Ah, Snow White. Disney’s first real princess, the apple (or should I say the poisoned apple) of the eyes of the entire princess film genre. Why, without Snow, we would not have Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, or even Rapunzel. I mean, their stories would still exist as they are classic fairy tales, but we would not have spent the majority of our lives staring adoring at their beautifully bug-eyed faces.
Before we get too into the nitty-gritty aspects of deconstructing a classic and beloved fairytale, I need to start this article out with a confession. I have never been fond of Snow White. I know, what a scandal.
Why would a pale girl with naturally black hair like me have something against this beloved heroine? Is it because I have spent the better part of my life being compared to this princess and, after two solid decades of comparison, my early love for the girl has slowly burned into a feeling that ranges from mild dislike to intense hatred (depending on my mood?) Or is it because, as I got older, I began deconstructing the story and several elements of it began to confuse, infuriate, and irritate me as the years wore on?
But don’t worry, I will not let my hatred blind me or color my critique to an unfair degree. All criticisms that lie below will be fair, to the point, and respectful to fans of the classic film. So without further ado, here are twenty-five serious questions that I have about Disney’s Snow White and The Seven Dwarves.
25 Why Did The Dwarves Put Up With Her?
Look, I know that the dwarves are, for the most part, portrayed as kind and Snow White is supposed to have this natural charm that makes people simply drawn to her. But her actions seem to directly contradict this reputation she has built.
I mean, she barges into a house without permission, cleans it up, and then passes out in their beds.
Once the dwarves decide to take her in, she proclaims herself as the head of the household and forces the boys to uphold her standards of cleanliness before they eat. Who does she think she is?
24 Is Snow White A Literal Demon?
Let’s take a moment to consider Snow’s appearance, shall we? Skin as pale as a winter’s snow? Hair as black as a raven's wing? Lips as red as fresh blood? Is it just me, or does that sound like the description for a monster? If I saw that creature laying in my bed, I would run out my front door and never look back.
Neil Gaiman shared a similar perspective and penned a short story entitled “Snow, Glass, Apples” that describes a demon in the shape of a princess from the perspective of the woman who married her father.
23 Why Did She Even Take That Apple?
She is a member of the royal family, so you have to think that she has received some degree of a formal education. And, even not, it seems like common sense to not take food from strangers. And I know that 16th century Germany probably wasn’t too familiar with the concept of stranger danger, but it still seems absolutely idiotic to take an apple from a stranger. Especially when considering the fact that she knew she was to be cautious as the evil queen was bound to figure out she wasn’t really buried in the woods.
22 Why Was She Afraid Of Nature If It Loves Her?
Her fear of the animals that lay in the forest simply does not make sense due to the fact that the animals of the world are drawn to her.
One could make the argument that the cruel animals could be immune to her “fairness” and, therefore, present a threat to her.
However, having lived in the castle her entire life she would have no way of knowing that these animals would be dangerous to her. So, based on available data alone, she should assume that they would be as friendly and accepting as all other animals.
21 Why Didn't They Try To Save Her?
Though it seems as though true love's kiss is the thing that truly saves our raven-haired princess, she is truly freed by the hunk of apple being shaken loose from her throat. Literally. That’s it.
Why didn’t the dwarves try to save her before encasing her in that coffin?
Since they work alone in those mines, they have to have a basic understanding of some level of first-aid. Why didn’t they shake her? Slap her about a bit? Try pouring cold water on her to awaken her? I mean, she had not passed yet so there had to be a pulse.
20 Did The Evil Queen Off The King And Queen?
Snow White’s mother passes away from whatever causes literally every princess to lose her mother at a young age, leaving her father a widow. This desperate man fills the suddenly empty spot in the royal bed before it is even cold and then quickly perishes.
Look, we know that the Evil Queen is totally capable of the act.
And her thirst for power and admiration could easily drive her to eliminate her rival. But did she take out the Queen too? Maybe she was playing the long con and this plan to overtake this kingdom had been in the works for decades.
19 Is The Magic Mirror Alive?
Does the face that appears in the Evil Queen's magic mirror belong to a living entity or is he simply the embodiment of its magic? Is he simply a vessel for the universal truths of the world or is he a being who was trapped inside that device for all of eternity?
If he is a living being, does that make him a villain as well?
I mean, he essentially put the Queen’s rage on that poor unsuspecting 14-year-old girl. He could have lied to that Queen and told her that no one would ever compare to her fairness and saved a few lives in the process.
18 What Happens To The Kingdom Now?
Okay, so who is there left to run the kingdom? It could go to Snow herself; however, it is customary for a young princess to move to her husband's castle, which resides within his kingdom, as they are to rule together. So, who does Snow’s kingdom go to? Does it go to some random royal who resided within the castle or in a kingdom nearby? Snow’s next of kin, perhaps? Or does Snow make the wise decision to use her marriage to unite both hers and the prince's kingdom in order to increase the reach of their combined power? Knowing Snow, the latter is very unlikely.
17 Why Did The Animals Do Snow White's Bidding?
Did those animals ever question why they did literally whatever this girl asked of them? Animals don’t have to do chores. It is not in their job description. The lucky creatures.
So why would they go against their very nature and do something so awful that us humans push those duties off onto our children or employees the moment the opportunity presents itself? Seriously. They could have just blown a raspberry Snow’s way and skipped their merry little butts back off into that forest.
16 Why Do The Dwarves All Live Together?
I spent the first three years after moving out of my parents' house with roommates. And it was a living nightmare. So why would these grown men choose to spend literally every waking moment together? When I worked in retail, I could barely stand to see my coworkers more than twice a week.
There is nowhere to hide in a mine.
Is their living situation simply the result of a budgeted lifestyle? Was the cottage provided by the owner of the mine and the job/housing situation was sort of a packaged deal? How did their landlord feel about the addition of another tenant?
15 But, Why An Apple?
Snow White’s apple is one of the most iconic items in the Disney lexicon. As iconic as Cinderella’s shoe or Ariel’s shell bra. It’s an icon that is immediately recognizable at first glance. But why an apple?
The idea of an apple that gets caught in the throat of its victim and forces them in a permanent sleep seems absolutely brilliant.
But it honestly feels like the least effective way to off someone. Why do all these villains have such convoluted plans? Whatever happened to a good old-fashioned dagger? Who would attempt to persecute an Evil Queen like this one?
14 Why Was The Prince's First Idea To Kiss?
Prince Phillip of Sleeping Beauty plants his lips on the mouth of that sleeping babe because the faeries have told him that that is the only way to break the curse. However, it seems like no one told the unnamed Prince in Snow White’s story what to do with that glass-encased body. The dwarves asked this local prince to help them with their princess remains and the prince realizes that this lovely girl is the timid one he shared a duet with a few weeks prior… so he kisses her? Okay...
13 Why Did She Hide Within Her Stepmother's Kingdom?
Look, you know that the Evil Queen is after you and will stop at nothing until she sees the life drain from your eyes. The Huntsman's trick will only keep her off your trail for a short while.
So, while she is happily fooled the best course of action would be to get yourself as far away from her as possible.
Start running and don’t stop until there are a couple of armed guards between you and that witch. Seek asylum in another kingdom and snitch on that witch. Or I guess you could just hide 20 minutes away from her castle on the other side of an easily crossable forest.
12 Why Does The Huntsman Care So Much?
Above all others, the Huntsman should be familiar with what the queen is capable of and what will happen to him if he is to fail (or if he dares to betray her). So why risk it? And, if you are willing to risk everything for the princess, then commit to your decision.
Don’t send the timid girl out into the world with nothing but a threat from her stepmother.
Give her a plan. Tell her where to go. Tell her the creatures of the forest mean her no harm. And tell her to never accept food items from total strangers.
11 How Will This Incident Affect Snow White?
What are the long-term consequences of these events on our heroine? How does the experience of having been hunted down like a dog affect her long-term? Is she permanently afraid of apples and strangers? Does she truly believe that her stepmother has been vanquished? Does she board herself up in the Prince's castle and feel a sense of relief every time she makes it through the night? Is there some form of post-climactic stress therapy for Disney princesses?
10 Why Did The Queen Wait To Get Snow White?
It is my personal belief that villain characters are amongst the dumbest of all fictional characters. The entire kingdom (and the animal world) knew of Snow White’s goodness.
Was the Evil Queen so blinded by her vanity that she didn’t see the growing threat that existed right beneath her nose?
She could have knocked that princess off in her sleep when she was nothing more than a helpless babe. Her plan just didn't make any sense, when looked at.
9 Do The Fairytale Creatures Have Equal Rights?
The seven dwarves all work together in a tiny cramped mine and live together in a two-room cottage hidden away in the middle of the woods. Is this due to convenience or do they have no other choice?
Is mine work the only work available to the non-human magical creatures of the kingdom?
If they are injured on the job, are they simply meant to deal with it and keep on working in order to hit their quota? Are the magical beings considered sub-human? Is this the reason for the Evil Queen’s rage?
8 Why Does No One Understand "Fairness?"
The Evil Queen does not understand what the term “fair” means in the context of this story. The entire point of the story is that the evil queen's belief that beauty is only external leads to her downfall.
Fair refers to true beauty which is expressed through kindness, compassion, and a pure heart.
So yes, Snow will always be the fairest of them all, regardless of who plays her, because her pure heart will always allow her to triumph over the vain and cruel Queen.
7 How Will The People React?
Though they are never seen, one must assume that there are citizens who reside within Snow White’s kingdom. Knowing that, one must also assume that there was some sort of formal announcement from the Evil Queen when Snow was thought to have been slain. How did the people react to that? Especially considering the love that they probably had toward this widely beloved princess. Did they hope that the princess would overtake her stepmother and repair the broken kingdom? And how did they react when the Queen suddenly disappeared without warning and the ghost (??) of Snow White took her place?
6 Why Would The Dwarves Risk It All For Her?
Look, this Queen is a real piece of work. She sees nothing wrong with eliminating everything in her way and all of her enemies must be punished for their transgressions. So why would the dwarves risk everything for some daft princess that wandered into their home? If I am not mistaken, I believe that one of those dwarves even voice their concern as to what would happen to them if the Queen discovers that they were harboring a fugitive. But they ignore the imminent threat of discovery because they are… good people… I guess? I don’t know, it doesn’t seem worth it to me.
5 Why Didn't The Queen Simply Enchant The Kingdom?
Why didn’t the Queen enchant the entire kingdom after eliminating the princess? I mean, people are bound to ask about her. Aren’t they? If I was the Queen, I would have enchanted the entire kingdom to have forgotten that the princess ever existed (Beauty and the Beast style). Therefore, the dwarves would have never helped her for they would not believe that she was the princess (for this kingdom had never had a princess) and she would probably end up falling victim to exposure or something after fleeing the Huntsman’s attack.
4 Did Grumpy Rat Snow White Out?
Grumpy did not want Snow White around. I believe it was him who originally expressed hesitancy at letting someone the Queen was hunting stay with them in the first place. And it seems like Snow is the hardest on Grumpy for he refuses to allow some random guest to boss him around in his own home. Personally, I believe that he ratted her out to the Queen. I think he snuck off during the night, went to the castle, and revealed that he knew where Snow was hiding. But he did so in a way that would prevent his fellow dwarves from being in harm's way.
3 Why Didn't The Queen Just Do The Deed Herself?
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Though having the occasional helping hand does have some merit, most of the time the only way to ensure that something is done properly is to take matters into your own hands. The apple did the task, not the Queen herself. The Huntsman failed her due to his kind heart and the apple failed her due to the fact that the curse placed Snow into a deep sleep rather than taking her out entirely. If she wanted to ensure that this threat had been eliminated then she should have removed Snow’s heart and destroyed it herself.
2 Has The Queen Done This Before?
There are two possible answers to this. Part of me thinks that the amateur way in which the Queen consistently failed to ensure the elimination of the princess shows that she is new to this whole thing. A seasoned veteran to the process would have taken care of everything as early on and as smoothly as possible. On the other hand, what if this vain Queen has snaked her way through the countryside; overtaking kingdoms and eliminating beautiful women for sport? What if she has a hit-list of beautiful women and she is doing everything she can to cross each and every name off? Maybe she got bored and decided to try a less conventional method with Snow.
1 Did That Cliff Really End The Queen?
She is a magical being after all, so who’s to say that that fall was truly fatal to her? What if she was able to slow herself down to lessen the blow? What if she was able to summon a creature to swoop down and rescue her at the last second?
What if she survived that fall and went into hiding for a decade or two?
Just long enough to lull Snow White into a false sense of security and let her believe that the danger truly is gone. And then, when Snow least expects it and the nightmares of her stepmother fade… she’ll appear by her bedside in the middle of the night and finish the job she set out to do so many years before.