Thursday, October 14, 2010

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a very special Disney movie because it was the first full length animated Disney movie ever made. It dates back to 1937, so that certainly has to be taken into account when viewing it and comparing it to more modern Disney films. Snow White was definitely important for its time, and is still enjoyable today, though our tastes may have changed and it may not be a popular favorite anymore.

The story is pretty simple and fun. The dwarfs are so charming and funny, and Disney throws in a lot of cute little things for the dwarfs. It stays fairly true to the original fairy tale, much more so than many later Disney films, though it does leave a few things out. The biggest difference would be the kiss from the Prince at the end - in the original story, it is not a kiss from her true love that wakes Snow White, but the fact that her coffin gets bumped and it knocks the piece of poisoned apple out of her throat. Realism is all well and good, but I like the Disney ending better.

Snow White as a character is not all that realistic or even interesting, however. She is unbelievably nice and naive, which makes her likable but not too real. She is unfailingly kind to everyone and so naive that she seems a bit stupid. Really, if you grew up with that stepmother, don't you think that you would have developed a bit more sense or been a bit more alert? I didn't get the idea that she was really that sheltered. Of course, she is young, but still, probably around 16, which isn't that young. Don't be surprised if you're screaming at the screen, "No, Snow White! Don't talk to strangers! Especially really creepy looking ones with evil laughter! Even 5 year olds know better than that, and they know they definitely should not take food from them!" Add in the fact that the dwarfs warned her that her stepmother might disguise herself and try to come visit, well, you really have to wonder just where Snow White's head is.

Another interesting thing to note is that like many later Disney movies, Snow White's mother is dead and her father is virtually non-existent. We do not see any sign of him, and no explanation about who he is, who her mother was, or what happened to her. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the stepmother might have killed the mother with witchcraft in order to become queen. I do find it curious that the father does not appear, as he is presumably still around.

The Music

There is a lot of music in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and it's old fashioned (as to be expected), but a lot of it is good. The dwarfs have a lot of fun songs, and the movie has several well known songs, such as "Heigh Ho" and "Whistle While You Work." There's also "Someday My Prince Will Come," a song which Jason finds extremely boring but I think is quite pretty.

The Villain

The stepmother/queen is an excellent villain, and as we were watching the movie she seemed more and more crazy and evil than I remembered. There is no redeeming quality to her and no sign of real human-ness. She has extremely powerful dark magic on her side. She wants to kill an extremely innocent and kind young girl. And why? Just because she wants to be the prettiest woman around! She's doing all this just to be "the fairest in the land." Wow, can't you settle for second best? It's not like Snow White is that much competition, she's just going to marry the prince and go off with him so you won't have to worry about her flaunting her looks around or anything. To me, the queen is by far the most evil villain we've seen yet, though Jason thinks Jafar ranks just above her. At least she met a satisfying death.

The Disney World Connection

Snow White has her own ride in the Magic Kingdom, called Snow White's Scary Adventures. I've never been on it because when I was little I was certainly not going on anything with the word "scary" in the title, and I didn't return until much later when I was too old for the ride. However, I'm curious, so I think this is one that we'll have to do. Snow White makes appearances with many of the other princesses, and she can be found around the parks.

My rating: 7 out of 10
Jason's rating: 7 out of 10

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