I was hesitant to take the course because of the disconnection between Disney and the actual original Fairytales, as many critics despise Disney for how he (and now they) have adapted the stories into film. But my friend convinced me, and thanks to Once Upon a Time, I found that I really DO love Fairytales. And that's why, at 1:40 this afternoon, I found myself in a classroom talking about just that: Fairytales.
What I found was interesting though is just how much Disney HAS impacted how we, as a culture, see Fairytales. Personally, I don't think these stories would be as popular as they are today if Walt Disney hadn't began making the classic animated films such as Snow White in 1937. These stories have withstood the test of time, yes, but would we have things like Once Upon a Time today? No, I don't think we would. Disney has helped keep these stories alive, and that's obviously seen through the list of favorite fairytales my class had.
As we do in every class with that professor, we started out by a huge get to know you discussion. We said our names (Lizzie), our major (English & Music Performance Double Major), Unique Fact (My name is actually spelled incorrectly on my birth certificate: Eliazbeth instead of Elizabeth), Favorite Fairytale (Rapunzel & The Wizard of Oz...although I like pretty much all of them to be honest), Where we first heard that fairytale and why we like it (WoOz I watched a TON as a kid, so that's easy, and Rapunzel I read in my book "Once Upon a Time," the one with the forward by Adam & Eddy that I got because I watched OUAT...I have no clue why I like them so much), and then a definition of a fairytale (I said: a story that has been passed down through generations, such as a folk tale, can include fantastical elements, but doesn't HAVE to).
Our Prof listed the different "Favorite Fairytales" on the board, and I took a moment to jot them all down, 100% for the purpose of writing this blog post. I found it interesting how Disney seeps its way into these fairytales, as many of them were on the list because people loved the movie as a kid (myself included). So here's the list of different fairytales that we talked about briefly today:
Paul Bunyan, Sleeping Beauty, Princess & The Frog, Brave, Beauty (& The Beast), Goldilocks, Jack & The Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass, Peter Pan, Phantastes, Hansel & Gretel, Stardust, Irish Fairytales, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Twelve Dancing Princesses, Frozen, Rapunzel, Wizard of Oz, The Swan Princess, The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing and The Princess Bride.
Now if you just look through that list, there are bunch that are Disney films, and at the same time, a bunch that aren't. I know with OUAT, people are always asking "What are they going to do next?" It's a fair question, because on the show we already have everyone from Ariel to Pongo (and hopefully Cruella in the future!), so what's left? The truth is, there are a lot of fairytales that we HAVEN'T explored. Like hundreds of them. It's kind of crazy honestly.
Throughout the semester, you'll see plenty of posts comparing the different classic fairytales that I read to the actual Disney movies (Sleeping Beauty is coming up first...and quickly). I figured it might be interesting to see just how different things are (I know they are a lot in most cases), and HOW they are different. Either way, it should be an interesting semester...as long as I can keep my head out of arguing for Disney. ;)
Have a magical day!
(Note: This blog post was written on January 27, 2014).