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Fairy Tales, Explained Summary

Joe Posner

Fairy Tales, Explained

by Joe Posner

Fairy Tales, Explained

Joe Posner

Clock Icon5 min
Insight Icon3 key insights
Audio IconVisual, audio & text

This episode of the Explained docuseries explores the origins of fairy tales and how they've developed over time, from the first fairy tales born thousands of years ago to the more recent Disney retellings.

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Fairy Tales, Explained

by Joe Posner

Fairy Tales, Explained

Joe Posner

Overview

Once upon a time… We're all familiar with this evocative fairy tale opening, but how much do we know about where our favorite childhood stories came from? Neither solidly myth, fable, nor legend, fairy tales stand apart in storytelling. Fairy tales are not sacred stories about the founding of civilization, they don't always convey a message, and are normally set in an ambiguous time.

Explained is a Netflix documentary series made by Vox that focuses on a different topic in each of its short episodes. Fairy Tales, Explained, narrated by actress Ruth Negga, looks to explore the extensive history of fairy tales and why they have endured for thousands of years.

The fairy tales we know and love explore forces of good and evil with a hero, magical help, a struggle, and a happy ending, but they're not all as simple and happy as Disney leads us to believe.

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Favorite Quote

"Fairy tales are stories that have just been honed down to a series of very evocative, specific details over centuries and centuries of retelling."

Constance Grady, culture writer at Vox

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Fairy Tales, Explained

Joe Posner

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