HTS Moderator , Reviewer
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=64058[/img]Title: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
HTS Overall Score:85
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” was one of the first Disney releases of the Diamond Edition line of films back in 2009, just a few short years after Blu-ray had hit shelves. The release was, and still is, a fantastic Blu-ray release that showcased a brand new transfer for the film and a remixed 7.1 DTS-HD MA track for the audio (as well as the original mono audio for purists). Strangely it never got re-released on the Platinum Edition line, but it marks the resurgence of ANOTHER collection for Disney, titled the Signature Collection. These editions seem to be noted with a silverfish coloring around the edges of the art work and a copy of Walt Disney’s signature down in the right hand corner. As with all new lines of “Editions” by Disney, that means old movies that were once in the vault are now going to come out once again, starting with the movie that started it all.
Anyone who’s been around more than 2 years in this life have heard of the tale of Snow White. Whether it be the Grimm’s fairytale or the Disney movie itself, it’s a story that’s gotten around. I still joke with friends about eating apples from strangers to this day, and I’m certain that just about every one of you can relate to that little joke. Like Many early Disney films, Walt Disney took a brutal and very “grimm” (pardon the pun) fairy tale that was meant as a cautionary story, and turned it into a cute kid’s movie. However, this was a first for Disney, as before this he had only dabbled with Mickey and a few other characters. A feature length animated film of this scope and magnitude had never been tried before. Well, it worked, and soon Walt realized he had a perpetual gold mine on his hand as there was a plethora of fairy tales that were just ripe for the picking.
To summarize. Snow White is well known but simple. A wicked with rules the land (voiced by Lucille La Verna) and her only enemy happens to be a young girl named Snow White (Adriana Caselotti). How might she be a threat you might ask? Well, she just so happens to be prophesied by a magic mirror to be the end of the wicked queen. So the queen asks her huntsman (no, not Chris Hemsworth) to go into the woods and kill the girl, bringing her the heart of Snow White. The Good huntsman obeys his queen to an extent, but can’t bring himself to actually go through with the heinous act. Setting her free, the huntsman tells the queen that she is indeed dead, giving snow white the chance to live a life of freedom.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=64074[/img]Running into a group of dwarves, Snow White is taken in the by the motley band of pint sized miners and soon changes their world for the better. Dopey, Grumpy, Sleepy, and the rest are soon turned from slobby bachelors to having the semblance of a home, doted on by the loveable Snow White. However, these types of things are usually found out when magic is involved, and that little snitch comes in the form of the Magic Mirror on the wall. Informing the evil queen of Snow White’s continued existence, he sparks a new tornado of terror as the witch takes it under the realm of “if you want to do something right, do it yourself”, tracking down the young woman under the guise of an old woman who coaxes snow white into eating a poison apple. There she lies just under a poisoned coma until true loves kiss awakens her.
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” is an INCREDIBLE achievement for Disney and crew. It was the culmination of unheard of work, blood, ink and paper in a way that had not been captured on film before. The only problem with the movie is that there is a slight bit of “it was from a certain era” type of mentality. The witch, the dwarves, and everyone in the movie is pretty much perfect, but the main character is kind of a little annoying at times. She’s saccharine sweet and sometimes just a bit TOO ditzy. Not to mention the fact that it is one of the darkest of all of the Disney feature films. I mean, the dwarves end up actually chasing the queen off a cliff and killing her in a G rated movie! Today it would be PG just for the scary images alone! That and the over simplification of true love with a random “prince” walking by, sees a sleeping girl and voila, she’s cured! Even though It might seem like I’m ragging on the film, I’m really not. I have a lot of respect for what Disney did, and “Snow White” is still one of my favorite older animated films to this day. I just have to recognize the flaws that are present in the film, and reconcile with my mind that there was a certain amount of naivety that went into the creation of the film being their first animated feature film.
Rated G for all audiences
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=64082[/img]Disney has always put a LOT of care into their precious releases, with their vaulted titles being first and foremost on the list. I do admit that some catalog titles have been treated rather badly *cough*Sword in the Stone*Cough*, but “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” is NOT one of those titles. The same transfer that was used 7 years ago for the Diamond Edition is re-used here, and I do not think of that as a negative in any way shape or form. The 2009 Diamond release was a FANTSTIC looking transfer for back in the day, and it STILL looks amazing. Colors have been retouched and lines cleaned up a bit in a way that really is amazing. They’ve gone back to the original cells and given the movie a filmic look that is completely iconic and natural looking compared to the old DVD and VHS I used to have back in the day. Due to being in the 4:3 aspect ratio the black bars are there, but we also have the choice of having animated slides replace the traditional black bars for those of you who like to spice it up just a little bit. There was some mild instances of ringing in the first transfer and I double checked with my Diamond Edition disc to make sure they were consistent and I have to say the image looks IDENTICAL to the older release. Simply superb looking image.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=64090[/img]Disney did a wonderful job at taking the original Mono audio mix and remixing it for a full 7.1 DTS-HD MA lossless track during the remastering of this classic film, and this same track is presented on the newer version of the film as well. While I usually hesitate to endorse the remixing of mono mixes into full surround sound formats, Disney did a great job at keeping the original tone of the film intact by relegating the LFE and surround channels to support roles. LFE is there when the thunder cracks and the witch is cackling on the cliff, or in the Dwarf’s pick axes, while the surrounds are mainly utilized with minor ambient noises. This leaves a decidedly front heavy mix that relies mostly on vocals and the front sound stage to do a majority of the heavy lifting. Anything more “immersive” and the original flavor of the audio would be ruined with another butchering of an older mono track (think of the original “Terminator” for a botched 5.1 track that did what I warned about).
• In Walt's Words: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
• @ disneyAnimation: Designing Disney's First Princess
• The Fairest Facts of Them All: 7 Things You May Not Know About Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
• Snow White In Seventy Seconds
• Alternate Sequence: The Prince Meets Snow White
• Disney's First Feature: The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Previously Released Extras
• Bringing Snow White to Life
• Hyperion Studios Tour
• Decoding the Exposure Sheet .
• Snow White Returns
• Story Meetings: The Dwarfs
• Story Meetings: The Huntsman
• Deleted Scene: Soup Eating Sequence
• Deleted Scene: Bed Building Sequence
• Animation Voice Talent
• Audio Commentary:
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is considered one of the greatest classics of the Disney vault and rightfully so. It was the breakout film for the studio into the animated feature film world, and it has been copies and replicated and been an inspiration for other movies for many many years. The animation is just as flawless today as it was in days of yesteryear and the Blu-ray disc is a magnificent sight to hear and behold. Comparing it to the previous release I have to say that the Diamond Edition was slightly superior. Mostly because it had a lot more extras than the great setup we have here. There ARE some really interesting new extras included, but they unfortunately left off some of the diamond edition material, leaving it with a sort of “hmmmm, which one’s better” game of balancing. If you have the Diamond edition I really see no need to upgrade unless the new extras really call to you, but for those who missed it before going into the vault, the kick off for Disney’s new Signature collection is just as amazing with the same video and audio encode that came in that now out of print edition. Definitely a must buy for any Disney fan.
Starring: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne
Directed by: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfrid Jackson
Written by: Ted Sears, Richard Creedon, Otto Englander
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Main Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, English DD Mono, French DD 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Runtime: 83 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: January 2nd, 2016
Recommendation: BUY IT!
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