If it were not for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, then we would not have Pixar or the CGI guinea pig film G-Force (actually that is probably grounds for hating Snow White).
  • OVERALL
    5.0
    SUPERB
  • Feature
  • Picture
  • Sound
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
Just about the whole packaged deal.
THE BAD
I don't have a Blu-Ray player. But hey, that's my fault.
THE FEATURE
Perhaps this has a lot to do with being married to a woman who strongly feels this way, but I feel there's quite a bit wrong with Disney's princess obsession. What started in the old days as simply a way for the studio to adapt fairy tales has turned into a commodification process that falls right in there with the sexualization of The Jonas Brothers. Their cartoons today (and I am omitting Pixar when I say this) do not seem so much like a means of taking kids to magical and harmless places, but more of a way to get little girls hooked on the princess lifestyle. Hey, it's alright to tell a story about princes, princesses, and dragons, but there are a lot of girls out there, young and old, with this delusion that they will get to be princesses. Whether it is a little girl holding a wand, or a maturity-stunted 20-year-old donning a pair of tight shorts that read "princess" across her ass in pink rhinestones, I can't help but think that Disney had at least a minimal influence for such thinking.

However, what I do give Disney is that their hand-drawn animation studio once produced magical and memorable characters before merchandising kicked into full throttle. They once produced fairy tale-inspired stories that have still stuck with me to this day due to their jovial and inviting nature (so inviting in fact that I begged my parents to take me to Disney World and succeeded in doing so). The great thing is that despite the company's not-so-great recent efforts, the classics still withstand the test of time. The first feature length film from Disney, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves has been re-released on DVD thanks to the advent of Blu-Ray technology. It is now available in a DVD/Blu Ray combination pack.

What can one say about the film itself? Snow White and the Seven Dwarves tells that very familiar tale of a princess with a wicked stepmother who lives with seven dwarves in the forest. They sing and dance together with random wildlife creatures joining into the mix. Yes, these raccoons are not infected with rabies. They are infected with love and magic! Somewhere out there is a prince meant for Snow White, but her jealous stepmother, The Queen, has other plans. Perhaps disguising herself as a witch and attempting to give the naive Snow White a poisonous apple so that The Queen can be the fairest of them all?

I feel this film needs little introduction. It is a favorite of mine and I still feel the effect it has on me as a grown-up. I have a feeling young ones today accustomed to new-fangled animation will see this as a dusty antique. The fact of the matter is, Snow White is a very special picture. It is a product of hard work and craftsmanship thanks to hand-drawn animation. If it were not for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, then we would not have Pixar or the CGI guinea pig film G-Force (actually that is probably grounds for hating Snow White). Being that it is the first feature-length animated film in American cinematic history, I am quite thankful of this film. I am even more pleased that it is a fine piece of entertainment at that.
THE EXTRAS
Yes I sit here helplessly and admit I have very little to say. I am still one of those people waiting for Blu-Ray to become more affordable. Therefore, I have torn apart what little is there on the DVD. It includes a commentary track moderated by animation expert John Canemaker. He introduces various excerpts of commentary from the late Walt Disney. With Canemaker filling in the gaps, this is one of the busiest, seamless commentary tracks I have ever heard. I absolutely guarantee one will not snooze during this.

There is also a music video and a long preview of Disney's The Princess and the Frog.

As for the Blu-Ray---I am sure it is awesome. It includes various doc*mentaries on the film and Walt Disney. It also includes video games to play. It looks to be loaded, and I really wish I had the capability to tear into it.
THE VIDEO
There has been a lot of progress since I taped this movie off of the Disney Channel in the 1980's. I am sure it looks even better on Blu-Ray, but the DVD is absolutely outstanding. The colors are more vibrant than ever, and the animation is fluid and free of scratchy cigarette burns. I will say that some film enthusiasts who appreciate that classical look will be disappointed and feel it has been robbed of its essence in the clean-up process.
THE AUDIO
The sound is something else meticulously cleaned. There are very rarely those crackles I recall from watching this as a child. I was amazed with my speakers cranked up at the clarity of this film from the audio washing process. The songs are catchy as usual and the Foley artist sound effects are timelessly authentic.
THE PACKAGE
The film comes on DVD. It is also available on a Blu-Ray. The special features there are so high in volume that they are housed on a second disc. There are three discs total in this purchase.
THE FINAL WORD
I realize those of you who have been around long enough know that Disney will just take this and stick it in the Disney Vault making us feel temporarily helpless, yet still knowing it will come back when a new film format arises. Truth be told, media seems to be going the direction of intangibility. Who knows if after this there will even be a format to purchase. If you are like me and want to clasp onto the days of possessing that treasured movie case that one can display proudly on their shelf, I would venture to say now is the time to go for it. Not only is Snow White and the Seven Dwarves an unarguable classic, but it will not look nearly as cool sitting on your I-Pod in 10 years.

Dodd Alley

dodd@movieweb.com

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