Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Dr Becky Parry considers the dark side of fairy tales as new Disney film 'Into the Woods' is released.

12 January 2015 | Sarah Redhead

Lecturer in Education and Childhood Studies, Dr Parry, considers the newly released 'Into the Woods'  and the dark side of fairy tales in a piece featured on The Conversation.

"Fairy tales have happy endings. They may be dark and scary but the prince always finds Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood susses out the big bad wolf. Right? All too often many assume that fairy stories are, have always been and should be all about the happily ever after.

The release of Into the Woods has set this myth on its bewitching way once again. The film is a Disney adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical intertwining of several well-known fairy tales, principally Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Cinderella, and features more death than the typical tale, and other “adult themes” like adultery. Predictably, its release has set the worriers worrying that Disney’s version will have sugar-spun the original beyond all recognition."

Read the full piece here.

Dr Parry's research focuses on stories created for children and the role they play in children's talk, play, identity and literacy development. In particular she investigates children's popular culture forms from picture books, comics and animation to television drama, children's films and games, exploring the ways in which children participate and engage with them.

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