“Movie, movie, on the screen, which Snow White will reign supreme?”
This is the question being asked by many entertainment magazines as two versions of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are set to debut in theaters this year. However, before we continue the battle between Team Mirror, Mirror and Team Snow White and the Huntsman, it’s worth taking a step back and checking out some other famous versions of Snow White that have come along.
First, of course, is the famous Walt Disney version. With it’s memorable songs (who hasn’t had “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho” stuck in their heads?) to it’s notoriously unsanitary portrayal of woodland animals as a cleaning service, this movie had all the makings of a classic from the moment it was released in 1937. It also had the honor of being the first full-length animated film of all time, and is a pretty impressive piece of work, especially considering Walt Disney put his own reputation and a lot of borrowed money on the line (History.com).
The next Snow White adapation didn’t come along until over twenty years later, with Snow White and the Three Stooges. However, despite the infamous name, the pratfalls of Larry, Moe, and Curly were apparently kept to a minimum due to parental complaints. The next big thing was a musical adaptation in 1987 as a part of the “Cannon Movie Tales.” The 1990s brought along two creepier versions: Snow White: a Tale of Terror with Sigourney Weaver as the Evil Queen, and the animated knockoff Snow White, which features one of the more sinister collections of dwarfs I’ve ever seen.
In 2002 Snow White came to TV in Snow White: Fairest of Them All, where a conniving genie is to blame for the Evil Queen’s rise to power, and the dwarfs are named after days of the week. Then movie-makers decided that a modern twist was the ticket, and the result was Sydney White, the tale of a college sorority reject who ends up rooming with seven dorks. However, neither of these efforts stirred much interest, and Snow White returned to her coffin for another five years.
Until now. Facing off in an epic battle is:
Personally, I believe there’s room for both adaptations. These two films are clearly skewing different, though not mutually exclusive, audiences.
Mirror, Mirror is hoping to lure crowds away from the grim Hunger Games with a tale of comedy, musical merriment, and massive dresses.
Snow White and the Huntsman is playing the serious part, where the Snow White has a knife (and knows how to use it) and the queen is definitely out for her heart. The disheveled/handsome huntsman is around to provide something for the ladies to look at, and a male perspective to mollify the menfolk who might rather be watching The Avengers for the second time.
In any case, the best version of Snow White is currently playing on a TV screen (or streaming on a website) near you: Once Upon a Time. While it has occasional moments of corniness and less-than-stellar special effects, the show’s premise of stranding well-known fairy tale characters in the dreary New England village of Storybrooke is inspired. The culprit of this seaside purgatory? The Evil Queen, of course, who is now the tyrannical mayor. Each week new fairy tales are explored, with their original stories being told side-by-side with the modern-world versions.
So, it seems like there’s a lot of people out there with a lot of different things to say about one little fairy tale. Of course, there’s one final source we’re yet to explore:
Next Week – Snow White and the Holy Scriptures
Taste of the Fantastical
So, which one do you think is “The Fairest of Them All”?