First Disney movie on our list: Snow White and the Seven Distractions.
Really, that should be the title. As far as the plot is concerned, that’s all that’s really important. The seven dwarfs? Not so important. They don’t further the plot in any seriously important way.
Here’s the recap:
- Queen Vainpants is vain and is jealous of Snow White for being the fairest of them all. Which is really kinda an odd wording. “Fairest” is a pretty poor choice of wording there isn’t it? The most common usage of the term is akin to “just” or “even” as in they’re a “fair judge”. So if the Queen wanted to be the fairest, then she probably shouldn’t be going around favoring herself exclusively as that’s not fair at all. Rather than fixing the problem, she’d only be making it worse.
A second usage could mean “pale”. In reality, this is probably what was meant. The Queen is really concerned about beauty. We don’t necessarily consider pale to be beautiful, unless you’re really into vampires or the goth scene. But I grew out of that in high school. In the context of the story, this makes sense since the movie is based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales which were period pieces and pale skin was considered attractive for women of power since it was an indication that they didn’t have to go outside and to work. To attempt to achieve this, some royalty would consume mercury in small amounts. This had the effect of killing red blood cells and making the skin look pale. It also had the unfortunate side effect of slowly killing you. The point is that the Queen, instead of simply taking one of the many skin whitening products available historically (I guess perhaps she knew the dangers of this given she mixes stuff in cauldrons for fun), she decides to kill Ms. Pasty Skin. I suppose this works, but it doesn’t actually make her any paler.
The last definition I can think of is “average” as in “fair weather”. I’m not sure the Queen really wants to be average, but I suppose killing off some of the extremes would mess up the bell curve enough to achieve those ends.
- Regardless of what the Queen’s desire was, she sends the Huntsman to take her into the forest, kill her and bring back the heart. The Huntsman, perhaps because he’s a nice guy, or perhaps because he’s taken by her beauty, decides not to. Good, decent working class guy. Instead, he brings back the heart of a pig. Tricksy.
- Snow White runs off into the forest and after being freaked out of her mind, thinking trees were out to get her, she is led to the cottage of the dwarfs by the kindly forest life.
- The Dwarfs come home and discover she’s cleaned. Promptly, they adopt her. Because she is (1) pretty and (2) can clean. Perfect woman, right?
- The Queen asks her mirror again and finds out Snow White is alive. So she decides to poison her. With an apple. Snow White dies but apparently she forgot the part about being able to bring her back to life with a kiss. From a prince, or a hot guy, or true love, or something. The dwarfs are sad she’s dead, but build her a glass coffin so everyone can stare at her body. Normally, you’d expect lots of decomposition, but for some reason that doesn’t happen.
- Fortunately, this kinda creepy prince but presumably good looking prince, that met her before the Queen tried to kill her and fell for her after hearing her singing to birds, hears that there’s a pretty dead girl in a coffin and goes to kiss her, breaking the spell. And there is much rejoicing.
So did you see everywhere the dwarfs came in to that? The only thing they did that was significant was build her a coffin. The rest of the time, they’re meant to provide the not-so-comical comic relief. A huge amount of time in this movie is spent looking at what the dwarfs are doing, one by one, since they each have their own distinct personalities, which are of course, described by their names. In fact, it’s so obvious, Snow White can immediately tell which is which upon having first met them. We see their individual sleeping habits, their dance styles, their musical instruments of choice, etc….
Still, I’m not entirely sure what their point was in the film. Filler perhaps?
In many fairy tales, such casts are representative of aspects of important parts of the main character. Foils as it were. But the dwarfs don’t even seem to do that much. Snow White, while being more important to the plot isn’t enough of a character to warrant a foil. She doesn’t have anything to reflect. Unless you count cleaning. So what are they? Distractions. Plain and simple.
As such, I’ll be much more excited to see the new Snow White film coming out later this year. Perhaps it will make some sense.