and the duck story. Both have art by Arild Midthun.

To compare, here is the same scene from the illustrated edition of the Norwegian Folktales, drawn by Otto Sinding

De tre bukkene bruse

The tale about the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" has been used in a Disney comic story before too. Li'l Bad Wolf has a copy of the collection, and the Big Bad Wolf once thought it was a good idea to try out this story in real life. But I don’t think he read the end..

From a Norwegian print of "Beware Of The Troll" (S 70201)

From a Norwegian print of "Beware Of The Troll" (S 70201)

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