Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

in #filmlast year

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I will be upfront here and say growing up I never liked this movie. I grew up watching a lot of old Disney movies on VHS, all of which were well before my time I liked, so I don't believe it's because the movie is dated, at least not entirely.

A quick recap for anyone not familiar with the story, few of you as there are, the queen becomes jealous of Snow White's beauty and tries to have her killed. When the Huntsman can't bring himself to do it, he reveals the plan and tells Snow White to run away and never come back, and she ends up meeting and living with the Seven Dwarfs.

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Watching through this movie for the first time since I was a small kid, I realize what it was about the movie that bothered me so much. Snow White is insufferable pure, innocent, and sweet. I understand these were the earliest days of animated films and we aren't going to see an incredible amount of depth to a character, but here one trait is the one that irritates me more than almost any other. If this is a trope that bothers you as it does me, it will kill the film for you almost outright.

Also, something that annoyed me I didn't remember is that sometimes characters just... start talking in Rhymes. It's not the whole movie, but sometimes out of song a character will just start rhyming. It's really weird. Another side note that is kind of interesting is seeing how things in later films are a sort of callback to this one, 'Jimminy Crickets' and 'off with her head' both being phrases said by the Dwarfs that come back in later films Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland.

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That said, this movie does showcase a lot of that Disney Magic that made them such a success. The moment I would highlight is when Snow White is running through the forest, and you see the forest both as it is, and how it appears to hear in her state of fear. You see trees transforming into monsters, the branches of bush seemingly stretching out to grab her, and so many other things. Even without the movie saying what's going on, you can easily piece together this is coming from her state of mind rather than being something that is happening, for the first full-length feature film Disney showed a lot of talent and promise here.

And that is what Snow White is, a showcase of what's to come. I don't know if you're going to find many people these days praising this movie as one of all-time greats, but it deserves praise for what it opened the doors for. It ends up being a movie that is more important than it is good. Some clever and great visuals can't overcome the flat and one-note characters and overall lack of story going on. It's worth watching if you're interested in seeing how it all started but other than that I don't know if the film has enough going for it to warrant a watch.

Also, the Princes face freaks me out.