Disney Maintains That Fairy Tales Are ‘Alive & Well’


Yesterday the LA Times published a story that made it very clear that the Walt Disney Company had decided that they will no longer be making animated films based on classic fairy tale stories in lieu of focusing on making original films that will have a “wider appeal”. In the wake of public disappointment to that news, the official Disney Facebook page was updated with an official statement from Ed Catmull that maintains that fairy tales will remain “alive and well” at Disney. Catmull was quoted in the LA Times article regarding the end of Disney fairy tale films and now claims that the LA Times article is “erroneous”. Here is Catmull’s full official statement as posted on the Disney Facebook page:

A headline in today’s LA Times erroneously reported that the Disney fairy tale is a thing of the past, but I feel it is important to set the record straight that they are alive and well at Disney and continue this week with Tangled, a contemporary retelling of a much loved story. We have a number of projects in development with new twists that audiences will be able to enjoy for many years to come. – Ed Catmull

It is interesting that Catmull claims that Disney has “a number of projects in development” in this statement but was quoted as saying “we don’t have any other musicals or fairy tales lined up” in the LA Times article. You will also note that this new statement only says that fairy tales are “alive and well” but doesn’t actually mention any of these new “projects in development”. To be honest, this latest message kinda feels like Catmull is trying to placate fans by recanting a bit on what he told the LA Times while not offering specifics … is he actually saying that Disney will continue to make fairy tale films or does he just mean that the spirit of Disney’s fairy tale history will remain “alive and well”? I truly hope that Disney does NOT abandon the practice of creating animated films based on classic fairy tales. But, we won’t know what Disney will do for many years. I’ll wish upon an star and remain hopeful that Catmull’s latest statement is true … that the fairy tale is truly “alive and well” at Disney and that they will continue to make animated films based on classic fairy tale stories.


  • ryan

    Fairy tales? Myth? Stories about love and loss? Nah. Instead they’ll just make animated cartoons featuring farting and belching, gross out humor and cultural stereotypes – the way they’ve been doing for the past decade. It’s what American audiences want apparently.

  • toby

    This isn’t the first time Disney has left Fairy Tale land- between Sleeping Beauty in 1959 and The Little Mermaid in 1989 none of their animated films had fairy tale themes, yet we still got classics like The Sword in the Stone, 101 Dalmations, The Jungle Book, and Robin Hood. Little Mermaid was the start of a kind of rebirth at Disney, but it is one of only 4 fairy tale films in the last 21 years (counting Aladdin, 5 if you count Enchanted). Lion King may actually have been the biggest hit, and it is more or less an original story. While it remains to be seen what Catmull and co. will come up with, their track record at Pixar is pretty strong, and should definitely be an improvement over lame fare like Brother Bear and Meet the Robinsons. Give them a chance!