The happiest, grumpiest, sneeziest movie of all time!
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 animated musical fantasy film directed by David Hand, written by Ted Sears, Richard Creedon, Otto Englander, Dick Rickard, Earl Hurd, Merrill De Maris, Dorothy Ann Blank, Webb Smith, produced by Walt Disney Productions, and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures. It is based off of the Grimm Brothers's 1854 fairy tale, Snow White. The film stars Adriana Caselotti and Lucille La Verne. It was nominated for Best Original Score, but did not win. This is the first film in Disney's Snow White franchise. A remake called Snow White is in the works. In 1989, the film was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
"Magic Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" - Queen Grimhilde
After being exiled by her jealous stepmother, Princess Snow White runs off into the woods and discovers a cottage belonging to seven dwarves. After meeting the dwarves, Snow White is accepted into their family...all while the Evil Queen relentlessly searches for her to kill her.
My Favorite Thing About Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White is a movie that I have trouble reviewing. This film is one of the biggest parts of my childhood. This is the film responsible for nearly one hundred years of family entertainment. I owe so much to this movie just for existing. I also have tons of nostalgia for it, so I'm partly blinded by that. I think my favorite thing about it is the entire feel. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs feels like a classic Disney movie. It has this wondrous, fantastical fairy tale feel that no other studio has ever been able to capture. That aspect just makes this movie so soothing to watch. There's no other way I can describe the feeling. It's soothing.
My Least Favorite Thing About Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
I was talking to my dad after watching this movie. I was trying to describe how I felt about it. And he made a really accurate analogy. This film is like Babe Ruth. He's one of the greatest of all time. He's responsible for so much of what baseball is today. But he would never be able to play in a modern setting. He wouldn't make a team. It's the same with Snow White. The storytelling is clunky. There isn't really forward momentum. Snow White isn't a great protagonist. Characters reach the right conclusions based off of very little information. It's very much a product of its time.
Why Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Works
Like I said, this movie gets so many points for being a nostalgia fest. It gets so many points for being the first Disney film. This is the reason we have animated movies. This is the reason that fairy tales are a popular form of classic storytelling. Snow White is one of the most important movies ever made, and it just gets props for that. Beyond that, there are some good songs. The animation is fantastic. The characters are memorable. The moments are memorable. While the plot may be held together by the thinnest of strings, Snow White is a timeless film that will be shown to families for many years to come.
The Disney Evaluation
Quick note: the Disney evaluation is a section that I'm doing for the Disney rewatch. I'm evaluating each movie as a Disney movie. The characters, the songs, the iconic Disney imagery...everything. I also created a special, Disney-fied scale for this section. This will be in every review in the Disney rewatch.
Snow White is the reason we have Disney. Almost everything about this movie has become an iconic Disney image. The songs aren't some of Disney's best, but Someday My Prince Will Come and Heigh-Ho are both pretty good. The movie was also shockingly funny for being nearly ninety years old. This created the formula for Disney movies, so I have to give it a big plus for that. Snow White isn't my favorite of the Disney protagonists. She's pretty bland, but the dwarves are really fun. The Evil Queen is also a pretty good villain. She feels like a prototype for Maleficent, and I mean that entirely as a positive.
This film gets a Genie's Lamp on the Disney scale.
THE DISNEY SCALE
Mickey Mouse (Top Tier Disney)
Genie's Lamp (Great Disney)
Glass Slipper (Good Disney)
A Sword in the Stone (Bad Disney)
Poison Apple (Terrible Disney)
Family Factor: 9.5/10
Disney Imagery: 10/10 Animation: 9.5/10
Final Thoughts and Score
I've loved Snow White since I was, like, four years old. Even though it was a very different experience watching it this time around, I still love this movie for what it is.
I will go Sweet here. Age range is 3+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad)
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
Fun Factor: 8.5/10
Directed by David Hand
Rated G for minor violence and some frightening images
Released on December 21, 1937
1 hour and 23 minutes
Adriana Caselotti as Snow White
Lucille La Verne as Queen Grimhilde
Roy Atwell as Doc
Pinto Colvig as Grumpy, Sleepy
Harry Stockwell as Prince Florian
Otis Harlan as Happy
Scott Mattraw as Bashful
Billy Gilbert as Sneezy
Moroni Olsen as The Magic Mirror
Stuart Buchanan as The Huntsman
Eddie Collins as Dopey
Jimmy MacDonald as Dopey