July 12th, 2006


Speaking of Snow White...

We decided to watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs last night. Every time we watch that movie, I'm surprised at how good the animation is. I mean, wow, it's animated at least as well as most modern anime serieses. It reminds us of how, at the Ishiguro/Nagahama panel at AX, someone asked what each of their inspirations was. Ishiguro-san got started waaaaaaay back when, and he said he didn't really have any inspiration--the only thing they had as a precedent was Disney, and they just strove to be that good.

It's fun to notice all the tiny little details they pay attention to, like how Snow White will clap her hands when she gets excited, and how the wicked queen hobbles after she's disguised herself as a hag. There was one bit during One Song where the prince was practically just standing there, but his cape moved ever so slightly. It's pretty awesome.

I really like how they developed Snow White as a character. Someone once told me that they would like Disney movies if the characters weren't all so flat. I really didn't have a response at the time because I really didn't think I could tell the difference between a flat character and a... not-flat character. It's an example of how, if you sound confident enough, people will take your word for anything. The risk, of course, is that the person you're talking to may actually know more about it than you, and then if you're wrong you end up looking dumb.

I still don't know if Snow White is very deep, but I have since learned that the definition of a flat character is one with only one or two defining characteristics. I can count at least three in Snow White, so in my mind at least, she's not completely flat. First you see her girly side, when she sings about how she wishes that her prince will come. Then he shows up, and she gets all shy (probably because she's dressed in rags), and while he sings to her, she adjusts her dress and hair. It's so cute!

When the huntsman takes her out to pick wildflowers and she starts talking to the little bird you see the side of her that's associated with most Disney princesses, in that she's so sweet she'd give you cavities (something that I don't really think is true of most Disney princesses). Then of course she has to run away and she's all scared. For some reason, I really liked the bit where she screams and faints and lies on the ground crying. I think it's because that's about how I think I'd react to what was going on. Especially if I was her age. But then all the little animals show up, and you see her noble upbringing when she says she's ashamed of herself for making such a fuss.

I love when she goes to the dwarfs house, because she's just like a little girl playing house. And then you start to see her bossy side as she starts ordering the animals around. I think it's cute.

The dwarfs, of course, are very flat characters, as indicated by their names (though Grumpy has some dynamics). But I think it's perfectly alright to have a flat character as long as the character is interesting. And the way the dwarfs play off of each other is totally awesome, especially Grumpy and Doc. Really, I think giving each of the dwarfs a deep personality would have taken far more time than they had for just one movie (according to Frank and Ollie's Animation book, back then movies averaged an hour and twenty minutes, but, because this one was animated, it was only an hour and ten), so giving them each a personality based on their name was probably the best way to make interesting characters. I love watching Grumpy, because he's just so much like grumpy people. I'm like, "That's exactly how I am when I'm mad!"

The wicked queen is actually really creepy. It's something you don't really think about when you've been watching a movie since you were three. But man, she's out to kill someone just so she can be prettier, and she asks the huntsman to put her heart in a box. That's just gross. It's really no wonder that we were too scared to go on Snow White's Scary Adventure at Disneyland until we were like ten at the very youngest.

And that's my plug for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Even I used to underrate this movie, but I have since repented. It's very beautifully done, and every time I watch it now, I start wanting to write it from the prince's point of view. Oh! And we keep finding this out and then forgetting, but apparently the guy who played the magic mirror was named Moroni Olsen. I think that's neat.

Today I'm thankful for the weather being a few more degrees cooler, adorable pictures of tigers lying on their backs, adorable kitties lying on their backs, compact disc technology, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.