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In the time leading up to its release, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was derided as “Disney’s Folly.” It seemed ludicrous that anyone would be willing to sit through a full-length animated feature film, let alone enjoy it. But upon its release in 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was acclaimed as a masterpiece, a title it rightly deserves to this very day.
Based on Grimm’s fairy tale Schneewittchen, the film tells the story of a beautiful princess named Snow White who must flee for her life when her wicked stepmother the Queen learns through her magic mirror that Snow White is now “the fairest in the land.” The princes is taken in by seven dwarfs and dreams of reuniting with a handsome prince, but the Queen is on the prowl to ensure that she, not Snow White, is the fairest one of all. And it is due to the Queen’s wicked plots that the film possesses its own share of disturbing moments.
While holding court on her peacock throne, the Queen informs her loyal huntsman that he is to take young Snow White deep into the forest to collect wildflowers. And once there, he is to kill her! Considering how calmly the Queen gives these orders, it is safe to presume that she’s had beautiful rivals murdered before, but the Huntsman objects in this case because Snow White is a royal princess, the Queen’s daughter by marriage! Not only will the Queen brook no argument, she even has a way to make sure that the Huntsman completes his mission. Once Snow White is dead, he must cut out her heart and bring it back to the Queen in a special box.
Just think about how sociopathic that request is: the Queen is so obsessed with being the most beautiful woman alive that she will have her own step-daughter murdered and have her heart brutally cut out just to satisfy her own vanity. Not only that, but she has a special chest made for the sole purpose of bringing back the heart so she can gloat. This is disturbing behavior coming from a Queen, and I believe that the vain monarch is so full of herself that she believes she can get away with this forever. Fortunately for our heroine, the Huntsman has a conscience and can’t go through with it, no matter the consequences.
This scene has become more disturbing for me the older I have become. Of course I was always scared because the Queen wanted to kill Snow White, but as the passage of time allowed me to better understand the motives behind what was happening, the more I became disturbed by the entire scene. However, the Huntsman’s mission is nothing compared to Snow White’s flight through the forest, which has terrified and disturbed children for the last eighty years.
What do you think of this disturbing moment? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂 Have a great day!
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