Sunday, 24 July 2011

Snow White - My View on the Character

Since, I'm in the middle of producing the mosaics for Snow White and that I'm still working on a sequence. I also forgot to talk much about the title character herself, and I'm going to explain my views on Snow White, the princess.

Snow White, is more or less a character who is one of the Disney princesses that I consider quite weak character development. I know that some people's jaws would probably drop when I say this, but I admit that I don't think her personality is very strong and she's not even strong-willed like the other Disney princesses made. The only type of strong-willed princesses ever produced at Disney would include Jasmine in Aladdin, Ariel in The Little Mermaid, the title character in Cinderella, as well as a few others.

By what I meant was that, in a way she is quite a pathetic character, in my very own opinion. It's just that she never seems to complain too much - and I do think that she's very sexist in a way. She never really seems to stand up for herself. She's so ladylike, like when she tells the dwarfs to wash their hands or they'll not get fed at all. She's bascially meant to be a teenager, and she gets to tell the dwarfs off since they are much older looking, and they only seem to do that in terms of her beauty.

She's meant to be a easy-going type character, she's sort of treated like a slave - and yet is happy to do it. When the Queen dresses her in rags and orders her to be her maiden, there doesn't seem to be any negativism by Snow White about the Queen. She appears to just get on with it - and not complain about it, and enjoying it once she has company. She also appears to be happy to just clean up the dwarfs house, when they can just slack about - but she only does that in order that the dwarfs will let her stay.

In a way, she's quite a cowardly character, because whenever she is at risk with the Queen, she doesn't fight back - she just runs away. Although, I suppose she runs away because the Queen would just kill her and she doesn't have the guts to try and be brave. Even when the dwarfs leave for the coal mine, they ask her not to speak to strangers or not to have any acknowledge about them - and she promises. But, she is very naively when she encounters the Witch and not realizing it was a disguise. She somehow believes in her pack of lies like a "magic wishing apple", and she wishes what she wants - takes a bite of the apple, and then dies. See, this is why teenage girls can be foolish at times - and are unaware of strangers.

Also, I should point out that I do find the rivalry between the Wicked Queen and Snow White quite silly, in a way. The Queen and Snow White both have something in common - looks. The Queen does look beautiful in a way, but a rather cold, cold character. Snow White is as beautiful and as sophisticated as ever. The Queen just wants to get her back because of her jealousy since Snow White is more prettier. I just wish that there was more reason to why the Queen hates Snow White - the Queen not liking Snow White because she's prettier is just a lack of excuse, really. But I suppose, it does show what an evil character she is.

Furthermore, in a way that most Disney princesses do - Snow White is able to communicate with animals well - and typically sings to them or make them happy. It probably sounds quite wimpy or soft, but yet - it's animated - and Snow White and the animals are believable in their own ways.

That's as much as I'm going to on about - this is just my own personal view on the character, herself. If you have any more views, please say so.


Eric Noble said...

I would disagree with you on some parts.

For her personality, I think Michael Barrier describes it best that Snow White is more or less defined by how others react, particularly the Dwarfs. Their affection for her is strong, so the audience's affection is the same.

While she seemed happy being a slave, an early scene of her in rags does seem to indicate that she doesn't enjoy it as much as it appears. While cleaning the stairs, she looks up and sighs out of defeat. But, this is a film about optimism and dreams coming true, so that's why she doesn't complain much. She just gets through it, much like the Depression-era audience who were also struggling with adversity.

As for the rivalry between the Queen and Snow White, this goes back to the fairy-tale. The Queen is an older woman, so she would be worried about losing her looks. She's the metaphorical emerging blossom that Snow White is. She envies Snow White's youth. With fairy tales, there are always things going on beneath the surface. You just have to know where to look.

Anonymous said...

While I would agree with your analysis of Snow White's character I can't seem to find it as bad or as pathetic as you think.

For one thing, the Snow White's personality is rather fitting for someone who is forced to live the life of a typical slave. A reading on the personality of the typical and chiche oppressed anonymous princess who apparently live a life of a slave under the proverbial shadow of a jealous queen that can at any time destroy her at whim cannot possibly suggest Snow White to be hard-headed alley cat.

Weak character development would, in this case, be unsuitable. True to her character Snow White is portrayed as a rather trusting, weakened and cowardly form of Spongebob in a dress but that would only make her a literally 'weak' character who is not expected to make a head charge into battle waiving a battleaxe with a smile, a notion that is by no means weak as in character development.

In many cases I can see a coherence in character and plot in regards to Snow White. In light of the political correctness that today's Disney, we often see female characters with the typical sassiness, hard-headedness, bordering a severe case of recklessness which sometimes makes me wonder whether I'm seeing a different character, or that the previous female leads are true to the notion of 'actors in a different dress' rather than believable and complete characters. Its funny how you put Cinderella into the same mold as Ariel and Jasmine when you consider the fact that the Cinderella from the original film shares remarkable similarities with Snow White. Cinderella seems happy being doing chores and wearing rags. Her reaction after being torn apart from her jealous step-sisters was similar to how Snow White felt after running into the woods. She did not seem to suspect her stepmother when she locked Cinderella up any more than Snow White did when she accepted the apple. If Snow White cannot be seen as a strong-willed character, I can't reconcile myself to view Cinderella as being strong herself.

In other words, what constitutes a strongly conceived character is one that links with the plot and presents the audience with a view that is typically expected of the situation. To view Snow White as weak in character development is a blatant acceptance of feminist beliefs that the portrayal of womanhood being strong and ONLY strong as acceptable. If there's any reason why, like Michael Barrier, that I think the earlier films are much superior than what Disney churns out today is precisely that conspicuous lack of chiche plots and characters that are created solely as a politically correct deities (Taina being the greatest showcase) and commercialism-ridden force that ultimately consume later Disney films.