Fantasy, 106 Minutes, 2012
Do you know the story of Snow White? No? Don’t worry – neither do the people who made this movie. There’s a mish-mash of references to the original story and the Disney version but mostly it’s stuff that they just plain made up. Like most family films today there are a lot of modern references and a healthy dose of feminism.
It isn’t really Snow White but it’s still pretty fun and my daughter loves it.
There’s some silly eye-rolling moments (most of them really out-of-place verbal references) but there’s also some genius. One sequence in particular, a multi-dimensional battle where the Dwarves and Snow White must defend themselves against magical marionettes is beautifully executed. The stilt-equipped dwarves were also pretty well done.
Lily Collins [IMDB] makes an excellent Snow White. (Although I have to say: what’s up with her eyebrows?! I thought they were going to get lines of their own at some point.) Julia Roberts [IMDB] is wickedly effective as the evil queen. She clearly had a lot of fun with the role and comes through in the performance. She definitely steals the show.
Unfortunately, despite the lavishness of the production (reports had the budget as high as $100 million) and clear care, there’s often an odd sense of cheapness about the movie. Sometimes it feels like a made-for-TV or stage piece rather than a major theatrical release. I blame the flippant script mostly but some of the cinematography also feels… a bit off.
It’s fact-paced, pretty and fun. There are problems but nothing that the target audience would ever notice. Considered for what it is – a family film targeted at tween girls – there’s really no way to consider this a failure.