A mystical tale where Countess Halina hopes five youth can protect the city of Raveleijn from evil.
We lived in The Netherlands for over three years. And the one place all locals and expats told us to visit was a theme park called Efteling. Efteling started its life as a Nature Park and then began its transition into a magical escape in 1952 with the opening of Fairytale forest.
There were many expansions through the years extending park activities, rides, fairytales, life and recorded shows, and then finally, in 2009, the park opened Raveleijn. What made me so excited about Raveleijn was it is a modern fairytale. I have a vast collection of folktales and fairytales and wonder who created the tales when and why. But for this story, it was created for entertainment with the moral about working together and how we each have unique talents, if only we have the courage to use them.
The main characters are five siblings, Joost, Lisa, Thomas, Maurits, and Emma; they are exploring the woods near the old in their family had moved to. They are called into the forest by ravens and a woman’s mysterious voice to an ancient city gate where a message appears: Where Raven Riders are Raised.
Once they enter the gate, the ravens are transformed into horses and the children changed to adults. They have entered a different realm and the home of the city of Raveleijn. Evil Count Olaf Grafthart rules the city with an iron fist, forcing the people to create monstrous creatures called “Graffers.” He uses the metal, wood, and leather monstrosities to crush any rebellions, so many former residents are exiled to the woods. Those exiles form the Order of the Raven and they have a prophesy:
The five children are the Chosen Five. Each possessing unique powers that could be used to stop Count Olaf. They are inducted into the Order of Ravens and become Riders to take on the Count and his Graffers. During the battle they discover he has a secret, a Giant Graffer that will put them in a battle to the death.
The show is now a published book, TV series, and video game.
I was able to attend the show three times before I left The Netherlands. Each time was unique in that I saw it from a different perspective. The first time in the main audience with Dutch friends, the second time close up in the pub/restaurant beside it, (eating apple pie and enjoying a warm coffee show side was decadent), and lastly sharing the magic with my family when they came to visit. Each time entertaining and memorable. If you cannot make it to the show, there is a book, a TV series, and a video game.
Have you found a modern fairytale you can share?