Seems that there’s a bit of a revival in interest when it comes to our beloved Snow White. With the release of the Julia Roberts-helmed Mirror Mirror back in March of this year, and this weekend’s opening of Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth, seems what we want to see now is our young fairytale heroine as less helpless princess and more warrior queen. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with this take. Contrary to popular opinion, I do enjoy a bit of revision, if it’s done properly. And not done by J.J. Abrams.
I’ve not seen either of these modern takes on the Snow White story so I can’t say whether they’re successful or not in their reinvention. However, all the talk about this latest movie has left me feeling reminiscent about the very first cinematic Snow White (at least that I can recall). Hers was the name that launched the animated movie empire of Walt Disney himself.
It was 1937 when Disney released his very first feature-length animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. And it was gorgeous. Even today, 75 years later, it stands as a testament to the visionary aesthetic that Disney possessed in such ample supply. His animators created a world of timeless beauty, inhabited by characters that, even if oddly diminutive or four-footed, were believable and sympathetic.
Or scary as hell. Yeah, Evil Queen, I’m looking at you.
This movie also holds a special place in my memory as being the very first movie I ever saw in a movie theater. See, once upon a time, Disney used to re-release their classic animated movies for limited theater viewings. This usually corresponded with the impending limited-time release of said classic movie onto VHS tape. Remember the limited-time release? It was such a bizarre concept, but obviously also a concept orchestrated to make maximum money for the Disney Empire. After all, who wouldn’t pay top dollar to get their very own copy of their favorite Disney movie before it was returned once more to the “Disney Vault”?
I was seven years old when Disney chose Snow White as its latest limited release. It was a Thanksgiving release that year; I know this because we went to a theater in Myrtle Beach while visiting my grandparents for Turkey Day festivities. I remember sitting between my parents in the theater, waiting impatiently for the movie to begin. When the lights dimmed and that screen lit up with that larger-than-life technicolor world, I remember being stunned into silence. It was completely new, completely overwhelming, and completely Gremlin-free.
Oh, please, someone get my geeky Gizmo humor.
Seems like lifetimes ago, that unjaded little wolf, wide-eyed in the darkness of a movie theater for the very first time. I honestly don’t think I’ve seen Snow White since that trip…at least not all the way through. We never got the movie on VHS when I was little; by the time my mom bought a copy, I was thoroughly enmeshed in the surly insouciance of teendom. Surly teens don’t watch Snow White.
Surly adults do. Mayhaps I’ll give it a go next time I visit my dad. Until then, here’s an awesome Snow White-inspired video remix done by Pogo. It’s called “Wishery,” and it’s simply amazing: