Popcorn and a Book (8): Snow White

The Book: 2012

Written by the Brothers Grimm; Illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia (Harper Design)

The Film: 2012

Directed by Rupert Sanders (Universal Pictures)

In the last few weeks I have been introduced to two new visions of the classic story of Snow White: Camille Rose Garcia’s illustrated edition of the Grimm Brothers’  Snow White and the film Snow White and the Huntsman. Both are a far cry from the Disney version or the pastel-coloured storybooks of my childhood. They are much darker, and appropriately so as the classic story is quite grim (pun intended).

I had read the Grimm version before but Garcia’s illustrations bring new life to this early-19th century tale. The illustrations are dark and often grotesque. I especially enjoyed her use of colour, like the greens and purples. The lay out of the text also made for a very different reading experience with bold graphics and text boxes. This artistic interpretation of Snow White is beautifully refreshing. Hopefully it will introduce a new generation to the dark world of the Grimm Brothers and reawaken a love of the story for those who read it long ago.

While Garcia’s book contains the Grimm version of the story, the film Snow White and the Hunstman takes the bare bones of the classic and completely reimagines it. I really appreciated that the film gives Snow White some moxie. She isn’t the meek, passive princess from the fairy tale anymore but an armour-clad, sword-fighting princess (see picture at top). Even though she requires the Huntsman’s help, she displays great bravery and heart. This Snow is a much better role-model for today’s young women. That being said, Kristen Stewart was an OK Snow, although I really wasn’t overly impressed by her performance, and she had some cheesy lines especially near the end.

I liked that the writers included animals being attracted to Snow’s presence—a detail that carries over from the fairy tale. In fact, the whole movie maintained a strong fairy-tale quality that was very true to the tone of the classic. For example, the way things happen simply because they need to (like a white horse appearing in Snow’s time of need). The lighting in the film was fantastic at creating a contrast between good and evil—very beautifully done! That with the amazing special effects, costumes and sets made for a very stunning visual experience. I also enjoyed being introduced to new stories like the scar-faced women and the past of the Huntsman (a character with barely any page presence in the book).

Cheesy lines aside, Snow White and the Hunstman was quite entertaining and a film I am likely to watch again. Both works bring something new to the story of Snow White and are worth experiencing, whether you’re looking for just a taste of the classic or the whole shining apple.

Share your thoughts on these interpretations of Snow White in comments.

“Popcorn and a Book” is a bi-weekly meme I host where I compare one book with its adapted film, looking at the content, the way it has been visualized, the experience, etc. If you would like to participate in this meme, please visit the “Popcorn and a Book” main page for details.

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One thought on “Popcorn and a Book (8): Snow White

  1. “Snow White and the Huntsman” is a visual wonder. The overhead shot of Snow White’s mother walking through the snow–a parallel composition that reminded me of a shot that Stanley Kubrick might have done. The players, save for the Evil Queen, were boring. I just wonder how farther the film could have gone in style and in content had it been rated R.

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