Friday, April 4, 2014

D is for Disney

You might laugh to hear this, but I had a very hard time coming up with the letter "D" for my A to Z Challenge. I thought about it, and I thought about it, and then finally it hit me . . . Disney. I am not proud of how slow I was to come to such an obvious answer.

The truth is, Disney should have been one of the first subjects I came up with for any letter of the fairy tale alphabet. It is perhaps the second most recognizable fairy tale affiliation after the Grimm Brothers, for what do we always think of when we picture Cinderella, or Snow White, or any other popular fairy tale? We think of this . . .

Am I right?

Founded by Walt Disney and his brother Roy in 1923, The Walt Disney Company began with cartoons of Mickey Mouse and his friends, but then expanded to become one of the largest names in the world of fairy tales. Theme parks and animated films, live-action features and figurines. Many of the classic fairy tales of Grimm, Anderson and Perrault were "Disney-fied" into the versions todays' children have come to know and love.

Here are just a few of the classic fairy tales we've come to associate with Disney:
- Snow White (1937) - The Brothers Grimm
- Cinderella (1950) - Charles Perrault and The Brothers Grimm
- Sleeping Beauty (1959) - Charles Perrault and The Brothers Grimm
- The Little Mermaid (1989) - Hans Christian Andersen
- Beaty and the Beast (1991) - Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont
- The Princess and the Frog (2009) - The Brothers Grimm
- Tangled (2010) - aka. Rapunzel by The Brothers Grimm
- Frozen (2013) - aka. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen

Disney has definitely become one of the defining factors to our modern interpretations of these classical tales. It's shaped the tales in new ways, made changes to the traditional renditions, and in general made them much more "kid-friendly". Some people argue against these changes, claiming they're watered-down and too great a departure from the original source. Others claim that these changes have been for the better. But for better or for worse, no one can argue that Disney has made the fairy tales we know and love household names for the modern generations.  
This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme (in case you didn't already guess) is Fairy Tales. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you'd like to check out the other participants, simply click here.


  1. Definitely hard to not think of Disney whenever fairytales are mentioned! Even though they can be pretty different from the source material, and often not as tragic, Disney films are still a lot of fun to watch...

  2. If they were made true to the original material, they'd be for adults, not kids.

  3. What will we do without Disney ! Owe our childhood joys to him.. By the way, one of my stories on the series is on Cinderella.. That will be the post for O

    GS at Moontime Tunes

  4. Disney is pretty iconic. It definitely pops into mind.

  5. I grew up with Disney on Sunday night and the Mickey Mouse Club. Hope to be able to take my grandchildren to Disney World one day. His interpretation of classic tales has been nothing short of incredible.

  6. I grew up watching Disney and my three daughters love their movies as well. It is 'the' name for fairy tales in our house, even though we've also read Grimm's many times. :-)

  7. Disney has always been such a huge part of my life in every aspect, I can't imagine life without it! Kids rarely read anymore, but they've all seen the Disney classics and know them by heart!

  8. Disney has did a lot to animate the stories making them decent for children to view them because none of the fairy tales originated as stories written for children.

  9. I don't really associate Disney with fairy tales myself. I love their cartoons but they are just so different from the fairy tales I grew up with that I don't think of them as the same thing. Disney makes movies for profit and mass entertainment. Fairy tales are a kind of folk lore drawn from the deep places of humanity's subconscious. That's a big difference.

  10. I have to admit, I didn't think of Disney for D, but you're right, it is obvious. I love Disney because they create pure magic, not just for children but for grownups too.

    Visiting via the #AtoZChallenge

  11. Rather than touching the fairy tale aspect (because I don't know that there is actually a "better" or "worse"), I'm just going to say that I wish Disney would start working on original material. That would be a new thing for them, and I bet they could do it.

  12. I'd actually love to see a Disney version of a fairy tale that stayed true to its origins - it would be interesting to see a darker version done by them.

  13. I agree with Laura, I'd love to see that.

  14. Don't beat yourself up, usually when I think of Disney I think of movies or my childhood. I mean, I don't think The Lion King or Toy Story were Grimm's tales. But man, I love Disney. I'm gonna work there one day. Hopefully.

  15. I prefer the Disney version of these tales for children as opposed to the Grimm's version. When I just had my daughter, my mother in law gave me a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales to read to her. Not one to just start reading books out loud without giving them the once over, I quickly rejected them. I had never read them up until that point! But, it got me involved in reading them all to myself. :D

  16. Sometimes the most obvious is the hardest one to think of when your brain is in the wrong mode. :) The Disney versions are definitely more suitable to the kids of modern times, since things are so much easier these days. But as an adult, the Grimm stuff is fun for the horror aspect, knowing that none of it is real. It's easier to separate fantasy from reality, and look at it differently. :)

    Random Musings from the KristenHead — D is for 'Defiance' (and Dogs)