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Guide to Disney and Fairy Tales

SurLaLune frequently receives inquiries about Disney and fairy tales. Here is a summary of some of the most frequently recommended sources for researching the topic as well as links to archived discussions on the SurLaLune Discussion Board.


Bell, Elizabeth, Lynda Hass, and Laura Sells, editors. From Mouse to Mermaid: The Politics of Film, Gender, and Culture. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1995.

Douglas, Susan J. Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media. New York: Crown, 1994.

Merritt, Russell and J. B. Kaufman. Walt in Wonderland: The Silent Films of Walt Disney. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.

Schickel, Richard. The Disney Version: The Life, Times, Art and Commerce of Walt Disney. Chicago: Ivan R Dee, 1968, 1985, 1997.

Thomas, Frank, and Ollie Johnston. Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life. Disney Editions, 1981.

Warner, Marina.  From Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers.  London: Chatto & Windus, 1994.

Watts, Stephen. The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1998.

Yolen, Jane. Touch Magic. Little Rock: August House, 2000.

Zipes, Jack. Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales, Children and the Cultural Industry. New York: Routledge, 1997.


Cummins, June. "Romancing the Plot: The Real beast of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.” Children's Literature Association Quarterly. (Spring 1995): 22-28.

McCallum, Robyn, and John Stephens. "Film and Fairy Tales." The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. Jack Zipes, editor. Oxford: Oxford University, 2000.

O'Brien, Pamela Colby. "The happiest films on earth: a textual and contextual analysis of Walt Disney's 'Cinderella' and 'The Little Mermaid." Women's Studies in Communication. vol. 19.2 (Summer 1996): 155-.

Panttaja, Elizabeth. "Going up in the world: class in "Cinderella." (Perspectives on the Innocent Persecuted Heroine in Fairy Tales)." Western Folklore. vol. 52.1 (Jan 1993): 85-.

Wood, Naomi J. "Walt Disney." The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. Jack Zipes, editor. Oxford: Oxford University, 2000.

Yolen, Jane. "America's Cinderella." Cinderella: A Casebook. Alan Dundes, editor. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1982.

Zipes, Jack. “Breaking the Disney Spell.” Fairy Tale as Myth: Myth as Fairy Tale. Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1994.

Endicott Studio Online Articles

"Snow, Glass, Apples: the Story of Snow White" by Terri Windling

Discussion Board Archives

October 2000: Disney and Fairy Tales--Helping Natasha

December 2001: Dark to Light- tale variants...

December 2001: Disney - influences

December 2001: False sense of reality

May 2002: Disneyfication of classic fairytales

February 2003: Disney Movies vs. Original Fairy Tales

March 2003: Shrek and fairytales-paroding Disney and fairytales

October 2003: Research on Disney's Snow White

November 2003: In defense of Disney movies

December 2003: Need help for paper on Disney please

July 2004: Disney movies vs Fairy Tales

November 2004: Racism and Sexism in Disney :x

March 2005: The representation of women in disney: heroines or victims?

April 2005: Disneyfication / Who killed the seven dwarves?

April 2005: Beauty and the Beast, again

December 2005: My opinion on Mulan and Sleeping Beauty

December 2005: Racism in Disney Films

January 2006: Disney's contributions to folklore


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Once upon a Time: Walt Disney: The Sources of Inspiration for the Disney Studios  by Bruno Girveau

Touch Magic by Jane Yolen

Happily Ever After by Jack Zipes

Fairy Tale As Myth Myth As Fairy Tale (Thomas D. Clark Lectures)

From the Beast to the Blonde by Marina Warner

©Heidi Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales
Page created 6/1999; Last updated 7/2/07