Fairy tales have been around for centuries, often supporting a lesson or solely for pure entertainment purposes. I’m sure just about everyone is aware that not all fairy tales have happy endings — and most of those unhappy endings are most notably linked to the Grimm Brothers. But they were just writing down what had been orally told for eons in their area. After all, the stories were originally meant for adult entertainment before someone decided that one could tell the stories to children to teach them not to stray in the woods lest the big bad wolf comes out to snatch them away or don’t take candy from a stranger, even if said stranger’s house is made of candy.Many a storyteller has been inspired by fairy tales from John Updike to Walt Disney. Arthur Rackham, a British illustrator, has mentioned “that we should be behaving ourselves very differently if Beauty had never been united to her Beast . . . of if Sister Anne hadn’t seen anybody coming; or if ‘Open Sesame!’ hadn’t cleared the way, or Sindbad sailed.” And you know, perhaps he’s right. If Belle hadn’t been in my life, I often wonder if I’d still be as enthralled with books as I am now. Perhaps some of our childhoods would have been filled with something else instead of living in worlds of fantasies filled with fairies, witches, goblins, and cyclopes.
Fantasy wasn’t a genre back in the early 1900s. There wasn’t a genre to fit books like The Wizard of Oz or The Hobbit so they got lumped in with fairy tales and it makes sense; fairy tales are filled with the same creatures that fantasy worlds are filled with.
The words “Once upon a time…” will always bring a smile to our faces for they’ll always bring us to a time of innocence. And if Disney has any say in it, we’ll always be reminded of the fairy tales we were read when we were younger.