Fantasy Versus Fairy Tale - Digital Commons @ East Tennessee State

Fantasy Versus Fairy Tale - Digital Commons @ East Tennessee State

East Tennessee State University Digital Commons @ East Tennessee State University Undergraduate Honors Theses 12-2013 Fantasy Versus Fairy Tale: Ho...

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Digital Commons @ East Tennessee State University Undergraduate Honors Theses


Fantasy Versus Fairy Tale: How Modern Fairy Tale Variants Measure up to One of the Greatest Literary Traditions of All Time. Cheryl Lee East Tennessee State University

Follow this and additional works at: Part of the English Language and Literature Commons Recommended Citation Lee, Cheryl, "Fantasy Versus Fairy Tale: How Modern Fairy Tale Variants Measure up to One of the Greatest Literary Traditions of All Time." (2013). Undergraduate Honors Theses. Paper 87.

This Honors Thesis - Open Access is brought to you for free and open access by Digital Commons @ East Tennessee State University. It has been accepted for inclusion in Undergraduate Honors Theses by an authorized administrator of Digital Commons @ East Tennessee State University. For more information, please contact [email protected]


Fairy  tales  have  always  had  a  life  of  their  own.  For  centuries,  they  have  

grown,  evolved,  and  reshaped;  they  have  taken  many  different  forms  and  projected   many  different  messages  across  a  vast  number  of  cultures.  It  is  because  of  this   growth  and  adaptability  that  the  fairy  tale  has  become  one  of  the  world’s  most   important  literary  traditions.  But  fairy  tales  have  become  so  engrained  in  today’s   society  that  we  often  fail  to  appreciate  them.  We  see  them  everywhere  and  pass   them  off  as  children’s  stories,  failing  to  revisit  them  as  adults.  They  have  become   synonymous  with  the  myth  of  simpler  times,  where  good  and  evil  were  always  black   and  white  and  the  hero  always  lives  happily  ever  after.  We  see  white  knights  and   princesses  and  fairies  and  witches,  but  how  often  do  we  really  think  about  them?   How  often  do  we  question  them  and  try  to  see  them  as  they  are—as  something  so   much  more  than  childhood  memories?      

The  Oxford  Companion  to  Fairy  Tales  defines  the  genre  as  “a  long,  fictitious  

narrative…[that]  includes  fantasy  and  is  told  as  a  means  of…entertainment.”  The   stories  are  “episodic”  in  nature,  contain  “supernatural  challenges”  and  “magical   motifs,”  and  “end  happily.”1  Although  all  of  these  criteria  are  true,  the  term  “fairy   tale”  encompasses  so  much  more  than  this  definition.  Fairy  tales  are  childhood   memories  of  adventure  and  imagination.  They  are  abstract  and  adaptable,  somehow   seemingly  simple  and  complex  at  the  same  time.  To  some,  like  fairy  tale  critic  Maria   Tatar,  fairy  tales  tell  us  “about  the  quest  for  romance  and  riches,  for  power  and   privilege,  and,  most  important,  for  a  way  out  of  the  woods  back  to  the  safety  and  



security  of  home.”2  To  others,  they  offer  a  magical  retreat  from  the  harshness  of   life.3  But  no  matter  what  fairy  tales  mean  to  us  individually,  they  are  special  because   they  have  always  meant  something.  The  purpose  of  them  is  not  that  we  get  a  single,   specified  meaning  or  moral  or  value  from  the  tales,  but  that  we  see  them  as   worthwhile  stories  that  we  can  read  and  appreciate  just  like  any  other  piece  of   literature  but  that  we  can  also  modify  and  pass  down  to  future  generations.  This   tradition  helps  us  make  sense  of  our  environment  and  our  imaginations,  both  as   children  and  as  adults.  And  it  is  these  many  traits  and  opportunities  that  have  made   the  fairy  tale  tradition  one  of  the  longest  and  most  important  literary  traditions  of   all  time.  These  traits  are  why,  as  A.S.  Bryant  suggests,  “human  beings  in  all  sorts  of   societies,  ancient  and  modern,  have  needed  these  untrue  stories.”4  And  this  need  is   why  we  should  not  ever  have  to  do  without  these  stories.  It  is  this  importance  which   has  allowed  the  fairy  tale  to  survive  for  centuries.  It  is  why  we  still  return  to  the   works  of  Charles  Perrault  and  the  Brothers  Grimm  hundreds  of  years  after  the   authors  themselves  have  passed  on.  And  it  is  why  we  have  continued  to  modify  the   stories  and  to  make  them  our  own  in  recent  years.      

In  the  past  decade,  the  number  of  modern  fairy  tale  adaptations  has  risen  

drastically,  even  more  so  than  in  the  past.  These  versions  are  everywhere  in  stores   and  on  TV,  but  they  are  somehow  different  from  their  predecessors.  They  blur  the   lines  between  the  fairy  tale  and  other  types  of  literature.  The  result  is  an  array  of   adaptations  which  can  only  partially  be  called  fairy  tales  due  to  their  lack  of  certain   necessary  elements.  


4   This  thesis  will  examine  both  the  history  of  the  fairy  tale  and  the  modern  

adaptations  of  these  popular  stories  in  order  to  illustrate  how  fairy  tales  have   evolved  into  their  modern  counterparts.  In  doing  so,  I  will  question  the  implications   of  the  recent  variants  as  well  as  their  success  and  discuss  whether  or  not  these  tales   are  detrimental  to  the  idea  of  the  fairy  tale.      

The  Origin  of  Fairy  Tales  as  We  Know  Them      

Today,  we  know  shockingly  little  about  how  fairy  tales  originated  before  they  

were  written  down.  We  do  not  know  what  the  first  fairy  tale  was,  or  where  it  came   from,  or  why  it  was  told,  although  we  assume  the  tales  originated  hundreds,  if  not   thousands  of  years  before  the  genre  was  officially  created.  We  know  that  common   themes  and  motifs  found  in  fairy  tales  date  back  to  at  least  the  2nd  century  and  can   be  found  in  works  such  as  Apuleius’s  Cupid  &  Psyche  (the  moral  that  love  and   kindness  are  more  important  than  appearance)5  and  Egbert  of  Liege’s  The  Richly   Laden  Ship  (the  motif  of  a  young  girl  wearing  a  red  cloak).6  But  these  texts  certainly   do  not  mean  that  Apuleius,  Egbert,  and  other  early  authors  created  these  motifs,   and,  in  all  likelihood,  they  probably  did  not.  In  his  article  “Breaking  the  Disney   Spell,”  well-­‐known  fairy  tale  scholar  Jack  Zipes  claims  that  these  tales  could  be  older   than  true  civilization  itself,  originating  in  small  tribes,  told  by  master  storytellers   around  campfires.  Zipes  suggests  that  these  stories  probably  remained  in  individual   tribes  for  centuries,  changing  and  evolving  as  the  societies  did,  eventually  merging  



into  tales  that  vaguely  resemble  the  ones  we  know  today.7  Whether  Zipes’s  theory  is   correct  or  not  may  never  be  known.  What  we  do  know  comes  much  later  in  history.      

During  the  1600s,  the  telling  of  oral  fairy  tales8  was  a  popular  form  of  

entertainment  in  the  courts  and  salons  of  France.  It  was  these  tales  that  French   aristocrat  Charles  Perrault  would  have  heard  all  his  life.9  These  tales  became  a   heavy  influence  for  many  of  his  published  fairy  tales,  though  he  certainly  didn’t   write  them  verbatim.  While  his  versions  drew  on  the  popular  motifs  and  style  of  the   oral  tales,  Perrault  worked  hard  to  add  social  and  political  issues  and  “ironic  verse   morals”10  to  better  “suit  the  taste  of  the  salon  sophisticates”  and  “appeal  to   children…  [as  well  as]  adults.”11    

Perrault’s  stories  are  an  example  of  what,  in  1697,  Madame  D’Aulnoy  termed  

contes  de  fées  or  “fairy  tales.”  Probably,  she  had  in  mind  the  stories  Perrault  adapted,   as  well  as  others  written  by  herself  and  many  other  French  female  authors  of  the   time.  This  term  was  the  first  to  distinguish  them  from  other  folk  tales,  myths,  and   legends.12  Perrault’s  fairy  tales  were  the  first  to  be  written  down,  published,  and   circulated,  and  thus  they  were  set  apart  from  the  traditional  folk  versions  of  the   story.  Although  it  is  regrettable  that  we  do  not  have  access  to  the  popular  oral   versions  of  that  time,  Perrault’s  stories  still  survive  today.    Perrault  began  the   written  tradition  of  these  tales,  and  while  his  stories  were  certainly  not  exact   replicas  of  the  oral  tales  he  was  able  to  preserve  them  for  centuries  to  come,  making   them  static  in  a  way  they  never  had  been  before  and  ultimately  allowing  us  a   glimpse  into  what  the  previous  tales  might  have  been.  And  although  Perrault’s   version  of  the  tales  remained  popular  among  the  aristocracy  for  over  a  hundred  



years,  his  work  certainly  didn’t  stop  the  circulation  of  oral  tales.  In  fact,  because   many  lower  class  citizens  could  not  read  the  written  texts,  the  tradition  of  oral  fairy   tales  continued  to  flourish,  and  the  oral  stories  even  began  to  build  from  the  literary   tales  and  vice  versa.  For  the  first  time  ever,  the  oral  tales  were  influenced  and   expanded  by  written  text,13  eventually  inspiring  and  culminating  in  the  work  of  the   Brothers  Grimm.    

By  the  nineteenth  century  when  Jacob  and  Wilhelm  Grimm  set  out  to  collect  

and  preserve  “German”  fairy  tales,  such  stories  were  widely  known,  and  a  multitude   of    versions  could  have  been  heard  or  read  almost  anywhere.  The  brothers  sought  to   “restore  the  tales’  natural  authenticity”14  and  “preserve  storytelling  traditions   threatened  by  industrialization  and  urbanization”15  by  cataloguing,  researching,  and   editing  over  200  tales  from  both  oral  and  literary  sources.16  In  doing  so,  the  Grimms   provided  the  world  with  valuable  tales  that,  while  not  “authentic”  in  the  way  the   Grimms  meant,  17    were  infused  with  a  new  moral  character  and  were  preserved  for   centuries  to  come.    

The  brothers,  particularly  Wilhelm,  are  often  accused  of    having  edited  the  

stories  to  suit  their  own  views  and  morals,18  and  most  of  the  tales  recorded  were   based  on  literary  tradition  rather  than  oral.  The  brothers’  notes  clearly  state  that   many  of  the  tales  within  their  collection  were  adapted  from  published,  literary   sources.19  But  those  that  were  heard  orally  did  not  necessarily  derive  from  oral   tradition.  In  his  article  “Peasants  Tell  tales:  The  Meaning  of  Mother  Goose,”   renowned  French  historian  Robert  Darnton  points  out  that  several  of  the  Grimms’   most  popular  stories,  including  “Little  Red  Cap,”  “Puss  ‘n  Boots,”  and  “Bluebeard,”  



were  told  to  the  brothers  by  their  neighbor  and  friend,  Jeannette  Hassenpflug.   Jeannette  would  have  heard  them  from  her  mother,  a  former  French  aristocrat,  who   would  have  read  them  from  Perrault’s  storybook.20  Thus,  even  the  oral  stories  Jacob   and  Wilhelm  Grimm  recorded  were  probably  closely  linked  to  early  literary   versions.    

The  stories  the  Brothers  Grimm  recorded  were,  understandably,  neither  

representations  of  original  stories  nor  were  they  truly  German.  By  the  time  the   Brothers  Grimm  heard  these  tales,  the  stories  had  been  changed  and  adapted  so   many  times  that  there  would  have  been  no  way  for  anyone  to  truly  scribe  what  the   brothers  would  have  considered  “authentic”  or  “real”  versions  of  the  tales.  What  the   brothers  did  do  was  collect  hundreds  of  stories  from  various  sources,  both   nationally  and  internationally,  orally  and  literary,  and  edit  them  into  something  they   could  call  their  own,  based  on  their  own  values  and  the  values  of  the  culture  in   which  they  lived.  And,  despite  the  lack  of  “authenticity,”  the  stories  were,  and  still   are,  no  less  valuable  to  the  world.  Ultimately  this  variety  of  sources  and  tales  and  the   lack  of  authenticity  worked  in  the  brothers’  favor,  helping  them  create  a  valuable   collection  of  popular  tales  that  just  so  happened  to  contain  something  that   Germany—and  the  world—wanted  to  read  about.    

The  Grimms’  tales  spoke  to  readers  in  ways  that  no  other  fairy  tale  

adaptation  had  managed  to.    To  begin  with,  the  brothers  gathered  stories  that  were   familiar  to  the  general  public  and  kept  common  story  elements  and  motifs  that   reflected  that  familiarity.  But  more  than  that,  the  Grimms  collected  their  tales  from   all  over;  while  some  tales  were  German,  many  others  originated  from  France,  Italy,  



Greece,  Russia,  and  several  other  cultures  across  Europe.  The  result  was  an   anthology  that  did  not  limit  itself  to  a  single  country  or  even  a  single  continent,   allowing  for  worldwide  appeal.  Furthermore,  as  in  previous  fairy  tale  variants,  the   Grimms’  stories  provided  metaphors  for  real  life  problems,  like  child  abandonment   in  “Hansel  and  Gretel,”  which  were  usually  resolved  in  a  happy,  moralistic  manner.     The  vast  cultural  value  and  the  relevancy  to  real  life  combined  with  the  fact  that  the   Grimms  took  public  criticism  into  account  while  they  made  their  many  revisions  of   their  collection,21  resulting  in  a  medley  of  stories  that  was  both  valuable  and   entertaining.    And  the  more  family  friendly  the  Grimms  made  their  stories,  the  more   popular  and  widespread  they  became.    

By  the  mid-­‐1800s,  the  Grimms’  stories  had  become  the  most  widely  

publicized  and  popular  fairy  tale  variants  to  ever  exist.  Children’s  Stories  and   Household  Tales  became  the  first  collection  of  fairy  tales  marketed  exclusively  for   children,22  and  though  the  material  was  not  necessarily  child-­‐friendly  at  first,  the   brothers  gradually  edited  their  collection  to  make  it  more  so.  The  Grimms’  tales   quickly  became  a  staple  for  any  literate  family.  Although  the  stories  themselves   were  still  technically  restricted  to  those  who  could  read,  they  were  often  presented   as  folk  plays,  vaudevilles,  and  public  readings  of  the  tales—ways  that  even  lower   class  families  could  easily  experience.23  And  with  printed  stories  becoming  more   affordable  and  accessible  to  the  average  family,  Jacob  and  Wilhelm  Grimm’s  fairy   tales  became  the  most  widely  distributed  and  popularized  variants  of  the  tales  in   history.  It  was  not  long  before  the  stories  found  within  Children’s  Stories  and  



Household  Tales  overshadowed  the  strictly  oral  versions,  eventually  replacing  them   with  the  Grimms’  “authentic”  variants.    

The  Grimms’  popularity  was  not  short-­‐lived.  Even  today  their  stories  are  the  

most  well-­‐known  written  versions  of  the  tales,  and  it  is  no  secret  that,  whatever   their  intentions,  the  brothers  did  the  world  a  great  service  by  recording  and   preserving  many  of  the  commonly  known  fairy  tales  of  the  time.  However,  the  fact   remains  that  those  variants  are  certainly  not  word-­‐for-­‐word  accounts  of  how  the   tales  existed  in  early  nineteenth  century  Germany,  and,  whether  the  brothers   intended  to  gain  such  fame  from  their  stories  or  not,  their  variants  eventually   completely  overshadowed  the  other  oral  and  written  versions  of  their  time.  For   better  or  worse,  the  necessity  of  oral  tradition  was  diminished,  and  maybe  for  a  time   displaced  by  the  wide  popularity  of  the  Grimms’  print  version.24  This  version,   though  certainly  adaptable,  still  exist  in  print  today  exactly  as  it  did  200  years  ago.   Ultimately,  the  brothers  began  the  tradition  of  preserving  the  tales  for  the  general   public’s  enjoyment—a  tradition  which  would  be  revolutionized  less  than  a  century   later  by  film.      

The  Twentieth  Century  Transition  to  Film    

At  the  end  of  the  nineteenth  century,  the  new  storytelling  medium  of  film  

was  created,  and  over  the  next  decade,  filmmakers  all  over  the  world  would   experiment  with  this  new  medium.  However,  these  filmmakers  faced  multiple   problems.  For  one  thing,  film  was  just  getting  started,  and  it  was  almost  impossible  



for  early  motion  pictures  to  last  for  more  than  a  couple  minutes  at  a  time.  But  length   was  only  part  of  the  problem.  Film  was  expensive,  it  was  difficult  to  shoot  live   action,  and  sound  and  color  were  impossible.  As  a  result,  many  films  of  the  late   1890s  and  early  1900s  had  to  choose  between  displaying  written  words  to  narrate   the  story  or  pictures  to  “show  rather  than  tell.”25  Since  many  early  filmmakers   considered  film  to  be  visual  rather  than  literary,  quite  a  few  early  films  ignored  any   kind  of  plot  or  narration  and  instead  focused  on  telling  their  story  through  pictures.   A  film  of  the  time  would  consist  of  a  single  scene  of  some  kind  of  authentic,  common   life  event—a  passing  train,  a  sporting  event,  a  picnic,  and  so  on.26  The  idea  was  to   present  an  obvious  story  and  let  the  audience  fill  in  the  blanks  themselves  since  lack   of  cinematic  technique  and  length  made  telling  a  full  story  impossible.  The  films   were  novel  and  sometimes  amusing,  but  they  were  too  heavily  reliant  on  the   audience’s  interpretation  to  experiment  with  full  stories.  And  so  filmmakers  began   to  have  a  great  need  for  fictional  stories  that  were  well-­‐known  enough  to  be  adapted   into  film  and  still  capture  an  audience’s  interest.  That  is  where  fairy  tales  entered   the  scene.    

At  the  time,  the  Grimms’  stories  had  been  popular  for  little  under  a  century,  

and  were  still  commonly  known  throughout  Europe  and  America.  Because  the  tales   were  still  so  popular,  they  were  the  perfect  solution  for  early  filmmakers.  The   stories’  subjects  and  motifs  were  well-­‐known,  and  the  tales  were  relatively  short.   They  could,  therefore,  be  told  in  short  film  from  beginning  to  end  and  required  no   exposition  or  dialogue.  Assistant  Professor  of  Film  and  Literary  Studies  at  Leiden  



University  in  France,  Peter  Verstraten,  writes  about  Georges  Méliés’s  1899  film   Cinderella  as  an  example:    

For a spectator unfamiliar with the fairy tale, the film might have been peculiar and might be qualified as a bizarre array of strange transformations. In the very first shot a fairy appears on the screen out of the blue. With her magic wand she conjures up mice that in the blink of an eye are transformed into a cabman and two valets. A huge pumpkin changes into a coach. These peculiar tricks only make sense because the title is an indication for the plot. The Cinderella tale was so well-known among the audience that practically any spectator could understand the reason for the sudden transformations and could discern a story in the rather random selection of tableaux.27

Films  like  Méliés’s  were  very  popular  in  the  early  twentieth  century,  and  the  fairy   tale  became  the  preferred  story  type  for  motion  pictures.  In  addition  to  the  well-­‐ known  stories,  they  provided  an  opportunity  to  create  a  marvelous  spectacle.   Méliés’s  Cinderella,  for  example,  used  “extravagant  sets  [and  costumes],”  as  well  as   entertaining  transformation  sequences  that  captivated  his  audience’s  attention.28   For  the  first  time,  people  could  watch  the  Grimms’  beloved  stories  while  fully   visualizing  the  magic  that  is  so  common  in  fairy  tales.    

As  film  evolved,  however,  live-­‐action  filmmakers  quickly  dropped  the  fairy  

tale  and  moved  on  to  other,  more  extravagant  stories.  And  as  soon  as  the  stories  lost   popularity  in  live  film,  they  were  adopted  by  early  animators.  By  the  early  1920s,   the  animation  company  Laugh-­‐’O-­‐Gram  was  producing  short  “skewed”  versions  of   the  tales,  such  as  “Little  Red  Riding  Hood,”  “Puss  n’  Boots,“  and  “Cinderella,”  all  of   which  were  released  in  1922.29  One  of  the  chief  animators  on  these  films  was  Walt  



Disney  himself,  the  man  who  would  once  again  revolutionize  the  way  the  world   looked  at  fairy  tales.30    

Disney  was  a  skilled  animator  even  then,  but  he  didn’t  gain  real  popularity  

until  he  started  his  own  company  in  1928  and  produced  Steamboat  Willie  and  the   Silly  Symphonies  series.  These  shorts  may  have  earned  him  a  good  reputation,  but  it   was  not  until  his  first  full  length  feature  that  Disney  really  grabbed  the  public’s   attention.    

In  1934,  Disney  announced  that  he  would  make  the  first  ever  feature  length  

animated  film:  Snow  White  and  the  Seven  Dwarves.  Disney  was  already  familiar  with   fairy  tale  animation,  of  course.  He  had  worked  on  several  short  cartoons  based  on   Grimm  tales  for  Laugh-­‐‘O-­‐Gram,  and  had  even  created  a  few  of  his  own  adaptations   for  his  Silly  Symphonies  series.  But  his  familiarity  with  the  tales  was  not  his  only   reason  for  choosing  the  story  of  “Snow  White.”  Despite  his  successes  in  the  past  with   his  animated  characters,  Disney  had  never  “created  screen  personalities  strong   enough  to  sustain  a  feature.”31  Thus,  he  turned  to  fairy  tales—stories  in  which  the   characters  already  existed  and  simply  needed  to  be  developed.    

Disney  remembered  seeing  Marguerite  Clark  in  a  silent  film  of  Snow  White  in  

1917  and  he  “thought  it  was  the  perfect  story.”32  He  knew  without  a  doubt  after   seeing  the  film  that  the  story  of  “Snow  White”  could  be  adapted  into  an  entertaining   feature  film.33  As  a  result,  this  particular  version  of  Snow  White  greatly  influenced   Disney’s  film,  maybe  even  more  so  than  the  Grimm  version  did.  It  gave  him  the  idea   that  a  film  about  such  a  well-­‐known  story  could  deviate  from  the  traditional,  more   well-­‐known  version  of  the  tale  and  still  be  appreciated.    


13   By  the  time  Disney  approached  his  team  about  making  Snow  White,  he  had  

clearly  been  thinking  about  the  story  for  years,  and  he  had  a  vast  number  of  ideas,   from  the  Grimms’  story,  from  the  Clark  film,  and  from  his  own  imagination.  The   production  team  discussed  at  length  the  possibility  of  adding  well-­‐known  pieces  of   previous  versions  of  the  tale,  such  as  the  Queen  killing  Snow  White  three  times   (rather  than  once)  and  the  Queen  dancing  herself  to  death  in  red-­‐hot  shoes,  just  as   she  does  in  the  Grimms’  version.  Eventually,  perhaps  in  part  because  of  the  Clark   version,34  Disney  decided  to  cut  these  elements  and  the  scenes  were  removed  from   the  discussion.35    

But  after  vetoing  many  of  the  well-­‐known  elements  of  the  Grimm  version,  

Disney  was  left  with  an  amalgam  of  his  own  ideas  and  those  of  the  Clark  film.  Yet  he   still  faced  the  problem  of  turning  the  story  into  a  full-­‐length  feature.  Disney,  who   was  used  to  making  slapstick  cartoons,  had  wanted  to  make  his  version  of  the  story   just  as  funny  as  his  previous  animations,  and  he  spent  many  of  his  early  meetings   with  his  team  discussing  ways  to  make  the  film  funnier  and  more  light-­‐hearted.  One   of  Disney’s  first  meetings  about  the  film  discussed  his  main  goal  with  the  film:  to   characterize  the  dwarves  through  slapstick  comedy  and  catchy  names,  just  as  the   Clark  version  had.  The  dwarves  were  clearly  meant  to  be  humorous,  especially   considering  some  of  their  early  name  possibilities,  like  “Hoppy-­‐Jumpy”  and  “Sneezy-­‐ Wheezy.”36  Of  course,  it  didn’t  take  long  for  Disney  to  decide  that  too  much  comedy   would  not  work  within  the  story  itself.  He  quickly  learned  that  too  many  comedic   moments  in  the  film  would  ruin  the  seriousness  of  the  story  and  would  keep  Snow   White’s  death  from  moving  the  audience.  But  at  the  same  time,  Disney  had  to  add  



something  to  make  the  story  lengthy  enough  to  entertain  an  audience  for  an  hour.   His  solution  was  to  expand  most  of  the  characters  in  the  Grimms’  “Snow  White”— primarily  the  seven  dwarves,  who  were  difficult  to  expand  without  making  the  film   seem  more  trivial  than  it  should  have  been.37      

In  the  end,  it  took  Disney  over  3  years  to  plan,  write,  and  direct  Snow  White  

and  the  Seven  Dwarves.  But  the  frustrating  years  of  constant  editing  finally  paid  off,   and  Disney  was  able  to  create  a  film  that  was  an  excellent  blend  of  the  Grimms’  story   and  Disney’s  vibrant  and  comedic  imagination.  The  resulting  film  was  magnificent,   and  by  the  time  it  opened  in  December  1937,  it  was  “perhaps  the  most  widely   anticipated  film  ever;”38  Snow  White  became  an  “overnight  success,”39  and  proved   that  fairy  tales  were  just  as  open  for  adaptation  as  they  had  ever  been,  though  now   in  a  static  medium  that,  like  the  Grimms’  stories,  would  survive  for  generations  to   come.    

During  his  lifetime,  Disney  only  made  two  more  feature  films  based  on  fairy  

tales:  Cinderella  (1950)  and  Sleeping  Beauty  (1959),40  but  his  legacy  lives  on.  In  the   past  three  decades,  Disney  Studios  has  continued  to  adapt  fairy  tales  from  Perrault   and  the  Grimms,  and  even,  occasionally,  from  Anderson  (The  Little  Mermaid)  and  de   Beaumont  (Beauty  and  the  Beast).  These  films,  especially  the  more  recent  ones,  are   usually  well-­‐received  by  the  public,41  but  several  fairy  tale  critics  criticize  his  “light-­‐ hearted”  approach  to  adapting  fairy  tales.      

Zipes,  for  example,  claims  that,  in  Disney’s  films,  “it  did  not  matter  what  story  

was  projected  as  long  as  the  images  astounded  the  audience.”42  Zipes  clearly   believes  that  Disney  chose  entertainment  value  over  actual  substance;  to  Zipes,  



these  elements  are  negative  when  compared  to  earlier  versions  of  the  tales,  at  least   in  part  because  of  Disney’s  unique  storytelling  style.  Furthermore,  Zipes  feels  that   “[Disney]  robs  the  literary  tale  of  its  voice  and  changes  its  form  and  meaning…the   fairy  tale  is  practically  infantilized.”43  This  statement  is  even  more  powerful,   claiming  outright  that  Disney  stole  the  tales  from  others  who  came  before  him,   turning  them  into  something  “infantilized”  or  baby-­‐like,  something  unimportant  in   the  scheme  of  fairy  tale  literature.  Zipes  ridiculous  suggestion  is  that,  by  making  the   tales  more  childlike,  Disney  somehow  devalues  the  fairy  tale  as  a  form  of  literature.    

Perhaps  to  some,  Zipes’s  statements  would  seem  valid.  Disney  certainly  

“astounded”  his  audience,  and  he  did  make  the  stories  slightly  more  imaginative  and   entertaining  through  animation  and  music.  But  Zipes’s  statements  seem  to  be   lacking  in  argument.  First  of  all,  Disney  made  every  effort  to  ensure  that  Snow  White   and  the  Seven  Dwarves  did  not  contain  the  overemphasized  spectacles  that  were  so   common  in  Hollywood  at  the  time,  and  he  cut  multiple  scenes  from  the  film  so  that  it   would  not  be  too  comedic  or  too  tragic.44  Although  he  created  comical  dwarves  and   catchy  songs  and  he  did  away  with  all  but  one  of  Snow  White’s  deaths,  he  also  chose   to  keep  certain  elements  as  well.  In  both  versions,  the  main  plot  points  remain  in   tact,  as  does  the  Queen’s  motive  for  wanting  her  step-­‐daughter  dead.  The  changes   Disney  did  make  to  the  story  were  based  on  Disney’s  own  taste  as  well  as  his   influence  by  the  Clark  film  rather  than  any  kind  of  censorship  for  a  younger   audience.  In  fact,  Disney  himself  claimed  that  he  did  not  make  his  fairy  tale  films  for   young  children.  He  stated,  “Before  seven  or  eight  a  child  shouldn’t  be  in  a  theater  at   all…I  didn’t  make  the  picture  for  children.  I  made  it  for  adults—for  the  child  that  



exists  in  all  adults.”45  But  even  if  Disney  did  “infantilize”  the  tales  despite  his   intentions,  the  word  is  not  justified  as  an  insult.  After  all,  children’s  literature   certainly  holds  literary  value,46  and  making  something  more  childish  does  not   necessarily  devalue  the  meaning  or  purpose  of  the  story  itself.  Not  to  mention  the   claim  hardly  holds  argumentative  value  in  Zipes’s  context,  seeing  as  the  Grimm   brothers  (with  whom  Zipes  finds  no  problem)  also  changed  the  stories  to  appeal   more  to  children.      

Ultimately,  Disney  did  exactly  what  the  Grimms  did—he  took  well-­‐known,  

popular,  public  tales  and  adapted  them  to  fit  his  audience.  47  He  did  not  steal  them,   because  they  did  not  belong  to  the  Grimms,  just  as  they  did  not  belong  to  Perrault  or   any  other  fairy  tale  author  or  teller.  Disney  simply  borrowed  them  from  the  public   and  modified  them.  Just  as  Jacob  and  Wilhelm  Grimm  added  illustrations  and   changed  elements  they  felt  were  inappropriate  for  children,  Disney  added   movement,  color,  and  sound.  Just  as  the  Grimms  edited  the  tales  to  include  Christian   values  for  children,  Disney  edited  them  to  make  them  more  visually  entertaining.   Just  as  the  Grimms  turned  wicked  mothers  into  wicked  stepmothers,  Disney   characterized  the  seven  dwarves.  Although  Disney’s  fairy  tale  adaptations  may  have   overshadowed  the  Grimms’  tales  for  nearly  a  century,  his  success  is  not  unjustified.    

But  apart  from  the  flashy  medium  of  animation,  Disney  had  one  other  major  

advantage  over  the  Brothers  Grimm:  he  could  release  his  stories  over  the  course  of  a   century,  instead  of  all  at  once.  Jacob  and  Wilhelm  Grimm  collected  their  tales  and   wrote  them  all  into  one  primary  collection.  Throughout  their  lives,  they  edited  the   collection  multiple  times,  making  their  own,  personal  changes  and  even  adding  or  



removing  tales.  But  Disney  released  his  tales  one  at  a  time  over  the  course  of  many   years.  There  were  nearly  15  years  between  the  releases  of  Snow  White  and   Cinderella,  and  another  10  before  Sleeping  Beauty  was  released.  That  is  just  three   stories  in  sixty-­‐five  years,  where  the  Grimms  produced  hundreds.  It  was  not  until   the  late  1980s  that  Disney  Studios  began  making  fairy  tale  films  on  a  regular  basis.   These  films  have  the  advantage  over  the  Grimms’  tales:  they  can  fit  a  rapidly   changing  culture  much  more  efficiently  than  200-­‐year-­‐old  short  stories  can.  Over   the  years,  Disney’s  films  have  progressed  greatly  from  the  1930s  “housewife”  Snow   White.  Now  in  Disney’s  fairy  tale  adaptations  there  are  arguably  strong  female   characters  such  as  Belle  and  Ariel,  who  are  at  least  more  driven  and  independent   than  their  predecessors,  as  well  as  multicultural  characters  like  Tiana.  The   animation  style  has  changed  to  fit  more  modern  technology,  and  the  characters’   costumes  have  changed  to  fit  more  modern  styles  and  stereotypes  of  beauty.  And  as   Disney  Studios  provides  young  people  with  these  more  capable  and  diverse  roll   models,  the  films  in  turn  work  toward  changing  society.  The  result  is  a  collection  of   Disney  fairy  tales  that  are  as  well-­‐received  today  as  Snow  White  was  over  seventy-­‐ five  years  ago.      

But  Disney  Studios  hasn’t  become  the  most  well-­‐known  fairy  tale  adaptors  of  

all  time  completely  unscathed.  Although  Disney  himself  was  an  honest,  hard   working  man  who  generally  loved  his  work,48  his  studio  has  been  corrupted  by   capitalism  since  his  death.  Part  of  the  studio’s  massive  modern  popularity  stems   from  the  vast  publicity  it  is  able  to  afford,  including  its  various  theme  parks,   Broadway  productions,  sequels,  costumes,  toys,  and  collectables.  And  more  so,  



critics  and  moviegoers  seem  to  care  more  about  animation  technique  than  actual   story.  Seventy-­‐five  years  ago,  Disney’s  Snow  White  was  received  as  “an  authentic   masterpiece”  and  “as  exciting  as  a  Western,  as  funny  as  a  haywire   comedy…[combining]  the  classic  idiom  of  folklore  with  rollicking  comic  strip   humor.”49  But  today,  Disney  Studios  films  are  almost  always  reviewed  based  on  art   and  style,  and  phrases  like  “Eye-­‐popping  animation,”50  “ravishing  beauty,”  and   “exquisite  detail”51  are  much  more  common  than  story  commentary.  Disney  may  not   have  begun  this  way,  but  between  the  cultural  demand  for  merchandise  and  the   increasing  desire  to  see  astounding  animation,  his  legacy  is  quickly  turning  to  the   sensationalism  which  plagues  other  modern  fairy  tale  variants.  Thanks  to  the   Grimms  and  Disney,  fairy  tales  are  as  much  a  part  of  pop  culture  today  as  they  ever   have  been,  if  not  more  so.  With  society’s  infatuation  with  these  tales  becoming  more   and  more  marketable,  it  is  no  wonder  that  more  recent  fairy  tale  variants  are  quick   to  choose  entertainment  and  marketability  over  value  and  substance.      

A  Case  Study  of  Fairy  Tale  Variants  In  the  Twenty-­‐First  Century    

Over  the  past  150  years,  fairy  tales  have  solidified  themselves  in  pop  culture  

in  multiple  ways.  As  previously  mentioned  public  readings  and  vaudeville  plays   based  on  the  Grimms’  adaptations  dominated  the  nineteenth  century,  and  Disney’s   animated  films  did  the  same  in  the  twentieth.  It  is  no  wonder,  then,  that  modern   authors,  artists,  and  filmmakers  strive  to  continue  the  fairy  tale  tradition  by  making  



it  even  more  mainstream.  Unlike  in  the  past,  however,  we  find  ourselves  dominated   not  by  one  author,  but  many.    

Over  the  past  thirteen  years,  fairy  tale  adaptations  and  their  popularity  have  

spiked  once  again.  This  public  interest  has  encouraged  all  types  of  media  to  revisit   common  childhood  tales  in  ways  that  previously  would  have  been  unheard  of.  Live   action  films  take  advantage  of  the  rapidly  expanding  filmic  technology  to  create  3D   fantasy  worlds;  young  adult  novelists  and  poets  spin  romantic  tales  of  “happily  ever   after”  in  the  midst  of  hardship  and  realism;  graphic  novels  turn  beloved  characters   into  voluptuous  heroes;  and  TV  shows  turn  the  stories  into  lengthy  soap-­‐opera   dramas.  Each  of  the  various  adaptations  have  received  either  excellent  or  terrible   reviews,  and  are  either  greatly  loved  or  abhorred  by  moviegoers  and  film  critics.   While  San  Francisco  Chronicle’s  David  Wiegand  calls  the  TV  drama  Once  Upon  a  Time   (2011)  “great,  fluffy  fun”  and  “smart,”52  others  are  not  so  lucky.  The  film  Red  Riding   Hood  (2011)  has  been  called  an  “utterly  ludicrous,”53  and  the  more  recent  Hansel   and  Gretel  Witch  Hunters  (2013)  “settles  for  showers  of  gore  with  intermittent   moments  of  spoofiness.”54  These  newer  versions,  almost  as  a  rule,  seem  to  choose   entertainment  and  sensationalism  over  morality  and  substance;  the  educational   context  of  the  stories  is  replaced  with  more  gore,  more  sex,  and  more   sensationalism.    

Of  course,  fairy  tales  have  always  had  a  sense  of  pop  culture  within  them.  No  

one  can  argue  that  Disney,  the  Grimms,  and  even  Perrault  changed  the  previous   versions  of  the  tales  to  better  suit  the  popular  culture  of  their  time.  In  theory  at   least,  all  fairy  tale  adaptations  have  merged  themselves  with  the  “new”  and  the  



“sensational”  in  order  to  achieve  their  popularity.  In  doing  so,  they  adopt  violence,   religion,  morality,  sex,  and  various  other  traits  in  order  to  appeal  to  a  changing   society.  So  how  are  the  modern  stories  different  from  the  previous  ones?    

Short  answer:  they  are  not.  At  least  not  in  theory.  Just  like  the  more  

traditional  fairy  tales  at  one  time  merged  an  older  story  with  pop  culture,  so  do  ours.   The  authors,  artists,  and  filmmakers  who  are  modifying  these  stories  today  are   doing  the  same  thing.  They  are  taking  a  well-­‐known  story  and  merging  it  with   something  else—horror,  action,  romance,  the  supernatural—in  order  to  make  a   more  “entertaining”  story  for  modern  audiences.  But  in  making  a  classic  story  more   of  a  hybrid  with  each  passing  adaptation,  at  what  point  do  we  cease  to  have  a  “fairy   tale”  and  instead  have  something  else?  How  far  is  “too  far,”  and  are  the  current   modern  versions  there?    

To  answer  these  questions,  I  will  first  return  to  the  Oxford  Companion  to  

Fairy  Tales’s  general  definition  of  a  fairy  tale.  In  order  for  a  story  to  be  a  fairy  tale,  it   must  be  fictional,  include  fantasy,  be  told  for  entertainment,  be  episodic,  contain   “supernatural  challenges”  and  “magical  motifs,”  and  end  happily.  So,  assuming  that   these  criteria  are  what  define  a  fairy  tale  (and,  at  least  for  the  time  being,   overlooking  the  plethora  of  arguments  about  the  definition),  we  can,  in  a  simple   sense,  determine  whether  the  modern  variants  are  fairy  tales  or  not.  To  explore  this   idea,  I  will  examine  several  modern  variations  of  common  fairy  tales  in  order  to   determine  whether  or  not  they  fit  these  criteria.    

The  first  of  the  four  stories  I  will  discuss  is  also  the  oldest  of  my  selection,  

and  is  also  one  of  the  more  well  known  modern  variations,  Alex  Flinn’s  Beastly.  In  



this  novel,  Flinn  reimagines  the  classic  “Beauty  and  the  Beast”  by  modernizing  the   story  and  inverting  the  point  of  view.  Now,  not  only  is  the  story  written  in  first   person  in  modern  New  York  City,  but  readers  also  see  through  the  eyes  of  Kyle— “the  beast”—a    typical  high  school  boy  with  a  famous  news  anchor  father  and  all  the   money  he  could  ever  dream  of.  Kyle  is  sure  of  himself,  his  good  looks,  and  his   popularity,  and  continually  puts  down  other  students,  claiming  that  he  is  superior.  It   is  no  wonder,  then,  that  the  resident  “Goth”  girl  (who  happens  to  be  a  witch)  decides   to  put  a  curse  on  him,  turning  him  into  a  beast—literally.  Kyle’s  father  locks  him  in  a   mansion  across  town  and  leaves  him  to  sort  out  the  cure  to  the  curse  himself,   finding  somebody  to  love  him  before  his  time  runs  out.  Kyle  blackmails  the  father  of   the  girl  he  likes,  Lindy,  into  letting  her  live  in  the  mansion  with  him  where,  just  like   Beauty  in  the  classic  tale,  she  realizes  he  is  actually  a  nice  guy  and  falls  in  love  with   him.      

Although  the  events  of  the  classic  tale  are  much  the  same,  Flinn  changes  the  

story  in  several  ways.  The  modern,  big-­‐city  setting  causes  a  few  problems,  like  how   Lindy  should  come  to  live  with  the  beast  in  the  first  place,  though  Flinn  manages  the   twist  well  enough.  The  whole  blackmail  thing  is  a  little  underhanded,  but  it’s  no   stranger  than  the  classic  idea  of  a  father  trading  his  daughter’s  freedom  for  his  own   life.  But  a  couple  things  change  beyond  the  obvious.  The  longer  story  and  the  point   of  view  change  causes  several  shifts  in  development.  For  one  thing,  there  is  more   time  to  develop  the  characters  and  their  story.  Flinn  spends  several  chapters  simply   explaining  how  and  why  Kyle  was  turned  into  a  beast,  while  de  Beaumont’s  story   provides  about  two  sentences  on  the  matter.  Flinn’s  version  also  elaborates  on  the  



love  story  aspect,  showing  great  detail  in  the  development  of  Kyle  and  Lindy’s   relationship  with  each  other  over  the  course  of  her  “captivity.”      

Most  importantly,  though,  Flinn  uses  the  point  of  view  shift  and  the  lengthy  

narration  to  change  the  way  the  reader  sees  the  beast.  Kyle’s  character  is  very   sympathetic  in  the  novelization,  inserting  the  reader  right  into  his  mind  where  you   see  first  hand  his  motivation  to  act  the  way  he  does  as  well  as  the  shift  in  his   character  that  comes  gradually  with  living  as  a  monster.  The  result,  of  course,  is  a   beast  who  is  entirely  sympathetic—one  whose  actions  were  influenced  by  the  way   he  was  raised  and  whose  outlook  on  life  and  the  world  around  him  changed   drastically  in  the  course  of  several  months.      

Although  Flinn’s  novel  does  not  come  out  and  say  a  particular  moral,  her  

lesson  is  implied  throughout  the  course  of  the  story,  and  does  not  change  all  that   much  from  de  Beaumont’s  and  Disney’s  morals  of  “it’s  what’s  on  the  inside  that   counts.”  This  similarity  is  most  likely  due  to  the  fact  that  Flinn  quite  clearly  did  her   research  on  the  tale  before  she  wrote  her  version.  In  her  author’s  note  at  the  end  of   the  novel,  she  discusses  at  length  the  various  stories  she  read,  and  claims  she  was   most  influenced  by  de  Beaumont’s  version  of  the  tale  as  well  as  Jean  Cocteau’s  film   La  Belle  et  la  bête.55  The  result  of  this  research  is  an  adaptation  that  is  startlingly   similar  to  the  classic  version,  despite  the  many  setting  and  character  changes.      

Consider,  now,  Beastly  in  the  context  of  the  fairy  tale  definition  previously  

mentioned.  The  story  is,  of  course,  fictional,  contains  fantasy,  and  is  meant  to  be   entertaining.  Kyle  faces  the  supernatural  challenge  of  his  curse,  and  the  story   contains  the  motif  of  a  magical  tree  tattooed  on  his  arm  (similar  to  the  enchanted  



rose  from  the  Disney  version  of  the  tale).  And  just  like  the  traditional  story,  Kyle  and   Lindy  live  happily  ever  after  once  she  has  broken  the  curse  and  he  turns  back  to   normal.  In  fact,  the  only  criterion  that  Beastly  does  not  fit  is  the  episodic  nature—a   trait  which  is  hard  to  incorporate  into  a  novel-­‐length  story  based  on  a  single  event.   Therefore,  despite  the  changes  in  setting  and  length  that  Flinn  made  to  “Beauty  and   the  Beast,”  the  story  does  still  fit  the  definition  of  a  fairy  tale.    

The  second  story  I  will  discuss  is  probably  the  least  known  modern  

adaptation—Heather  Dixon’s  Entwined.  This  story,  published  in  2011,  is  a  variant  of   the  Grimms’  story  “The  Worn  Out  Dancing  Shoes”  (also  called  “The  Twelve  Dancing   Princesses”  in  some  publications).  The  fairy  tale  is  a  lesser  known  tale  about  twelve   princesses  who  sneak  into  a  magical  realm  every  night  and  dance  all  night  long,  until   their  shoes  are  worn  through.  The  king  offers  the  reward  of  marring  one  of  his   daughters  to  any  man  who  can  expose  the  girls’  nightly  activities,  an  honor  which  is   won  by  a  young,  injured  veteran.  This  tale  is  one  of  the  more  underdeveloped  fairy   tales,  probably  due  to  the  fact  that  there  are  fourteen  main  characters  to  cover  in   such  a  short  story.    

Dixon’s  novel  is  very  similar  to  the  Grimm  version  in  story,  although  its  

length  adds  greatly  to  the  character  development.  Although  the  eldest  princess,   Azalea,  is  the  main  character,  her  many  sisters  are  all  given  identities  and   personalities  over  the  course  of  the  story.  The  girls’  mother,  the  queen,  loved   dancing  and  taught  them  all  from  the  time  they  could  walk.  But  when  their  mother   dies,  the  castle  must  go  into  mourning,  and  the  king  will  not  allow  any  dancing  for  a   year.  But  just  when  the  girls  cannot  take  it  anymore,  they  discover  a  secret  passage  



leading  out  of  their  bedroom  and  into  an  enchanted  grove.  There,  a  mysterious  and   handsome  man  invites  them  to  dance  all  night  long  in  his  pavilion,  so  long  as  they   swear  through  magic  not  to  tell  anyone.  The  girls  return  night  after  night,  but  the   more  they  dance,  the  more  they  realize  that  the  debonair  young  man  is  not  who  they   thought  he  was.  He’s  trapped  in  the  castle  walls…and  is  trying  to  trick  the  girls  into   releasing  him.      

Of  all  the  stories  I  will  discuss,  Entwined  is  probably  the  most  similar  to  the  

traditional  story,  if  only  because  the  Grimms’  tale  is  so  short  and  undetailed.  Dixon’s   novel  is  a  lengthy,  developed  version  of  the  Grimm  version,  and,  just  like  Beastly,  fits   all  of  the  “fairy  tale”  criteria  except  for  the  episodic  nature.    

The  third  modern  adaptation  is  unique  from  the  others  in  that  it  is  episodic—

TV  episodes,  that  is.  ABC’s  Once  Upon  a  Time  is  probably  the  most  popular  variant  I   will  discuss,  and  it  is  certainly  one  of  the  more  original  adaptations.  The  show   presents  itself  in  two  different  settings,  but  follows  the  same  characters.  In  the   show,  all  fairy  tale  characters  come  from  the  same  realm,  the  Enchanted  Forest.   There  they  live  side  by  side,  each  involved  in  their  own  story  but  occasionally   crossing  over  into  another.  That  is,  until  the  evil  queen  from  Snow  White’s  story   decides  she  will  curse  the  entire  forest  by  sending  them  to  live  in  the  “real”  world.   The  catch  is  that  only  the  queen  herself  knows  the  curse  exists;  all  the  other  fairy   tale  characters  are  condemned  to  live  a  never-­‐changing  life  in  Storybrooke,  a  typical   American  small  town.  The  characters  live  this  way  for  twenty  years,  until  Snow   White  and  Prince  Charming’s  daughter,  Emma,  who  was  transported  to  the  real   world  as  a  baby  un-­‐cursed,  finds  her  way  to  the  town  and  begins  to  unlock  the  



secrets.  Slowly,  the  characters  remember  their  stories,  and  must  work  toward   breaking  the  curse  and  transporting  themselves  back  to  the  Enchanted  Forest.      

The  uniqueness  of  the  show  lies  in  its  length  and  the  fact  that  the  episodes  

tell  the  story  of  most  well-­‐known  fairy  tale  characters,  from  Belle  and  Snow  to   Rumpelstiltskin  and  Little  Red  Riding  Hood.  The  show  even  goes  beyond  Grimm  and   Perrault  versions,  including  characters  like  the  Mad  Hatter,  Pinocchio  and  Jiminy   Cricket,  and  Captain  Hook.  Throw  all  of  these  characters  into  the  same  world,  and   the  stories  collide  in  imaginative  ways  with  very  few  extra  characters.  Consider  the   character  of  Rumpelstiltskin  as  an  example:  a  human-­‐turned-­‐imp  who  enjoys   granting  wishes  for  the  right  price.  Instead  of  a  fairy,  Rumple  is  the  one  who  grants   Cinderella’s  wish  to  go  to  the  ball,  and  in  exchange,  she  promises  her  first  child  to   him.  She  and  her  prince  manage  to  imprison  him  (she  keeps  the  child,  but  the  prince   disappears),  where  Rumple  is  visited  by  the  evil  queen,  whom  he  gives  the  spell  to   curse  the  forest.  This  type  of  combination  is  intriguing,  but  the  stories  become   complex  very  quickly.  Then,  the  Storybrooke  stories  start  mixing  with  the   Enchanted  Forest  stories,  the  curse  is  broken,  and  then  things  just  get  weird.      

One  might  think  that  the  logical  conclusion  to  the  story  would  be  the  broken  

curse.  But  in  true  TV  drama  fashion,  this  is  unfortunately  not  the  case.  As  the  story   gets  longer,  the  interesting  and  unique  elements  vanish,  making  way  for  some  major   drama  and  not  much  else.  Despite  the  drama,  however,  the  story  still  fits  many  of   Oxford’s  criteria,  containing  abundant  magical  challenges  and  unique  spins  on   classic  motifs.  It  even  manages  to  be  episodic  in  nature,  explaining  each  character’s   story  as  a  single  entity  within  a  vast  network  of  other  stories.  The  only  criterion  it  



does  not  meet  is  the  happy  ending…this  being  simply  because  the  show  is  currently   ongoing.  Since  the  show  has  no  ending  yet,  we  cannot  tell  if  it  is  a  happy  ending.   Though  judging  by  the  producers  (Edward  Kitsis  and  Adam  Horowitz,  the  same  duo   that  produced  Lost),  hope  for  a  happy  ending  may  be  asking  too  much.      

The  final  adaptation  I  will  discuss  at  length  is  another  ongoing  series,  this  

time  in  novel  form.  Marissa  Meyer’s  Lunar  Chronicles  series  is,  like  most  other   stories  I  have  discussed,  a  unique  take  on  well-­‐known  tales.  The  first  novel,  Cinder,   is  a  Cinderella  story…sort  of.  The  story  is  a  science  fiction  representation  of  the  tale   in  which  Cinder  (Cinderella)  is  a  cyborg  alien  princess  living  in  the  futuristic  town  of   New  Beijing.  She  is  a  mechanic  who  works  at  the  market  to  help  support  her   adoptive  mother  and  two  sisters,  one  of  whom  is  her  best  friend.  It  is  at  the  market   where  she  meets  Prince  Kai,  whom  she  couldn’t  really  care  less  about.  When   Cinder’s  beloved  sister  dies  of  the  plague,  Cinder’s  mother  sells  her  as  a  test  subject   to  help  find  the  cure  for  the  disease.  It  is  there  she  discovers  that  she  is  the  princess   of  an  alien  colony  living  on  the  moon,  and  both  Earth  and  Luna  are  convinced  that   she  was  killed  by  her  step  mother,  Queen  Levana,  who  is  plotting  to  take  over  the   Earth,  starting  with  New  Beijing.  Cinder  goes  the  ball  in  a  rusty  orange  car  to  warn   Prince  Kai,  dressed  in  rain  soaked  clothes,  muddy  gloves,  and  high  heeled  shoes.   Levana  knows  instantly  that  Cinder  is  the  escaped  princess  and  orders  Kai  to   imprison  her,  which  is  easy,  considering  Cinder  trips  in  her  shoes  and  breaks  her   animatronic  foot.  Although  Cinder’s  story  continues  in  the  second  novel,  Scarlet,  the   “Cinderella”  parallels  end  with  the  first  book.    




Meyer’s  story  is  the  least  like  its  original  fairy  tale,  mixing  small,  recognizable  

events  and  motifs  into  a  much  larger,  almost  unrelated  story.  The  orange  car  Cinder   drives  to  the  ball,  for  example,  is  reminiscent  of  a  pumpkin  carriage,  though  there  is   nothing  magic  about  Cinder’s  own  mechanical  skills.  And  while  the  shoe  does  help   the  Prince  find  Cinder,  it  leads  toward  a  much  more  negative  ending.  In  terms  of  the   definition,  though,  the  story  still  seems  to  fit  to  an  extent.  The  story  does  take  place   in  a  fantasy  world,  and  contains  a  small  amount  of  magic.  The  challenges  are   supernatural,  given  that  the  protagonist  and  antagonist  are  both  aliens,  but  the   motifs  are  not  really  magical,  and  are  only  vaguely  reminiscent  of  the  classic  story’s.   Cinder  itself  is  not  episodic,  though  the  second  novel  is  more  so,  and  it  is  easily   assumed  that  the  future  novels  will  become  more  so  as  more  fairy  tales  are   introduced.      

Of  course,  there  are  many  more  modern  adaptations  of  fairy  tales  in  a  wide  

variety  of  literary  types  and  genres.  Many  of  these  adaptations  are  longer  and  more   complex  than  the  older  versions  of  the  tales,  and  many  are  combined  with  other   genres  of  stories,  becoming  hybrids  with  those  other  genres  and  moving  father   away  from  the  traditional  stories.  And  yet,  despite  their  apparent  differences  from   the  originals,  most  of  the  adaptations  still  fit  Oxford’s  given  definition.  In  theory,   then,  the  adaptations  still  count  as  fairy  tales,  as  long  as  we  accept  Oxford’s   definition.  But  are  they  really?  How  far  can  we  really  stretch  this  definition?      

Consider,  first  off,  that  not  all  fairy  tale  critics  agree  on  Oxford’s  definition  of  a  

fairy  tale,  probably  because  it  is  so  simplistic.  Fairy  tale  is  a  complicated  genre,  and   over  the  past  several  centuries,  the  term  has  evolved  just  as  the  stories  have.  



Certainly,  the  amalgam  of  stories  we  call  fairy  tales  is  not  what  d’Aulnoy  was   thinking  of  when  she  first  used  the  phrase.  Over  the  years,  the  genre  has  grown  to   include  much  more  than  just  magic  and  fairies,  and  now,  it  seems,  many  critics  have   trouble  distinguishing  between  fantasy  and  fairy  tale,  causing  many  scholars  to   write  extremely  lengthy  discussions  on  what  fairy  tales  are  and  are  not.  And,  of   course,  there  is  no  true  right  or  wrong  answer  to  the  question.  So  does  the  Oxford   definition  do  a  good  job  of  summing  up  the  nature  of  fairy  tales?  Sure.  But  is  it  all-­‐ inclusive?  Probably  not.      

Perhaps  the  definition  provides  an  “all  fairy  tales  are  episodic,  fantasy  stories  

that  include  magical  challenges  and  motifs  and  end  happily,  but  not  all  tales  that  are   episodic,  fantasy  stories  that  include  magical  challenges  and  motifs  and  end  happily   are  fairy  tales”  situation.  If  the  latter  were  true,  we  could  probably  attribute  the   definition  to  half  of  the  novels  in  the  fantasy  section  of  a  bookstore,  thereby  making   about  half  of  the  fictional  novels  in  existence  “fairy  tales.”  So  does  the  fact  that  the   modern  adaptations  fit  most  of  these  characteristics  really  mean  anything,  or  are  we   merely  seeing  patterns  where  none  exist?  The  answer  is  simpler  than  it  might  seem.      

Qualifying  the  Definition    

Fairy  tales  themselves  do  contain  all  of  the  attributes  that  the  Oxford  

Companion  suggests.  However,  they  generally  include  two  more  things,  the  first  of   which  is  simplicity.  At  most,  Perrault’s  and  the  Grimms’  tales  are  only  a  couple  pages   long,  and  could  be  told  aloud  in  under  half  an  hour.  But  that  is  not  due  to  a  lack  of  



substance  on  the  authors’  part;  it  is  merely  that  the  stories  are  simple.  Critic  Steven   Swan  Jones  is  one  of  the  scholars  who  suggests  that  this  simplicity  is,  in  fact,  a   defining  characteristic.  Jones  states,  as  an  example,  that  “Little  Red  Riding  Hood”   contains  a  “protagonist  [who]  is  a  young  girl,  not  particularly  a  peasant.  Her   interactions  are  entirely  with  family  relations  and  a  wolf;  the  picture  of  society  is   essentially  absent.”56  Essentially,  Little  Red  is  about  a  very  nondescript  little  girl   who  might  be  poor  and  who  might  live  in  Europe,  but  the  readers  do  not  know   because  there  are  no  details.  Nothing  in  the  story  tells  the  reader  that  the  forest   Little  Red  walks  through  is  a  specific  forest;  it  could  just  as  easily  be  the  forest  in  the   reader’s  backyard  as  it  could  be  half  way  across  the  world.  And,  at  least  in  part,  that   lack  of  detail  is  what  makes  the  fairy  tale  so  relatable  to  all  kinds  of  readers.    

But  what  happens  when  an  author  gives  detail  where  none  previously  

existed?  Perhaps  they  tell  a  longer,  more  entertaining  story,  but  is  it  still  a  fairy  tale?   Jones  does  not  think  so,  and  neither  does  fairy  tale  critic  Vanessa  Joosen,  who  claims   that  in  becoming  more  specific,  “the  fairy  tale  drops  some  of  its  defining   characteristics…and  the  retellings  blur  the  boundaries  between  fairy  tales  and   novels.”57  Considering  that  the  modern  popularity  of  fairy  tales  originates  with  their   ability  to  relate  to  almost  anyone,  anywhere,  and  the  reason  they  do  so  is  due  to   their  lack  of  specificity,  this  makes  sense.  After  all,  Alex  Flinn’s  setting  of  a   townhouse  in  New  York  City  is  a  lot  more  specific  than  de  Beaumont’s  version  of  a   castle  in  the  woods  in  probably-­‐France  (the  specific  setting  of  which  is  not  actually   mentioned  in  the  tale).  Even  the  Disney  versions  contain  much  more  character  and  



setting  detail  than  the  earlier  tales,  simply  because  the  films  are  so  lengthy  and  are   visual  in  nature  rather  than  solely  literary.    

Similar  instances  happen  in  all  of  the  modern  adaptations,  simply  because  it  

is  not  possible  to  write  a  novel  or  lengthy  story  in  which  the  author  does  not  specify   setting  and  does  not  develop  the  characters  in  detail.  Recall  that  the  Grimms’  “The   Worn  Out  Dancing  Shoes”  is  about  twelve  very  undetailed  princesses  who  have  very   little  motive  to  dance  every  night  or  to  keep  their  escapades  a  secret  from  their   father  beyond  pure  speculation.  But  in  Dixon’s  novel,  each  of  the  princesses  has  a   face  and  a  name  in  the  reader’s  eye.  Dixon  tells  what  they  look  like,  how  old  they  are,   and  even  what  each  of  their  personalities  are,  not  to  mention  her  description  of  the   King,  the  girls’  late  mother,  and  the  multitude  of  men  who  come  to  help  solve  the   riddle.  The  story  is  long  and  expressive  and  entertaining,  sure,  but  it  is  too  detailed   to  be  a  fairy  tale.      

This  lack  of  simplicity  also  leads  into  the  second  aspect  of  fairy  tales  which  is  

relatively  lacking  in  the  modern  versions:  adaptability.  Perhaps  Perrault  or  the   Grimms  would  not  have  considered  the  extent  to  which  their  tales  were  modifiable,   but  nonetheless  they  are.  The  lack  of  detail  makes  it  easy  to  take  a  sequence  of   events  like  those  which  happen  in  “The  Worn  Out  Dancing  Shoes”  or  “Cinderella”  or   “Little  Red  Riding  Hood”  and  change  them  into  a  different,  yet  very  similar,  story.   The  very  fact  that  these  stories  are  able  to  evolve  across  time  and  culture  is  what   makes  them  special  and  necessary  to  us.  But  can  you  really  adapt  a  full-­‐fledged   novel  or  TV  show?  An  author  who  tries  to  modify  Dixon’s  Entwined  could  probably   go  about  it  in  one  of  two  ways.  She  could  change  the  plot  at  its  core,  in  which  case  it  



is  no  longer  based  on  a  fairy  tale  and  one  would  find  it  difficult  to  even  relate  it  to   Dixon’s  story,  or  the  author  could  change  the  details  and  keep  the  plot,  in  which  case   why  would  she  not  just  start  from  the  Grimm  version?  Either  version  is  not  really  an   adaptation  of  Dixon’s  novel,  and  if  it  remains  an  adaptation  of  anything,  it  is  of  the   Grimm  version.  The  same  can  be  seen  even  with  the  Disney  adaptations—certain   Disney  motifs  or  events  may  have  influenced  the  modern  versions  (the  enchanted   rose  from  Beauty  and  the  Beast  clearly  influences  the  tree  tattoo  in  Beastly),  but  the   stories  and  themes  of  the  modern  versions  are  based  much  more  on  the  classic   stories  than  they  are  on  Disney.  In  theory,  then,  the  lengthening  and  novelization  of   the  tale  is  the  end  of  the  line,  so  to  speak.  But  that  certainly  does  not  make  them  less   valuable  to  the  world.  There  is  no  where  to  go  but  back  for  the  fairy  tale,  but  these   new  hybrids  can  only  move  forward,  creating  the  path  for  whatever  comes  next.        


The  good  news  is  that  the  classic  versions  of  fairy  tales  are  still  as  essential  to  

us  today  as  they  ever  were,  and  will  probably  remain  so  for  the  foreseeable  future.   That  is,  anyway,  until  someone  else  comes  along  who  can  write  a  series  of  short,   nondescript  stories  modified  from  past  versions  that  also  contain  all  of  the  Oxford   criteria.  Of  course,  this  may  or  may  not  ever  happen.      

But  just  because  the  modern  variants  can  only  partially  be  called  fairy  tales  

does  not  make  them  unnecessary  or  negative.  Disney  is  evidence  enough  of  that,   providing  us  with  films  that  are  as  treasured  today  as  they  were  decades  ago  that  



would  be  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  to  replace  or  ignore.  These  adaptations—both   Disney’s  and  the  various  others—fit  into  a  society  where  entertainment  is  valuable.   And  these  stories  certainly  entertain.  Perhaps  not  all  of  the  adaptations  can  be   considered  “good  literature,”  but  that  is  up  to  each  individual  reader  to  decide.  Critic   and  theorist  Terry  Eagleton  said,  “difference  must  pass  through  identity  if  it  is  to   come  into  its  own.”58  So  while  these  stories  may  be  a  dead  end  to  the  fairy  tale— mimicking  them  but  never  replacing—they  may  very  well  be  the  start  of  something   else  that  will  one  day  be  respected  and  enjoyed  throughout  the  world.                                                                                                                         1  “Fairy  Tale”  in  The  Oxford  Companion  to  Fairy  Tales:  The  Western  Fairy  Tale     Tradition  from  Medieval  to  Modern  (New  York:  Oxford  University  Press,  2000),  201.       2  Maria  Tatar,  “Introduction”  in  The  Annotated  Classic  Fairy  Tales,  ed.  Maria     Tatar  (New  York:  Norton,  2004),  xii.     3  A.S.  Bryant,  “Introduction,”  in  The  Annotated  Brothers  Grimm,  ed.  Maria     Tatar  (New  York:  Norton,  2004)  xvii.     4  Ibid,  xviii.       5  Maria  Tatar,  ed.,  “Introduction:  Beauty  and  the  Beast”  in  The  Classic  Fairy     Tales  (New  York:  Norton,  1999),  25.       6  Jan  M.  Ziolkowski,  Fairy  Tales  from  Before  Fairy  Tales:  The  Medieval  Latin     Past  of  Wonderful  Lies  (Ann  Arbor:  University  of  Michigan,  2008),  93-­‐124.       7  Jack  Zipes,  “Breaking  the  Disney  Spell”  in  The  Classic  Fairy  Tales,  ed.  Maria     Tatar  (New  York:  Norton,  1999),  333-­‐34.       8    The  term  “oral  fairy  tale”  used  here  does  not  necessarily  refer  to  commonly     known  stories  in  modern  day.  The  term  includes  episodic-­‐like  short  stories  which   contain  some  kind  of  magical  occurrence  and/or  motif,  some  of  which  are  unknown   in  modern  times.  These  kinds  of  tales  were  popular  among  the  French  aristocracy  in  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the  1600s.  It  is  these  oral  tales  that  d’Aulnoy  was  referring  to  when  she  first  wrote   the  term  contes  de  fées  (or  “fairy  tale”)  in  1697.     9  Encyclopedia  of  Folklore  and  Literature,  s.v.  “Charles  Perrault.”           10  “Charles  Perrault”  in  The  Oxford  Companion  to  Fairy  Tales:  The  Western     Fairy  Tale  Tradition  from  Medieval  to  Modern  (New  York:  Oxford  University  Press,   2000),  501-­‐4.     11  Robert  Darnton,  “Peasants  Tell  Tales:  The  Meaning  of  Mother  Goose”  in     The  Classic  Fairy  Tales,  ed.  Maria  Tatar  (New  York:  Norton,  1999),  282.       12  The  difference  between  fairy  tales,  folktales,  myths,  and  legends  is  highly     debatable,  and  no  clear  definition  for  any  of  them  have  been  set.  My  own   understanding  and  interpretation  is  that  the  term  contes  de  fées  refers  to  magical   short  stories  that  were  told  in  the  French  courts.  They  would  not  have  contained   divine  beings  or  explained  natural  phenomena  like  myths  and  legends  would  have,   and  they  were  separated  from  the  traditional  folk  tale  which,  at  the  time,  would   have  been  accessible  to  the  common  people  and  would  not  have  contained  magical   elements.     13  Zipes,  “Breaking  the  Disney  Spell,”  334.       14  “Jacob  and  Wilhelm  Grimm”  in  The  Oxford  Companion  to  Fairy  Tales:  The     Western  Fairy  Tale  Tradition  from  Medieval  to  Modern  (New  York:  Oxford  University   Press,  2000),  274-­‐8.     15  Maria  Tatar,  “Reading  the  Grimms’  Children’s  Stories  and  Household  Tales:     Origins  and  Cultural  Effects  of  the  Collection"  in  The  Annotated  Brothers  Grimm,  ed.   Maria  Tatar  (New  York:  Norton,  2004),  xxxii.     16  Encyclopedia  of  Folklore  and  Literature,  s.v.  “Brothers  Grimm.”         17  I  use  the  term  “authenticity”  here  because  that  is  what  the  Grimms     intended  to  restore  when  they  set  out  to  compile  their  fairy  tales.  The  term  is  not   meant  to  undermine  the  value  of  their  stories.  The  Grimms  did  not  understand  that   there  is  no  “authentic”  fairy  tale.  Even  in  their  time,  the  history  of  the  tales  was  so   muddled  and  had  evolved  so  slowly  over  several  centuries  that  it  would  be   impossible  to  recreate  the  original  versions.  However,  regardless  of  authenticity,  the   tales  are  just  as  valuable  today  as  they  were  when  they  were  first  published.     18  “Jacob  and  Wilhelm  Grimm,”  276       19  Ibid,  276-­‐7.      



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          20  Darnton,  “Peasants  Tell  Tales:  The  Meaning  of  Mother  Goose,”  282.       21  Chris  Gaylord,  “Brothers  Grimm  Saved  Classic  Fairy  Tales  by  Changing     them  Forever,”  The  Christian  Science  Monitor,  December  20,  2012,­‐Culture/2012/1220/Brothers-­‐ Grimm-­‐saved-­‐classic-­‐fairy-­‐tales-­‐by-­‐changing-­‐them-­‐forever  (accessed  July  22,  2013).     22  Encyclopedia  of  Folklore  and  Literature,  s.v.  “Grimm,  Brothers.”       23  Zipes,  “Breaking  the  Disney  Spell,”  337-­‐8.       24  The  Grimm  tales  were  the  first  written  fairy  tales  to  become  so  popular     that  they  almost  completely  overpowered  the  oral  tradition  of  the  stories.  Their   tales  both  solidified  the  well-­‐known  stories  in  written  form  and  re-­‐popularized   them,  encouraging  other  genres  of  storytelling,  such  as  theater  and  film.  Although   not  all  of  the  different  mediums  that  reproduced  or  modified  the  Grimms’  stories   can  be  considered  static  and  unchangeable,  many  of  them  were  and  still  are.  The   Grimms  were  the  first  to  show  the  general  public  the  potential,  value,  and   convenience  of  static  fairy  tales.  Their  success  with  the  stories  is  what  encouraged   future  authors  and  filmmakers  to  continue  making  static  versions  of  these  well-­‐ known  tales,  thus  overshadowing  (though  never  deleting)  the  oral  and  theatrical   versions  of  the  stories.     25  Peter  Verstraten,  “Between  Attraction  and  Narration:  Early  Film     Adaptations  of  Fairy  Tales,”  Revue  Electronique  de  Litterature  Francaise  4,  no.  1   (2010):  241,  accessed  February  12,  2013.   26  “Movie  History,”  Filmbug.     php  (accessed  July  31,  2013).     27  Verstraten,  “Between  Attraction  and  Narration:  Early  Film  Adaptations  of     Fairy  Tales,”  243.     28  Ibid,  247.       29  Neal  Gabler,  Walt  Disney  (New  York:  Alfred  A.  Knopf,  2006),  68.         30  Although  Disney  was  certainly  not  the  only  filmmaker,  or  even  animator,  to     create  filmic  adaptations  of  fairy  tales,  he  is  the  one  I  will  focus  on  in  this  thesis.  My   purpose  in  this  section,  as  in  the  previous  section,  is  to  detail  the  most  well-­‐known   adapters  of  fairy  tales.  It  is  certain  that,  of  all  the  filmmakers  who  visited  fairy  tales   as  potential  subject  matter,  Disney  is  the  one  the  general  public  is  the  most  familiar   with,  and  he  (and  his  company)  is  without  a  doubt  the  most  well-­‐known  and   popular  fairy  tale  adapter  of  the  20th  century.        



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          31  Michael  Barrier,  The  Animated  Man:  A  Life  of  Walt  Disney  (Los  Angeles:     University  of  California  Press,  2007),  101.       32  Ibid,102.       33  Ibid,102.       34  J.  Searle  Dawley’s  1916  production  of  Snow  White  left  out  the  dancing     shoes  completely,  and  only  included  two  of  the  three  “death”  scenes  present  in  the   Grimms’  tale.  The  “missing”  death  was  the  lace  bodice,  which  may  have  been   removed  simply  to  fit  the  costuming  of  the  production.     35  Gabler,  Walt  Disney,  219-­‐20.       36  Christopher  Finch,  The  Art  of  Walt  Disney  (Burbank:  Walt  Disney,  1973),     167-­‐8.       37  Barrier,  The  Animated  Man:  A  Life  of  Walt  Disney,  121.       38  Ibid,131.       39  Finch,  The  Art  of  Walt  Disney,  197.       40  Disney,  of  course,  made  dozens  of  films  between  Snow  White  and  the  time     of  his  death  in  1966,  including  several  like  Pinocchio  (1940),  Alice  in  Wonderland   (1951),  and  Peter  Pan  (1953),  which  are  sometimes  considered  to  be  fairy  tales.  It  is,   therefore,  important  to  note  that  when  I  say  “Disney  fairy  tales,”  I  mean  films  that  he   specifically  adapted  from  tales  written  by  the  Grimm  brothers,  Perrault,  Hans   Christian  Anderson,  or  Jeanne-­‐Marie  Leprince  de  Beaumont  rather  than  children’s   literature  in  general.     41  According  to  The  Numbers  Box  Office  Data,  Disney’s  fairy  tale  adaptations     have  consistently  made  more  than  $100  million  in  the  box  office.  The  Little  Mermaid   (1989)  received  over  $111  million,  and  Beauty  and  the  Beast  (1991)  received  almost   $219  million.  The  Numbers  projects  these  movies  at  $206  and  $340  million   respectively  with  inflation.  More  recent  films  have  also  done  well.  The  Princess  and   the  Frog  (2009)  received  over  $104  million  and  Tangled  (2010)  received  over  $200   million.  When  compared  to  the  first  release  of  Snow  White  (1937),  which  made  a   projected  $185  million  (considering  inflation),  it  is  clear  that  Disney’s  popularity  is   substantial  and  has  remained  consistent  since  his  debut.     42  Zipes,  “Breaking  the  Disney  Spell,”  342       43  Ibid,  344.      



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          44  Barrier,  The  Animated  Man:  A  Life  of  Walt  Disney,  127.       45  Ibid,  131       46  In  fact,  some  of  the  most  cherished  literary  works  like  Lewis  Carroll’s  Alice     in  Wonderland  and  J.M.  Barrie’s  Peter  Pan  fall  into  the  category  of  Children’s   literature.     47  Disney  and  the  Grimm  brothers  are  certainly  not  the  only  famous  authors     to  follow  this  pattern.  Consider  that  Shakespeare,  Homer,  and  many  other  great   storytellers  also  took  their  stories  from  well-­‐known  tales  and  myths.  Thus  the  fact   that  Disney  modified  the  Grimms’  tales  does  not  make  him  any  less  of  a  great   storyteller.     48  Despite  Zipes’s  claims  that  Disney  was  a  narcissistic  and  self-­‐projecting     villain,  I  believe  he  was  mistaken.  Disney  was  a  self-­‐made  man,  true,  and  his  work   ethic  and  artistic  visions  caused  him  to  be  critical  of  his  team  and  ruthless  in  his   editing,  but  he  did  not  underappreciate  his  crew.  By  1934,  as  soon  as  he  could  afford   it,  Disney  began  paying  semiannual  bonuses  to  most  of  his  employees,  and  it  was  his   idea  to  cut  down  on  negativity  in  the  studio,  encourage  animators  to  work  because   they  enjoyed  it,  not  because  they  had  to  (103).  Disney  may  have  been  critical  in   finalizing  his  projects,  but  so  were  his  employees;  everyone  wanted  to  fulfill   Disney’s  visions  on  screen  (112).     49  “Snow  White  and  the  Seven  Dwarves  Original  Theatrical  Trailer  #1,”     YouTube  video,  1:37,  posted  by  “DisneyPlatinumDVDsTV,”  July  21,  2009,     50  Janet  Maslin,  “Beauty  and  the  Beast  (1991),”  review  of  Beauty  and  the     Beast,  dir.  Gary  Trousdale  and  Kirk  Wise,  New  York  Times,  November  13,  1991, 7958260  (accessed  July  23,  2013).     51  A.O.  Scott,  “Tangled  (2010):  Back  to  the  Castle  Where  it’s  all  About  the     Hair,”  review  of  Tangled,  dir.  Nathan  Greno  and  Byron  Howard,  New  York  Times,   November  23  2010, &_r=1&  (accessed  July  23,  2013).     52  David  Wiegand,  “’Grimm’  and  ‘Once  Upon  a  Time’  Reviews,”  review  of     Grimm  and  Once  Upon  a  Time,  San  Francisco  Chronicle,    October  21,  2011,­‐and-­‐Once-­‐Upon-­‐a-­‐Time-­‐reviews-­‐ 2326641.php  (accessed  July  23,  2013).    



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          53  Ann  Hornaday,  “Red  Riding  Hood:  A  Tale  Cloaked  in  Pretension,”  review  of     Red  Riding  Hood,  dir.  Catherine  Hardwicke,  The  Washington  Post,  March  11,  2011,­‐riding-­‐hood,1163413/critic-­‐ review.html  (accessed  July  23,  2013).     54  Liam  Lacey,  “Hansel  &  Gretel:  Witch  Hunters—Brisk  and  Disposable  (in  3D,     no  less),”  review  of  Hansel  &  Gretel:  Witch  Hunters,  dir.  Tommy  Wirkola,  The  Globe   and  Mail,  January  25,  2013,­‐ reviews/hansel-­‐gretel-­‐witch-­‐hunters-­‐brisk-­‐and-­‐disposable-­‐in-­‐3-­‐d-­‐no-­‐ less/article7872214/  (accessed  July  23,  2013).     55  Alex  Flinn,  “Author’s  Note,”  in  Beastly  (New  York:  HarperCollins,  2007)     301-­‐4.     56  Steven  Swan  Jones,  “On  Analyzing  Fairy  Tales:  ‘Little  Red  Riding  Hood’     Revisited,”  in  Western  Folklore,  46,  no.  2  (Apr.  1987):  101  (accessed  Nov.  4,  2013).     57  Vanessa  Joosen,  “Disenchanting  the  Fairy  Tale:  Retellings  of  ‘Snow  White’     Between  Magic  and  Realism,”  Marvels  &  Tales:  Journal  of  Fairy  Tale  Studies,  21,  no.  2   (2007):  238  (accessed  Nov.  4,  2013).     58  Terry  Eagleton,  “From  the  Polis  to  the  Postmodern,”  in  The  Ideology  of  the     Aesthetic,  (Oxford:  Blackwell  Publishers,  1990)  414.