Ready to take a Disney movie quiz? I’m guessing yes, because you presumably clicked on this link. So unless an evil queen with a poison apple is threatening you, you’re probably here of your own free will and intrigued by the prospect of choosing your favorite Disney movies to get a fairy tale retelling recommendation. Here’s how it works (and it’s pretty simple!): You will be given a series of two Disney movies to choose between. All you have to do is click on your favorite between the pair. And please, don’t get too mad at me for making you choose between The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast or Moana and Frozen. Once you pick your favorites within 20 pairs of Disney movies, the quiz will give you a fairy tale retelling recommendation for what you should read next.
The fairy tale retellings the quiz might recommend to you are wide ranging. You can take a peek at the list below if you are curious! There is everything from a Western romance novel retelling of “Sleeping Beauty” to a dystopian “Pinocchio” retelling to a YA queer version of “Snow White and Rose Red.” What they all have in common is they retell or borrow elements from fairy tales. And they all explore these plots, characters, and themes in interesting ways — perhaps in even more interesting and deeper ways than the Disney fairy tale animated film versions. Disney films, especially older ones, often contain racist, sexist, and other problematic elements. It can be hard for Disney lovers to balance loving a film with critiquing it. But it is important to approach these films critically and call out the harm they cause when we see it.
These books are certainly more diverse, in many senses of the word, than the films in the quiz. Disney can often create the first spark of interest in fairy tales. And I hope by choosing your favorites in this quiz, you will find a book that you love.
In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune
This dystopian novel borrows from the story of “Pinocchio.” In world where humanity has been almost completely eliminated by robots, 21-year old Victor is a human living with Giovanni, the android inventor who raised him. One day, Vic salvages a broken android from the scrapyard named Hap. Vic repairs Hap with wood and brings him to life with a carved heart containing a drop of his own blood. Hap feels connected to Victor. But his history of being programed to hunt and help destroy humans puts their whole family in danger and reveals a dark secret from Giovanni’s past.
By the Book by Jasmine Guillory
This contemporary romance retells the iconic fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast.” Isabelle is an editorial assistant who dreams of advancing in her career. Beau is a child of celebrities who owes Isabelle’s boss a tell-all manuscript. But he’s gone no contact and has hidden himself away in his Santa Barbara mansion. Isabelle decides to confront him at home, but ends up making a different bargain than she expected. Beau agrees to work on the memoir, but only if she stays with him and helps him write it. From rose gardens to a stunning library and more, there are lots of winks and nods to the Beauty and the Beast along the way in this love story!
The Circus Rose by Betsy Cornwell
This YA novel is a queer retelling of the “Snow White and Rose Red” fairy tale. Rosie and Ivory are twins who’ve grown up in their bearded lady, ringmaster mother’s circus. Told partly in verse, the story unfolds when the circus returns to the twins’ birthplace to find a religious fundamentalist regime has taken over. After a devastating fire in the circus tent, Ivory must abandon her behind-the-scenes work to become the ringmaster. She must hold together the circus for her disappeared family while working to find them and the people responsible for the tragedy.
Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi
This novel borrows from “Hansel and Gretel” as well as the “Gingerbread Man” story to bring about a mystical world between the one we know and one we’ve read about in fairy tales. Perdita Lee and her single mother appear normal to the outside world. But inside their home, there are signs they aren’t such a average British family. Most of all, there is something peculiar about the gingerbread they make to send home to Predita’s mother’s childhood best friend Gretel in the land of Druhástrana. But what is only hinted at in Perdita’s life unfolds in front of her as she travels to this land to find Gretel and uncovers mysteries from her mother’s past.
A Cowboy to Remember by Rebekah Weatherspoon
This contemporary Western romance is a loose retelling of “Sleeping Beauty.” In it, Evie is the star of a cooking show who develops amnesia after a mysterious fall down the stairs. Evie hasn’t returned to her family ranch out West in years. Not since her best friend Zach told her that there would never be more than friendship between them. But with no one else to help her, Zach flies to New York and brings her home. He doesn’t want to let her out of his life again, but will their fresh start be ruined once her memory returns? Once you read this one, Weatherspoon has a whole series of fairy tale inspired cowboy romances for you to enjoy!
Greymist Fair by Francesca Zappia
This YA fantasy is a murder mystery inspired by many of the more obscure Brothers Grimm fairy tales. In the middle of a dark, dangerous forest, there is a small town where the villagers never leave: the town of Greymist Fair. The story starts when the Heike, the town’s tailor, discovers a dead body in the road. Told through multiple perspectives, this horrible crime reveals more and more mysterious secrets embedded in Greymist Fair’s history.
I hope you enjoyed taking this Disney movie quiz and that you love your new fairy tale retelling to read. If you are looking for more fun quizzes to take, try deciding your favorite historical period films or your favorite romcoms to get more book recommendations. Or feast your eyes on this list of 100 must-read fairy tale retellings.