By Jacob Montgomery (Texas)
Although not the first fully animated film ever made, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was by far the most mainstream attempt at it at that point, the most expensive, and the most groundbreaking. It was the one that opened people’s eyes about how animation could be used to tell a story with visuals. Before Fantasia mastered it a few years later, Snow White did a fantastic job setting the stage, not only for that film, but also for literally every other animated film afterward.
Everyone knows the story, so it seems pointless for me to reiterate it. It’s been done over and over again in numerous retellings that the story has been implanted into the American media psyche, but this is still the version people think of when they think of the story. And to be honest, that’s a good one to think of.
The film has a lot of memorable scenes that are fun to watch, and it has a high energy to it that makes the film flow along like a breeze. The film also balances out the light frothy scenes, with scenes of intense darkness, the likes of which were not fully matched by Disney until The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Watching it again, I was surprised at how creepy some of the imagery was.
It’s not really a film that runs on logic, it’s a film run on emotions, and the roller coaster ride of emotions the film runs you through are pretty incredible. However, since I am a logical person, that does mean some of the plot developments don’t fully work. Some things are left unexplained or somewhat ambiguous, which I guess was the point, seeing as how this is supposed to be a fairy tale, but I found it a little distracting.
As you can tell, I don’t think this is a perfect film; it does have problems. I’ll give them a little bit of credit because it was Disney’s first film, but I still have to view the film from modern goggles. The film in parts hasn’t aged well, like with the quality of the voice acting, or the lack of character development of certain characters, like Snow White and the Prince. Speaking of Snow White, she is a very bland character. She doesn’t have much of a personality other than being nice. That’s not necessarily bad, it’s just not interesting. There are also some filler scenes that are clearly there to pad out the running time, but to the film’s credit, they are fun to watch.
However, minor flaws aside, Snow White is a very fun, very enjoyable film. It has a great memorable villain, fun and enjoyable characters, particularly the dwarfs, and some great animation that still holds up, even today.
Snow White is a fantastic film to watch, not just as a historical groundbreaking film, but just as a film in its own right. If you are at all interested in animation, film or getting in touch with your inner child, this is a film that is definitely a must see just for those reasons. I would say that I recommend that you go watch this film, but chances are you already have. However, it may have been a while since some of you have seen it. Perhaps it’s time for a revisit.