Friday, January 6, 2012

D52 - Week 1 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Kevin's bit

Review: I predict that, throughout this blog project, I'll have more to say about the more obscure movies that everyone's forgotten about than I will about the cherished classics - just because there's not much to say about the latter that film historians haven't already said. But, since the whole point of this is to offer my opinions...
After watching it (I've seen most of it in pieces at a time but I don't think I had before sat through it from beginning to end), I don't really think of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as a movie - it's really more of a movie-length short, if that makes sense. I feel bad for knocking it, since, animation-wise, it was very superbly crafted. But story-wise, it does show that this was the first animated feature. A lot of it is padded with scenes that, while fun to watch, don't have a storytelling purpose. On the DVD is a deleted soup-eating scene, and it's explained that Walt cut it out because he felt it would slow the movie down. Really? And the washing-up scene didn't? To be fair, though, it seemed most movies in general at the time were still working out pacing and such. And being padded with songs and sight gags doesn't make it a bad movie at all. It's just a noticeable change of style if you get used to seeing Disney movies in which every single scene has a story reason.


  1. The evil Queen has that Dr. Evil-esque complex in which she chooses to get rid of Snow White in a convoluted manner rather than just, say, stabbing her directly in person.
  2. When Snow White marries Prince Charming, that means she has to change her name to Snow Charming. Well, maybe "Princess Charming" will have to do.
  3. Consistent with animated shorts of the time, almost all of the humor is visual. The only verbal jokes I spotted were Doc's spooneristic fumbles.
Favorite character: That turtle!
Most unnecessary character: Happy may be happy, but he has the least interesting characteristic. Also, I don't remember him doing anything noteworthy or even having any funny moments.
Overall: Don't watch any animated movie without watching this one too.

Amanda's bit

I have to agree with Kevin that it doesn't seem similar to movies nowadays wherein the plots are thick as Texas Toast. It doesn't make the cartoon less enjoyable but it's very funny to me to notice that the greatest amount of plot movement was during the non-scenes which were just storybook reading.

Did you know that each image of Snow White was rouged on the front side of the cell so that her makeup appeared more realistic? I can't even put makeup on myself. I cant imagine doing it on tiny drawings hundreds of thousands of times.
Favorite character: I agree with Kevin! That turtle was so darn cute and had some of the best sight gags!
Unnecessary character: Is it wrong to say Prince Charming? He had 3 minutes of screen time and 3 lines of dialogue. And even more... (keep reading).
Tidbit 2: In the original Snow White story the the witch tried numerous ways to kill Snow White including suffocation via corset strings, topical poison, and finally the apple. In the original story, the apple piece was dislodged by the Prince's servants jostling the coffin, and in another version, the dwarfs dislodged the piece the same way. Thus, Prince Charming could have been eliminated from the story altogether. The dwarfs could have saved her and the lesson could instead have been that it's not naive first love that saves a person but a strong commitment from friends or family that makes a life most wholesome. That could have been very uplifting as well.

Overall: I was entertained and if you get the chance to watch it (or watch it again), you should! It's fluffy, but cute and I go for that.

Amanda's Craft
I thought I'd add a nice little craft project to add some visual interest to the project. Behold! Representing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, I give you The Apple. Whether it's poisoned or not will remain a mystery.


  1. (Hopefully you don't mind long-winded comments! My list of running notes was longer than I would've expected.)

    As I've mentioned to just about everyone I've talked about the D52 thing to, the first week is pretty much the part I've been looking forward to the least. While it honestly looks pretty fantastic even today (the water effects, in particular, strike me as stunning for the 1930s), there's really not much more to it than that. Weirdly fitting for a film whose villain is single-mindedly obsessed with beauty above all else! Still, yes, it's a pretty cool history lesson, and I actually enjoyed revisiting this more than I expected.

    - So, really? Queenie McStepmother's supposed to have been the "fairest one of all" at some point? Really?
    - Despite being the dude who saves our heroine's life, Prince Charming is so incredibly unimportant that he's not ever even referred to by name.
    - And he has but one song, which is...actually partially about the fact that he has but one song? That's really sad. But, he's apparently cute enough that even doves want to do him, so I guess one lousy song's all he needs.
    - You kinda realise how cynical the world has become when you see things like Snow White's speech to the furry woodland critters about how she's "so ashamed of the fuss" she's made; the sort of earnest, not-even-slightly-mean-spirited thing that audiences today would not go for at all.
    - But it was apparently also a day and age where people apparently weren't concerned by the prospect of small children owning pickaxes, a societal change which was probably for the better.
    - Search every crooked fanny?
    - Snow White sure is awfully demanding for someone who has just been forgiven for breaking and entering and allowed to stay because she'll be murdered otherwise.
    - This film....sure has more buttock-related gags than I remembered.
    - You've gotta love Queenie McWitchiepoo's totally deus ex machina death!
    - UNNECESSARY TERRIBLE DISNEY SEQUEL CONCEPT: Snow White and The Prince, now married, enlist the Dwarfs to babysit their kid for the weekend. But, the Dwarfs, they have no understanding of the concept of childcare! Ha ha ha! Despite this, they manage to come together to thwart the Queen's daughter's evil roadside fruit stand.

  2. To which week(s) is/are you most looking forward?

  3. As I'm a fan of both trying to understand the reasons that people I know hold things in high esteem and being the douchey contrarian, depending on where my opinion lies, I'd have to narrow it down to Tangled or Beauty and the Beast. I figure, either way, the results of those will be interesting to me.

    Additional observation: The dwarfs' designs are actually sort of unsettling if you stare at them for a little bit. (But, I suppose most things can be disturbing if you stare for long enough!)


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