Plot: As she seeks to be the fairest in all the land, a Queen consults her magic mirror and discovers that she is not the fairest at all, in fact her stepdaughter Snow White holds that distinction. This is bad news for Snow White, as the Queen will do whatever she has to do in order to claim that title for herself, which leads to Snow White barely evading danger and fleeing for her life. She happens upon a cottage and since it is run down to say the least, she begins to clean it up and soon enough, the place sparkles out of pure cleanliness. As it turns out, the cottage is home to not one, but seven dwarfs who are surprised to find a new resident inside. Can Snow White befriend the quirky dwarfs and when the Queen discovers that she is still alive, will she once again try to eliminate her competition for fairest in the land?
Entertainment Value: Snow White was Walt Disney’s first full length animated feature and while many believed it would drive his studio to financial ruin, instead it would launch an animation empire. The movie dazzled audiences at the time and has been able to remain a popular, almost timeless creation, one that has delighted viewers for over eight decades. The story is simple and compared to modern family entertainment moves at a deliberate pace, but the animation has such artistry, you could just get lost in all of the little details. Snow White herself is of course an old fashioned sort of princess, one that seems reliant on others beyond cooking and cleaning, but she is likable and to me, remains an iconic figure. That reliance on others, especially men is also likely to upset some audiences, but given how young Snow White is here, just a teen, it more than makes sense. So while the movie has some elements that are dated or a little dusty, Snow White has held up quite well and continues to win over generations of new fans with each passing decade.
The animation here is beautiful and looks incredible for how old the movie is, with a level of artistic passion that radiates from every frame. This is not assembly line animation, you can feel the creative joy that went into the designs and animation process. The passion permeates the entire picture and you can just sense that Snow White is something special, not just a landmark in animation, but a landmark in cinema as a whole. The rich colors and simple, but charming character designs are timeless, just a pleasure to experience. The voice cast involved is good as well, from Adriana Caselotti and her sometimes shrill, but iconic performance as Snow White to Lucille La Verne as the Queen, as well as some of the more memorable dwarfs such as Billy Gilbert, Eddie Collins, and Pinto Colvig. You also can’t leave out Moroni Olsen, who is unforgettable as the magic mirror. Snow White remains a wonderful movie, both in terms of historical importance and as effective entertainment.