Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)


Director: David Hand
Writers: Wilhelm & Jacob Grimm

Once again a Disney movie I can’t recall seeing, though I’m sure I did. What a great experience this film was. To think that it was made in 1938 is astounding to me. Sure there are some obvious things in the animation that make it sub-par by today’s standards, but some of that is what added to the magic of it for me. Seeing the old animation, which by all accounts was pretty good by the way, made the film more romantic to me. Whether that’s a fair additive critique-wise I don’t really care because it made the experience for me better.

I am not the kind of person who can rattle off the names of all the Dwarfs, though I might pull it off now, but getting to know these little men over the course of the film was amazing. Each one was a great character and someone I liked. My favorite was Bashful, followed closely by Dopey, but to say I had a least favorite one would be a shame because I loved them all. I loved Snow White too. She is so wonderful. The Queen on the other hand, I don’t know how much to say about her and her mirror on the wall. I thought there would be more of them, but really they didn’t have a lot of time on screen. They were basically there to create stakes in this story about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was fine by me, I just liked spending time with all of them.

It was clear, watching this as a grown-up, the obvious “life lessons” of the film. There were many times when Snow White had to teach the dwarfs proper manners or what not. I actually appreciated these, I thought it was great. And they meshed it with the story seamlessly enough that it didn’t affect the flow. There were also some terrifying moments in the film too. When Snow White first enters the forest, that scene is scary. And the fact that the Queen is having Snow White killed, telling the huntsman to bring her heart back in a box, that’s gruesome. And when the Dwarfs first encounter Snow White, they think she is a monster and are going to kill “it”. Pretty tense stuff for little kids, but don’t worry, I’m not one of those people who says that it will make kids bad or anything, just commenting. I actually liked it, but then again I’m a grown-up. But I do see the forest scene being a good thing to set the stakes for children anyway. Snow White is off to some foreign, scary land, running away from her wicked step-mother Queen.

The animals were wonderful creations too. The raccoons were adorable, as was every other little creature of the forest. That is why the animation was so great, all the little creations and characters were so warm, cute, and lively. A true achievement in film, outside the fact that it was the “first feature length animated film”. This is something I would revisit multiple times down the road, with or without kids, but especially with kids.

**** – Masterpiece

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