Ask any little girl who her favorite Disney Princess is and you’ll get a very well thought out answer. To a little girl, this is one of the most serious of questions. Am I more like Ariel, who will do whatever it takes to get what she wants? Or am I more like Cinderella, a girl kept in slavery by her family who dreams of her prince? Or am I more like Giselle, the always positive, more modern girl? It goes without saying that there would be no Disney Princesses without that very first pioneering Princess – Snow White.
The story of Snow White was a well-known fairy tale at the time the movie started production at Walt Disney’s Hyperion studio. Walt Disney himself had seen a silent film of the story when he was a boy, so he felt a deep emotional connection with the story. It’s funny now that because of Disney, the name Snow White immediately conjures up images of Disney’s first princess and those seven unforgettable dwarfs. Even though the story of Snow White had been around for centuries, Disney was the first to give all of the dwarfs names and personalities. This has resulted in some of the most memorable characters in Disney history. Can you name all seven?
In Disney’s version of the story, Snow White is a beautiful princess, made to work as a slave by her vain Stepmother, the Queen. The Queen has a magic mirror that tells her that she is the most beautiful woman in the land, but one day the mirror says that Snow White’s beauty has surpassed hers. The Queen grows insanely jealous and sends her Huntsman out in the woods to kill Snow White. He takes pity on her, and tells her to run away. Snow White comes across a cottage in the woods that appears empty. Exhausted, she falls asleep sprawled across the seven small beds in the bedroom upstairs.
The dwarfs are on their way home from work, singing as they march single file. When they arrive, they discover that someone is there. Instead of killing the intruder on the spot, they befriend Snow White and she comes to live with them while she is hiding out from the Queen. But the Queen soon finds her, and comes to the house disguised as an old beggar woman, hoping to poison Snow White with an apple. Snow White falls for it, but the apple doesn’t kill her. It just puts her into a deep sleep. The dwarfs think she is dead and put her in a glass coffin in the woods. After awhile, the same dashing Prince who sang a duet with Snow White at the beginning of the movie finds her coffin. He kisses Snow White, bringing her out of her sleep. Snow White waves goodbye to the dwarfs and rides off with her Prince, and lives happily ever after.
Snow White has been re-released into theaters every single decade since its initial release to introduce the magic of the movie to a new generation of movie goers. Such is the brilliance of Disney. Where kids from different generations can say they grew up watching The Goonies, or Pokemon, or Howdy Doody, every kid can say they grew up watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Every time you watch Snow White, you are immediately transported to your childhood.
But the big question is, is this new Diamond Edition worth the extra money? Maybe you still have that Platinum Edition and are wondering if there’s anything new and exciting being offered. As with all Disney classics, the answer is yes. If you remember Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs like I do, as a grainy film with muted colors and a shotty soundtrack, you’re in for a real treat with this Blu-Ray. Snow White has never looked or sounded more beautiful than she does now.
Presented in its original full screen version, with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, this is a beautiful blu-ray disc. The sound is remastered Dolby Digital, and well worth the effort. In previous copies that I’ve owned, Snow White’s high pitched voice sounded grating and at times, hard to understand. This transfer is a noticeable improvement.
On the Bonus Materials Disc:
Backstage Disney: Diamond Edition –
Hyperion Studios – This starts with old news footage of the premiere of Snow White, then turns into a tour of Hyperion Studios, narrated by Andrew Stanton (director of Disney/Pixar’s Up). This becomes an interactive tour with things to click on, and uses rare audio and photos. Very cool.
The One That Started It All – A “Making Of” told by current Disney animators, historians, some original animators, and archive audio interviews. This is a very inspiring story, and a must watch featurette. 17:15
Classic DVD Bonus Features –
Animation Voice Talent – Shows the voice casting process. 6:21
Disney Through The Decades – This shows what Disney has done during each decade, and also shows the theatrical trailers for each release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Each decade is narrated by some known Disney celebrities, such as John Ratzenburger and Jodi Benson. This was previously released on the Platinum DVD edition, except for a new entry entitled “A New Century”, which talks about Disney Interactive and Blu-Ray.
Dopey’s Wild Mine Ride – An interactive game where you have to answer questions correctly to navigate Dopey through the mines. This was really hard if you haven’t recently watched the movie. And probably really hard even if you haven’t.
“Heigh Ho” Karaoke Sing-A-Long
On Disc 1:
The Princess and the Frog Sneak Peek – The first 6 minutes of the new animated film, some of it unfinished.
Backstage Disney: Diamond Edition –
Snow White Returns – This featurette shows a recently discovered box of story sketches that appear to be deleted scenes from Snow White. They show the drawings with narration, to get an idea of how they would have looked if they had been finished.
Deleted Scenes – Soup Eating Sequence, Bed Building Sequence – These are the two deleted scenes, only fully animated.
Music and More –
“Someday My Prince Will Come” Music Video – a new version of the classic song, sung by Tiffany Thornton
Family Play: Games and Activities:
Mirror Mirror On The Wall – This game has kids answer questions to discover what Disney Princess they are most like.
What Do You See? – A game in which you have to guess the distorted picture before the time runs out.
Jewel Jumble – Like a mix between Tetris and Bejeweled Blitz. Could be potentially addictive.
Scene Stealer – a game that uses BD Live capabilities.
Commentary by Walt Disney and other animators using archive audio, with intro by Roy Disney and John Canemaker. This is one of the coolest commentaries I’ve ever listened to.
Trailers – Dumbo: Special Edition, The Princess and the Frog, Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure
All of the brilliant remastering and the stunning extras make Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs a must-buy Blu-Ray.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment presents Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Directed by: David Hand. Starring: Adriana Caselotti, Lucille La Verne, Moroni Olsen, Harry Stockwell. Written by: The Brothers Grimm. Running time: 83 minutes. Rating: G. Released on DVD: October 6, 2009. Available at Amazon.com
Tags: Disney, Reviews, Walt Disney