Still wishing that we could do more posts for The Film Experience‘s Hit Me With Your Best Shot series, I have to take whatever chance I can to tackle an animated work as it arrives to be analyzed. After doing Beauty and the Beast last year, once I saw that they were doing Disney’s landmark Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, I knew I had to do it as well.
What can you say about a film that you’ve seen millions of times? One that was such a huge part of your childhood and life in general, but you can still watch and adore no matter what time of the day you watch it? One that is responsible for bringing an entire form of entertainment into high art? One you know every word to, heart by heart, but still crack up at all the right places?
That is Snow White for me. It may not have been the first fully animated feature film, but it was easily the most sophisticated piece of animation made at its time, and helped to prove Walt Disney’s importance to our culture. And how gorgeous the film is! Picking one favorite shot out of thousands is no easy feat.
I’m going to an earlier scene in the film, adding in a few important shots before I get to the main course
Here we have Snow, the ever-sweet princess, picking flowers in the wilderness, away from her wicked stepmother the Queen.
She finds a little blue bird missing its parents, and in an example of the Disney princess stability to show love for all woodland critters, she picks it up and attempts to help it find its home.
And it is here that the Huntsman, hired by the Queen to kill Snow White, arrives, strong posture and all.
It is here that the Huntsman grabs his knife and prepares to do his job. You now get to see the back of Snow White, as his shadow creeps up on her.
It is here that Snow discovers the Huntsman, and the terror in her eyes is incredibly prominent.
Look at the glimmer of the Huntsman’s knife. It’s shine is glorious, and it cuts so close that while doing storyboard treatments for the film, one animator asked in fear “but what if the knife actually does hit Snow White?”, as if she was a real actress. It’s at this point that the film began to succeed. If the people working on it consider the characters to be as lifelike as any human, then surely an audience can identify with and adore the characters and story.