Alisa Selene over at Picture Me Reading (one of my favourite blogs I might add, since she reviews through pictures) is running a new feature called Project Disney and I cannot wait to take part. Here is her introductory post where she explains all about the Project and the time schedules. Like Alisa, I adore Disney films and I am a huge fan. I’ve been to Disney World in Paris and Florida and watching Disney films it a favourite past time of mine. So this Project was something I was dying to get involved in, admittedly I haven’t really read the stories most of the films are based on, however I can’t wait to tackle some of these titles.
This week, as you may have guessed we are looking at Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs(the Disney 1937 version). I actually own this on a video (VCR) those big black huge ass things that you have to rewind and have terrible picture quality, but this just shows that I have my old childhood attachments. Actually, my case is a little bit battered and chewed… (by me I think—which disturbs me even more!) Alisa’s post about Snow White can be found HERE!
I read the original Grimm’s story Little Snow White which is the basis I believe for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves which was Walt Disney’s first animated film.
Snow White will always hold a special place in my heart. I could see lots of similarities between the Grimm version and the production by Disney, but since Little Snow White is only a short story, and the Disney enterprise manage to create it into a full length animated feature film, they do have a little bit of creative license.
She doesn’t quite quote our famous “Mirror, Mirror” in the books which has originated from Disney, but she says…
“Tell me, glass, tell me true!
Of all the ladies in the land,
Who is the fairest? tell me who?”
In addition to this she uses her powers and magical potion making skills to brew a disguise and the apple for herself in the film. I suppose this is all the Disney magic which I love with the dramatics and one of my favourite scenes in the film has to be where she looks into the glass of potion and sees her reflection.
However in the book, she first attempts to cut of Snow White my starving her off oxygen with a tight corset and then a poison headpiece. And she dresses up both times, so she isn’t actually a witch in the original story. Then she moves to the poison apple that she gives snow white as her horrid wicked old woman. Personally I just think the old hag is a reflection of her inner self.
Moving onto Snow White herself, in the book she is utterly stupid. I mean intelligence is way down the line. However in the film she seems to have a fairly innocent approach because she’s only tricked once.
In the book, the wicked Queen tricks her three times and I think Disney paints a much better picture of Snow White.
In addition to that, she gets to sing too. I always loved the musical additions that Disney added to their films and Snow White is no different. She adds charm to her character that the Grimm’s don’t do justice.
However it has to be seen that the Grimm’s were misogynist and that women were not painted in any form as being clever, independent or any kind of positive light other than pretty arm candy which is one of the reasons Snow White gets to stay with the dwarves as she is a pretty, young girl who can cook, clean and look after them. House wife much? Yes, I to say the modern interpretations of Snow White such as Snow White and the Huntsman (which I have yet to see) have pushed Snow White into a much stronger warrior role.
It also surprised me that Snow White in the original tale was meant to be a seven year old girl. I mean I haven’t seen a modern version anywhere where she looks this old. It seems that the Grimm’s have had their tale changed quite dramatically.
The biggest change comes with our adorable set of seven dwarves who all develop comically characteristics in the Disney version of Snow White.
These are undoubtedly my favourite element of the Disney Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as they become their own individual characters from Doc, Sneezy, Happy, Bashful, Dopey, Sleepy and Grumpy.
The Dwarves add humour, character and round Snow White into a film that can appeal to all audiences. I don’t think Snow White and the Seven Dwarves would be quite as appealing without them.
Finally we have our Prince who remains unnamed throughout and in the Grimm novel only appears at the end to carry Snow White away.
Unfortunately there is no life saving kiss that has come to symbolise Snow White I feel in the Disney film. When the apple slips from her throat as the kiss that awakens her from death like so many Disney films that a kiss depends on, Sleeping Beauty, The Princess and the Frog etc.
The Prince doesn’t really have a lot to do in Grimm’s story except rescue Snow White which again shows women in a man dependent light and he sings in the Disney version. I can’t say he’s my favourite Disney hero, but oh well.
Overall, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves has a special place in my childhood heart and I much prefer it over the Grimm story any day. Some more modern versions of Snow White have recently come about with Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman which I hope to watch sometime soon showing the continuing adaption of such a classic tale!
*All pictures found on the web.
Other Participants: Angela’s Anxious Life