During my childhood I would not have imagined that Snow White was the type who would run around the forest mugging people with a band of outlaw dwarfs. Hollywood has taken our fair skinned princess and turned her into a renegade bad ass who prefers kissing the town’s local drunk over the prince. This new portrayal of Snow White has come across in numerous re-invented versions of the story this year seen on both the big screen and television.
The “Mirror Mirror” version crossbreeds Snow White with Robin Hood showing the princess taking up with a merry band of dwarf robbers to steal the people’s money back from the queen. Snow White is no longer the princess who needs to be rescued but rather finds herself rescuing everyone else. A similar scenario plays out in the more pubescent version of the movie “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Snow White escapes the castle with the aid of a widowed drunk who apparently just needs love to set him sober. As in the Mirror Mirror film, Snow White learns to fight and goes up against the queen to win back the kingdom. In the television show “Once Upon A Time” we once again see Snow White as a thieving rebel running wild through the forest where she eventually meets and falls for her prince. In the televised version there are no dwarfs to be found and the alternate reality shows the prince as someone who is already married and has conveniently forgotten about his wife, thanks to a coma, allowing him to fall for Snow.
There may be no harm in the fact that Snow White is being shown as a strong independent woman who battles against the queen. It may not bother anyone that the dwarfs names have been changed from the likes of Sleepy, Happy and Grumpy to Coll, Gurt and Duir or gone missing all together. Perhaps the more realistic take that the “Prince” comes with baggage instead of a crown will better set a little girl’s expectations around what she might encounter in real life. As I continue to see these new versions of the story I’m starting to forget the details of the childhood version. It’s as if the old story isn’t quite good enough for today’s world and is being re-written by recreating it in a new way over and over again and we will soon forget the original.
Here’s a test for your memory, do you recall how the original Snow White story ended? How was the queen’s murderous endeavors put to an end? Following is a link to the children’s story for a refresher: