Fairy tales have provided a significant source of inspiration for the Disney studio. Sometimes, Walt Disney Pictures alters gruesome fairy tales in order to make them more appropriate for different age groups, specifically children and adults. The silent short cartoons produced at the Laugh-O-Gram Studio during Walt Disney's early career consisted of humorous, modern retellings of traditional stories. Later, Walt Disney and his studio turned to traditional fairy tales as the source for shorts in the Silly Symphony series, and later animated features such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, his first full-length feature. After a hiatus from the fairy tale genre, the modern Disney company once more looked to classic fairy tales during the late 80s and 90s, resulting in popular films such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. The following list is of such fairy tale films produced by the Disney company, along with their sources of inspiration (some stories, including Cinderella and The Ugly Duckling, have been subject to multiple treatments). Excluded are television series (such as The Little Mermaid TV series) and sequels to previous fairy tale films (such as Cinderella II: Dreams Come True), unless explicitly incorporating elements of another traditional story.
The last fairy tale film produced by Walt Disney before his death; it is one of only two Disney animated films produced in a special 70mm widescreen process, the other one being The Black Cauldron. The film features heavily stylized art direction and music adapted from the Tchaikovsky ballet score.
The first Disney animated fairy tale in 30 years, the critical and commercial success of The Little Mermaid resulted in a popular renewed interest in Disney animation. The story had been considered by Walt Disney as a potential segment for a planned film based on the life and works of Hans Christian Andersen.
Produced by Walt Disney Television Animation and released under the banner of "Disney Movietoons". Though largely a theatrical spin-off of the television series DuckTales, the film owes a lot of its plot to the story of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, which would be produced as a feature film by Disney two years later.
Even more successful than The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast was the first animated feature ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. As with The Little Mermaid, it is said that the story had been considered for a film treatment during Walt Disney's lifetime.
The first traditionally animated Disney film since the revival of the medium following a regime change in early 2006. Ditching a traditional European setting for New Orleans during the 1920s, the film gained much attention over the introduction of Disney's first ever black princess, Tiana.
Computer animated and released in 3D. Much controversy surrounded the decision to rename the film from the more traditional Rapunzel to Tangled in an attempt not to put off male audiences. Nevertheless, the film was a big success.
Computer animated and released in 3D. This film ranks as Walt Disney Animation Studio's highest grossing animated film and the highest grossing animated film of all time. It also won the studio its first Best Animated Feature Oscar. It has since spawned a successful franchise that includes a television spin-off, a sequel, an album, two animated shorts, a musical and merchandise.
Disney feature films containing segments based on fairy tales
Originally planned as a feature film, monetary issues at the studio forced the film to be retooled as a shorter segment for a package feature. Narrated by Edgar Bergen, though individual releases of the short features narration by Sterling Holloway and/or Ludwig Von Drake.