15 Jan 2019

DISNEY ANIMATION - Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?

Did Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Disney's first animated feature follow the rules?

May contain spoilers for
Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Rule 1

"Famed is thy beauty, Majesty. But hold, a lovely maid I see. Rags cannot hide her gentle grace. Alas, she is more fair than thee." ~ Magic Mirror.
"Alas for her! Reveal her name." ~ The Queen.
"Lips red as the rose. Hair black as ebony. Skin white as snow." ~ Magic Mirror.
"Snow White!" ~ The Queen.

1a. Old Tale - As the credits say: "Adapted from Grimms' Fairy Tales"

1b. Basic Plot - Once upon a time there was a princess. Every day, she worked as a scullery maid. One day the Queen tried to have her killed. Because of that, she fled into the forest. Because of that, she met the seven dwarfs. Until finally one day her prince came.

1c. Musical - It is a musical.

1d. Weak Love Story - An underdeveloped romance
i. Love at first sight - The prince claims so in song straight away, and Snow White suggests it in song alter.
ii. Love Fixes Everything - It bought Snow White back from being "dead."
iii. True Love's Kiss - True Love's First Kiss is actually a plot point of the film. The kiss leads directly to them living happily ever after.

Rule 2
Sex & Nudity
"She's a females. And all females are poison. They're full of wicked wiles" ~ Grumpy.

2a. Nudity - None.

2b. Sex - None.

Rule 3
Character - The Disney Princess

"She's beautiful. Just like a angel!" ~ Bashful.

Snow White

3a. Protagonist - Has the primary role in the film.
i. Main Character - The queen is introduced first, and sometimes talks directly to the camera, but the film's about Snow White.
ii. "Trapped" - Used as a scullery maid, awaiting a prince to come take her away.

3b. Family:
i. Royal - A princess.
ii. Dead parents - As the Queen is her step-mother, her mother is most likely dead, however neither parent is mentioned.
iii. Outsider - If being used as a scullery maid doesn't cut it, she is sent to the forest to be killed, early in the film, but escapes and lives in the woods with the dwarfs.

3c. Look:
i. Hair - Fairly short, but always perfect.
ii. Tiny waist - Wider than neck, but not by much.
iii. Giant eyes - Largish, but not freakish.
iv. Long necks - On par with the rest of the cast.
v. Small nose - Tiny, almost invisible, nose.
vi. Light Colour Clothes - Light skirt, brown and red cape, dark and light blue top.

3d. Personality:
i. Awkward - Hides from prince. Fears the forest.
ii. Trusting - Trusts huntsman, dwarfs and old apple-seller.
iii. Dreamer - Dreams of a man coming to take her away.

3e. Other:
i. Sidekicks - The animals who help her (behave like humans, but do not talk).
ii. Singer/dancer - Singer, sings to entertain the dwarfs.
iii. Saved by hero - Explicitly states she's waiting for her prince to come. All the does though is kiss her which revives her, the dwarfs are the ones who chase the witch.

Rule 4
Character - The Hero
"Anyone could see that the Prince was charming. The only one for me." ~ Snow White.
"Was he strong and handsome?" ~ Doc.
"Was he big and tall?" ~ Sneezy.
"There's nobody like him, anywhere at all." ~ Snow White.

The Prince

4a.  Will either be:
i. Wise cracking male hero - No...
ii. One dimensional prince - ... Yes.  All he does in the film is turn up a couple of times and pine for the princess.

4b. Others:
i. Sidekicks - Not the wise cracking make hero.
ii. Rescuer - Sort of.

Rule 5
Character - The Villain
"My stepmother, the queen." ~ Snow White.
"The Queen!" ~ The Dwarfs.
"She's wicked!" ~ Bashful.
"She's bad!" ~ Happy.
"She's mighty mean!" ~ Sneezy.

Queen Grimhilde

5a. Flamboyant villain - Vain.

5b. Evil look:
i. Dark colours - Black and dark blue.
ii. Beard - Female, so no.
iii. Species - Human
iv. Voice - Has an evil voice/laugh.

5c. Incompetent Villain Sidekicks:
  • The magic mirror.
  • The huntsman - Threatened by the queen. Turns on the queen by not killing Snow White.
  • A Crow - Threatened by the queen.

5d. Will have a screen safe death:
i. Fall - Near miss by lightning, followed by a fall followed by a giant boulder. The dwarfs and come vultures watch it happen.
ii. Injured - Doesn't happen.
iii. Refusal - Doesn't happen.

Rule 6
Other Characters

"This is Dopey, he don't talk none." ~ Happy.
"You mean he can't talk?" ~ Snow White.
"He don't know, he never tried." ~ Happy.

6a. Obnoxious side characters - The dwarves, though not that obnoxious (except Grumpy)

6b. Non-humans - Animals only vaguely act like people. They don't talk.

6c. Shape-changer - The Witch creates a potion to turn her into an old lady.

6d. Townsfolk - No townsfolk.

Rule 7
"The Queen will kill her! We, we gotta save her!" ~ Grumpy:
"Yes! Yes! We, we gotta save her!" ~ Doc.

7a. The Outsider - Snow White, as noted. She doesn't have an opening narration, but does have an "I Want" song.

7b. Separation - Taken into the forest to be killed, but escape.

7c. Tear jerking scene - The "funeral" for Snow White.

7d. Fake out deaths - Snow White's death, but the way out is given earlier in the film.

7e. Final Battle - None, just a chase.

Rules 8
"Ha! Mush." ~ Grumpy.

8a "The I Want Song" - "I'm Wishing" for Snow White (I want my OTL to show up), "One Song" for Prince Charming.

8b. Crowd song - The dwarfs songs: "Dig Dig Dig," "Heigh-ho," "Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum (The Dwarfs' Washing Song)," "The Dwarfs' Yodel Song (The Silly Song)."

8c. The Dream Ballet - "With a smile and a song" a weak version with animals. "Whistle While You Work" is a better version, again with animals.

8d. Counterpoint Duet - Not quite with "I'm Wishing" cutting straight into "One Song."
i. Hero and Heroine -  Snow White sings about waiting for a prince to come, the prince then sings about falling in love with her while she hides.
ii. Hero and the Villain - Doesn't happen.

8e. Dark Reprise - The Prince's happy "One Song" has a sadder return when Snow White is "dead."

8f. Pre-Climatic Song - Doesn't happen.

8g. Final Love Duet - Doesn't happen.

8h. Triumphant Reprise - Return of "One Day My Prince Will Come."

Rule 9
The End

"And they lived happily ever after."

9a. Death of villain - as noted above.

9b. Heavy Handed Moral:
ii. Love conquers all.
v. Friendship is powerful and important.
viii. Good will win in the end.
Not covered: You just needed to be themselves all along; You have unexpected strengths; Imagination is powerful and important; Acceptance; Knowledge is power.

9c. Happy Ending - Yes.

9d. Marriage - Implied by the reprise of "One Day My Prince Will Come" especially with the addition of wedding bells.

Rules 10
"But wait! There may be an antidote. Nothing must be overlooked." ~ The Queen.

10a. Animated direct to video sequel - Sequels and prequel have been planned.

10b. Animated spin-off series - Hasn't happened.

10c. Live Action remake - Planned.

10d. Disney on ice - Broadway Musical in 1979. Walt Disney's Snow White on Ice in 1985, Disney On Ice presents Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1994).

"Magic Mirror, on the wall, who, now, is the fairest one of all?" ~ Queen.
"Over the seven jewelled hills, beyond the seventh fall, in the cottage of the Seven Dwarfs, dwells Snow White, fairest of them all." ~ Magic Mirror.

  • Rules followed by the film: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 7; 8; 9.
  • Rules partially followed by the film: 6; 10.
~ DUG.

1 comment:

  1. The other night, I saw the recent Snow White w/Emma Watson and it was nice. However, I still enjoy the older version I saw a few weeks ago!
    As old as I am, I still watch a few cartoons.:-)