The Enduring Appeal of Fairy Tales

The Enduring Appeal of Fairy Tales

Posted in The World of Smiffys Fancy Dress by Smiffys on February 28th 2017
In cinemas now is a brand-new live-action version of Beauty and The Beast. Opening to good reviews, the film has been praised for its acting, appeal to a wide audience and inclusive storyline. Taking its lead from Disney’s own 1992 animated version, this new film has seen many little girls (and slightly bigger little girls!) find a new heroine in the shape of Belle – even inspiring them to wear ladies fancy dress as they see the film, or attend any parties. What is it though about these kind of stories that appeal to so many people? Why do so many still enjoy these stories based on fairy tales time-and-time-again?

The Appeal of Fairy Tales

We’re all aware of fairy tales – whether it’s a story designed as a lesson; to laugh, love or even to scare, they are always told and re-told by the previous generation, our generation and will still be told by the next generation to come. Fairy tales have been around for hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years, as they were passed by word-of-mouth, until they were written down and re-told constantly, each speaker or author adding their own spin on the tale. The beauty of these types of stories is nobody knows how they originated but the lessons that they teach will continue to be told for another thousand years.

First compiled as an unabridged novel in 1740 by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, Beauty and The Beast was rewritten and condensed by Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1755 and it’s this version that inspired the story of the original Disney animation, which in turn inspired the new live action version. Like all fairy tales, it’s believed that the story was compiled from a number of different tales, some near 4,000 years old.

The story starts in the castle of an unspecified region of renaissance-era France, as a visiting enchantress (disguised as a beggar) is present at a ball held by the Prince. Asking him for shelter in exchange for an enchanted rose, he arrogantly refuses and sees her removed. For his manner, the enchantress places a spell upon him and his household staff for good measure, informing him that he must ‘learn to love another and earn their love in return’ in order to learn his lesson and to break the spell, before the last petal of the rose falls and his form stays the same forever.

A few years later. Belle, a young woman who travels to the kingdom with her father, arrives and is immediately courted by local huntsman, Gaston. When her father trespasses upon the Prince’s land, he is imprisoned and Belle offers herself in place of him. To her shock, the Prince is a hideous, bad tempered beast. In time however, she learns of his true nature and grows fond of him and he, of her. After being released, her worried father enlists the help of Gaston, who in turn whips the town up in a heated frenzy, in order to remove this hideous Beast forever...

The Morals Behind Beauty and The Beast

As all fairy tales have a moral at the centre of their stories, explaining why they constantly prove popular stories to retell, Beauty and The Beast is notable for containing many lessons that, even in today’s world, we should learn. Some of these lessons could be:

  • Inner Beauty is more important than what’s on the outside. What sums up someone’s identity? Is it their look? Their perceived reputation? The story tells us that true beauty is within a person; beauty is being kind and understanding to others, not thinking solely about what you want.
  • Looking beyond what you can see. On a similar theme, the story tells us that we should perhaps look beyond someone or a situation to see the true nature of what we are dealing with. The Beast may be considered as ugly and definitely bad tempered, but once she actually spends time with him, taking time to understand his character, Belle find him to be kind and gentle – she just had to take the time to see it.
  • Believe in ‘magic’. Perhaps not supernatural magic, but more of the power of belief and love that can be construed as ‘magic’. Whilst the start of the story sees the Prince turned into a hideous beast for his anger and uncaring nature, it’s the influence of Belle that unlocks his true nature, rather than a magical spell. In the end, it’s this natural magic that reverses the unnatural magic that was bestowed on him.
  • Love is stronger than hate. His hatred and greed leads Gaston to hurt people and whip the town up into a frenzy just to get what he wants. Ultimately though, it was the love between Belle and The Beast that trumped over that fear, greed and hate.
Of course, different people will take different ideas from what they’ve learned from the story and it’s because of this that fairy tales are still as popular today than they’ve ever been. By adapting these stories, Disney have continued to keep them in popular culture and captivate a whole new generation of children who will be enchanted by the story and the lessons it learns them.

Ladies Fancy Dress Costumes, From Smiffys Fancy Dress Shop

Are you interested in a Beauty and The Beast fancy dress costume? Here at Smiffys Fancy Dress Shop, we retail a wide range of girls and ladies fancy dress costumes, including Belle and the rest of the Disney Princesses. If you’re looking to make an impression at any type of party, we will have the perfect costume for you! Whether you want to go as a Belle, or maybe as something else entirely, please feel free to browse our extensive ladies fancy dress ranges!

All of our product pages contain specific information on sizes and types of material used, which ensure that you will be able to choose the perfect product. If you need any more information, or even if you can’t find what you’re looking for – get in touch with us and we will endeavour to help as best as we can.

Smiffys High-Quality Fancy Dress Shop In Chester

If you would like more information about any aspect of our service – whether it’s on a particular costume, our delivery service or you simply need help in finding a costume that you may not see on the website, feel free to contact us. You can call our Liverpool store on 0151 709 9449 or alternatively, send an e-mail to sales@smiffysfancydressshop.co.uk

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