Here are fairy tales about talking cats and other animals, and also fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, witches, giants, odd events and enchantments. But there are not fairies in all sorts of fairy tales. One the whole, talking animals and magic seem more common to the fairy tale than fairies.
In many tales where there is a happy ending.
Fairy tales have been enacted dramatically. The Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from 1937 was a ground-breaking film.
Years ago, fairy tales were told to both adults and children, and some were enacted too. Such events still occur.
In some cultures, past and present, fairy tales may merge into legendary narratives. Literary fairy tales and oral fairy tales freely exchanged plots, motifs, and elements with each other and with the tales of foreign lands. Folklorists classify fairy tales in different ways. In the ATU system of classifying folk tales, good, identifying features are picked out to decide which tales belong together in overarching groups that are called types of tales.
Also, fairy tales tend to take on the colour of their location, through the selected motifs, the style of telling, and the depictions of characters, animals, and landscapes.
The history of the fairy tale is difficult to trace. The fairy tale has ancient roots. The oldest known written fairy tales come from ancient Egypt.
Some tales teach or suggest moral lessons, which at least partially reflect dominant moral in an era. Others seem to furnish wish-fulfilment of several sorts, and first and foremost enjoyment.