Our first princess is Snow White. This was Disney’s first feature-length fairy tale movie. Like most Disney films, characters would break out into song at random times. Who doesn’t remember “Some day my prince will come.”, “Whistle while you work.” (this one sort of breaks the princess code), or “Hi-ho.” The dwarfs definitely got more of a role in Disney’s movie, with each dwarf being given a respectful name regarding some personality quirk. Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Bashful, Dopey, Doc. I’m not sure what the Doc one meant. And I forget the seventh one at the moment – Stinky? I’m just glad most of us aren’t given names in that matter. Pretty sure I’d be “Lazy”.
Now Snow suffers from some of the themes I mentioned last time. Her mom dies right after giving her that pretentious name, and stupid dad decides to marry again. Keeping in mind that he has a kingdom to run and a young daughter to raise, he seeks a queen using the best prerequisites ever. Is she a hottie? Yes. Hurray, welcome to the family! Oops, time to die. And as soon as he’s toast (it was natural causes right?) stepmother reveals her true colors, which are black, black, and black.
So right off the bat, we’ve got the princess affected by parents who were kind of stupid and now dead, and a stepmother who is alive and evil. But Snow White is beautiful and sweet and innocent (cough, dumb). The evil queen has her priorities straight. She must be the most beautiful woman in the land. I wouldn’t think that too hard, since as far as I can tell, she’s one of the only women in the land. You never see any other subjects, with the exception of the dwarfs and the huntsman. It would also have to make ruling much easier.
So she talks to this mirror all the time, and the mirror talks back. Schizophrenia? No, silly, it’s magic. She could probably ask it anything, but only asks it if she is still top model. This has to be boring as heck for the mirror, which is why he finally says “Nope, it ain’t you, sweetheart, it’s the kid.” I can’t think of any other reason why Snow White was not the fairest one day and then the next day suddenly was the fairest.
So this is bad news for Snow. The queen decides to destroy her beauty by – gasp – making her do chores. But this doesn’t work, because Snow just goes out and happily mops the concrete while singing. Not only that, her singing attracts some prince who was out wandering around and of course immediately falls in love with her. I find this a little creepy, since in the Disney version she looks about twelve while the prince looks more like 22 or so. But anyway, they sing and Snow acts all scared and he leaves and the queen gets really cheesed off and decides Snow White must die.
She doesn’t do it herself, though, which is the downfall of every villain. Instead she sends her wimpy huntsman with the simple task of cutting out the heart of a child and bringing it back to her. Easy peasy. He fails cause she’s just so gosh darn cute, and tells her to run away into the scary forest where she can die slowly. She does, has a major panic attack thinking the trees are out to get her, and then passes out. When she wakes, all these animals show up and decide to eat her for dinner. Just kidding. They think she’s cute too, and so lead her to a nice little cottage.
This cottage isn’t abandoned – it’s owned by little children, she thinks. Awww. She takes the liberty of cleaning it for them. I wish Snow would show up at my house. Anyway, the dwarfs, who happen to be actual men though she continues to treat them like children (way to empower little people, Disney) also fall in love with her and let her stay. But the queen realizes Snow’s still alive cause she is still not top model, so she decides, finally, to do the job herself.
She disguises herself as a kindly old lady selling door to door apples. Though she doesn’t quite get the “kindly” part right, because she is seriously disturbing. Snow is stupid, though, and lets her in anyway, and eats some of the apple, and bam, drops dead. Well, not totally dead, just asleep until some true love wakes her up but like that’s gonna happen when she’s buried, right? Well, no, cause the dwarfs can’t bear to shove her in the ground! Instead they make her a glass coffin so they can watch her body decompose in real time. Cool. They chase the queen off a mountain and she falls to a typical Disney plummet death so no one has to see blood.
In the original fairy tale, Snow is even stupider. The queen comes by THREE times to kill her. Once she laces her up too tight and nearly suffocates her, but the dwarfs come by and unlace her. Another time she gives her a poison comb, but the dwarfs remove it. Then she gives her the apple. And she doesn’t wake with a kiss either. Nope, the prince shows up, falls in love with the DEAD BODY and decides to drag it along behind him.
The coffin bumps, and she upchucks the apple and comes back to life. WTF? I mean, first off what was he going to do with the body if she hadn’t woken up? And second, I’m pretty sure if the oxygen is blocked off to your brain that long, you’re gonna be dead even if someone gives you the Heimlich. But still, Snow decides to marry this guy anyway. So maybe she DID lose a lot more oxygen to her brain, which is bad since she didn’t have much to begin with. Oh, well, happily ever after!
But back to the Disney version, which isn’t nearly as disturbing now, is it? The prince shows up, decides to kiss the body (ew) and she wakes up. Yay! He picks her up in his arms and they ride away to his castle, the end. No word on what happens when they get there. Or what happens to the castle where the queen lived. I wonder if the prince has anybody to rule over or if they just sit and twiddle their thumbs as well. And what about the dwarfs? Do they just go back to digging in the mines for gold and rubies which they then – what – eat? What the heck do they do with all that stuff? You’d think the queen would forget Snow White and just steal all the jewels they have buried in the back yard. Priorities, people, priorities.
So one fairy tale down, dozens to go. Stay tuned for Cinderella and The Bachelor.