Review: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

March 11, 2013 Whitney Review 3 Comments

Review: Snow White and the Seven DwarfsSnow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Jacob Grimm
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on January 1, 1972
Genres: Fairy Tale
Source: Library

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of us all?" repeatedly asks the Queen, Snow White's stepmother. She always gets the answer she wants, until Snow White turns seven, and the mirror must truthfully answer, "Snow White." At the news, the Queen turns yellow and green with envy and commands the huntsman to kill Snow White and bring her "lung and liver as a token." Thus begins another enchanting fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm!

I loved Snow White when I was little, I dressed up as her on a regular basis, held Snow White themed birthday parties and learned how to work a VCR (yes I’m that old) and when I wasn’t watching it, I could recite it word for word.  Okay, so I was obsessed with Snow White like Nikki  Minaj is obsessed with American Idol contestants.  But I had never read the Grimm’s fairy tale.

First I should say that the copy I ordered from the library (not the one shown) turned out to be a “freely translated” Snow White, I was a bit disappointed but soon realized it wasn’t the story he changed but the phrasing for younger readers.  Oh well.  I still loved it.

As the Disney version is so well-known, I thought I’d do a compare/contrast between Disney and Grimm.

So both compare Snow White as beautiful, the fairest in the land and the Wicked Queen’s beauty pales in comparison.  Although, each requests different anatomy to prove her death.  Disney asks only for her heart whereas Grimm wants her liver and lungs “just to make doubly sure”.  She means business.  Both huntsmen get a conscious and allow Snow to flee to the seven dwarfs Disney Snow White merely sleeps in the dwarf’s beds and does a little cleaning; Grimm Snow White eats their food (take a little from each plate so it’s even) and sleeps in their beds and because she’s a beautiful princess doesn’t need to do anything to repay.

Now we get to the part when Snow White is an idiot and after being told by the dwarfs not to let anyone in, she does it anyway, and in the Grimm fairy tale she does it three times.  Some people never learn.  And I’m sure if the apple hadn’t lodged in her throat Queenie would be back again.  So obviously the apple did the trick for Disney but Grimm added a corset (which if she’s the fairest in the land why would she need one?)  which sucks the breath out of her and the dwarfs have to cut her lose.  She then tries with a poisonous comb which really wasn’t trying at all because it simply had to be pulled out of her hair.  Then, the famous Apple, the forbidden fruit.

I liked Brother’s Grimm ending much better as instead of being awoken by true Love’s first kiss the apple is dislodged while the prince attempts to move the glass coffin.  The Queen is given a much more painful death then falling off a cliff; she is forced to dance in Iron slippers over a hot coal fire until she drops dead.  Now that’s punishment.  The moral of the story; don’t talk or take candy from strangers.


3 responses to “Review: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

  1. I'm curious about your Grimm translation. Maybe I have my timeline wrong, but I would have thought that both the fairy tale of Snow White AND the timeframe of the Brothers Grimm would have predated the corset…makes me wonder about translations…

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading your post. I remember reading Grimm tales when I was in high school for a world lit class and being astonished at the darkness.

    Did you happen to watch either of the film versions of Snow White that were in theatres in 2012?

  2. The translation was published in 1974, they are actually described as "stay laces" so is more of a bodice. My bad, I used the wrong term. I'll go back and fix it.

    I didn't see either Snow White movies last year, mainly because I'm not a fan of Kristen Stewart or Julia Roberts.

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