Disney’s ‘Fairy Tale Romance’ Then and Now
Having grown up seeing the Disney Studio’s versions of many famed storytellers’ tales, one can’t help but compare them to the studio’s recent releases. How have they changed, both in story and in character?
Known for its magical fairy tales and romance, Disney has become the main source of the idea of love for the younger generation. Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast — you name it. Stories such as these show love and magic shared between two people, often from royalty. All began in a single kiss that sealed a happily ever after.
However, as time passed, and the definition of love changed and grew, it seems Disney wants to go along with this flow as shown by some of its recent and not-so-recent movies.
For 2012, there was "Brave," depicting the story of a headstrong, even tomboyish princess tired of being trained by her mother to become the perfect princess that she ended turning her into a bear! Here, we see the love of family, particularly that of between a mother and a daughter.
In 2013, we have Disney’s big hit "Frozen," loosely based from Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Snow Queen." Here, we see the love between two sisters initially drawn apart by fear and a freezing curse. Here, our dreams of a Prince Charming were crushed as we instead see a cold-hearted prince greedy for wealth and power. Fortunately, our princess still gets her own prince, in the form of an iceman with a pet reindeer.
The year 2014 showed how Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of one of the most feared antagonists in a classic Disney movie completely changed our perspective of Disney’s previous version of "Sleeping Beauty." "Maleficent" showed a very different side of the story, with the father king as the main antagonist and how true love grew between a fairy thrown into darkness and a cursed princess. Here, we see that love seen between mother and child can extend beyond flesh and blood.
In Christmas 2014, we will see Disney’s new release, "Into the Woods," shown to be a mesh of our beloved stories from the Grimm brothers’ collection. It includes characters from Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, Red Riding Hood and more. How this story will make us think of love in a different point of view again is everyone’s guess.
With new stories to watch out for in the near future, we can only wait and see how Disney makes us see love in a different light all over again.
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Photo source: Wikimedia Commons/Walt Disney