Tuesday, January 05, 2010
      ( 8:52 PM ) posted by Setsuled  
Shots like this make Snow White worth watching;



There's a real beauty to this movie the likes of which is only found in Hayao Miyazaki movies to-day, though the bulk of the film involves endearing dwarf slapstick. I remember hearing how tedious the old animators found it to animate realistic people, and this is evident in no-one more than Snow White herself, whose rigid mannerisms suggest something more to me than just an uncertainty of how to animate an innocent young woman. Though she is gorgeous.



A lot of people talk about the sexist nature of Snow White's character, who seems irresistibly drawn to cooking and cleaning. I suppose you could say this might be the talents of a scullery maid, but I don't think we should look to Snow White for an exercise in historical accuracy. One could say she's a product of the 1930s, which she certainly is, but she still lacks the depth of the characters in 1939's The Women or any of Joan Crawford's shopgirl films. There's something very remote about Snow White, and the impression I have is that she's the vague realisation of the filmmakers' ideal--all the human characters in the film, including the dwarfs and queen, feel like versions of parental figures, which I think Walt saw as being something children would respond warmly to. Snow White's performance of her chores isn't so much meant to be a model for young girls in the audience (though I doubt anyone minded if it was taken that way) as a rendering of what the filmmakers saw as a great female--a beautiful and irrepressibly kind caretaker. Which ends up saying a lot more about the animators than it does about any fictional female character, since she is so broadly and indistinctly crafted.



Animation of the female leads in Alice in Wonderland and Sleeping Beauty is superb, but I don't think we get to see a real female character protagonist in an animated Disney film until The Little Mermaid. The villains are another story, as even the evil queen in Snow White seems to have something to her, even if that something is still made only of her creator's fears.

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