Grim fairy tales for Oliver Stone, never one to let a sleeping princess lie

January 18, 1996|By Kevin Cowherd

IF OLIVER STONE produced children's classics:

* "Three Little Pigs" -- Weird vibes in Pigland. Two-thirds of the population has mysteriously chosen to live in inferior housing. Now there's a renegade Wolf on the loose, Cuban-trained, a veteran of four years with the mujahedeen in Afghanistan.

When the Wolf creates an unearthly wind tunnel that destroys the flimsy straw and stick houses of two terrified Pig brothers, they flee to the home of a third brother, an ex-Vietnam vet and low-level aide in the Nixon White House.

It's then that the Third Little Pig stumbles on a secret government file. Its startling contents: a house made of brick, reinforced with 6-inch-thick titanium such as is used to line missile silos, will keep the Wolf at bay.

Enraged over the cover-up, TLP alerts a reporter for the Times and prepares a pot of boiling water for the final confrontation with the Wolf, who attacks via the chimney.

* "Bambi" -- Dark days in the Deep Forest. Storm clouds hang low. Even the tiniest creatures seem restless. Suddenly, shots ring out. Bambi's mother lies silent in the tall, damp grass.

Hunters, the other forest animals tell Bambi. But Bambi doesn't buy it. Since when do hunters use Cuban-made surface-to-air missiles?

"For crissakes, B, that was a shotgun!" insists Thumper, and for the first time Bambi realizes his furry little buddy with the cold, hard eyes is in on the whole thing: the systematic extermination of all wildlife and leveling of 600 acres in order to turn it into a theme park.

The forest ranger's no help -- he's been paid off by shady land developers. How far up does the conspiracy go: the secretary of the interior? The president himself?

And what about Bambi's girl, Faline? Faline has the kind of body you'd crawl 200 miles over broken glass to get to. But the anti-environmental rhetoric coming out of her yap . . . no, on this mission, Bambi must go it alone.

* "Snow White" -- Heavy paranoia in the Castle on the Hill. The Queen is wiggin' out. Each morning she swallows a fistful of Dexedrines, blasts a Doors CD and chants: "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the biggest subversive of all?"

When Snow White's name appears on the Queen's hit list, she flees into the woods of southern Idaho and hooks up with a survivalist movement composed of seven former CIA operatives, who, because of their small stature, were once recruited to pose as school children in a plot to assassinate Fidel Castro.

But the Queen tracks down Snow White through reconnaissance photos from a government spy satellite. A mysterious apple laced with morphine causes Snow White to lapse into a coma. The antidote: 2 milligrams of Narcam, administered intravenously a handsome stranger recently arrived from Moscow, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Now, as Jim Morrison's "The End" plays mournfully in the background, Snow White and her men train for a final, deadly commando assault on the Castle.

* "Pinocchio" -- Bad karma in the Big Village. Gepetto leads a double life: kindly puppet-maker by day, agent of the Israeli Mossad after nightfall.

His bizarre, secret experiment to create human life in the laboratory goes horribly awry, producing a garish-looking half-boy, half-puppet named Pinocchio, from the Italian term for "little freak."

Worse yet, the "thing" is a congenital liar with a hideous physical deformity: With each untruth, his nose grows longer.

Nevertheless, pressured by Tel Aviv for more information on Soviet troop movements in 1960 Havana, Gepetto teams Pinocchio with annoying insect sidekick Jiminy Cricket as the U.S. and U.S.S.R. edge perilously close to a showdown in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

* "101 Dalmatians" -- The Banshee screams at midnight.

Cruella De Vil, fresh from an affair with Jack Kennedy and a 10-year relationship with mobster Sam Giancana, finds herself with a slight problem -- a cash-flow problem. Her solution: Why not rob banks? But when the gang's first heist is botched, resulting in the accidental slaughter of 193 people, including Jonesy, the affable rent-a-guard dozing in a straight-back chair in the lobby, Cruella vows to find a different line of work.

With her new ne'er-do-well boyfriend Raul, she cooks up another scheme: steal the beautiful Dalmatian puppies of a wealthy London songwriter, clone them via a series of risky egg cell and embryo exchanges, then sell them on the lucrative black market.

But when the police are alerted by the mysterious system of communication employed by half the dogs in the English countryside, Cruella and her crew end up on the lam on the desolate moors of Scotland. Here she places a frantic trans-Atlantic call to the only man who can save her now: Bobby Kennedy.

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