Believe it or not but Disney movies such as Pocahontas that we’ve grown up with often regurgitate age-old myths and oral folk tales. And this process of “Disneyfication,” if you like, often softens both the stories’ plots and the themes they address. Sometimes, then, the original fables can be distorted and their original meanings lost among happily-ever-afters and cheerful songs.
Moreover, there’s an ongoing debate as to whether fairy tales are actually suitable for children at all. An October 2018 article in The Independent, for example, stated: “Stories like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast are so ingrained in popular culture that it can be all too easy to overlook the damaging ideologies that they perpetuate via misogynistic characters, degrading plot lines and racial uniformity.”
In contrast, though, a June 2018 piece in The Daily Telegraph argued that “fairy tales allow kids a safe place to explore the idea that life isn’t always easy, that things can go wrong, and people don’t always have your best interests at heart. At the same time, as the ‘good’ characters are usually rewarded at the end, it’s a way of reinforcing positively the importance of being kind, thoughtful and true.”