Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Cannon Movie Tales: Snow White, 1987
This is the worst of all these movies. The only thing, ONLY thing that saves this movie, and made it watchable, was Diana Rigg as the evil queen.
This is a musical. It starts with the prince singing – in a best “I want to be Andrew Lloyd Webber when I grow up!” musical style. He sings about how he has traveled all around the world, but haven’t found her princess yet.
And – oh, there she is! In a glass coffin.
But what is that? Dwarfs! Accompanied by a comical theme. Which is played every time they are in the picture. Because people might not understand that dwarfs are comical. Like clowns. But small. Funny. Hahaha!
Anyway, the prince hears the dwarfs talk about how Snow White is still as fresh and beautiful as she was a year ago, when they put her in the box, so it must be magic.
The prince jumps from behind the tree and almost attacks the dwarfs to defend Snow White.
The dwarfs tell him that he doesn’t need to be afraid that the dwarfs would do anything to Snow. They love her and they were the ones who build the box for her.
“Do you know her?”, the prince asks. I roll my eyes.
It all starts when the good queen is in her hobby room with her maids-in-waiting and they craft. They spin and weave and wind yarn on a shuttle, and then wind yarn from the shuttle to a ball… the room is filled with all kinds of craft tools, and no-one seems to know how any of them are used, so they start playing with cloth instead. And the queen pricks her finger and puts it in snow, and the king comes in and they all start singing about snow.
Some 12 years later, the king has remarried, because his wife died at childbirth, and the new queen hears her ladies-in-waiting talk about how beautiful Snow White will grow up to be, so she puts the huntsman to kill her during a hunting trip. Of course, he cannot, and the little girl is send alone in the forest filled with wild beasts.
A monkey, hedgehog, goat, rabbit, boa snake, wolf… the wild life of Black Forest.
She sees the wolf running at her, growling, drooling and howling, and she prays, and Hallelujah! The wolf turns into a nice little doggie. And everything is nice and peaceful and wonderful again. so there's some inspirational panpipe music.
She finds her way to the dwarfs’ home, breaks in, leaves door open, eats a bit from everyone’s plate, and then gets sleepy and goes to bed. But, alas, the first bed is too short, and second too narrow, and third… You get the idea.
The dwarfs come home, and, like the three bears, first note how someone has eaten of their porridge. And then they start going through the beds. “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed!” “Mine too!” “And mine – and there she is!”
And, of course, their actions are accompanied with comical music, because they - just like in Disney’s version – are very comical in their fear of strangers. *sigh*
The little princess agrees to stay with the dwarfs and clean their home and wash their clothes and mend and cook and be a good little housekeeper… even though she is indeed a princess and about 12 years old, and has never done any housekeeping.
And then the dwarfs sing a comical little song to present themselves. Their names are Iddy, Biddy, Kiddy, Diddy, Fiddy, Giddy and Liddy. Oh, no worries that the little princess cannot remember the names, they forget them themselves too, because they are so like each other! Hahaha! Dwarfs are so comical. You see, because they are dwarfs. *sigh*
Nevertheless, this is the truest to the original story (even the "three bears coming home and discovering someone's been..." act was in Grimm's version.) and it is very suitable for children (no references to sex, drugs or rock-n-roll).
It's harmless and if you plan watching several Snow Whites, watch this one first, after having read the fairy tale. You could watch the 1916 version and Disney version before this one, but avoid the others.
The costumes were interesting and I would say all the props and such, filming and what not are well done for a movie like this (better than "Grimm's Snow White"), so such details won't steal from the experience.
Here's another review of this movie, and here's a third.