‘SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS’
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The First and Fairest Disney of Them All!
“Lips red as the rose, hair black as ebony, skin white as snow.”
This is one of the important and treasured films of cinema history. ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ is the very first full-length animated feature film by Walt Disney, made in 1937. This is a landmark film. I remember seeing this film when it was re-released in the cinema during the 1990s.
It’s still impressive to this day and hasn’t at all dated. Coupled together with ‘The Wizard of Oz’, it’s a well-loved classic fairy tale about a princess dreaming of her prince with seven dwarfs providing comic relief and an evil queen/witch providing elements of horror that still look scary.
When this movie came out on DVD in 2001, I was getting into the worlds of DVD with our new family DVD player, which was bulky. I was pleased my Dad got the film on DVD, as I have happy memories of this film. I was impressed with the DVD’s quality, its menus and the bonus features.
This has probably to do with it being one of the earliest Disney films to be released on DVD. Of course, there have been many renditions of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ on DVD, including a 2 Disc Platinum DVD Edition. But I’ve the film on a 1-disc DVD edition and still love it.
When the DVD starts, you’re directed to the Magic Mirror on the wall who sets up the main menu and it’s done in an exciting and exhilarating way. I really like the Magic Mirror introducing us to the ‘Snow White’ DVD, especially for those who are new to using the DVD as it helped me.
The Magic Mirror goes through each of the options on the main menu from ‘Play’ to ‘Scene Selection’ to ‘Set Up’ to ‘Bonus Features’ and the infamous ‘Guided Tour’ which I’ll come onto later. It’s scary when pressing ‘Play’, the Magic Mirror vanishes and we’re drawn to a black void.
‘Snow White’ is a famous fairy tale, even if you haven’t seen the Disney film. It’s the story about a young beautiful princess who is made to work as a scullery maid by her wicked stepmother, the Queen. As long as the Magic Mirror says the Queen is fairest of them all, Snow White is safe.
On one occasion, when the Magic Mirror says Snow White is fairest of them all, the Queen is determined to have her killed by her huntsman. When Snow White manages to escape into the forest, she comes across a cottage belonging to seven dwarfs who look after her whilst in hiding.
I really like the animation and design of this animated film. It must have been painstakingly hard work putting this film together, especially for Disney’s first feature-length film in 1937. The story holds very well with a mixture of comedy, horror and songs that help to keep the story going on.
I like Snow White’s character design in the movie. She looks really beautiful and believable as a human being and you wouldn’t think it was hard for the animators to design the human characters in the story. Snow White is sweet, kind and friendly all the way through in the movie.
She’s willing to look after the Seven Dwarfs at their cottage if they let her stay. I like how Snow White is rather motherly to them and tells them to wash their hands before dinner. Snow White is so dreamy that ‘someday her prince will come’, but then we all do when we look for true love.
I really like the seven dwarfs in the film. There’s Doc, the leader; Grumpy, who doesn’t like women; Happy, who’s in good spirits; Sleepy, who yawns; Sneezy, who sneezes; Bashful, who’s secretly loves Snow White and Dopey, who is the silliest of the group and he doesn’t speak at all.
The Prince appears in the movie, although he has a slim appearance. He only appears at the beginning when he meets Snow White and at the end when he gives her ‘love’s first kiss’, bringing her back from the dead. The Prince does provide the romance element for Snow White.
At the beginning, the Queen, Snow White’s stepmother, appears as a very beautiful woman with a cold edge about her. She doesn’t like Snow White being prettier than her and is determined to have her killed. When her huntsman fails to do the job, the Queen is determined to do it herself.
To do, that she concocts a potion containing mummy dust; an old hag’s cackle; the black of night and a scream of fright mixed by a thunder bolt to make her old. When she takes the potion, the Queen becomes a hideous witch and makes a poison apple for Snow White to bite and die from.
The songs are very good in this movie and have gone on to become classics. They include ‘One Song’; ‘Whistle While You Work’; ‘Heigh-Ho’; The Dwarf’s Washing Song, The Dwarf’s Yodal Song and the famous ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’. These songs work with humour and sentiment.
On the original ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ DVD, once the film has finished, there’s a music video of a new rendition of the song ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’. It’s introduced by Michael Eisner and is sung beautifully by Barbara Streisand. It’s also included as a bonus feature.
The rest of the bonus features on the original ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ DVD are as follows. There’s a documentary on ‘The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, narrated by Angela Lansbury. There’s also an audio commentary with audio recordings from Walt Disney.
There’s a sing-a-long video of ‘Heigh-Ho’ that was on the original Disney ‘Sing-a-Long’ videos that I remember watching when I was a kid. And there’s ‘Dopey’s Wild Mine Ride’ game, which is my favourite part of the original DVD. It was pretty exciting and scary when I played it as a kid.
There’s also a Guided Tour which is basically a look at what’s on the original DVD, mainly the bonus features. It’s introduced by the Magic Mirror with Roy Disney. Once selected, you’re given the guided tour by Angela Lansbury via a sample of all the bonus features featured on that DVD.
I love the designs of the interactive menus on the original ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ DVD. These feature 3D versions of some of the settings in the film. They include the Dwarfs’ cottage for the ‘Scene Selection’ menu as well as the Witch’s Lair for the ‘Bonus Features’ menu.
‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ is a truly epic and beloved fairy tale movie that will be remembered for years to come. It was the one that started it on and continues to be ‘fairest of them all’. My heart skips a beat when I see this film and I will remember this fondly and lovingly.
‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ rating – 10/10
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