Length: Runtime: 83 min
Snow White, pursued by a jealous queen, hides with the Dwarfs; the queen feeds her a poison apple, but Prince Charming awakens her with a kiss.
Based off of the book:
"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!
Kirkus Reviews called this collaboration between Randall and Nancy Eckholm Burkert "a sort of legend even before its time of publication." Jarrell also wrote The Bat-Poet and The Animal Family, a Newbery Honor Book. Jarrell retained the Grimm (and grim) ending to the tale, as the stepmother is forced to dance to her death. Burkert's illustrations are magical, light-filled creations that more than earn the book its Caldecott Honor Book status. This delightful book's extra-large format showcases the fabulously detailed illustrations, alternating two facing pages of art with two pages of straight text. This is an unforgettable interpretation of a well-loved story. (Ages 6 to 9)
Snow White is yet another film where I had not seen it in so long that I nearly forgot the entire movie so it came as a nice surprise. The ending, I think, was fabulous although as an afterthought I would have loved more about the storyline behind Snow White and her relationship with the Evil Queen. Instead of talking much about the plot I’m going to focus on dialogue, sound effects, and the music in the film.
Being an animation we know immediately that the dialogue was done post production known as Automated Dialogue Replacement (Goodykoontz, 2011), where the actor’s voices are placed into the film after production. This particular dialogue is extremely important but what is interesting is that the animals in this particular film do not talk, so they have to just make sounds to convey their message, over exaggerating their movements much like actors in silent films had to. In this clip the dialogue is between the Evil Queen disguised as an old lady and Snow White but the animals seem to know something is going on and begin chirping and making a racket, otherwise known as Walla (Goodykoontz, 2011), so much so that the Evil Queen knows that to get to Snow White she needs to go into the house. Even with seemingly being frail and needing help, what the Queen says to Snow White about love is what makes Snow White take a bite of the apple. Without the Queen’s coaxing Snow White may not have taken that final step.
Along with the dialogue is the very important actor’s voices. Snow White’s seems so pure and innocent, very high and sweet while the Queen’s is grainy but more importantly has a touch of evil to it. I’m positive this was done to help the audience immediately be drawn to Snow White and to know without hesitation who the antagonist and protagonists are.
The music especially is something that I’ve remembered, although, most of the music in Snow White may not be as memorable as music in Star Wars, but there are particular songs that stand out and people remember through time. One is the Heigh Ho song. Heigh Ho is even a catch phrase that some use when they know they are off to work in their own mines and is something that I still say all the time!
Overall the sound of this animation helps the audience to know exactly what is happening and when. The music gets really intense and scary at certain stressful moments and the sounds behind the music reflect that intensity. When Snow White is not afraid the music and sounds are very upbeat and pleasant, even while cleaning. It’s these highs and lows that help the audience relate even more to a character and to know immediately what is happening in a scene.
The fantasy genre is even represented by many sounds that are included. In a few of the scarier scenes are sounds of high winds, there are many animal sounds, birds singing but not in a normal it’s time to wake up way, the birds are singing to and with Snow White. Many of these sounds are exaggerated to a point of knowing that it is fantastical and much more so in the scarier scenes when Snow White is afraid for her life.
If I were to take a scene and change the sound to change the entire feeling of the scene, I would take Heigh Ho. This particular scene is one of happiness and the dwarfs are quite content to explore the mines for jewels, however, if the music were more mundane or eerie then the entire scene could be one of direness and slavery. It’s amazing how sound helps us as viewers to feel the film even more and to understand what the director is saying.
Overall, I think the sound is fabulous in Snow White. The effects help the viewer to feel like they are inside the fantasy, not just watching one.
Goodykoontz, B. & Jacobs, C., (2011), Film: from watching to seeing, Bridgepoint Education, Inc., San Diego, CA.
YouTube. (2014). Movieclips [Video Channel]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxpXqcfz_R0
YouTube. (2014). Movieclips [Video Channel]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qG2A9EN5T4