Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Review - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
While Disney is remembered most for a certain little mouse, it is remembered second-most for its animated films. It's funny that they're remembered for making films geared towards children, because looking at their first (and THE first) animated feature-length film, it's not exactly for the faint of heart.
Of course I am talking about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, about a beautiful young princess who hides in the woods from her only-slightly-less-attractive stepmother, the Queen (no name...just "The Queen"). She ends up in a cottage owned by seven minor-sized miners, each named for their personalities (or lack thereof). Doc, the sort of leader of the group (wait, "Doc?" Why Doc? 'Cause doctors are smart? I really don't know...); Happy, a jolly old elf; Grumpy, a rather sadistic ol' coot; Sneezy, who...like I need to tell you; Bashful, the Aspie of the group; Sleepy, the...*yawn*...where was I?; and Dopey, or as I like to call him, Harpo.
Being the first full-length animated feature, you would probably expect this film to have shoddy animation, either due to rushing through the process or more determination on getting it done rather than actual effort. On the contrary, the animation here is very well done, even by today's standards. The characters are each lively and well animated, and the scenery is really beautiful. I do find it odd that all the dwarfs (I thought it was "dwarves") have rather large noses while all other humans seem to have no nose at all, but that's excusable. The animation is almost TOO well done at times, as in some of the more frightening scenes of the film, children had reportedly been escorted out of the theater for a change of pants. It's sort of sad to hear that since the most frightening scene are followed by probably the most charming moments of the film.
The writing here is top notch, almost every line of dialogue having been written in a loose poetic format. The story itself is a bit on the thin side, and there is a large amount of padding in the film (which counters my theory that they didn't rush the film to accomplish the task at hand), but at least the padding is rather entertaining. The numerous musical numbers are each enjoyable on their own merits, even the ones you would normally fast-forward through when you were a child (ugh, I'm having "Cheer Up, Charlie" flashbacks).
Other than the padding, I really don't have any problems with this film. It's nothing too special to look at today, but it also doesn't feel dated, which is good considering it's over seventy years old. It's just a simple, fun, entertaining film that doesn't shove morals into your face and only rarely panders to its target audience. If you somehow haven't already seen this, or if you just haven't seen it since you were a kid, I'd suggest you give it a go.
FINAL VERDICT: ★★★★☆