In 1937, the world of animation changed forever thanks to one dedicated and talented man, Walt Disney. Walt Disney took a leap and made a full-length animated featured film. He recreated Snow White originally written by the Brothers Grimm. Through his adaption, some elements to the story remained the same, while several elements differed from the original tale.
The characters in both the film and the original tale are similar but also different. There are Snow White, the prince, the huntsman, and the seven dwarfs. The seven dwarfs are all given names related to their personalities in the movie. A major difference in the characters was the queen. In the version by the Brothers Grimm, the evil queen is Snow White’s mother but in the movie she was her stepmother. Another change in characters is the addition of animals. The animals played a much larger role in Disney’s version. They were her friends, helpers, and protectors.
Along with characters, it’s important to note the events in each and their differences. The evil stepmother in Disney’s version uses magic in a more pronounced way. She makes a magic potion that morphs her into an ugly old woman and makes a poisoned red apple and takes it to Snow White. The queen only comes to the house once compare to three times in the original tale. Snow White falls into a deep sleep because of the poisoned apple in both, but she awakes differently. In the original, a servant drops her coffin and the apple comes out of her throat. In Disney’s film, Snow White awakes from true love’s kiss. The queen dies in both adaptions but in completely different ways. In the original, she is forced to dance herself to death on hot iron shoes. Disney made his queen die from a freak accident falling off a cliff. In both, Snow White is able to live happily ever after with her prince charming. There were many differences in the film because it veered from the original tale in more ways than other adaptions.
Walt Disney did a great job portraying the original Snow White but he varied from the tale in several ways for several reasons. According to Jack Zipes in Fairy Tale as Myth (Zipes, 72), Disney had his own spell when he created his magical movies. He used the ideas of contamination and appropriation. What makes Walt Disney’s fairy tales so unique and memorable? He made his tales appropriate for all ages. His fairy tales are relevant to all ages and stay with people the rest of their lives. This allows him to gain a larger audience and make a larger profit. Walt Disney created an empire and made his name famous around the world.
- Zipes, Jack. Fairy tale as myth/myth as fairy tale. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1994. 72