Well to say that Disney films have changed considerably would be an understatement. Of course there has been a massive boost in technology and the whole look of the film appears different. Although, saying this we can never disregard our first Disney Princess and our first ever Disney Classic, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’! And we can never forget her when so many have come after, we have to travel back to 1937 when she was the only one around. Right to the beginning.
Now I’m going to assume that everyone must know the story of ‘Snow White’, it seems bizarre to me if people don’t. But then again, part of me wouldn’t be surprised as more children now-a-days are growing up with the Disney likes of Rapunzel, Elsa and Anna. So just in case people don’t know, Snow White is a young princess who lives a bright singing life, until the jealous Queen, her step-mother, orders her most faithful Huntsman to kill her. But of course, he cannot kill the fairest of them all, poor young Snow. Into the woods she goes, petrified at the beginning, but she soon finds some friends, seven of them in fact. Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy, Grumpy, and never forgetting, my all-time favourite, Dopey.
I’m going to admit I haven’t seen this Disney Classic in a long time. But I always remember when I went to Florida and I dressed up as Snow White; as a young girl of short dark hair, I always pictured myself as Snow White before any other Princess. I know a lot of children do this, but I feel Snow White is sometimes a bit underappreciated. So as a film night with my flat we chose this old, yet classic, Princess. And yes we’re all about 20 years old, but you know what, Disney is never for a single age. And that’s the best thing about it.
‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ is a film revolved about a lot of music, in every single second of the film, there is always some sort of humming, whistling, dancing, singing, or even just instrumental music in the background. I particularly love the quite long scene of them all dancing, playing instruments and singing along; you can tell it’s just a film to make the audience have a good time, to find it enjoyable. And what better way than to add comical moments to get the audience giggling? The audience will love all the animals, because Snow White, to say the least, is a character who is revolved around many animals. As you probably know, most Princesses have some sort of animal side-kick, Ariel has Flounder, Rapunzel has Pascal, Pocahontas has Meeko, and Cinderella has the mice. However, Snow White, has rabbits, deer, birds, squirrels, racoons… However, outshining them all, the turtle or tortoise, I don’t know. Looking from a child’s perspective, the audience would love all of them. They are silly and very comical. As are the seven dwarfs, if it be Grumpy walking into a door, or Dopey’s continuous dopey-ness.
As this film is predominantly for children, the audience is told everything, all of the Queen’s plans so there are no surprises and the children don’t find it scary. However, I don’t think this makes a difference for an older audience, why should it? You watch this film for the enjoyment and escapism, not to be surprised in what is going to happen. We know the Queen is bad, she’s associated with animals like vultures and crows, not the prettiest of birds. There is also the extensive use of pathetic fallacy, a lot of rain and lightning bolts when the Queen is about.
Something very different I noticed in this film, ignoring the technology and the fact that all Snow White can really do is things in this household and she is clearly domesticated; however that’s a different argument, that’s thankfully all changed now, seen through Elsa’s own empowerment in ‘Frozen’. But ignoring that, the beginning and the end of the film, show sections of a book, which is cute to add to the Fairy Tale idea, but you have to read it, and I know this sounds completely pathetic, but I just noticed how different that was presented to how it would be now as there would definitely be a off-screen narrator.
I would recommend watching ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. You can’t be a fan of Disney Classics when you’ve never even seen the first one! She teaches children to be happy and to dream big, but also more serious in cleanliness as she teaches the dwarfs to wash before they eat. She is a Disney Princess that is different from others, guaranteed, but also one that shouldn’t be forgotten. Besides she was the first!