Free Online Course on Meaning of Disney’s Fairytales

Plate from Charles Perrault, one of the first to write down the Cinderella fairy tale.

Plate from Charles Perrault, one of the first to write down the Cinderella fairy tale.

Disney author Kevin Yee is about to make you an offer you can’t refuse. He’s offering a free online course that will look at fairy tales, their history and Disney’s adaptions.

Among the topics to be covered in the class are:

  • Why does Cinderella’s prince not just look at her face to identify her?
  • Why Snow White was originally a family drama in the worst way – and definitely NOT a story for today’s children!
  • What do those hedges full of thorns in Sleeping Beauty really mean?
  • Why is Ursula so masculine in Little Mermaid, and what does this have to do with the very last shot of the movie?
  • What does Belle’s Beast *really* stand for? Why is he animalistic?
  • What is the symbolism of a frog supposed to imply, in Princess and the Frog?
  • How does Tangled completely change Gothel’s character?
  • Why does Disney change the siblings around from the Snow Queen for Frozen?

The class is what is called a Massive Open Online Courses – or MOOC for short – that allows for free college-level content provided to the masses. All you have to do is register and then be available Feb. 10-Mar. 10 to do some light course work and absorb Yee’s expertly provided material.

The full course description is below the jump:

Princess stories have been popular for centuries and remain so today around the world; we’ll dive into what these fairy tales mean, and trace the history of these narratives back to their source material, examining contexts all along the way. We’ll borrow tools from cultural studies, literature studies, and film studies to help us analyze these phenomena and what they mean to our society.

Many of us may associate princess stories with modern-day products (much of it marketed to small children) or with Disney movies and theme parks. We’ll examine these current versions of fairy tale mythos as well, using our new interpretive tools to uncover not just what’s been changed in the moral and message of the narrative, but what the stories mean as told now.

If you want to brush up on your Disney fairy tales, you may want to watch this BBC Documentary as a refresher:

(via Ultimate Orlando)

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