One of the reasons I wanted to see Tangled most (besides thieving hero, Flynn Rider, who is based on Errol Flynn) is because this is probably the last Disney fairy tale we will see for some time. According to studio reports, to prevent alienating young male viewers who are more interested in action and superheroes, there are no plans to continue making fairy tales and musicals. While it's understandable that little boys would much rather see Spidey on screen and there are only so many of these classic fairy tales to spin fresh onscreen without being redundant, I'll certainly miss the animated HEA's. It's a sentimental thing, I guess. The first movie my parents took me to see in theaters was The Little Mermaid. Who can beat that? And the first story I wrote as a child was heavily influenced by Cinderella.
Is there a romance writer out there who hasn't been influenced in some way by fairy tales? The great thing about the genre, for me, is that they are stories with familiar themes as well as hope and morals, but they also have a dark side filled with monsters and ghouls, the mythical and the physical. Whether it's the voodoo man in The Princess and the Frog or the witch, Maleficent, in Sleeping Beauty, there is always some kind of dark or misguided villain. My favorite is Jafar from Aladdin. And how about lovable secondary characters and sidekicks? Disney fairy tales have them in spades. Tangled serves as an excellent example - Rapunzel's constant companion is in fact a chameleon named Pascal who serves as somewhat of a big brother. Flynn's reluctant ally is the noble and doggish steed, Maximus. The pub thugs offered up a lot of laughs and a helpful hand. Even villainous mother figure Gothel has a couple of roguish sidekicks. A lot of the themes and story elements in romance can certainly be indenfied with fairy tales - whether they were brought to us by Disney or the brothers Grimm.
So who else will miss Disney's fairy tales? Any other writers influenced by them? And I'd love to hear faves! Beauty and the Beast is still #1 on my list. What bookish girl didn't relate to Belle? Screw roses. I'll take the library any day :)