Sunday, April 22, 2012

Snow White

Grimm's classic tale of Snow White starts like this, 

Once upon a time as a queen sits sewing at her window, she pricks her finger on her needle and three drops of blood fall on the snow that had fallen on her ebony window frame. As she looks at the blood on the snow, she says to herself, "Oh, how I wish that I had a daughter that had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony". Soon after that, the queen gives birth to a baby girl who has skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony. They name her Princess Snow White. As soon as the child is born, the queen dies.

Sadly, the story is not very well attended to in silver screen versions. IMDB tells us that there are 20 movies with the title Snow White, but that doesn't include movies that don't include name in the title, like Willa (An American Snow White)

Okay, before I go off on an tangent, let's look at four of the movies and do a little comparison. 

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

I seriously love this movie. It was one of the first movies I saw in the theater. It was Disney's first movie (in 1938) and one of the first full-length animated films. As for staying close to the story, it doesn't. The witch is pretty real and it is darker than Disney would make a movie now, but it glosses over quite a bit of the story line. And the Dwarfs, don't get me started. And true love's kiss? Okay, moving on.

2. Snow White and the Huntsmen 

Obviously I haven't seen it yet, but this is what IMDB says about it::

Snow White is the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen. Unable to tolerate the insult to her vanity, the evil queen decides that Snow White must die. The queen sends a huntsman to kill Snow White. However the huntsman finds himself unable to murder the innocent young woman, and instead ends up training her to become a warrior capable of threatening the queen's reign.

Okay, so it sounds pretty good. Nothing like the original Grimm version, but pretty good. I was actually excited about this one, until they cast it. Kristen Stewart - the girl with one expression playing Snow White? Snow White, the one with they fairest face in the land? Have a little respect for your audience here Hollywood, you can't cast her and expect us to think it is okay - we don't go to the movies to see her (in fact, I try and avoid her). I won't see this in the theater and might not even rent it. She isn't my favorite.

3. Mirror, Mirror

Julia Robberts is playing the evil Step-mother? I know the woman can act, but being evil isn't as easy as it looks (insert maniacal laugh here). I love something dark, which is why I love the Grimm stories. This looks delightful and fun, which isn't what Snow White is about. The tag line says "The Snow White Legend Comes Alive" ... what story did they read? The evil step-mother wanted to eat Snow White's heart. 

Does this look like the sort of woman who would eat a heart?

4. Snow White - Tale of Terror

I really thought I'd watch this and it would be more like the original story. It was, sorta. It also made my insides crawl a little. It wasn't really scary, just disturbing. Maybe that is what Snow White should be like. But this was all about the Wicked Step Mother and not really about Snow White at all. 

The casting was great, but the addition of some adult themes was a marketing ploy I think.

Now I need an open letter to Tim Burton asking him to please fix the mess that we are in. We need a real Snow White (not anything silly like he did with Alice, but something wonderful like Sweeney Todd). 

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