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A Comprehensive List of Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales can be described as a farfetched story; they typically begin with “Once upon a time in a land far away” or some variation of this phrase, without specifying an actual time or location. Fairy tales are short stories that include magical elements such as enchantments and fantastical characters including dwarves, elves, fairies, giants, mermaids, witches, trolls, gnomes, dragons, and talking animals. The German origin of the title of fairy tales actually translates into a little story from a long time ago, presumably, a time when the world was still capable of magic. In modern times, many people draw a direct link between fairy tales and the extensive list of Disney’s animated films, but the origins and history of fairy tales pre-date Disney’s interpretations by centuries. Fairy tales are believed to have begun as oral stories which Europeans passed down through the generations until the renaissance when the subgenre was first documented in print. Authors such as The Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson, are two of the most notable representatives from the subgenre. Check our list of fairy tales and enjoy a dive into the world of fantasy!

Infographic list of fairy tales A Comprehensive List of Fairy Tales Infographic 1

List of Fairy Tales

These are some famous fairy tales that have remained popular throughout the test of time.

  • Aladdin
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Briar Rose: The Sleeping Beauty
  • Cinderella
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Peter Pan
  • Pinocchio
  • Puss in Boots
  • Rapunzel
  • Rumpelstiltskin
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Snow White & Rose Red
  • The Frog Prince
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • The Snow Queen
  • The Little Match Girl
  • The Elves and the Shoemaker
  • The Selfish Giant
  • The Nightingale
  • The Fox and The Hound
  • The Three Little Pigs
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • The Gingerbread Man
  • The Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • The Princess and the Pea
  • Thumbelina
  • Tom Thumb

Although the previous list of fairy tales doesn’t cover all of them, some naturally seem to stay above the rest in popularity, recognition, and in their reinvention into new versions or fractured fairy tales. These stories have inspired re-tellings as well as plays, movies, and ballets, either in their traditional form or a fractured form. Among these fairy tale “staples” are:

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Cinderella
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • The Princess and the Pea
  • Peter Pan
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Pinocchio
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Aladdin

Fairy tale characters have been the inspiration of Halloween costumes, birthday party themes, and countless daydreams of young girls wishing they could be like their favorite princess. Here’s a list of fairy tales’ most popular characters:

  • Aladdin
  • Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)
  • Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
  • Cinderella
  • Cheshire Cat
  • Genie
  • Jasmine
  • Snow White
  • Rapunzel
  • Rumpelstiltskin
  • The Seven Dwarfs
  • Prince Charming
  • Queen of Hearts
  • The Frog Prince
  • The Evil Queen
  • The Huntsman
  • The Mad Hatter
  • The White Rabbit
  • Fairy Godmother
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • The Big Bad Wolf
  • Granny
  • The Beast
  • Prince Philip
  • Maleficent
  • Flora, Fauna, and Meriweather
  • Puss in Boots
  • The Blue Fairy
  • Geppetto
  • Pinocchio
  • Doc
  • Sleepy
  • Dopey
  • Sneezy
  • Grumpy
  • Bashful
  • Happy
  • Wendy
  • Tinkerbell
  • Nana
  • The Darling’s
  • Captain Hook
  • Gingerbread Man
  • Evil Stepmother
  • Evil Stepsisters

This list of fairy tales’ characters is only a sampling of the characters that audiences have come to know and love or love to hate throughout the years.

List of Fairy Tales List: the Fractured Type

A fractured fairy tale is a story that uses well known fairy tales but changes elements of the story, such as characters, the setting, the plot, or the point of view that the tale is told from. According to Goodreads.com, the following list of titles are some of the best-selling fractured fairy tale books:

  • The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
  • Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  • The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz
  • Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson
  • Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox
  • Seriously, Cinderella is SO Annoying! The Story of Cinderella as Told by the Wicked Stepmother by Trisha Speed Shaskan
  • Waynetta and the Cornstalk: A Texas Fairy Tale by Helen Ketteman and Diane Greenseid
  • Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
  • Zo White and the Seven Morphs: A Fractured Fairy Tale by Barbara Silkstone
  • Ronald Raygun and the Sweeping Beauty: A Fractured Fairy Tale about Cinderella by Bill Kincaid

List of Fairy Tales: the Classic Type

Grimm Fairy Tales List: The Brothers Grimm are widely attributed as the first to try to collect the oral fairy tales and preserve their plots, characters, and stylistic format. The brothers published their collection with German fairy tales including:

  • The Frog King
  • Cat and Mouse in Partnership
  • Mary’s Child
  • The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was
  • Trusty John
  • The Good Bargain
  • The Wonderful Musician
  • The Twelve Brothers
  • The Pack of Ragamuffins
  • Brother and Sister
  • Rapunzel
  • The Three Little Men in the Wood
  • The Three Spinners
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • The Three Snake-Leaves
  • The White Snake
  • The Straw, the Coal and the Bean
  • The Fisherman and His Wife
  • The Valiant Little Tailor
  • Cinderella
  • The Riddle
  • The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage
  • Mother Hulda
  • The Seven Ravens
  • Little Red Cap
  • Town Musicians of Bremen
  • The Singing Bone
  • The Devil with Three Golden Hairs
  • The Louse and the Flea
  • The Girl Without Hands
  • The Three Languages
  • Clever Elsie
  • The Tailor in Heaven
  • The Wishing-Table, the Gold-Ass, and the Cudgel in the Sack
  • Thumbling
  • The Wedding of Mrs. Fox
  • The Elves and the Shoemaker
  • The Robber Bridegroom
  • Herr Korbes
  • The Godfather
  • Frau Trude
  • Godfather Death
  • Thumbling’s Travels
  • Fitcher’s Bird
  • The Juniper Tree
  • Old Sultan
  • The Six Swans
  • Little Briar-Rose (The Sleeping Beauty)
  • Foundling-Bird
  • King Thrushbeard
  • Little Snow White
  • The Knapsack, the Hat, and the Horn
  • Rumplestiltskin
  • Sweetheart Roland
  • The Golden Bird
  • The Dog and the Sparrow
  • Frederick and Catherine
  • The Two Brothers
  • The Little Peasant
  • The Queen Bee
  • The Three Feathers
  • Golden Goose
  • All-Kinds-of-Fur
  • The Hare’s Bride
  • The Twelve Huntsmen
  • The Thief and His Master
  • Jorinde and Joringel
  • The Three Sons of Fortune
  • How Six Men got on in the World
  • The Wolf and the Man
  • The Wolf and the Fox
  • Gossip Wolf and the Fox
  • The Fox and the Cat
  • The Pink
  • Clever Gretel
  • The Old Man and his Grandson
  • The Water Nixie
  • The Death of the Little Hen
  • Brother Lustig
  • Gambling Hansel
  • Hans in Luck
  • Hans Married
  • The Gold-Children
  • The Fox and the Geese

After this first volume was published, Brothers Grimm published subsequent volumes of their works including additional tales and making the stories more palatable for younger audiences since many of the tales included violent acts or sexual innuendo that were too disturbing for younger audiences. Even with their adjustments, many of the fairy tales still were more fit for an older audience than for children.

The list of Grimm fairy tales also grew dramatically as they continued to release volumes of their stories with not only updated versions of the tales above but new tales as well.

In their two volumes, the brothers wrote over 200 fairy tales. They also included several stories at the end of Volume 2 of their works called the children’s legends which contained:

  • Saint Joseph in the Forest
  • The Twelve Apostles
  • The Rose
  • Poverty and Humility Lead to Heaven
  • God’s Food
  • The Three Green Twigs
  • The Blessed Virgin’s Little Glass
  • The Little Old Lady
  • The Heavenly Marriage
  • The Hazel Branch
  • In a Glass Grimmly

Fairy tales have become so ingrained in the human experience that new interpretations of the oldest tales continue to be created and new fairy tales are being written or filmed making new tales for more people to enjoy in the coming decades and centuries. Fairy tales such as Frozen and Shrek have become instant classics that are very often mentioned in the same category as original tales like Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella. We have even adapted the idea into our daily lives, through phrases like, “she found her Prince Charming,” “they lived happily ever after,” or “hopefully they get a fairy tale ending.”

What is your favourite fairy story?  Have we missed any we should have included? If so – please let us know below!!

 

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