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YMMV / Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

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    Examples from the Disney film 
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • When the dwarfs meet Snow White for the first time, Grumpy tells Doc to "Ask her who she is and what she's a-doin' here!" Of course, given his tendency to get words mixed up, Doc comes out with "What are you and who are you doin'?" Surprisingly enough, given the time period this film was made in, this is probably one of the earliest examples of this trope.
    • That turtle during "Whistle While You Work" looks like he's enjoying the chipmunk scrubbing close to his crotch area a little too much.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Snow White, depending on how she's viewed, is either a naïve teenage girl in over her head who made understandable mistakes, way too polite and altruistic for her own good or just plain Too Dumb to Live.
    • Dopey might be an Idiot Savant or a Genius Ditz, having difficulty in doing simple things but being a vastly accomplished musician.
    • Humbert's objection to killing Snow White may have an additional reason. Snow White is, by all appearances, the late king's only child and Grimhilde has no children of her own it seems. If Humbert had killed Snow White there would have been a possibility of a succession crisis.
    • Did Snow White and the Prince really have a case of Love at First Sight? Or did they know each other before?
    • Snow White was abused by her step-mother and nearly murdered by her, all before she's even fifteen. Is she The Pollyanna or a Stepford Smiler? Even Disney has toyed with this, such as in the A Tale Of... books where she's shown having nightmares about her past into adulthood but prefers to hide her anguish.
    • The Evil Queen has been subject to a lot of this due to her Mysterious Past and her evilness. Is she just naturally a murderous narcissist or did something in her past make her that way? Did the king's assumed death have anything to do with it? Was she always a Wicked Stepmother, or was she a Good Stepmother at one point? The A Tale Of... books are an official, Alternate Continuity Disney work that explores these questions.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Many people did; while in production, the film was often derided as "Disney's Folly". Those who worked with Disney, including his brother and wife, tried to talk him out of making the film, believing it would just end up being a complete flop. However, it became a huge hit when it was first released and is regarded as one of the greatest animated movies of all time.
  • Award Snub: Much to Walt's ire, he was awarded with an Honorary Oscar for this film, instead of the Best Picture award he coveted. After all it was ground-breaking for its time and even became the highest-grossing picture for a time (before being dethroned by Gone with the Wind). This would be the first of several animated films to not reach the Best Picture award.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The opening and ending sequences.
    • Really, every song in the movie counts, but "Some Day My Prince Will Come" is a standout. It's impossible not to get chills when the melody kicks in as Snow White wakes up at the end.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Snow White is either seen as an adorable Ingenue hailed for her loving heart and ability to stay positive through the tough times, or an unremarkable Flat Character panned for her overly cutesy nature and out-of-place Rotoscoped design.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • "The Silly Song" segment; slightly justified in that they are celebrating Snow White and it leads to them wanting Snow White to tell them a story leading to one of the most memorable songs ever (Someday My Prince Will Come).
    • There was a segment planned where the Dwarfs have soup after washing their hands and sing a song about... soup. If it had been put in the final product, it would have qualified for this trope.
    • The Tree hallucination; it's quickly forgotten after Snow White finds her little forest friends.
  • Creepy Awesome: The Magic Mirror's sinister, menacing design has become the default source of inspiration for basically all examples to follow, largely because of how striking it is.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: The Queen is getting this lately, due to "progressive" readings that try to blame her murderous grudge against her solely on the Magic Mirror and Values Dissonance. In reality, the Mirror never told Grimhilde to kill Snow White so she'd be the fairest one in the land again, plus in this particular version she forced Snow to be a servant girl in a palace where she had all the right to live comfortably in, soely out of pettiness. Even if "Fairest of All" is included in the canon, it's not exactly enough to sweep her enormous abuse of an innocent teenage girl under the rough.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The Dwarfs in general, being distinct in personality and very humorous as well.
    • Dopey, particularly around the time the film was originally released. Many predicted that he would become as big as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. It didn't quite turn out like that, but still, to think that it might have is impressive. Dopey was, in fact, the initial choice for the apprentice role in the Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence from Fantasia. He was only replaced because Donald was the public's favorite Disney character at the time, and Walt Disney wanted Mickey back in that seat.
    • Grumpy seems to have amassed a big following in recent times, to the point where a reasonable amount of merchandise is dedicated to him and his sourpuss attitude.
    • The monstrous trees Snow White sees during her escape in the woods are still remembered as some of the scariest Disney characters ever created despite them being just hallucinations and thus not even real monsters.
    • The Poison Apple (when resembling a skeleton) has appeared quite frequently in merchandise involving Snow White, Disney Villains, and Halloween. It's even on Snow White's t-shirt in Ralph Breaks the Internet!
  • Evil Is Cool: The Queen is of one the film's main highlights with her cunning scheming, powerful sorcery and crazy haminess in the second half.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The Queen, until she transforms herself into the hag.
  • Fair for Its Day: The film is routinely criticized for its lack of depth in the romance. But when the film was made, it was an improvement over the original fairy tale-where the prince only comes in as a Deus ex Machina at the end. At least here the prince appears much earlier in the story and has some reason to look for Snow White. He was meant to have a larger role in the film (being tormented by the Queen) but the Disney animators weren't good at drawing a convincing human male yet (they reused several of their ideas for Florian by the time Sleeping Beauty rolloed around, giving Phillip a large role in that film).
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Never aspire to look better than you actually do, because you'll end up getting so jealous of someone else's beauty to the point that you'll want the person dead.
  • First Installment Wins: The film often tops "best Disney film lists" despite Walt Disney himself thinking of Bambi as his Magnum Opus.
  • Genius Bonus: When the Dwarfs forcibly wash Grumpy and put a ring of flowers on his head, Sneezy comments that he smells like a petunia. In botany, petunias symbolize anger and resentment, meaningful if your name happens to be Grumpy.
  • Genre Turning Point: Up until this film, cartoons were seen as a novelty, not serious works of art or entertainment. The idea that audiences would sit through a feature-length cartoon was considered. This film proved that feature-length animation was viable and that they could easily compete with live-action films.
  • Growing the Beard: This marks Disney's change from whimsical cartoons and into the full length, animated film genre capable of telling a longer, more complex story, not to mention the animation quality is a drastic improvement of the previous shorts.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Snow White wonders if the seven "children" don't know how to clean because they don't have a mother and are orphans. While saying how awful that would be, a fawn nuzzles its mother.
    • The original German dub comes across as a quite bit creepier when you remember that the voice of Queen Grimhilde died at Auschwitz just five years after the dub was recorded for Swiss audiences. Even sadder, the same fate befell no less than three other voice actors in the dub, including the dub director. Out of all the Jewish cast members for the dub, only Happy's voice actor escaped the Nazis.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • There are references to other Grimm fairy tales throughout the film. Initially, Snow White is forced to wear rags and work as a scullery maid, like Cinderella, and in case you overlooked the reference, she even has a flock of doves helping her like in the Grimm version. Later, the prince awakens Snow White with a kiss, which was borrowed from the Grimms' retelling of Sleeping Beauty, as in the original Snow White merely coughs up the apple. Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty were respectively the next fairy tales Disney would adapt in films (and all three were the only fairy tale films Walt himself was still alive to work on).
    • When the Seven Dwarfs first see that someone's in their cottage, they exclaim, "Jiminy Crickets!" This was actually a common Gosh Dang It to Heck! version of "Jesus Christ!" for the time, which led to Disney using it as the name for the cricket.
    • Over eight decades after the film premiered in a 20th Century Fox-owned theatre, Disney acquired the company from 21st Century Fox. Shirley Temple attending the premiere, and later awarding the special Oscar, have a similar tone now that Disney owns all the movies she made for Fox.
  • Hollywood Homely: Many who watch the movie disagree with the Magic Mirror and think that the queen is much fairer than Snow White.
  • Ho Yay: The seven dwarves are the source of this in the film even though a lot of them showed attraction to Snow White. First off they all live together in a cottage. All of their name carved beds except Doc's are closer to each other than they should be. The dwarves also bathe together (albeit with their clothes on). Doc and Grumpy also bicker Like an Old Married Couple sometimes, especially in a deleted scene.
  • Hype Backlash: While still a respected film, it gets this for all of Disney's touting it as "the one that started it all."
  • Iron Woobie: Snow White has had a tough life. She's been treated terribly by her stepmother, almost killed by a huntsman and is sent away into the forest, where she's lost and scared. Yet her spirit and tenacity is incredible.
  • Love to Hate: If the dwarfs didn't steal the show, then the Queen in all her evil hamminess did, especially in her hag form.
  • Memetic Loser: Thanks to the low amount of characterization compared to future Disney films, both Snow White and her prince have the stigma of being boring and bland. Snow is also seen as Too Dumb to Live and weak by many. To be fair, they wanted to do more with the prince, but didn't have much experience drawing male human characters, and the others were already taxing enough for them to do.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moe: Snow White herself. Dopey also has shades of it.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Queen definitely crosses it: She wants to kill an innocent girl (who is probably 16 or lessnote ), and for what?!? Just because she's more beautiful than her. And if that's not enough, she plans to poison her with the Poisoned Apple making her fall into the Sleeping Death hoping the dwarves will bury her alive.
    • And it was also originally planned that she tried to force the Prince - the guy who loved Snow and who Snow pined after - to marry her. And when he refused, she would try to drown him in the dungeon.
    • The Queen crossed it long ago when she hired a huntsman to try and kill Snow White. How? Because she tells the hunter that in order to make sure Snow White's dead, she asks him to cut her heart out and put it in a box to present her with! And remember - this is her stepdaughter we're talking about.
      • Could have been even worse. In the original fairy tale she salts and eats the heart.
      • Heck, in the earliest versions of the tale, she was actually the original biological mother of Snow White.
  • Narm: The poster used to promote the 1975 and 1983 re-releases seems to show Snow White singing to some bluebirds, but some might think it looks more like her screaming at the not-that-scary sight of them.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • This was not the first animated feature film, as many people are led to believe; that title goes to the lost Argentinian political satire El Apóstol, made in 1917 by Quirino Cristiani. Snow White was, however, the first cel-animated feature film, which utterly dominated animation for decades afterwards.
    • Possibly unintentionally, a couple of the elements different from the Grimms' story can be found in Alexander Pushkin's The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Knights. These include the prince appearing earlier (in the poem, he is actually her fiancee, and the main plot kicks off the day before they are to marry), Snow White cleaning the cottage when she finds it (unlike in the Grimms' version where she eats and drinks from the dwarfs' table, a la Goldilocks) and the queen's death being unintentional (she falls over dead as soon as she sees the princess alive again).
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The tree hallucination.
    • The Queen's pet raven perched on a skull appears just in one scene.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Oh boy. Where do we have to start?
    • First off, virtually any scene of significance in this movie has been copied, homaged, parodied and ripped off incessantly for over 80 years. Best advice to parents is to show it to the kids quickly.
    • Also, modern audiences, mostly parent groups, see this as "just another sappy Disney Princess film". They’re not entirely wrong, but they fail to realize how truly groundbreaking a project this was when released. To put into perspective: At the time, Disney was not even big enough to be considered part of "Poverty Row" or the "Little Three" - movie studios controlled distribution, and actors. This movie was made by none of Hollywood's studios, and did not employ their stars - at the time, something like that was unheard of. It was called "Disney's Folly" for a reason.
    • Lastly, fans of Disney Princess films often find this film boring and bland compared to future films. This film started and paved the way for much of the material in future Princess films.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The dwarves singing "Heigh-Ho" as they march home.
    • The Queen's transformation into the Old Hag.
    • The dark forest run.
  • Squick: Sneezy's deleted line in "The Silly Song" where he mentions that after he was born, he used his whiskers as a "didee"note . The effect is somewhat lessened by him sneezing while delivering the line, but it's still unsanitary.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Snow White. Many people find her exaggerated Moe traits and sickeningly sweet attitude insufferable.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Very few of the animated films made during Walt's lifetime were as successful.
    • The Snow White 2001 Platinum Edition DVD both kicked off one of Walt Disney Home Video's most elite collections, and marked the first 2-Disc DVD of one of Walt's movies. Its "immersive" bonus features platter proved so comprehensive, that very few other Disney DVDs could compare; even Snow White's Diamond Edition and Signature Collection re-releases pale when fans lament that Disney replaced too many of the best Platinum Edition extras with fillernote .
  • Ugly Cute: The dwarfs aren't exactly lookers, but they're just so genial, charming, and eager to please that it's hard not to love them.
  • Uncanny Valley: Even back then, everyone loved the cartoony dwarfs and noted how stiff and wooden looking the rotoscoped human characters were.
    • The Slave in the Magic Mirror, although in his case, this was the desired effect.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The animation and visuals have aged quite well for a movie made in the late 1930s.
  • What an Idiot!: As Cracked pointed out, the Queen could have just actually killed Snow White instead of betting on her sleeping forever. Especially since she would just retain her beauty that way.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Possibly the Ur-Example. In fact, Walt never intended "Disney" to become synonymous with being kid-friendly (family-friendly, yes, but not kid-friendly. "Family-friendly" implies that it's adult, but still respects its child audience by not going too far). Animation was just easier for all the detail he wanted to include in the story. Incidentally, the film was originally approved for mature audiences in the UK (and effectively rated R in some locations in the country, as in minors who wanted to see the film had to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian) because of the scare factor.
  • The Woobie: Snow White can count. She's treated like a servant by the Queen and she just has a horrible life. The Queen also wants her dead simply because of something she has no control of (her looks).

    The Fairy Tale 
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Snow White is seen as extraordinarily attractive for her pale skin and blood-red lips. In modern things, this either brings to mind sickness or creepiness. This is a major reason why many rewrites and Fractured Fairytale takes depict her as more sinister than the original story (with some outright making her a vampire]].
    • The story has been analyzed as having ageist qualities to it due to Snow White's beauty contrasted with her step-mother's.
    • Snow White is as young as seven in early versions of the story (and in others, she's often only fourteen), yet she still runs off with a prince.


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