Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Parent Review

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs |G | 1 hour 23 minutes | Animation, Family, Fantasy | February 4, 1938

When Snow White’s step mother, the Evil Queen, banishes her, Snow White finds shelter in the home of the seven dwarfs. Boredom ensues.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Plot

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has a pretty simplistic plot line. The people in a magic kingdom in some enchanted woods love their beautiful princess, Snow White.

However, her vain and jealous step mother, the Evil Queen, hates Snow White. When Snow White comes of age, the Evil Queen’s magic mirror tells her that Snow White’s beauty now exceeds her own.

Jealous, the Evil Queen goes all Regina George from Mean Girls on Snow White and orders her Huntsman to bring back her heart. Having a heart of his own, the Huntsman allows Snow White to escape and warns her of the evil plot.

She runs deep into the enchanted forest where woodland critters of all sizes help her find the home of the seven dwarfs. Once there, she, like a good 1930s era woman, cleans and cooks for the little people living in a big world. And they of course accept her into their home.

At some point, Snow White meets Prince Charming. And shortly after, the Evil Queen learns that Snow White is still alive. Taking matters into her own hands, she disguises herself as an old wench. She then gives Snow White a poisoned apple.

With one bite, Snow White falls into a deep, dark, cursed sleep/death. The dwarfs come back just in time to chase the Evil Queen to the point where she falls to her doom.

Even with the queen dead, Snow White does not awaken. Only when Prince Charming comes back to give her true loves kiss does she wake. And they live happily ever after.

Snow White: What parents need to know

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has held up remarkably well considering it was made in 1938. Unlike some classics, like Lady and the Tramp, whose reboot changed racial insensitive moments and diversified the cast, Snow White shouldn’t offend most overly sensitive people today.

The biggest “issues” are that Snow White is the definition of damsel in distress and, not surprising for the times, the cast is white.

Snow White is the first feature animated film that Disney made. And it’s animation is stunning. And any copy you can acquire today, such as through Disney Plus, is restored to bring back the vibrant colors.

Still, Snow White does have flaws. Snow White is incredibly insipid and boring to watch. For those of you with younger, sensitive children, there are some scenes that may upset their delicate internal balance.

Snow White and Chief Bogo discussing her insipid dreams.

Their is also limited gray area. Snow White is good. The evil queen is evil. The Huntsman has some gray as he does not go through with the murder. But everything else is about as flat as they come – you are good or evil.

Snow White Deleted Scene: Her Dwarf Naming Ceremony

A little known deleted scene that I definitely didn’t make up involves a ceremony where the seven dwarfs give her a dwarf name that reflects Snow White’s personality. The name the came up with:

Vapid

**Runner up: Insipid

Why they cut this scene is beyond me…

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Parent Review
Snow White with woodland critters

Movie title: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Movie description: When Snow White's step mother, the Evil Queen, banishes her, Snow White finds shelter in the home of the seven dwarfs. Boredom ensues.

Date published: 1938-02-04

Country: United States of America

Duration: 1 hour 23 minutes

Director(s): William Cottrell (sequence director), David Hand (supervising director), Wilfred Jackson (sequence director), Larry Morey (sequence director), Perce Pearce (sequence director), Ben Sharpsteen (sequence director)

Actor(s): Roy Atwell - Doc (voice) (uncredited), Stuart Buchanan - Huntsman (voice) (uncredited), Adriana Caselotti - Snow White (voice) (uncredited), Eddie Collins - Dopey / Chipmunk and Squirrel Sneezes (voice) (uncredited), Pinto Colvig - Sleepy / Grumpy / Dopey (hiccups) (voice) (uncredited), Marion Darlington - Birds (voice) (uncredited), Billy Gilbert - Sneezy (voice) (uncredited), Otis Harlan - Happy (voice) (uncredited), Lucille La Verne - Queen / Witch (voice) (uncredited), James MacDonald - Yodeling (voice) (uncredited), Scotty Mattraw - Bashful (voice) (uncredited), Moroni Olsen - Magic Mirror (voice) (uncredited), Purv Pullen - Birds (voice) (uncredited), Harry Stockwell - Prince (voice) (uncredited)

Genre: Animation, Family, Fantasy

Overall
1.5
  • Plot
    (1.5)
  • Characters
    (1)
  • Watchability
    (2)

Dad's Take

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs  needs no introduction. Unless you are under 3, haven’t paid attention to pop culture, or have never been to a Disney store, Disney’s Snow White is ingrained in people’s collective mind. And like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, Snow White is a part of the OG Disney Princess squad, which guarantees Disney will market the crap out of her.

Snow White is not monumental because of the amazing story (if we’re honest, it’s largely bland) or character development (Snow White and crew are about as flat as they get). Instead, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is monumental because it is the first feature length animated film that Walt Disney produced. Disney did for animation what Star Wars would later do for special effects: it set a groundbreaking precedent for how movies can be made and enjoyed.

That all said, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs doesn’t even come close to being a preferred film of mine. Snow White is insipid and vacant. The seven dwarfs are enjoyable enough, but they don’t represent a large enough appeal to make me want to go back and watch Snow White over and over. 

You also get the impression that Grumpy is a lot like Donald in Mickey and the Roadster RacersHe’s only so grumpy because he lives with a group of ass clowns. Maybe if the people around him displayed common sense, he’d be a bit happier. 

The Evil Queen is over the top evil and vain. Like Snow White, there is no depth to her character. And Prince Charming is about as interesting as cardboard box. 

Disney eventually did the characters more justice when they made them center stage in Once Upon a Time that aired on ABC until they rebooted it as part of their final season. But even in Once Upon a Time, the dwarfs were still largely useless and lacking depth as they walked around Storybrooke spouting off things like “No one steals from a dwarf.” Meanwhile, EVERYONE stole from them and pretty much got away with it until other, less useless characters, came to help. But I digress.

Still, Snow White is, in some ways, surprisingly less offensive when absurdly applying current cultural sensitivity to earlier works of fiction. Though you certainly won’t see people of different ethnicity and backgrounds represented, there are no blatantly obvious stereotypes that you find in other early works of Disney and other movie companies. The worst issue is that Snow White, like the rest of her OG Disney Princess crew, is a classic damsel in distress that needs a man to save her.

Sill, if you are the type of person to protest a 70+ year old work because it does not fit modern sensitivity, you will find little to protest in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

If you are watching with younger children or super sensitive snowflakes, there are some dark scenes in Snow White. For example, there is a “scary” forest. And the Evil Queen orders her Huntsman to bring back Snow White’s heart. There is also the scene where she poisons Snow White and then falls to her death. If your child can’t handle that, then they probably shouldn’t watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

But if you feel like watching a vacant princess idly prance around the forest while representing the classic damsel in distress, then you should definitely watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on Disney Plus. If you want to watch something with more depth to the princess and characters, you should try something more modern like Frozen or Moana.

Pros

Very good animation

To overly sensitive people, there are limited things to be upset with 

Cons

There are “scary” scenes that might not be good for sensitive viewers

Snow White is vacant and does not do much to inspire young girls to do something more with their lives

Largely boring story

Nathan

Nathan is not a published author, professional movie critic, or avid fan of most children shows. He is a caring father (when he's not banging his head against the wall), a movie connoisseur of sorts literally able to have full conversations in movie and TV quotes, and dedicated to helping other parents avoid starting a show with their small children that they will soon regret. In his free time, he does nothing. He has two small children. Free time does not exist.

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