Life is a fairy tale

February 05, 2011, 12:17 AM GMT+0

Rags-to-riches favourite Cinderella has come top of our poll of the British public’s favourite fairy stories, with Snow White coming in a close second and Goldilocks and the Three Bears taking third place.

  • From a choice of 30 fairy tales, 8% of people said Cinderella was their favourite
  • Of those asked, 7% thought that Snow White was the best fairy story
  • 6% picked Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Perhaps predictably, age is a factor in fairy tale choice, as is gender.

  • 12% of over 60s thought Snow White was the best fairy tale, in contrast to 3% of 18-24 year olds
  • Little Mermaid was the most popular among 18-24 year olds (11%) but much less well-liked among the elder population (0%)
  • Women (14%) were much more likely than men (2%) to prefer Cinderella

Modern fairy tales: ‘Feistier and funnier’

Fairy tales have become increasingly popular in recent years. Tangled, Disney’s modern take on the classic tale of Rapunzel, which was released on January 20th, has already proven a hit with audiences, taking over $48 million in its opening weekend in the USA. The animated adventure is just the latest in a string of films, including The Princess and the Frog, Enchanted and the Princess Diaries, which have turned traditional fairy stories on their head in a bid to update them for modern audiences.

In Tangled, long-haired Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore, pictured above at the film's London screening) isn’t rescued by Prince Charming, but instead takes a runaway bandit hostage after he breaks into her tower. The film is said to be a feistier, funnier version of the original tale, and may suggest that, with a little tweaking, ‘old-fashioned’ fairy stories have a firm place in people’s affections.

See the survey details and full results here