Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 52–63

“A Constant Transit of Finding”: Fantasy as Realisation in Pan’s Labyrinth

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10583-010-9099-7

Cite this article as:
Clark, R. & McDonald, K. Child Lit Educ (2010) 41: 52. doi:10.1007/s10583-010-9099-7


This article considers Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth as a text which utilises key codes and conventions of children’s literature as a means of encountering the trauma of Fascism. The article begins by placing Pan’s Labyrinth at a contextual crossroads involving fairy tale and a Spanish cinematic tradition and considers the significance of the text as a hybrid creation. It then explores some of the tropes and motifs that are re-imagined within the narrative. There follows an investigation of the film as a testament to the importance of fiction and fantasy when faced with the very real consequences of war, oppression and trauma. Finally, Pan’s Labyrinth is considered alongside a heritage of children’s literature whose motifs, symbols and figures are remarkably available for appropriation, re-invention and renewal.


Film Fairy tale Fascism Spanish cinema Childhood Fantasy 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ArtsYork St John UniversityYorkUK