I hate Disney and love fairy tales!
As a matter of fact, I have been collecting fairy tales books for many, many years.
How could this be ? After all, Disney is where fairy tales are… MADE.
Well…Disney is where fairy tales go to DIE. They get so scrubbed and sanitized, it is almost impossible to retrieve the original story from the rubles.
I love the original stories with the twisting plots and an army of goblins, witches and dragons. Never did I question my love for these stories. Then, a little girl changed my name to Mamma!
Is it cruel to read fairy tales, real fairy tales, to your children?
Wait…how about The Bible and the Roman and Greek Mythologies? They are full of evil and gory details. Should we present our children with a “Disney clean” version of those writing?
I don’t know. So, I asked some of my learned friends, like Chesterton, Lewis and Tolkien, to guide me in my quest.
G.K. Chesterton said “…exactly what the fairytale does is this: it accustoms them…to the idea that these limitless terrors have a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies, that these strong enemies of man have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than fear (The Red Angel, pg. 128-130).
“On three ways of writing for children”, C.S.Lewis, of the beloved Narnia Chronicles, said “let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage…Let there be wicked kings and beheadings, battles and dungeons, giants and dragons, and let the villains be soundly killed at the end of the book (pg. 39-40).
While J.R.R. Tolkien, of the Lord of the Rings fame, said “children are meant to grow up, and not to become Peter Pans. Not to lose their innocence and wonder;but to proceed on the appointed journey”. He concludes that fairy tales “bestow dignity and even sometimes wisdom” on those in need of them (On Fairy Stories, pg. 137).
So, I would introduce my little ones to the Bible, Mythologies and fairy tales and help them form their “first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey (Chesterton, G.K., The Red Angel, pg. 130).