If you were to just pop in Walt Disney’s 1937 film, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, and watch it today you would probably have no idea just how ground breaking the film was. It was the “first full length cel-animated feature, the first full length animated feature film in America, the first produced in full color, and the first to be produced by Walt Disney.” Whew! One of those alone would probably merit it being included on this list, but all of them make this an animated standard bearer. The real question though is how has it held up? Are those things listed above enough for it to be considered a classic or does the actual film stand on its own?
Should this film be considered a classic? It had been a long time since I had seen this film when I watched the Blu-Ray release of it. In fact, I was probably just a kid the last time I watched it. As I watched it, I couldn’t help but note how quaint the animation seems in light of all the technology today. Still, the animation is undeniably beautiful. Also, the story and characters, while they certainly would appeal to children, have some very dark elements more suited an older audience. I actually really appreciate this in a movie. In SWTSD, it’s obvious who the bad guys and good guys are. The queen is shown as pure evil while the dwarfs, despite their diminutive size are easily recognized as the good guys with characters like the huntsman adding a bit of complexity to the mix. On top of all that, you have some memorable songs and all the dwarf characters are an absolute joy to watch. This one definitely deserves to be on this list.
Would I own this film? While it definitely shows its age, this is still a very enjoyable film. It’s also a great one to watch with your kids because there are many lessons to be learned from it (Don’t take apples from ugly witch ladies!). I recommend picking up the Blu-Ray copy of this as that medium really lets the images and sound shine. SWTSD proves that even an animated film that was released in a completely different world can still be enjoyed by kids and their parents today.