Thursday, February 18, 2010

110. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Running Time: 83 minutes
Directed By: David Hand
Written By: Ted Sears, Richard Creedon
Main Cast: (voices): Adriana Caselotti, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell, Pinto Colvig, Otis Harlan, Harry Stockwell

ON MY JOURNEY I MET A MAN NAMED 'WALT'

As I trek through the pages of the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" text, I come to my first animated film. While this is one of the few animated films, that's a little harder for an adult to enjoy, I think grown-ups will still be able to find some engaging aspects about "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".

The plot, as you can imagine, is a fairly simple one. Our animated journey starts out with The Queen, sitting high atop a mountain, enclosed in her grand castle. As she poses her daily question to her magic mirror: "Mirror mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest one of all?", she does not get the stock answer that is usually given. Instead, this time, the mirror searches the land and finds that young Snow White is actually the fairest one in the land. This, of course, irates The Queen and she sends one of her henchmen out to kill Snow White and put her heart into a small box, as proof that he did his duty. When the henchmen approaches Snow White, as she picks wildflowers in the field, he cannot bring himself to kill her, instead warning her to run as far away as she can and never come back. Snow White obliges, and soon finds solace in the forest, with her new animal pals, including: birds, raccoons, deer, squirrels and a turtle.

The critters lead her to a house, that is later revealed to be the home of the seven dwarfs. However, when Snow White sees the tiny beds, she assumes that the house must be occupied by orphaned children. She cleans up the house for the "children" and hopes that by doing this, they'll let her live with them. We then meet the dwarfs: Happy, Dopey, Sneezy, Sleepy, Doc, Grumpy and Bashful: seven tiny prospecting men, with long white beards, as they sing "Heigh-Ho" when they bell rings for them to go home. The entire bit that follows, shows the dwarfs arriving home and seeing lights on in their house and also seeing a clean house and thinking that a ghost or goblin must've gotten in. Snow White soon reveals herself and all the dwarfs fall in love with her and look up to her as a motherly figure. All of the dwarfs, that is, except for Grumpy, who wants nothing to do with her or her cleanliness. Eventually The Queen learns that the heart, that the henchmen brought back to her, was only the heart of a pig and takes matters into her own hands, disguising herself, with the help of a wicked spell and creating a poison apple to tempt Snow White with, which will lead to her demise.

This certainly isn't the best animated movie I've ever seen, nor is it the worst. There's nothing too terribly exciting going on here, yet nothing horrible either. I think, however, that this is one of the more difficult ones for an adult to really get into and find that most of the material presented is more suited for the youngsters. However, it's quite surprising to hear them talking of cutting out hearts in an animated movie from the 1930's. There's also some other imagery, that I would think would be a little terrifying to a child, such as the entire sequence where The Queen transforms into a witch. The dwarfs sequences do provide some light comedy, especially the bit when they're searching the house, before they know Snow White is there. It must've been something special to see this in the theatres back in the day. The colors in this film pop and to see this in the 1930's, on a big screen, must've been mesmerizing. I can only imagine the awe and wonderment that kids must've went through back in the 1930's in theatres across the country.

RATING: 5.5/10 Like I said, nothing bad, nothing special and just your average kids film, but it set the stage for animation and must get some respect for that fact.

NEXT UP: The Awful Truth...The film that won Leo McCarey his Best Director Oscar. I'll be watching "The Crowd" before this, as I'm gonna' watch it later tonight and post the review on the old "The Crowd" post, so keep an eye out for that one.

February 18, 2010 8:38pm

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