This essay traces the development of the folktale from its traditional oral form to a Disney commodity. The first part discusses a few general characteristics of folktales from a structuralist point of view. The second part deals with the development of the folktale from oral performance to literary fairytale. Finally the fairytale-films by Walt Disney play a central role when addressing the following questions: how are folktales influenced by cultural change e.g. the invention of a new medium as opposed to oral transmission? How do folktales influence the culture of which they are at the same time a part?