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watching this for the first time recently, I was struck by the feeling of watching a dream in motion. It's so simple, but it has a quality of pure artistry that goes well beyond the narrative. In fact, the films true strength is heightened by the simplicity of the story because it allows the film to communicate on a deeper level. The story itself can almost be followed without thinking at all, which lets the subconscious mind grab the film and run with it. One of the best films I've ever seen and currently my favorite Disney movie. It's missing some things that other Disney movies have, but it replaces those elements with something more primal and harder to define.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Event though Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is touted as a spectacular
achievement and such, it has kind of a bad rap when it comes to sitting
down to actually watching it. And that really is a shame.
As a piece of history, of course this movie is unparalleled. Everyone knows all the achievements and advancements that came from it. I will give my undying gratitude to Snow White for starting the undisputed greatest tradition in film history.
And honestly, for turning 70 this year, the old dame's held up pretty well. No, it has never been my favourite Disney fairy tale, but it has far more merits than detriments.
OK, OK the titular character is about as flat as the paper she's drawn on , gratingly dense, and there's no accounting for taste when choosing the voice (It feels like they were honestly going for 12 years old, which just disturbs contemporary audiences). And the animators definitely showed their weakness when it came to the prince, HOWEVER, the rest is superb. The forest and anything involving the Queen are genuinely terrifying. Many scenes I could not endure when I was little without throwing back my head and howling. So much care and individual quirks are put into the dwarfs. I put my old VHS copy in not too long ago and was completely taken back by how funny some of their stuff is. I was not expecting it to retain that much entertainment value.
So all in all, we all know SWSD is a historical piece of blah blah blah, but I think we've forgotten that beyond that, it really is a good movie. Like what they say about good wines, it only gets better with age.
Quote of the Film:
-I said, 'how do you do?'
-How do you do what?
Of course one of the things about animated movies is that no matter
when they got made they never look old. "Snow White and the Seven
Dwarfs" got made in 1937 but it looks just as good and the same as
Disney movies- and other full length animated movies that got made in
much later decades. You can say that "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
was the movie that set the standards for animated movies and was a sign
of things to come. It's also the reason why the movie won a special
Academy Award for 'pioneering a great new entertainment field'. It was
not awarded on simple Academy Award but also 7 smaller ones along with
it. A nice and fitting tribute.
Even though it's the very first full length animated Disney feature it's also actually one of the most daring ones. Some moments are truly scary done and the movie features some real horror like moments and even a skeleton in a shocking scene. No way Disney movies would allow these sort of imagery these days. It shows they were still looking for the right style and approach for their movies at the Disney studios.
But it's funny to note how little the animation style had actually changed for the Disney movies over the years. Right till the '90's Disney movies used the same animation style and were just as good and smooth looking as this movie. It makes it all the movie obvious what a great accomplishment for 1937 this movie was. Not only the characters and their movies are looking fine but also the backgrounds and all of the other little details in it.
So it's not a movie that is outdated with its style but it of course is with its story. As a matter of fact "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" story is shockingly simply and there hardly is any story development. It also is disgustingly happy and friendly with all of the cuddly animals in it and the sweet character of Snow White herself. But yet this at the same time is definitely part of the charm of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".
While the comedy is not as good or much present as would be the case in a Disney short, featuring Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse for example, it still is a very fun movie to watch, which is due to the overall atmosphere of the movie and the likability of the characters.
The characters from this movie are still among the best and most memorable ones out of all Disney movies. Not just Snow White herself but also obviously the seven dwarfs, who also make the movie mostly entertaining to watch. The Queen/Witch is also a good memorable Disney villain, even though her role is actually quite small in the movie.
Also this earliest Disney movie already featured songs in it. Some of them are still classics and it's must better stuff when compared to some Disney movies which got made in the first years after "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", with the exception of "Pinocchio", which was the first next big Disney project after this one.
Still just as good and watchable as it was at the time of its release.
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", a film that has long been treasured
and regarded with awe and amazement by audiences for seventy long
years. Whether or not the viewer knows about the incredible painstaking
work it took to make the animation in a film like this convincing
enough for us, we do still look at the film and enjoy it despite the
fact that its animation and style is far outdated. "Snow White and the
Seven Dwarfs" is short, wonderful, and unique. Had it been made today,
it may not have worked out. First of all, it would have had to be
longer and with more interaction between several of the characters.
However, there is something classic and timeless about "Snow White" which still works today. While I do strongly believe that the love story, although a major point in the plot, was exercised weakly onto the screen. The real reason for this is that the prince, whose name is never revealed, has such little screen time. I estimate about three minutes, maybe less. In my following research, I discovered that it was because of the incredible difficulty the animators found in drawing in frame-by-frame. That's how it was done back then.
Putting aside the flaw with the character of the prince, the other characters were very well-done with both animation and development. Snow White is well-realized in looking innocent, kind, and depending on one's point-of-view, a beautiful Disney character. The seven dwarfs, the other title characters, were also well-done and they are the real stars of the film. Snow White provides the drama and heart-felt sympathy, while the dwarfs provide everything else except for antagonism. But they are the characters who make us laugh, or at least grin. And each is given a specific personality which makes them memorable. The evil queen, the villain of the story, is one of the coldest that Disney studios ever pulled out. Whichever physical form she is in, the queen, also unnamed, is a ruthless baddie. Her horrifying personality and decisions ultimately earned her a place in the Top 50 Villains of film history.
So while "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is an old, outdated film which does not always meet the expectations of audience members today, there is something about it that does work. It has been selected for preservation by the Library of Congress. I myself think it is worthy of such a position. I don't really know why, it's just a wonderful animated film in its own right. I liked it as a kid. And recently, I saw it again for the first time in years. It proved out to be more effective than I thought it as going to be. It just shows that films like this will probably last forever.
Contrary to common belief, Walt Disney's 'Snow White and the Seven
Dwarfs' is not the earliest feature-length animated film. This title
goes to Quirino Cristiani's now-lost 1917 Argentinian film, ''El
Apóstol / The Apostle.' Even as far as current availability in
concerned, you can turn towards Lotte Reiniger's 'The Adventures of
Prince Achmed (1926)' for a brilliant animated film, featuring
endearing silhouette animation and an exciting tale of heroes, villains
and monsters. Released in 1937, 'Snow White' was Disney's first
feature-length effort, as well as the first technicolour animated
movie, and also briefly the most successful film of all time (until the
release of 'Gone with the Wind' in 1939). After the excellent 'Fantasia
(1940),' this was the second feature-length film I'd seen from Disney's
early era, and I was instantly able to appreciate why it is so revered.
One can only imagine how much effort must have gone into the 83 minutes
of animation, and, despite this relatively brief running time, the film
manages to flesh out so many wonderful characters and effectively evoke
a range of emotions.
The story is roughly based upon the German fairytale by the Brothers Grimm. A beautiful and wicked Queen (voiced by Lucille La Verne) learns one day, through her Magic Mirror, that her stepdaughter the beautiful Snow White (Adriana Caselotti) has surpassed her in beauty. Enraged, the Queen orders the princess murdered, but the kind-hearted servant cannot bring himself to commit the act. Abandoned in the forest, Snow White is aided by the gentle animals of the forest, and she stumbles upon the modest dwelling of a group of seven dwarfs, respectively named Doc, Dopey, Sleepy, Grumpy, Sneezy, Happy and Bashful, each with a personality that mirrors their own titles. Though initially hesitant about having a woman in their home, the little men eventually come to appreciate her presence, and all is going well until the Queen learns of her servant's disloyalty, and so crafts a new and terrible revenge for the sweet and innocent Snow White.
Visually, 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' is nothing short of a masterpiece. Compared to the primitive cut-out silhouettes of 'The Adventures of Princess Achmed' just a decade earlier, the animation in this film is nothing short of staggering; every single frame is simply alive with vibrant colour and movement. In fact, the film proved such a monumental advance in the field of animation that it took until the arrival of Pixar Studios and CGI before anybody truly progressed beyond what had been achieved here. Colour is used magnificently to create intense moods, and the chasing of the Queen (transformed into a witch) through a raging thunderstorm is an absolute triumph of film-making, equal to anything produced before or since. Notably, a flawless 1937 Silly Symphonies short, 'The Old Mill,' served as an essential testing ground for many of the techniques used in 'Snow White,' including the animation of animals, rain, wind, lightning, ripples, splashes and reflections. Additionally, 'The Old Mill' also served as the trial-run for Disney's revolutionary multiplane camera, which was also used to remarkable effect here.
Walt Disney produced many full-length animated features during his long
career, and many more have come from the Walt Disney Company since his
death in 1966. However, the very first of them all was "Snow White and
the Seven Dwarfs", an adaptation of the version of the story from the
Brothers Grimm. This 1937 motion picture turned out to be
groundbreaking, and although seven decades have passed since its
original release, it is still remembered as a classic,
Snow White is a princess, and the stepdaughter of the evil, vain Queen. One day, when the Queen asks her Magic Mirror "Who is the fairest one of all?", she doesn't get her usual response! Instead, she learns that Snow White is now the "fairest one of all"! The Queen immediately grows jealous, and sends a hunter out to kill Snow White! Luckily for the princess, the hunter decides that killing her just wouldn't be right. Wanting her to live, he tells her to run away, which is just what she does. Looking for a place to stay, she ends up in the house of the Seven Dwarfs (Dopey, Sleepy, Sneezy, Doc, Bashful, Grumpy, and Happy), and begins to live with them. Meanwhile, after the Queen learns that Snow White is still alive, she intends to do the killing herself!
This was one of many Disney films that I saw when I was a kid, but my memory of it wasn't as clear as some of the others. A few months ago, I watched it for the first time in many years, and didn't think much of it. However, I was more impressed when I watched it again shortly after, and even more impressed with a third viewing! I found Snow White's singing voice somewhat annoying at first, and with more viewings, I still didn't become a big fan of it. However, this certainly didn't totally ruin the film for me. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" has some good dialogue (some of which I may not have noticed before), excitement, and memorable characters (including Snow White, even if she's not the greatest character in Disney history, along with most of the Dwarfs, who often add humour to the film).
After my most recent viewing, I'm not sure whether to give "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" an 8 or a 9 (out of 10, of course). I certainly wouldn't give it a 10 (it's not absolutely perfect in my book), but I was very impressed with most of it. I don't know whether it was enough for me to give it a 9 rating or not. Well, nonetheless, I can still understand why this first full-length piece of animation from Disney has been labelled a classic by so many people throughout the decades! For hardcore fans of Disney or animated family adventures in general, and probably for some moderate fans as well, there's lots of fun to be had!
Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Snow White was the first Disney movie ever made, and is still the best known movie of all time. The movie had beautiful animation, and was followed up by Filmation's "Happily Ever After"- the second story in the Snow White Legacy. Filmation's attempt was very good, and the movie was still funny and enjoyable, but it will never ever match up to it's original. I give Snow White a 10/10.
I'm with a lot of people, in that I think Snow White as a character is too
much of a stereotype to be really interesting, but at least she's not the
princess in Gulliver's Travels!
What really makes this movie is the artistic animation, which does exactly what animation is supposed to do: create feelings through moving images, not create a realistic world. When Snow White flees into the forest, we see what she sees--that the whole world is suddenly out to get her. The trees come to life in demonic fashion, and the floating logs become crocodiles.
A note on the songs--while today in America it seems kind of silly to have songs about working and cleaning, work songs have been a part of nearly every culture throughout history. If you watch the subtitled version of Hayao Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke" or Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai," you will hear examples of Japanese work songs.
A beautifully colored and wonderfully depicted story of the Snow White tale. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs(1937) is one of the few Walt Disney pictures that I think is any good. Tends the water of fairy tale and horror. This is the film that is what many Disney films have tried to live up to and some failed. A very good film that is made special by the early use of Technicolor. Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs(1937) made an impression on many Italian horror filmmakers who would use this impression to do some of the best Italian horror films ever. The use of color in here would influence Dario Argento to fashion his film Suspiria(1977) after the style and look of this animated feature.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The real strength of this film is the animation. The reason it was so
popular in 1937 when it was released was the bright colors & production
quality that is obvious when you view it on a large screen. The music
is top notch for it's era too. This was a full length color feature a
full year plus before Robin Hood (1938). That and the popular Walt
Disney who had already established himself in cartoons is why this
became a land mark Disney film for many years.
Being the first however, the film now faces many of the draw backs that another Disney Feature, Song of The South, now faces. It is totally based upon a Fairy Tale & the Snow White children's tale has not aged well. The story in todays contemporary is now considered sexist. There are some negative messages in here because as a hallmark of Disney's, there is an adult level here which is beyond what the kids see. It has an unintentional negative message for children in the ending as well.
Still, this movie is important & not just as a historic first. This movies success is a primary reason that the 1939 Wizard of Oz was produced. Because this film sold so many tickets was a major reason for the way Oz was produced & why MGM spent so much money & time producing it 2 years later. MGM wanted to make the kind of money Disney made on this one.
Snow White has declined because of the story factors, but she usually still graces Disney World with her presence.
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