Stranger Danger – A Review of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1939)

by Cesidia on September 14, 2011

thumbnailWhile I was big fan of Star Wars because of Ewoks, my sister was much more normal. She was obsessed with the movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, because her favorite character, Snow White (Adriana Caselotti), or “Snow Wipe” as she used to refer to her as. This is week is my sister’s birthday so I thought what better way to celebrate it by reviewing her favorite movie of all time.

Just because we’re related doesn’t mean we have the same opinion of the movie however. To completely honest, ever since I was a little kid, Snow White is probably my least favorite princess. This is due to the fact that I love well thought out, detailed story-telling techniques. Because this movie was really one of the first of its time, (it came out in 1939), it is only the beginning of what we know today as Disney’s fairytale stories. This is why my favorite Disney princess movie is The Little Mermaid – because it has so a much more developed well, everything. I’m not saying that Snow White is bad – it’s innovative of its time. If they had the same knowledge of technology back then as we do today, or if it hadn’t been the first movie, it would have been a lot different.

But for a little kid, Snow White is a great movie. It’s simple to understand, filled with comic relief and Snow White is the perfect princess. She does die, but Prince Charming (Harry Stockwell) kisses her and she wakes up and they live happily ever after. Other than meeting the dwarfs, that’s really basically all that happens in the movie. To me, it’s a very underdeveloped storyline that is completely predictable. Time seems to have no meaning either. Snow White and the dwarfs seem to have been living together for months but, with the queen (Lucille La Verne), it seems like this entire story takes place in days.

The other thing is that the characters are rather undeveloped, I mean you don’t even know how Snow White and the queen are related, if she’s a princess doesn’t that make the queen her mother? Would her mother really be that envious? If so, why does she hate Snow White so much? Does Snow White have a father? But most importantly, who is this prince anyway? He comes in the beginning and finishes her song and they fall in love? Where did he come from, the woods? He just sort of randomly appears, and you don’t know anything about him. For all we know he could be a rapist, dressed as a prince. I mean she is the prettiest maiden in all the land. With beauty comes creepy guys trying to stalk you. And He doesn’t even have a speaking voice, all he does is sing in the beginning, the end, and then he kisses her. He doesn’t even have a name. He’s just the generic “Prince Charming”. It just kinda leaves me confused. Obviously, no one ever taught Snow White to never get on a horse with strangers or talk (sing?) to them.

But I do have to admit, the dwarfs definitely make the movie. They are by far the only comic relief in this dark tale. Even Grumpy (Pinto Colvig) is hilarious. Dopey (Eddie Collins) has always been my favorite though. He’s so adorable with his overly long coat and floppy purple hat with his big ears. Even though for the entire movie he’s a mute, his facial expressions and actions always land him in the biggest of troubles.

Overall for being an old movie, it’s still pretty good. It has been an inspiration for many of Disney’s other movies, most recently the latest Disney princess movie, Enchanted. The whole poisonous apple theory, working song, animal friends, evil witch, etc., etc. all came from where it all started: Snow White. I know that my sister loves this movie so if she happens to be reading this and gets angry maybe instead of yelling at me she could write a review about why Snow White is such a good movie.

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