Marina Warner – whose new short book about fairy tales, Once Upon a Time, is just out – wrote her seminal work From the Beast to the Blonde in 1994.
The story is really about the nightmare of your mother–in–law being a monster." Gaiman's least favourite fairy tale character is Goldilocks – or at least she used to be, until he found out who she really was.
When, in Frozen, the ailing Anna is told that only "an act of true love" can save her, we assume she needs to be the object of someone else's affection. But the prince turns out to be a toad, and she is healed at the last minute by saving her sister's life: in other words, the "act of true love" is one she bestows rather than receives.
That such a sophisticated moral might, via Disney, have indefinite reach is something the Grimm brothers would have envied.
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