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The enchanting classic fairy tale, but definitely not the best adaptation...
on 29 November 2007
Snow White, produced by Jetlag Productions in the year 1996 and released on DVD format by Goodtimes Entertainment in 2002 is based on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, "Snow White". Alright, so Jetlag Productions has produced some pretty mediocre animated films and I have to say that "Snow White" really is one of them. Unlike "Pocahontas" (1994), "Snow White" does have very strong competition from Disney, the 1937 "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is an animated masterpiece if there ever was one. Even alone, Jetlag Productions' "Snow White" will come off as poorly crafted and somewhat bland. Its weaknesses overshadow its strengths, for it does have one or two, and it really doesn't fall as downright awful in any particular category, either. Compared to other adaptations by the studio of Grimm's and Charles Perrault's fairy tales, such as "Cinderella" (1994), "Snow White" falls flat. Some may be a bit too harsh and argue that the film is not worth its price, which I doubt would ever pass the six dollar mark, but I think that's an exaggeration. "Snow White" shows enough strength to show that some care and attention was put into the film and that it wasn't simply made as a quick Disney rip-off as it has often been accused of.
The story begins when the king and queen of a beautiful, happy kingdom have a child. The new princess' skin was white as snow and therefore, her parents named her Snow White. Sadly, shortly after her birth, the queen fell ill and died. The king soon remarried, choosing for a new wife a woman that was beautiful, but sadly, her beauty went no deeper than her skin. The new queen was vain and selfish and cared only about making herself even more beautiful. When her husband died fighting off in a war, she wasn't the least bit sad for she could now tax the people heavily in order to buy new beauty potions for herself. Her favorite past-time was looking at herself through her many mirrors, especially a magical one which always told the absolute truth. When the queen asked the question of who was the most beautiful maiden in the land, the mirror always replied that it was she. As Snow White grew up, she became more and more beautiful and one day, the answer given to the queen by her mirror changed, telling her that now Snow White was the fairest in the land. The queen could not tolerate any woman in her kingdom being more beautiful than she was and so ordered her royal huntsman to murder the princess. The huntsman saw no option but to obey the queen's cruel request and walked with Snow White to the forest. However, instead of killing the princess, something the huntsman couldn't bring himself to do, he gave her an opportunity to escape and asked her to never return. Shocked, Snow White left running deep into the woods where she eventually found a small, wooden cabin that she made her home. In the cabin lived seven little dwarfs who accepted to give Snow White shelter when they learned of the queen's evil wishes. Unfortunately, the queen soon learns that Snow White still lives and decides to take the matter into her own hands. Snow White is a very trusting creature and the dwarfs must repeatedly warn her to keep a look out for the queen trying to harm her. Snow White will have to overcome her stepmother's jealousy and hatred if she wishes to be alive to share the rest of her life with a handsome prince in the safety of his palace.
I've seen several adaptations of Snow White and by far, Walt Disney's has always been the best one. The producers at Jetlag Productions must have been rather discouraged because of that when they created their version of Snow White, because unfortunately, this 1996 production is rather disappointing. The film does have one strong point as opposed to Disney's film, however, and that is that it follows the original Brothers Grimm tale more faithfully. There simply wasn't enough room to adapt each of the queen's evil attempts to murder Snow White in the 1937 version, but they're all included here, even the less romantic "rescue" by the prince. Speaking of the prince, these princes have always been rather clichéd, but this guy is just beyond ridiculous; "Oh miss, I'm sorry for bumping into you. This must be love". If something like that could be considered a strong point, then "Snow White" does have plenty of unintentional humor. Watching Snow White's dress getting caught on thorns as she runs through the woods and seeing her ripping herself free is pretty amusing. The voice acting, as with most of these, was pretty unrealistic, and hearing the same voices from previous films is a bit boring. Neither Snow White nor the vain queen are drawn in a way in which they're really beautiful; as a matter of fact, the art in "Snow White" is rather mediocre; the colors used, at least in the DVD version, are far too "warm", making the film somewhat "stuffy". On to the good points; "Snow White" features a selection of three songs; The first song, "The Power of Love" is short, but it has a lovely message and a soft melody. The second song, "Hip, Hip Hooray!" sounds like Walt Disney's "Heigh Ho" as the dwarfs sing while they work. The third and final song, "A Little Big of Magic" is great; the song sends a great message about love and one's dreams. All things considered, the film was made primarily for children, and even with lackluster animation, the film manages to remain entertaining for the younger audiences. I recommend adults to avoid it, for this is one title that was definitely not thought out to please older viewers.