Ahh the 1930’s, what a magical era that was. Hitler was on the rise in Germany, America was still reeling from the Wall Street clash and vaudeville, that age-old theatre style that gave us the likes of Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy, was dead. Cheery right. Well one film would help make everything just that little bit better, Hell even Hitler liked it (in fact it was his favourite film). This film marks the beginning of Disney. This is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The story is very well-known. The young princess Snow White is hated by her Wicked Step-mother (who also happens to be Queen and Voldemort with a vagina) because while Snow White is alive then the Queen will never be the most beautiful woman in the kingdom. A huntsman is sent to kill the girl but cannot go through with it, instead telling Snow White to a small cottage where she meets 7 lovable dwarfs. When the Queen discovers that Snow White is still alive she vows to kill her.
This is a very nice looking film. The animation is great despite being the film being made in the 30’s. In all honesty I thought this film was from the mid-40’s for a long time because the animation looked so good. There are several scenes that really stick out, for example the scenes in the forest where Snow White is fleeing for her life, or the scenes of the dwarf’s cottage, or the scene where the Queen dies, but I think the best scene is where the Step-Mother transforms into the old hag, showing the transformation from middle-aged beauty to old, ugly woman. In fact not only is the scene a little psychedelic it also looks a little painful, acting as more of a metaphor for the symbolism in the scene. The characters are very lovable, especially the dwarfs, Dopey being the cutest and funniest, defiantly my favourite. The other dwarfs are also likable and pretty memorable but it’s a shame that they weren’t developed a little more. Then again there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for this. Snow White is a good lead but at times her voice grated a tad, but I think this happened only once. The Wicked Queen is a very good and memorable villain and her motivation is a very natural one, vanity. The magic mirror is creepy but very memorable, being used in many other films including Shrek. The music is great with songs like Hi-Ho and that whistle one, the score is nice and really comes out in the scenes in the woods, the Queen’s death and the beginning and end of the film with the credits. Finally the ending is just beautiful. The moment when you think Snow White is dead really is heartbreaking and the fact that the Dwarfs can’t bear to bury her and never leave her side in what is described as an eternal vigil is incredibly heartwarming and touching, only increasing our feelings for these tiny, little characters. The closing scene where Snow White rides off into the sunset with her Prince Charming is beautiful and acts as a perfect closing scene as it fades to black. Finally I also like the fact that the bookends of the film really are bookends, with the film being ‘read’ from a fairytale book. That’s a lovely touch. I really quite liked this movie although at times I found myself losing interest. Nevertheless, this film only got better as it went on.
A very nice film with brilliant animation that can really be touching at times.