I'm sure you know about Disney. It's a household name, after all. They're famous for buying things. And making Bambi. You've probably heard of how "it all started with a Mouse," either 60 years ago on TV or in an article. Maybe even how Disney created the first animated feature film in color, which is the movie I'm reviewing today for some reason. That is quite a story, indeed.
I'll just heavily butcher it.
Before this iconic film was released, people highly doubted that it'd be a success. Cartoons generally relied on gags, and people thought watching a movie full of gags would get stale after a while. They were right. I didn't live back then, so I wouldn't know for sure if they thought that...
It was extremely risky. If Snow White failed, Disney would've most likely filed for bankruptcy. Walt sold his house!! Of course, as you probably know already, they succeeded with flying colors and wowed the crowd. How touching. Too bad they went back to being poor a few years later.
You probably didn't come here to see me talk about history. I'm not the best at talking about this ancient history, anyways. So, how about I talk about this famous movie, one that amazed so many people back then, and still amazes people now, instead? Don't worry, I'm not biased. Infact, I have watched only a few newer Disney movies. Including Chicken Little, but we don't talk about that one.
Basically, I went in blind. It was fun. Somewhat. Well, technically I went semi-blind. This is a movie about Snow White. I think it's safe to say most people know how it goes... Or do they!? So, let us dive into this film. Does it live up to the hype, or is it just a dud? To read is divine, and thou shall be blessed upon thee when doing so. I think that was wrong grammar. Read. Now.
DISCLAIMER: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS and bad jokes
So, after the title card and old-fashioned PowerPoint credits, the movie cuts to the first scene of the movie... Well, kind of. It shows us a real-life book, titled, of course, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." It has quite a pretty cover. The book opens, and we get to read about Snow White's situation (her being a scullery maid and all), and the Queen's obsession with being the fairest. Unfortunately, there is no narrator reading to the audience, so blind people have to resort to crying in a corner. I want to sue them already... Eventually, the first animated scene comes up: A view of a castle. As it zooms in, the surrounding environment gets closer, and- oh my god are they using a multiplane camera!? Back in the day, drawings were flat. If you zoomed into the drawing, everything would get "bigger". For example, a landscape at night, with the moon in the sky. The multiplane camera solves this. You can just use separate drawings for the landscape, moon, etc. in seperate layers awsay from eachother to give the illusion that not everything gets bigger at the same time when you zoom in. It makes for some beautiful film at times. I hope that was a good enough explanation... Definitely not.
So, eventually, the movie cuts to the famous "fairest one of all" scene. The Queen calls the mirror (with the fancy thee) and asks it the ultimate question. The mirror answers with a vague riddle to arouse her (presumably), but the Queen knows immediately that it's talking about the girl of legends, Snow White. Speaking of her... We now cut to her introduction. We see her cleaning the stairs, humming... You know, this is boring. Let's cut to the part where she walks up to a well. She looks inside, and spots a lot of birds. She then proceeds to tell them a very big secret... That being the first Disney song (in a movie) ever, "I'm Wishing".
The first song in the movie is, unfortunately, somewhat unmemorable. She sings about wishing to meet her love, as
all a handful of adolescent girls do. It is your typical "I want" song. I only remember the chorus. How disappointing. Visually, there aren't many memorable shots. One of them is a shot inside the well. Snow White cannot be seen clearly here, due to the water effect(!). Impressive. Somewhat. The song does its job of explaining her ultimate wish to the audience, but that's about it. Eventually, we get a shot of a prince in the distance, listening to Snow White's opera voice. He is, truly, amazed by it. He's also not as well animated as the others. He decides to interrupt Snow White's song and says hello (How rude!). Snow White, filled to the brim with questions (understandably), runs away from him, into the castle. This does not scare off the prince, though, and he decides to sing a song, because that got you all the ladies back in the day. He is not making a very good first impression. Yes, two songs in a row. Thankfully they're pretty short. This one is calld "One Song." Similar to the previous one, it is not particularily memorable, aside from the chorus. Visually, we see Snow White gushing over the prince, and we even see the Queen looking out a window. I forgot what the lyrics were. Nice. This song also plays during the opening credits. At the end of the song, Snow White, who is looking out from a balcony, slowly goes back inside, flustered... I wonder when we'll see the prince again. Back to the Queen we go...
Back in the mirror room, she is seen talking to a Huntsman, who, like the prince, is also poorly animated. Realistic males don't get much respect, unfortunately. All the animators went for studying girls, because girls are hot, I guess. I wonder if some of them were homophobic? I wouldn't be surprised. What am I thinking?... Oh yes, back to the huntsman. So, the queen orders the huntsman to lead beautiful Snow White to a field, where she can pick flowers. Then, he must KILL her! Oh, how unfortunate. Mr. Huntsman is less than happy about this plan, as one can see by his poor animation. Also, Snow White is a princess. I didn't know that. Probably should've. The Queen does not care about Mr. Huntsman's feelings and forces him to do it anyways. Why can't she be happy with 2nd place? Oh, humans were jealous back in the day. Still are.
We now cut to Snow White walking in a field of flowers, happily picking some. Mr. Huntsman is nowhere to be seen for some reason. You'd think you'd atleast be able to see him in the distance following the naive girl. Snow White sees a crying bird, cheers it up, and NOW the huntsman comes to kill her. He raises the knife while Snow White says goodbye, and then... No, she does not die. The huntsman drops the knife, unable to do the deed, and warns Snow White of that beautiful Queen. It is at this point where we last see the Huntsman. I have questions. Anyways, she runs to the forest, I'd imagine for the first time, and screams for two minutes. Goddamn evil trees try to kidnap Snow White while she runs away, which makes me wonder if she's just really scared and dreaming up all this or if the trees are actually evil.
Eventually she gets overwhelmed by all the scary things, falls down to the ground and has a mental breakdown! The poor girl. The animals - cute ones - notice Snow White crying, and she notices them back. She apologizes for her breakdown and tries to cheer everyone up by singing the third song of the movie, which is honestly quite impressive, considering she was about to be murdered and had to endure two whole minutes of nightmare fuel. By the way, how far into the movie are we again?
Our next number is "With a Smile and a Song". She sings about fading all your worries away with a smile and a song. That grumbling won't help, and smiling will carry you on. This is probably a lie, but this is Snow White, the pure princess of heart we're talking about, so of course she believes in that. While singing, the animals feel comfort and get closer, and a cute little baby bird tries to get in some of that action, but fails horribly. The song is a mixed bag. The lyrics are pretty mixed, and the melody can take time to get used to. What else is there to say? Was this song really necessary? Probably not, and I'm still shocked she can still sing in her condition. After the song, she explains to all animals that she cannot sleep on the ground. The animals understand this, and take her to a very special place.
While the animals take Snow White to this Special Place, an instrumental version of the song's chorus plays. Indeed, we are about to experience a whole new level of gags. The animals finally take Snow White to this Special Place: The Dwarf's Cottage. Alliteration happens, and she looks out a window.
Surprise, surprise: No one's inside. She decides to
break in enter the cottage, and notices how dirty it is. A dining table with seven chairs she sees, and tries to connect some dots: She assumes a bunch of children live in this cottage. Children who have lost their...mother. Orphans, basically. Funnily enough, a sad little deer is shown being comforted by its mother while she talks about this. Bambi was in development at the time aswell, so...