BluRay/DVD Reviews

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

By • Nov 1st, 2009 •

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“After 72 Years Snow White looks the best it ever has and is still as enchanting, creepy, and funny as it was when it was first released”

Fall is my favorite time of the year. The summer is too hot, the winter is too cold and spring is too much of an imbalanced mix of both. Fall, however, is perfect. You get leaves changing, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Not to mention Disney releases some classic masterpiece on DVD (now *Blu-Ray) in an awesome deluxe packaging that’s well worth the price. It’s become a tradition that every fall Disney releases a classic film out of the vault and on DVD for the first time. SNOW WHITE was the first DVD that they released in a limited platinum edition back in 2001. Something I always wanted to get my hands on but could never find. I felt I had missed my chance, but now it seems it was meant to be. Thanks to Blu-Ray, Disney has begun re-releasing its classics, and now I have the best version available, and what a set it is.

SNOW WHITE was the first full-length animated feature produced by Walt Disney. A risky move back in the day. Some people thought that the use of color in animated shorts “hurt their eyes.” Plus, the thought of any animated film being the length of a feature was inconceivable. Leave it to Disney to break the mold and pave the way for what we now know to be a series of classic masterpieces and an entertainment empire. The film was a smash hit when it was released and even received an honorary Oscar just for Disney’s pioneering efforts.

It’s no wonder SNOW WHITE has been re-released theatrically every decade since its initial release. The film is absolutely timeless in every aspect. The animation is stunning; it has a perfect balance of scares and humor. I never realized how funny the dwarfs really were; it’s some of the most brilliant slapstick I’ve ever seen and is the perfect counter to the scenes of the queen/old beggar woman. At 84 minutes the film is not a second too long.

I know it may seem cliché to say but this transfer is stunning. The colors are bold, the movement is smooth (there were some moments where the drawings were so accurate to human movement they reminded me of modern day motion capture) and it has never sounded better (mixed in 7.1 – not necessary, but nevertheless it’s there).

As soon as you pop in the disc you are greeted by the Queen’s Magic Mirror who guides you very lugubriously through the menu options. The film is in its original 4:3 ratio, so the Blu-ray gives you the option of watching the film with new side bar paintings to fill the widescreen space. I thought it might be distracting but it blended nicely for the most part. Also on the first disc are the first 6 minutes of THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, the new Disney Animated Film out on December 11th. It’s the first hand drawn film in 5 years from Disney and reminded me very fondly in the looks of the some of the great 90’s Disney films like BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and ALADDIN.

On to Disc 2. The Magic Mirror has some kind of connection to your time and space, because he’ll greet you with a good morning, afternoon or night depending on the time of day. Creepy but kind of cool. On this disc there’s a wonderful digital tour of ‘HYPERION STUDIOS’ where you can hear through rare audio interviews Disney and his animators discussing some of the anecdotes and processes behind the making of the film. Also included are the original special features from the 2001 Platinum DVD Release. My favorite was ‘Disney over the Decades’ where you can watch through narration and old footage Disney Studios grow through each decade and transform into the Mega Empire it became. This Disc is also loaded with family-oriented games through Blu-Ray Live, which enables you to have an active internet connection while the disc is in. (I think that’s how the Magic Mirror is getting his information…).

Disney films were the first films I saw as a child and helped pave the way for me growing up and discovering my own creativity. I feel a universal connection to Walt Disney. We share the same birthday (December 5th) – that might have something to do with it astrologically. His creative sensibilities are immortal and have not only surpassed his time but have gotten better with age. With ‘Blu-Ray’ Walt and his timeless classics live on in the most pristine transfers you could imagine. I don’t regret in saying, it would have made him proud.

* For those without a Blu-Ray player SNOW WHITE is also being released separately on a new DVD Edition November 24, 2009

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One Response »

  1. Great review. I loved the film as a child, but now, as an adult, I find myself presently surprised on how entertained I am by the film. ‘Snow White’ is not like so many of the silly child films today where the parents, who are forced to sit through the torture, are yearning for the flick to end. Instead, the film is timeless, a perfect memory-maker for all ages. It is definitely worth whatever price it costs (and I don’t even think it is that much), and like you said, there is a great balance of fear and laughter.

    Thanks for writing!

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