Blu-Ray Review Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - DVD & Blu-Ray: Diamond Edition
Directed by: David Hand Cast: Adriana Caselotti, Roy Atwell, Lucille La Verne Running Time: 1 hr 25 mins Rating: G Due Out: October 6, 2009
PLOT: The classic Grimm fairytale about a princess who finds haven from her evil stepmother in the warm hospitality of seven dwarfs, each with their own personality.
WHO'S IT FOR? The film is for anyone who has ever been a child. The re-release of this particular movie is for those who want a slightly snazzier version of it, or didn't get a VHS copy when it was last released in 2001.
Heigh-ho comes marching the classic animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, freeing itself from the infamous Disney vault for a limited time. Partly re-released to remind us why hand-drawn animation is so important in time for the Disney’s new The Princess and the Frog, the film is given a sharper audio and visual touch. The restoration manages to keep the original hand drawn charm of the 1937 film in tact, as the presentation of every character is still raw – everyone and thing still has a slight vibration to them, which is obviously not seen in the more pristine animation films that came after.
Certainly age changes the way we look at films, as years later, to me, Snow White is less about princesses, dwarfs and sour apples, but more about stranger danger. The dwarfs look like Ernest Hemingway lookalike competitors with hipsters caps, and the demise of the evil witch is actually quite clumsy. Plus, this may mark the beginning of Disney’s difficulty in giving lead characters tight knit nuclear families, something a bit unusual for a studio attempting to speak to average Americans. But it doesn't matter how we look at the film now, or even whether we catch this on the new DVD or Blu-Ray. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will still have the glow (or as they would say in Disney speak, "timeless magic") that it has always radiated since its original release in 1937.
MOVIE SCORE: 10/10
Hyperion Studios: "The One That Started It All" - This roughly twenty minute documentary really drives home the fact of how important Snow White was to the animation world, as it was the first full length animated feature. Michael Giacchino, composer of Up and Wall-E director Andrew Stanton add a modern perspective to the importance of Hyperion Studios, with their fan-dom complimented by the input of animation historians.
Animated Voice Talent - Brief look into those who brought the famous characters to life. Apparently, many of them were Vaudeville performers, some of them with specialties used directly for some of the dwarfs (Walt Disney for a famous sneezer to play Sneezy, etc.)
Hyperion Studios: "Where It All Began" - Audio interviews with many of the original animators and more chats with historians help make this a well rounded documentary about the beginning and end of Disney's famous Hyperion Studios. Possibly the most interesting and informative feature on the DVD, it could have doubled its twenty minute running time without boring me once.
Audio Commentary by animation historian John Canemaker All-New Music Video - "Someday My Prince Will Come" performed by Tiffany Thornton Exclusive sneak peek at the opening sequence of <b>The Princess and the Frog</b> Disney Family Play - "What Do You See?", "Mirror Mirror on the Wall," "Jewel Jumble" <b>Snow White</b> Returns - Newly discovered storyboards Dopey's Wild Mine Ride Game "Heigh-Ho" Karaoke Sing-Along Disney Through the Decades (Trailers)
EXTRAS SCORE: 7/10
"Big kids" are given a few informative documentaries that too briefly touch on the fascinating history of the production of Snow White and of Walt Disney, and those under ten might be interested in the handful of games offered. The best part of this specific diamond edition might be that it includes both the DVD and Blu-Ray, but I am stumped as to why I would need both. Perhaps I am supposed to let someone borrow the magic? Either way, if you've been itching to add Snow White to your movie collection, this would be a wise choice (the standard DVD comes out November 24th).
Forgive me if this is too obvious: when it comes to "classic" animation, it doesn't get much more historical than Snow White. It is one of few animated films that will never, ever go rotten. It is probably the fairest of one all. (Heigh-oh!)
FINAL SCORE: 7/10
Trailer for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - DVD & Blu-Ray: Diamond Edition