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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
1937 - G - 83 Mins.
Director: David Hand
Producer: Walt Disney
Written By: Ted Sears, Richard Creedon,
Starring: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille LaVerne
Review by: Joe Jarvis
   
In 1937, one of the most groundbreaking films of all time was released; “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. Why groundbreaking? It was revolutionary as the animation was miles ahead of some of the animated material around at the time. But most importantly, it was the first feature-length animated film ever. It was expected to flop, but it didn’t and it quickly signalled to Walt Disney and other animation studios that animated features had a considerable audience. Had it flopped, the word “Disney” would be just an unusual surname and we probably wouldn’t have any animated films at all today.

Until recently, I’d lost the love for Disney animation as I had a child. Okay, I’d watch a Pixar co-production or maybe three or so animated films to come out of the House of Mouse, but until last year, I wouldn’t really leap into a Disney movie and it was only an accident that I rediscovered the Disney films again. “Snow White” actually took time to get to me and for a while, I thought it was vastly overrated. And even though I wouldn’t label it “vastly overrated” anymore, I still think that anybody saying that this film is “still the fairest of them all” is utterly pathetic. The modern films from Disney like “Toy Story” and “Aladdin” are far superior. Even when "Pinocchio" was released two and a half years later, that label kind of got tarnished.

We’ve all seen “Snow White” at least once. If you haven’t, I think you must be living on the moon. We saw it on a silver screen in one of its many theatrical releases, perhaps on video or maybe on DVD. We all know the story well, but in case you don't, it follows the misadventures of a princess named Snow White (hence the title). Snow lives in a castle with her evil stepmother, the Queen. The Queen is beautiful and the most beautiful in the land, until her magical mirror tells her that she’s at number two on the beauty charts, whilst her stepdaughter is number one. Of course, if you’re more beautiful than the Queen, her henchman must kill you, but even the Queen’s henchman finds Snow too lovely to be killed, so he lets her flee. Snow finds refuge in the home of seven dwarfs in the woods where she hides from the Queen and dreams about the Prince she once met.

“Snow White” was made during the depression and it reflects depression era values. The Dwarves work hard, yet don’t get a mansion, only a cottage. Snow is a bit of a cipher, as is her prince, and they both seem a little plain.

Yet even with flaws, the film fares well. The plot is simple and well structured and unless you are really picky, you might not find too many plot holes. The characters follow the usual mould for a romantic fairy tale, yet they seem somewhat refreshing (even if the romantic leads are a little bland) and are their personalities are instantly familiar (don’t tell me you didn’t know what personalities the seven dwarfs had) and the songs fit well into the story, with the exception of one (“With a smile and a song”). The animation and backgrounds are well detailed, looking like a book of fairy tale illustrations that have come to life.

Sixty-seven years since its first release, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" remains great entertainment for the whole family. It has not aged as well as “Cinderella” or “Sleeping Beauty,” in my opinion, but it is still a great movie.
 
Movie Guru Rating
An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater.
  4 out of 5 stars

 
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