March 31, 2012

The many faces of: Snow White

Once upon a time as a queen sits sewing at her window, she pricks her finger on her needle and three drops of blood fall on the snow that had fallen on her ebony window frame.

As she looks at the blood on the snow, she says to herself, "Oh, how I wish that I had a daughter that had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony.”

Soon after that, the queen gives birth to a baby girl who has skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony. They name her Princess Snow White. As soon as the child is born, the queen dies.

"Snow White" is a well-known fairytale, famously noted down by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, and adapted many times since.

In each version, the story centres on a princess whose stepmother the Queen is jealous of her beauty. Each will feature Snow White as fair skinned, with the darkest of dark hair, as well as the dwarfs that offer her shelter; the all-seeing mirror on the wall; and the dreaded poisonous apple.

Probably the best-known version to today’s audiences, is the classic 1937 animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. As with all Disney adaptations, however, some liberties were taken with the story to ensure that it didn’t scare the children witless.

For example, elements of the Brothers Grimm version that were omitted from the Disney tale include the Queen’s insistence that the huntsman bring back Snow White’s lungs and liver, and the heated irons that the Queen is forced to dance in for punishment.

With two new adaptations being released this year – Mirror, Mirror starring Julia Roberts and Snow White and the Huntsman starring Kristen Stewart – it will be interesting to see the path that is taken by each.

Will they walk the tried and tested trail, or will they try to break new ground with this beloved fairytale?

In the meantime, here is a run-down of some of the famous depictions of Snow White – which is your favourite?

Lily Collins as Snow White in Mirror, Mirror (2012):

 Kristen Stewart as Snow White in Snow White and the Huntsman:

The depiction of Snow White in Shrek the Third (2007):

 Sarah Patterson in the 1987 fantasy film Snow White:

Snow White a la Disney (1937):


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  1. Although I will see both 2012 adaptations, I am looking forward to Lily Collin's version - so anxious to see that. It looks just as a fairy-tale should. Something about Kristen bugs me, although I cannot place what it is. (Perhaps that isn't fair of me either considering I've not see the actress is hardly anything!)

  2. I can't wait for Snow White & the Huntsman. It looks EPIC. I think it may be the only movie I'm excited about before The Hobbit's release. =)

  3. In my opinion nothing will ever be as good as the original 1937 "Snow White" by Disney. I guess when you grow up with this film then that is what you picture as Snow White and nothing else. I like the others but its just not Snow White.

  4. I love Lily Collins' version; she's absolutely gorgeous. The problem is, her depiction feels like two different characters. Poehler's version is an interesting characterization. Clearly a parody, but also a completely different take on the character as a "jerk with a heart of gold". Irene Cara's version is great, too, in "Happily Ever After". An action girl without being too "masculine". But the best is the classic version in Disney; a bit dumb, sure, but plucky, mature and very sweet. If a little irritating.

  5. Hey just so you know Sarah Patterson did play Snow White, but the image you have here she isn't playing Snow White ...This is a film called The Company Of Wolves where she plays a version of Little Red Riding Hood!