When we think of Disney Fairies, our thoughts tend to fly automatically to Tinker Bell. Originally a supporting pixie-dust yielding character who made her debut appearance in Disney’s 1953 animated classic Peter Pan, Tinker Bell’s popularity has grown increasingly independent of her former claim to fame over the years. Now she, along with a whole new line of spinoff fairy friends from Pixie Hollow, dominates Disney Fairy ideology.
Yet, in truth, Tinker Bell and her friends are not the only fairies to steal the scene in Walt Disney Entertainment. Over the years, there have been so many others, some of whom are of equally iconic status. Others are more obscure, lesser-known characters. Need a memory refresher? Here are seven other fairies that have been featured in Disney films through the years.
7. King Eidilleg
The Disney animated movie The Black Cauldron from 1985 is one of those oftentimes-overlooked works that has been almost completely forgotten by today’s audiences. A tale that involves a magical pig, chivalry, a creepy castle, an evil horned king, sorcery, and someone who is perhaps the most underrated Disney Princess of all time, the film’s lack of popularity may rest in the idea that it was arguably ahead of its time and therefore went over the heads of viewers who felt it was darker than the usual Disney design of the day.
Being of a classical fairy tale nature with all that magic and enchantment, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that this film features its fair share of fairies. Referred to as “Fair Folk,” we see quite a couple presented to us, though they are largely unnamed. The most prominent fairy figures we do get to learn about personally, however, are King Eidilleg and his sidekick Doli.
Also known as “the Dwarf King,” King Eidilleg rules over the Fair Folk in the Kingdom of Tylwyth Ted. On one very interesting side note, there is also a time in the film when we see the Fair Folk surround the movie’s main protagonist Taran and his friends. Observant fans may just want to take a closer look to spot Tinker Bell making a cameo appearance!
Since acquiring 20th Century Studios back in 2019, previous competitor animated films by Fox now have a new status as extended members within the Disney film family. So, that means one of my favorite childhood films from 1992, FernGully: The Last Rain Forest, is at last officially considered a Disney movie.
The namesake rainforest that the film takes place in has an implied location in an undisclosed part of Australia. And while we get to see many animals and other natural wonders native to Australia when watching, we also get to see more elusive, enchanted beings: fairies. The film’s main protagonist leading the plot is Crysta, a young fairy who is still learning the ins and outs of performing fairy magic to help make things grow in nature.
Long before it was considered a Disney movie, I grew up thinking that it was one, given the fact that the animation, musical interludes, and other indicators are so on par with Disney Animation. Furthermore, I’ve always personally preferred Crysta’s upbeat, positive nature over Tinker Bell’s sometimes overly-petty antics. Perhaps Disney Parks will even one day welcome Crysta into the loop of character meet and greets, especially if Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World ever goes through with creating an Australia-themed land that many are rooting for.
5. The Enchantress (Beauty and the Beast)
This is perhaps the biggest gray area example of a fairylike being appearing in a Walt Disney Production. After all, that Enchantress featured in both the original 1991 animated adaptation as well as the 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast was just that — an “enchantress,” right?
Well, when you consider that the original Beauty and the Beast story was based on the fairy tale of the same name by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve, the inspiration for Disney’s Enchantress character did, in fact, come from the original’s Evil Fairy character.
Of course, like many of Disney’s customized spins on preexisting classics, the context of the original story has been altered significantly. Still, the Enchantress character has not changed too much in regards to magical abilities, which include shapeshifting from an old hag into a beautiful woman and cursing an entire castle (transforming a selfish prince into a hideous beast and marring all other inhabitants with a new status as “lively” inanimate objects).
The 2017 film gives her character more screen time as well as an alias as an always-present figure living discreetly within the village, watching everything play out and minimally assisting when necessary.
4. The Blue Fairy
I’ve often wondered why this quieter fairy presence from Disney’s 1940 animated classic Pinocchio is way less popular than Tinker Bell. In my opinion, she is gentler, kinder, sweeter, and the perfect epitome of enchantment personified in the most simplistic sense. While unfairly overlooked for being a “minor” character, she plays a very crucial role in the film.
In fact, there wouldn’t even be a film or viable story arc without her! She’s the one who first appears as a wishing star and then later fulfills Geppetto’s wish that his puppet is transformed into a real boy. As it plays out, she also makes various recurring appearances throughout the movie. Wouldn’t you agree that she’s due a little more credit and publicity?
3. Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather
Perhaps this enchanted trio comes to mind secondary to those initial first thoughts about Tinker Bell when considering Disney Fairies. First featured in Disney’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty from 1959, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather are alternatively known as the “Good Fairies” who prove their goodness by being guardians and protectors to Princess Aurora.
Each fairy has her own personality and character development, having bestowed Aurora with a specific gift during her christening. Flora, the fairy in red, is the leader of the gang and is the one who gives the young princess the gift of beauty. Fauna, the fairy in green, is the one who gives Aurora the gift of song.
Merryweather is the fairy in blue, but her intentions are the polar opposite of making the young princess feel blue. In fact, her adamant hope is that the princess will have eternal happiness. Since that plan was severely altered, she works out a viable second plan, preventing a potential death sentence with hope for salvation in the form of true love’s kiss.
Another fairy who got her start in Disney’s animated Sleeping Beauty adaptation, Maleficent, has grown in considerable popularity through the years, even going on to star in a live-action franchise that includes Maleficent (2014) and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019). Sometimes we tend to overlook her status as a fairy, given the fact that sometimes fairies are falsely dubbed as being all-good and wholesome.
Still, Disney’s later spin on the character does redeem her in the minds of many. As a result, Maleficent remains one of the best-loved villains ever and arguably the most famous…or should we say infamous?
1. Fairy Godmother
Here’s a classic Disney favorite character who we all know and love, as first presented to us in Disney’s Cinderella back in 1950. Yet sometimes, her status as a fairy is forgotten when we focus primarily on all her other wonderful qualities as a kind, maternal figure.
Still, she does have the title of fairy in her name, nevertheless, and by all accounts of the magic she can do in making dreams come true, she is no less of a fairy than Tinker Bell or anyone else. In fact, her nature as both a magical being and surrogate mother actually maximizes her status even further, making her perhaps the “fairy”est of all Disney Fairies.
Fairies, witches, and other magical beings continue to dominate the scene in Walt Disney Entertainment. So, it’s safe to assume that we will very likely see even more fairy-like beings make their way into Disney movies in the future. And we just can’t wait! In all of its varied formats, the Magic of Disney is forever growing, expanding the boundaries of enchantment.