When I think of Disney characters I picture the ultimate fairytale. They are all interesting but the difference between them and Tolkien's characters is that the Disney characters don't give you a sense of reality. And I'm not saying that simply because they are cartoons and the characters in LOTR are not; it's just that the characters in LOTR seem so much more real because there is so much more depth to them than the Disney characters. We know so much more about them. In Disney movies, we are introduced to the characters and the story but there is no character development.
Yeah, and I suppose that often enough the characters in Disney being animals doesn't help in the old REALITY department huh? hahah.
But seriously, I was thinking the same thing. I love Disney movies too and they have indeed covered most of the major fairy tales with a few of their own that will go down in history. I think Disney has turned to folklore and plugged into their characters what they want us to know about a stereotype of that character. Put a wizard's hat, robe, and wand on Mickey Mouse and all of a sudden we have Magical Mickey Mouse capable of pulling off a role like Fantasia, etc, even if the last time we saw him he was baking a cake with Minnie or dealing with his nephews or playing with Pluto. Not a criticism, though, I think Disney is more geared for children, or at least needs to be within their grasp. When you tell a story to kids, you need pretty pictures and a fast paced plot or else you will lose them, so stock characters fill in a lot of information in very little time.
Thanks for the Dragon link, Ring...is the other stuff up your alley? In exchange, you may find a lot of good info on the link I posted.