Movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven DwarfsThis movie is from the “Faerie Tale Theatre” series and was produced in 1983. I enjoyed Vincent Price as the mirror (his silent facial expressions at the queen were great), but the queen was more creepy than beautiful. It seems like the tendency with “Snow White” is to make the queen revolting, but she really is supposed to be beautiful! She’s absolutely insane, but she’s supposed to be incredibly beautiful! Why did they make Vanessa Redgrave look like a complete freak? Her hair was everywhere and her costumes were incredibly unflattering. Snow White was cute, but they seemed to be going for a very little girlish look. Her costume looked strange on the grown-up Elizabeth McGovern when it was clearly designed for a child. So the costuming, at least on the women’s side, was a little weird in this one. The acting of the dwarfs was great, though. They and Price were the only ones who didn’t sound stilted and like they were reading from a script at any point. They also rarely overacted when it wasn’t really necessary. The queen overacted a lot. I wasn’t incredibly impressed with the acting in this one.

The story mangled the fairy tale a little bit, but seemed to be trying to keep the spirit of it. They had the queen give Snow White a ribbon and wrap it around her neck to kill her, rather than her waist (how would she come back from that, exactly?). They skipped the comb altogether, but kept the apple as expected, with them sharing it and everything. The queen was punished by never being able to see herself in a mirror again, all her mirrors turned black. This seemed fairly appropriate and easier to film and more tv-friendly than her classic punishment, so I actually liked the change. The one change I found very strange, however, was that Snow White did not wake up when the prince kissed her. She woke up when the dwarfs dropped her coffin, thus jarring the apple from her mouth. This may make more technical sense, but it’s very different from the “true love’s kiss” of the fairy tale. It’s less magical and romantic. It also made her sudden acceptance of a marriage proposal from some guy she’s never met until this moment seem really strange. Without the magic, why is she suddenly agreeing to marry some strange guy with a guitar? The dwarfs weren’t that bad!

In general, I enjoyed this movie. I wasn’t wildly impressed with it, but it was entertaining to watch.

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