For the longest time I was wanting to do something regarding Disney films and give a critical point of view that most don't really consider because well... Youtube. However, having taken more than enough time away from the wiki I thought hey lets do something that involves the overlooked and the overly criticized. Thus Disney Defense is basically my counter argument on behalf of movies that are constantly abused. Movie critics from every medium; youtube, blogs, or hashtags who think that they must "enlighten" or persuade others to see or not see movies simply on the whim of their own opinion. Which has rubbed me the wrong way for a long time, so now I am going to fight back and hopefully this series will give you all a proper perspective that is not normally viewed from.
Whether it is angelic savior or devils advocate I am going to do my best to give a proper representation for these films.
And so for this season of series of Disney films I am going to defend the animated films.
Why? Because they are the ones most people refer to them, and its not surprise cause these films make up most of our childhood thus is why
there are so much debate about them. The best movie to start a proper defense crusade is to go to the first movie Walt Disney made and that is of course Snow White.
In this defense crusade of mine I will be going through a very general summary of the movie's plot, characters, and atmosphere. Which will be followed by a initial term and a long term reaction aka a L for Love, SEW for Sway Either Way, or H for Hate. This will be followed by the explicit criticism of the movie in either action or words, which will be countered by my defense of the movie in the most reasonable way possible..... Its not going to be pretty I mean after all I'm swinging a verbal sword. Anyway, I will leave it in your favor to make your own conclusion.
The plot of Snow White is as basic of a fairy tale premise as you can get. It is set in Once Upon a Time where there is a Evil Queen whose superiority complex is threatened when the magic mirror informs her that she has been surpassed by Snow White. A young maiden whose beauty lives both inside and outside, thus has become the Fairest in the Land.
Struke with jealously the Evil Queen attempt to have her huntsman kill the princess, but turns out he can't do it, thus Snow White goes into hiding. Deep in the forest far away she befriends many woodland critters, earns her kept with the dwarfs (after a brief misunderstanding), thus beginning what could possibly be the most gorgeous exiled land a person could hid in. Eventually, the Evil Queen finds out and takes it upon herself to get revenge. Though she is successful her exposure leads to the dwarfs coming to the princess's rescue and is killed. Even then the Queen is folied when Snow White's true love arrives and breaks the curse, and every one lives happily ever after.
So the criticisms of the movie is not, so much verbal as it is attacked in action; Particularly Snow White.
that true love does not happen instantly. (Whether or not you actually believe that is your choice, and perhaps more of a societal issue rather than the films proper criticism, so we won't got too deep into this subject)However, oddly enough the most criticism of the film does not come from the words people say, so much as the future interpretations of the movie, which is demonstrate through the main character Snow White. Instead of being someone who is young and pure of heart she is made into a hard core
badasswith a tough personality that does not require a man. Instead of carrying a broom she is wielding a sword or a bow. Its all the same modern feminism twist to the character to be the better role model instead of the animated version who now a-days by comparison is viewed as weak, helpless, and need others to get her out of tough situations.
Other criticisms are the dwarfs who can be conceived as very offensive (Dopey), or not a properly executed characters arch (Sneezy, Happy, and Sleepy), and are instead given to the more prominent characters (Grumpy and Doc). On a more broad level too the dwarfs are criticized for make moments in the film as ever uncomfortable for adult sitting with their children.
AKA this scene...
Another criticism I should mention before going into my defense is the vilian. The Evil Queen. Who is ironically not the one being criticized, but rather being used to critics the main character. Which is odd, but not unusual for some reason, this is actually used by a lot of critics (*cough* NB *Cough!*.
Alright lets kick of this defense with a quick acknowledgement of a few of the latest interpretations, and say that whether or not these latest film adaptations truly are a means of attacking the animated classic is warranted only by a personal view point. Some of you may feel that the Snow White in Huntsman and OUAT are justified as good interpretations thats fine, but on my part they give too much of an emphasis on exaggerating the characters personality. Such as the fact they make her a character constantly on the run, but is somehow a badass to take on obstacles as hard or equal to the Evil Queen, so the reasonings of the characters actions are not properly down.
Now saying that there was a Snow White film, which for my money not only treated the source material well, but gave a real unique twist to the fairy tale while treating the characters (although different) with respect. That would be the Mirror Mirror adaptation of Snow White. I mean yea she is given a sword and is forced to use more action, but the way the story is written it give just enough to place the heroine in a justified situation where she can be both pure of heart while being a strong and compassionate woman.
Okay to much on the adaptations lets talk about what this blog is about. The defense of the Animated film. And of course lets start with once upon a time...
Already in the introduction it gives the first required defense. The Evil Queen who was supposed to be a parent instead chooses to bring a miserable life onto a young girl, "So she dressed the little Princess in rags and forced her to work as a Scullery Maid."And when we see Snow White again you see that she had labored (possibly for most of that day) scrubbing those stairs, yet when she is done Snow White does not mope. Instead she freakin smiles with have accomplished her task, and still has the will to still be joyful even though she has been doing this kind of work for years.
And this is why Snow White is one of the greatest princesses to exist. She is the ultimate symbol of purity and innocence, and that no matter how hard or dark things become the princess can find hope, love, and peace. It is in that purity and innocence that affords Snow White her the willpower to live.For instance that moment when the Evil Queen has found out about Snow White being the fairest, thus decides to send her huntsman out to kill her. Yet even though it is an order of authority and that to disobey it would bring a severe penalty the Huntsman still cannot bring himself to kill Snow White who is an innocent.
--Another note for this scene is the fact that Snow White does not fight back and does not try to run away (initially). Which may seem weak to us today, but that only affirms her unwillingness to do harm to others and although frightened will remain to be killed, regardless of the outcome to her own life. Sure there are ways to study scene, but on my part I think its pretty gutsy.Going on the actions of the character continue to reflect the importance of someone who believes in compassion, curtesy, and sympathy. Again emphasizing how much of a soulful person she is towards both people and animals. Hell after being scared to death by the woodland critters she still apologizes even though Snow White was not at fault, and her kindness inspires these animals that would otherwise not give to shits about human beings to actually care about her. Thus helping her find a place to hide from the Evil Queen.
Of course we can ramble on about her incredible purity, but is there anything that can define her as strong apart from being soulful?
Short answer: Yes
Long answer is the fact that her strength of character again comes not through a harsh badass persona, instead it shines out when she needs to be firm and disciplined. Snow White's strength is in many ways reflects the under appreciated power of the house wife.
Examples are the scene when she and the animals begin cleaning the 7 dwarfs house. During the song she politely, but with a firm authoritative voice teaches the animals how to clean the right way vs the wrong way.
Another example is when Snow White is accepted into the 7 dwarfs house. Though she did the "cooking and cleaning" Snow White is not hesitant to take action, and ask the dwarfs to wash. When they lie, the princess confronts them to prove it, and has each show their filthy hands, AND when the dirty hands are reveal Snow White commands them to march straight outside to wash. She is confident throughout this entire scene, yet is very respectful at the same time. Thus everyone in turn respects her for it.
With Snow White character on character defense done lets turn to the bizarre, but for some reason commonly used criticism of the main character, which is the villain. This is not unique to Disney antagonists. In fact, lot of them are used as a foundation by critics to criticize the protagonist and anyone associated with them. In this case the villain used critics Snow White. Using the antagonist to bash her for being dumb and ditsy in allowing, what to the viewer is the villain, into the house.
First off the villain/The Evil Queen is not meant to be fooling the audience. The audience is the one observing the action of everyone and should be judging on how the characters pull off their roles, so when a the Evil Queen is clearly going out of her way to fool Snow White, she is not trying to fool the audience. This is meant to only add a sense of dread.
Now lets focus on what is meant to be focused on: The Protagonist and antagonist relationship. The definition of a antagonist is as follows: A person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary. Thus the goal of the Evil Queen is to do whatever it takes to end Snow White (I am literally banging my head against the wall while writing this), again this form of story telling should not be used to criticize the main character, but it is! I don't get it! WTF happened that suddenly villains became a lwgitimate tool to critically attack main characters? Okay I'm getting ahead of myself.The defense of this absolutely strange criticism is that the moral lesson being told is that some people with bad intent use the ART OF DECEPTION! Again the goal of the Evil Queen is not to fool the audience, but Snow White, and in the movie she does that. Her appearance is villainous, but in her interaction with the princess she does not actually give a reason for Snow White to mistrust her. In fact, for the briefest moment Snow White does not give the Evil Queen a chance to get too close. 
It is because the birds attack that Snow White compassionate side motivates her to help what she perceives as a old haggard woman. Then it is in the Evil Queen's interest to exploit that for her own benefit, thus through a continued use of lies can accomplish her goal of end Snow White as a threat.
There thats it in a nut shell.
What about the other criticisms?
Well, for the most part the others are kinda shallow and not really explored, and on my part did not find any real meat to them. Such as the dwarfs being offensive or causing uncomfortable scenes. Most of these are often dismissed and not actively use, so honestly i'm not gonna bother. If they do show up, I may come back to do a new fresh edit and add it into the defense.
What is your Conclusion?
Well that is it folks for the overall view and defense of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. If you were already a fan of the film then this maybe a nice way to reaffirm what you love about the movie, and if you did not like it well at least you can say you read a different point of view.
Now that you have heard both the criticism and the defense what is your personal conclusion of the animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In any case I hope you enjoyed my first Disney Defense, and please be sure to comment bellow and place your mark on the poll in support of this series