Reviewed by Ivana Redwine
Tagline: "Walt Disney's First Full Length Feature Production."
Length: 83 minutes
In 1937 Walt Disney created the first feature-length animated film in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," and this enchanting movie has remained popular with both children and adults ever since. This charming film is available in a two-disc Platinum Edition DVD set that includes tons of extras, most of which are aimed at adults. And through the miracle of restoration, this magical movie looked and sounded terrific when I watched it at home on my TV screen.
Early in the film we see the wicked Queen stand before a looking glass and ask, "Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?" (Contrary to popular belief, these are the exact words she speaks in the movie.) When the Queen doesn't like the answer she receives, she orders Snow White killed. But Snow White gets some help from seven delightful dwarfs named Doc, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy, Dopey, and Grumpy, and later Prince Charming plays his part in the story as well. There's lots of fun music, too, including "Heigh-Ho," "Some Day My Prince Will Come," "Whistle While You Work," and "One Song."
On Disc One of the set there's a feature of a sort I've never seen before. Hosted by Angela Lansbury and called "Guided Tours," the idea is to provide an overview of what special features are on the discs. If you really love this movie, I recommend skipping the "Guided Tours" and poking around on your own. However, if you prefer to quickly get the flavor of what's on the two discs so you can decide what, if anything, else you want to look at, the "Guided Tours" are probably the best place for you to start.
My favorite special feature turned out to be the "Abandoned Concepts" on Disc Two. Here we are shown wonderful ideas that didn't make it into the final cut of the movie, including "Snow White Meets the Prince," a fantasy version of "Some Day My Prince Will Come," and "The Prince Is Captured." I like this feature because it gives insights into the kinds of difficult decisions that had to be made in making the film.
On Disc One there's an optional audio track that can be listened to while watching the movie, but the audio track is disappointing. The audio track consists of remarks by Walt Disney drawn from various sources interspersed with commentary by film historian John Canemaker. Disney's remarks are reasonably interesting, but they mostly don't relate directly to what's being shown on the screen. Much of the time Canemaker sounds like an academic reading a paper at a symposium.
Also on Disc One you can listen to Barbra Streisand sing "Some Day My Prince Will Come" while you watch a montage from the movie. I like the song, the singer, and the montage, but they don't seem to me to belong together. This number is introduced by Michael Eisner, Walt Disney Company's Chairman and CEO.
Selected Special Features on the DVDs: