My relationship with fairy tales has been closely tied in with Disney. Growing up like most girls at the time I watched the traditional Disney princess movies, some based on fairy tales and folk lores – Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pocahontas, Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella. As I got older I learned that many of these Disney movies based on fairy tales didn’t always have a happy ending, and ended up reading a few of Grimm’s and Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tales.
While I still have a nostalgic feeling towards the fairy tale Disney movies of my childhood, I haven’t had a huge interest in the more recent Disney movies – Frozen, Brave, Tangled, Moana. I think that is partly because they are targeted for child audiences more than adult. I also began to notice as I got older the stereotype of all these princesses kind of being damsels in distress or always projecting an image of perfect beauty and Disney white-washing these movies. That to me is a major difference between Disney tales and originals like Grimm.
As I’ve mentioned I’m fairly familiar with Disney fairy tales, and have read a few of the original tales, but I still don’t feel like I know a lot about the origin of fairy tales nor lesser-known tales. I’m hoping this class will broaden my knowledge of fairy tales and explain more of their history.