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Film / Mirror, Mirror

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Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, a baby girl was born. Her skin was pure as snow, her hair was dark as night. They called her... Snow White. Probably because that's the most pretentious name they could come up with.

A retelling of the "Snow White" fairy tale starring Lily Collins (daughter of Phil Collins) as Snow White, Julia Roberts as the evil Queen, Armie Hammer as Prince Alcott and Sean Bean as the King, directed by Tarsem Singh. It was released in 2012, the same year as another Snow White retelling, Snow White and the Huntsman. Where that film recasts the story as a dark action-adventure, this is a lighter telling.

Retitled Mirror Mirror: The Untold Adventures of Snow White in some regions.

Not to be confused with the novel by Gregory Maguire (Wicked) or the TV series of the same name. Or that episode of Star Trek: The Original Series that introduced the Mirror Universe.


This film provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Snow White's dagger can slice through an apple with just a flick of her wrist.
  • Action Girl: Snow White.
  • Adaptation Expansion: No wonder it's named "The Untold Adventures of Snow White" in some regions.
  • Animal Motifs: The Queen's thematic ball, where her dress resembles a peacock, Snow White's resembles a swan, and Prince Alcott's hat has rabbit ears. The Alternative Character Interpretation inherent in the rabbit costume is discussed by the Queen and the Prince.
    • Animal Stereotypes: The vanity peacock, the purity swan, the nervous (but smarter and more dangerous than he appears) rabbit.
    • And Brighton is dressed up as cockroach, which is foreshadowing his later transformation into an actual cockroach.
  • Arc Words: The Queen's "Snow White would have to do what snow does best. Snow... would have to fall."
  • Arranged Marriage: Aware that he comes from a wealthy kingdom, the Queen plots to marry Prince Alcott to solve her own financial problems.
  • Badass Baritone: Prince Alcott.
  • Badass Longcoat: Alcott again.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • The Queen temporarily turns Brighton into a cockroach as punishment for not killing Snow White.
    • Advertisement:
    • The King was transformed into the Beast.
  • Battle Couple: Snow White and Prince Alcott during the climax.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Snow White, who sees through the Queen's disguise at the end and offers her a slice of her own poisoned apple, telling her to accept defeat.
  • Big Bad: The Queen.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Brighton being taken advantage of by a grasshopper (He was temporarily a cockroach) is played for laughs.
  • Broke Episode: The Queen's greed and exaggerations pretty much bankrupted the kingdom — people are literally begging for food on the streets, because what little money they have is taken to pay the Queen's taxes.
  • Butt-Monkey: Brighton, and Prince Alcott.
  • Cast from Lifespan: The Queen's extended use of magic turns her into an old hag when her spells are broken.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The King's dagger, the Queen's moon necklace.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The dwarfs fight dirty by necessity, being at a serious disadvantage in terms of size and strength. Snow White becomes one too when the dwarves teach her combat; her training explicitly includes fighting dirty because no one will expect it from a pretty princess. Indeed, when she fights the Prince he clearly is the more technically skilled fighter, but she gets the better of him anyway.
  • Costume Porn: Especially the Queen's and the nobles' dresses.
  • Damsel in Distress: Averted. Snow White refuses to be one, evoking the trope by mentioning she has read many stories in which the damsel has to be saved by her prince, but she doesn't want that to happen.
  • Dances and Balls: The Queen seems to be fond of parties. She throws a significant thematic ball on-screen.
  • Dance Party Ending: And quite an elaborate one at that.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • The Queen has her moments. And surprisingly, so does Snow White!
    • Even the Magic Mirror gets in on it.
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: The Queen is given no redeeming qualities or backstory, nothing is mentioned about her life before meeting the King.
  • Disappeared Dad
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Queen is very harsh on her punishments. "A Royal Decree, take it down. Any busybodies caught rumouring, gossiping, whispering, or even thinking... shall be put to death."
  • Dissonant Serenity: The mirror, who never appears to be more than faintly bemused no matter what happens.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The Queen orders some clothes brought for Prince Alcott because she has trouble focusing when he's constantly being presented to her in only his undergarments.
    • Snow White spends a few seconds staring at him while his hands are tied before asking if he needs help
    • "Seeing you in this dress is causing me to lose my words"
  • Distressed Dude: Alcott, on the other hand, is frequently overwhelmed by danger — he's mugged and hanged upside down by the dwarfs (twice), hypnotized by the Queen into nearly marrying her, viciously attacked by the Beast and ultimately pinned down by it against a tree. Doubles with Badass in Distress, as he's also shown to be pretty capable and a very good fighter.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: It's not truly forbidden, but commonly known to be dangerous, as the vicious Beast lives there. According to the dwarfs, it doesn't usually leave a specific side of the forest, though.
  • "Double, Double" Title: Mirror, Mirror.
  • The Dragon: It was obvious Brighton wasn't up to this, and the Queen eventually reveals the Beast is her true Dragon.
  • Driven to Suicide: The Queen eats the poisoned apple at the end when she realizes she's been beaten. This also destroys her mirror self.
  • Dual Wielding: Both Snow White and Prince Alcott wield two swords at some point.
  • Endless Winter: Winter falls over the land when the evil queen starts to rule. It ends when she is defeated.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Queen, Snow White's father and the magistrate, whose names are never stated.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses
  • Evil Is Hammy: The queen, being played by Julia Roberts, an unlikely choice, has her moments.
  • Evil Sorceress: The Queen.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The love potion, which upon closer inspection, the Queen realizes is clearly labeled as a Puppy Love Potion.
  • The Exile: The Queen is known to have banished from the kingdom everyone she deemed "undesirable" — including the dwarfs.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Several people get robbed and stripped to their underwear in the snowy woods. They don't shiver.
  • Expy/ Captain Ersatz /Shout-Out: The seven dwarves have similar personalities to the seven dwarves from the Disney cartoon, but YMMV.
    • Grimm, the ex-teacher, who is the logical leader of the group is Doc.
    • Butcher, the mean, emotional leader of the group, is Grumpy.
    • Chuckles, who is always laughing, is Happy.
    • Half Pint, like Dopey, is most in love with Snow White and is too stupid to get that she doesn't feel the same. His spiritual successor is The 7Ds Bashful, who is a Dogged Nice Guy.
    • Napoleon is a hopeless romantic, like Bashful, as can be seen in the kissing scene. He's a Deadpan Snarker like Grumpy, though.
    • Grubb represents Gluttony in the same way that Sleepy represents Sloth.
    • Wolf is always Howling just like Sneezy is always Sneezing.
  • Faceless Goons: The Queen's soldiers use golden helmets concealing their faces.
  • Fairest of Them All: Evoked by the Queen, referred to by the mirror. Oddly enough, the Queen never directly asks the mirror on-screen — and thus it never tells her Snow White is fairer than she is, though it does warn the Queen.
    Mirror: I suggest you marry someone rich, quickly. Because one day soon, you will ask me who the Fairest of Them All is... and you won't like the answer.
  • Female Gaze: "Oh my God, can someone please get this man a shirt so I can concentrate!"
  • First-Person Smartass: The Queen doing the opening narration.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: The bird-themed dresses Snow White and the Queen wear are decorated with feathers, including the queen have a white peacock tail as a neck decoration.
  • Foil: The Queen and nobility and their over-the-top costumes and parties vs. the kingdom people, hungering on the streets.
  • Girl in the Tower: Played with. Snow White is said to have never left the castle since her father died, as the Queen made her believe she's not capable of venturing outside.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: People are literally begging for food on the streets, because what little money they have is taken to pay the Queen's taxes.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: Subverted; gold is the Queen's trademark color, which she claims to be her "lucky color".
  • Good Is Not Soft: Snow White has the Queen commit suicide by apple in the end, complete with an Ironic Echo.
  • The Good King: Snow White's father.
  • Graceful Loser: The Mirror, oddly enough.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The seven dwarfs, who start off as bandits before helping Snow White.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Snow White and Alcott use swords.
  • High Collar of Doom: The Queen on many occasions.
  • Hypno Fool: Alcott is downright ashamed of the things he said under the love potion's influence.
  • Hypnotize the Prince: Through love potion. It works well for some time.
  • I Have the High Ground: The dwarfs teach Snow White about the importance of having the high ground in a fight.
  • I Was Beaten by a Girl: Prince Alcott is beaten by Snow White, albeit in a close fight.
  • Ironic Echo: "It's important to know when you've been beaten, yes."
    • "This is my story. Not hers." / "It was Snow White's story, after all."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Butcher initially opposes having Snow White with them, but eventually warms up to her.
    • Considering they were bandits mugging unsuspecting travelers, all the dwarfs qualify.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Snow White convinces the dwarfs to do this.
  • Lady in Red: The Queen's ball dress, chosen to impress Alcott.
  • Large Ham: The Queen.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Almost everyone at the Queen's ball is using white or very light clothes. The Queen herself is dressed in bright red.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: After the Prince and his assistant get robbed the first time. "No one is to know the details."
    • Similarly, the guards, unsure of whether or not they are supposed to stop Snow White from leaving the Castle, agree to let her out, and not to tell anyone about it.
  • Lighter and Softer: A comedic take on the fairy tale compared to the other live-action one coming out the same year. Though not played entirely straight; at the end Snow White encourages the Queen to commit suicide and it is implied she does.
  • Love at First Sight: Snow White and Alcott have shades of this. They seem to really fall in love during the ball, though.
    • The fact that he was shirtless when they first met probably helped.
  • Love Potion: The Queen mentions having used it on the King, and does in again on Alcott — though she ends up making him drink "puppy love" potion, it nonetheless makes him fiercely in love with her.
  • Meaningful Echo: "And the Queen realized that if she wanted to remain the most beautiful woman in all the land, snow would have to do what snow does best. Snow... would have... to fall."
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Brighton comes across as this. Similarly for the Queen's guards, who don't even stop Snow White from leaving the castle, and agree with each other not to tell anyone.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Beast is similar in shape to a wyvern or an Eastern Dragon, with the antlers of a deer, a long serpentine body, a furry mammalian face, long tendrils on the snout, feathered wings, bird-like feet, and a lizard-like tail (with a strange claw on it). It's basically proto-Discord!
  • Mondegreen: In this trailer, the Prince's line "I look like an idiot" is getting misheard as an apology of "I'm a f'***ing idiot", since it comes right after he couldn't tell Snow White was the princess.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Prince Alcott.
  • Mythology Gag: After one of the dwarves' successful raids one remarks, "Beats working in a mine."
  • Narcissist: The Queen.
  • Noble Fugitive: Snow White, once the Queen realizes she's alive. She eventually decides to fight back.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Alcott does it sometimes when fighting Snow White.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently, during Brighton's time as a cockroach, a grasshopper "took advantage of [him]."
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Snow White's wedding dress.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Many of the Queen's outfits, and Snow White wears a few.
  • Power at a Price: The Mirror is always warning the Queen about the price for using magic — and it's eventually exacted, harshly.
  • Puppy Love: taken a bit too literal
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Snow, of course.
    Queen: Her hair isn't "black", it's "raven". And her skin has never seen the sun so of course it's good.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Even after being turned into an old hag by her extensive use of magic, the Queen doesn't give up on killing Snow White: she takes advantage of her completely different look to sneak into her wedding unobserved and try to make her eat the poisoned apple.
  • Rich Bitch: The Queen.
  • Rule of Symbolism: At one of the parties, the queen wears a peacock-themed dress and Snow White wears a swan themed dress.
  • Running Gag: The dwarfs robbing people and stealing their clothes.
    Queen: (seeing her wedding guests in their underclothes) What is it with this kingdom?
  • Scenery Porn: It's Tarsem Singh's film. What do you expect?
  • Servile Snarker: The Palace servants. Lampshaded by the Queen once or twice. Even Brighton gets a moment after his Cochroach episode. The Queen appears to let them get away with far more than the noblemen without comment.
  • Shirtless Scene: How Snow White and the Prince meet.
  • Shout-Out: "Say hello to my little friend!", spoken by one of the seven dwarfs.
  • Shrinking Violet: Snow White severely lacks confidence at the beginning.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Sean Bean plays a minor yet important role in the film, yet the majority of the promotion was on Julia Roberts.
  • Slipping a Mickey: The Queen puts a love potion into Alcott's drink.
  • Smug Snake: The Queen again.
  • Sudden Musical Ending: There was some foreshadowing for it, though, with the whole "people used to sing and dance" bit.
  • Talking to Themself: It was clarified by Tarsem Singh that the world of the mirror is the Queen's "mindscape", and she's basically talking to herself every time she talks to the mirror. In the movie, the mirror claims to be just the Queen's "reflection".
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: The poisoned apple and the love potion.
  • Team Mom: Snow White to the dwarfs, somewhat.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Snow White gets trained in fighting by the dwarfs.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Snow White leading the dwarf bandits, Snow White and Alcott duelling, the Queen hypnotizing Alcott through a love potion, it being really a "puppy love" potion, Snow White mobilizing the dwarfs to crash the Queen's wedding with Alcott. Seriously, guys, for a movie in which one of the first lines is "loose lips sink ships"...
  • Training Montage
  • True Blue Femininity: Snow White's wedding dress.
  • True Love's Kiss: Said by one of the dwarfs to be capable of undoing magic. And that's exactly how Snow White breaks the Queen's love spell over Alcott.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Lampshaded. "It was Snow White's story, after all."
  • Woman in White: Snow White's ball dress, contrasting the Queen's.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The Queen's plot to marry Alcott goes reasonably well until dangerously close to the end — Snow White and the dwarfs manage to crash her wedding, kidnap the Prince and flee moments before the Queen arrives. And they still have to deal with the love spell after that.


Example of: