Folk tales and fairytales have been in existence since the beginning of time, they have been used to teach with since literacy was only held by the upper class. Most tales were passed on orally; many times it was used to help explain some of the supernatural occurrences that people in early times did not understand. Many times they were used to instruct on how to live a good life and what happens to those who don’t, or what the their roles in the family were. Many fairytales were written for adults rather than children as they are now. They were sometimes gruesome, involved sex or sometimes even murder.
Every culture has a version of the fairytale while many of us are familiar with the stories of western culture. There are some that have crossed over such as the tales of Baba Yaga who is a primary character in many Russian tales. In 1697 Charles Perrault a French writer of the time wrote several tales based on oral tradition in his Histoires ou Contes du temps passé, in English we know them as the Mother Goose Tales. This greatly influenced and increased the popularity of the fairy tale of the time it was also about this time and earlier that most of these tales were starting to appear in print.
In the 20th century a large resurgence of the fairy tale appeared with moving pictures and the advent of cartoons. A large influence is a man by the name of Walt Disney when he took on the task of bringing a very popular fairy tale to life. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to critical acclaim it was influential to the modern day tales we enjoy today. Many other tales have since followed, and the popularity of them has increased as children and adults enjoy their favorite tales brought to life.