It was particularly hard for me to look at this movie objectively given that it was the first of its kind, and therefore one of the most influential films of all time. I mean, without Snow White, or if it had bombed, who knows what would have happened to the world of animation. But since it does exist, and it was successful, it’s hard to not be able to respect it and judge it on filmmaking alone. Take my first viewing of the film. It had just come out on blu-ray and I bought it based on its legacy alone. After it was over, I just thought, “Well, that wasn’t great, but I guess you have to start somewhere.” And I just left things at that.
But as is the case with most Disney features, my true emotions came out the second time I watched it. First off, the setting was different. Rather than watching it in a dark room by my self, I watched it with my little niece in a room filled with her toys, and she was mesmerized. Every time something silly or scary happened she would reach accordingly. Second of all, after taking it all in the first time I was now able to take a look at the story, the animation, and all the details that has made the movie stand the test of time. And in the end, I found myself loving it.
Now, it is not perfect. Its biggest fault is that some of the scenes feel like they are just time fillers. For example, the scene where the dwarfs clean them selves could have been a bit shorter, but it just goes on and on. The same goes for the celebration scene. Yes, they were important to set up the relationship between Snow White and the Dwarves, but they did make the film unbearably drag for a bit. I also have a problem with how the prince sees her only for like two minutes, and then they fall madly in love. But that’s a forgivable flaw in fairytales.
Besides that, everything is just gravy. The animation is wonderful, even by today’s standards. The attention to detail given to the animals, the plant life, the architecture, and character design and movements is amazing. Also, the every single character is pretty great, but the title character is ultimately the least interesting one. The dwarfs are pretty great because of how their personalities clash with each other. My favorite of them is Grumpy, because at first he’s all like “Shit, bitch ain’t telling me what to do,” and eventually he’s the one that cares the most. And the Queen set a high standard for Disney villains that few have matched. My favorite Disney villains are the ones that have a shallow drive, and you don’t get shallower than her. I mean, she wants to kill just to be the fairest of them all! And I loved the climax and how she came to an end. There was a chance that she could have survived the fall, but then to be crushed by a giant boudler, one that you wanted to use to kill seven adorable dwarfs, must be terrible.
All in all, there is no denying that Snow White, with all its flaws is a great animated movie. But for me, it doesn’t quite transcend is medium and genre to become one the best films of all time.