Snow White

When I’m ranking the Disney Princesses in my head, it’s always easy to remember the ones I dislike and the ones I like. Snow White, however, doesn’t exactly belong to either of the two groups, and she’s kind of an odd non-entity in my Disney world. Which is very good for her I guess, because I was expecting to find her the worst of the bunch when I first saw the movie.

Some screen shots from Disney Wiki and google.

Who she is

Snow White is the princess in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Her evil stepmother is upset because Snow White is prettier than her, so she orders her to be killed. Snow White manages to avoid the murder attempt, and after wandering alone in the woods she finds the house of the seven dwarfs. She befriends the dwarfs and makes herself at home, but their merry lives are to be changed after a suspicious old lady comes to offer an apple for Snow White.

snowWhite_apple

Appearance

Snow White’s story starts with her being (supposedly…) too beautiful for her own good and the magic mirror calls her the fairest of them all or something like that. Unlike Aurora whose good looks are also commented in the story and who I actually do find pretty Snow White doesn’t exactly live up to her status as the prettiest lady out there. To be completely honest, I find her the least attractive out of the Disney Princesses, and her face looks pretty derpy in many shots. I guess this was the ideal look back in the 30’s? However, if nothing else at least her face is memorable, which is a lot more than what I can say about some of the other Disney ladies with the standard generic prettyface.

snowWhite_derp

I don’t understand her hair. Is it short and voluminous hair with the ends curled a bit, or long hair that’s been tied? I’m guessing it’s short, but I have no idea how it’s supposed to work.

Snow White only gets two dresses, but I guess that’s still better than a certain someone who only gets one. I’m no fan of either, but any outfit in dull colours is likely to please me, so the rags are kind of ok. The main dress has way too many bright primary colours for me to like it though.

snowWhite_outfits

Snow White got off easy with the redesigns, since almost nothing was changed. I find the new hair very ugly though, while the old hairdo was far from my favourites, at least it looked soft and bouncy. The new pic somehow makes her hair look dirty to me.

snowWhite_redesign

I like ribbons, and Snow White has three of them in her outfit (and one in the cleaning outfit). That’s always a plus!

Why I do like her

I didn’t see any of the three ‘Classic Disney Princess’ movies when I was a kid, and the first time I watched them was when I was a cynical teen. Before Snow White I had watched either Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty (can’t remember any more), and absolutely detested it, and with Snow White being an even older movie I was fully expecting to hate both the movie and the character. However, I was positively surprised when it turned out that neither of them were that bad.

How Snow White reacts to her plight makes me see even better why I don’t like Aurora and how she deals with her problems (and I do find ‘almost being murdered’ and ‘not being able to see the guy you met an hour ago’ quite different situations, but let’s not start the Suffering Olympics). Both run away in shock and cry, but while Aurora never does anything to get over it, Snow White ultimately starts to improve her situation. I often see this used as a reason for why Snow White makes for a good role model (“Always try to make the best out of a bad situation”), and I also find it an admirable trait. I couldn’t care less about the role model aspect though, but at least it means that the character is not a whiner and actively does something.

snowWhite_animals

Snow White doesn’t exactly have the practical skills required for surviving in a forest, but she still does what she can. For one, she stops crying. Then, when she starts looking for a place to stay she asks help from the animals (rather than the animals just starting to drag her around with her not having any idea what is going on). Then, when the dwarfs discover her they are not immediately her fans; instead they’re suspicious of her and she does her best to appeal to their good will and avoid being kicked out by offering to clean and cook for them. Hardly the stuff of legends, but it’s still something. You don’t have to be a badass warrior to be interesting, even small things can improve my opinion of a character if they involve conscious decisions to further the plot.

The three classic princesses are often accused of being passive personalities who just go along with what other characters want. Snow White, however, is none of that, she is a total boss and takes over the dwarfs’ house in a few minutes. And when the prince first appears she freaks out and runs away, but once the initial shock has worn off she smiles and throws kissing birds at him and clearly knows what she’s doing.

snowWhite_boss

To me Snow White’s relationship with Grumpy is easily the best relationship in the movie (not that there’s much to choose from…) I love how Grumpy is all, well, grumpy and dishonest to himself about what he thinks about Snow White, and how Snow White fully realises how Grumpy wants affection even if he doesn’t want to show it.

I like how she has fun with the dwarfs in the dance scene. Most Disney movies have dumb sidekicks who do dumb stuff while the attractive main characters mostly just giggle at them from the sidelines or aren’t in the scene at all, because GOSH THEIR CREDIBILITY WOULD SUFFER or something. Snow White, on the other hand, joins their fun and takes part in the goofy dance, and enjoys every minute of it. It makes her look friendly and not stuck up in practise too and not just when the plot requires it.

snowWhite_dance

Snow White has a bunch of forest animal companions, but she doesn’t have a specific mascot creature. That is always a plus (which, to be honest, should have counted as a plus for Aurora as well, but it was more fun to leave her ‘pros’ paragraph at only three words).

Since I already had a moderately positive opinion on her even small stuff can make her a little bit better in my eyes. But it’s nice to have praise on little things rather than the usual nitpicking for once? Anyway, I liked how after the dwarfs urged her to use the bedroom she confirmed twice if they were sure that they’d be comfortable sleeping downstairs, it showed her thoughtful personality. And in the scene where she dances with the dwarfs I liked a lot how the scene was not completely about her being the centre of attention all the time, sometimes she was standing in the sidelines and clapping at the dancing dwarfs and letting them shine too.

Why I don’t like her

Overall Snow White is pretty boring since she doesn’t really do that much, and she doesn’t change in any way. I do find her personality likable and she has fun interaction with the dwarfs, but as the main character of the movie she’s just not that interesting. And while I give her points for not being as much of a prop moved by the other characters as Aurora she’s still a very passive character.

Like Aurora, Snow White’s singing is pretty unbearable. At least she wasn’t supposed to have some divine gift of song, and the prince’s appearance during the song makes for some great unintentional comedy for me.

The romance was pretty dumb, there’s no way getting around that. They exchange like two sentences, and that’s true love right there, and then the prince just appears at the end of the movie to break the curse. Aaaand then they just ride to the sunset. But even this somehow gets past my whining radar and I’m not nearly as bothered by it as I could be. I guess it’s the fact that the “romance” is so nonexistent that it’s both no use hating on it and at least it doesn’t pollute the rest of the movie which was more about Snow White’s antics with the dwarfs.

snowWhite_cheesySunset

I guess I probably should complain about her being this idealistic woman who enjoys keeping house and being all pure and both pretty (…) and nice and stuff too, but honestly I don’t really feel like it. She has no business competing with the characters in the ‘I like these!’ camp because of her old-fashioned treatment as a female character, but her fun personality and what she does to help herself (even if it’s only a little) make me more forgiving of the problems and earn her a spot above the “I don’t like these characters and I’ll gladly concentrate on their flaws” group.

Palace Pets

Snow White gets two Palace Pets, a bunny rabbit called Berry, and a later addition pony called Sweetie. Like their owner, these pests belong strictly in my ‘kind of uninteresting’ category, because they’re not nearly as bad as many of the other pets, but I can’t think of much good to say about them either.

snowWhite_palacePets

Especially the bunny is almost… ok? It doesn’t feel as overdecorated as many of the other pets. The tail is a bit odd though, I can’t tell if I like it for looking so soft and bouncy and how it’d make a great pillow, or if I find it absolutely creepy for being as big as the bunny’s head. Must be some seriously weird mutation.

As for the pony that was added later, it really looks awkward how Disney is desperately trying to get its slice of the My Little Pony craze pie seeing how currently seven out of eleven princesses have a pony (and that’s more than any other species). And they couldn’t even be arsed to give it proper art, the pose is literally copied from the pony Cinderella had. Is there an actual reason for this, or is Disney really so poor or lazy that drawing two different horse poses is too much work?

Click for comparison animation.

Click for comparison animation.

But anyway, aside from the meta level whining the pony is still pretty bad after all, especially the colours look somehow off. Maybe I just can’t be bothered to hate it as much as the other ponies because it belongs to a character I can’t be bothered to hate either.

Gallery

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Pixiv links that require a Pixiv account to work properly:

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