Director: Ted Sears & Richard Creedon
I’m gonna start with a fairly long quote from Joshua Klein but its one that I think is a good starting point for me own review. “There is no way to overestimate the effect of Snow White. It not only permanently established Disney as one of the foremost studios on the world but also advanced the state of animation to such a degree that it wasn’t really until the advent of computer animation that anyone arguably pushed the form further. A creative triumph, Snow White inspired hundreds of imitators, gave birth to an empire, and remains to this day the default template for nearly all animated features.” (137, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die) There is clearly something about not only the Disney version but the very story of Snow White that still appeals to this day , indeed just this year alone we have had 2 feature films (Snow White and the Huntsman, Rupert Sanders; Mirror Mirror, Tarsem Singh) and a television series (Once Upon A Time, Adam Horowitz) focussing on the story of Snow White, though I can’t quite decide what it is.
Snow White is undoubtably full of memorable songs that even if you don’t know the words you certainly know the tune. And yet I find her singing voice quite tremulous though I guess it fits the image of naivety her character has.
You cannot deny how outstanding the contribution Snow White had to the film industry. Just think if we never had Snow White then we would never have had such classics like The Lion King (Roger Allers, 1994), Beauty and the Beast (Gary Trousdale, 1991) or indeed Toy Story (John Lasseter, 1995). I enjoy all Disney films (with possibly the only exception being The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Gary Trousdale, 1996, as it’s a massive snooze-fest!) don’t get me wrong but I have a much more emotional connection to the films released in the early 1990s as they are the ones I grew up with. A lot of the early Disney films are ones I have gone back to discover after falling in love with The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin (Ron Clements, 1992)
You can see how Snow White has influenced other films – sometimes directly like the scene when Snow White and the bird are copying each other which appears in Shrek (Andrew Adamson, 2001) … just with a less happy ending for the bird. The way Snow White sorts out the dwarfs and tidies up their appearance can be seen in the way Milly sorts out the Pontipee brothers in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Stanley Donen, 1954)
The Disney version, while being less terrifying than the original Brothers Grimm tale upon which it’s based, still has its own scary moments. I remember being terrified when the Queen transforms into the hag!
The seven dwarfs are wonderful and everyone has their own favourite. Mine personally is Dopey – without saying anything he is still one of the most expressive characters in the film. I just love him, I think he’s adorable! Though Doc is pretty adorable too with his inability to keep his words from mixing up. The animation truly is beautiful and still holds up extremely well today. And just think this was at the start of Disney’s career – it’s certainly an excellent starting point to build on.
While there are, and have been, many animated features since Snow White none but those made by the Disney (and now Pixar too) studio have that special thing, that magic that makes them timeless and enduringly popular … with the exception of Anastasia (Don Bluth, 1997) the film that isn’t Disney but really should be!!
There seems to be a lesson taught in every Disney (as I have said in every post concerning a Disney movie so far) and its true here. Snow White teaches us that jealousy is a hateful emotion and will ultimately destroy you while love has the power to save you every time. Great lessons that every little girl should learn from a young age.