Disney’s upcoming live-action adaption of the 1937 film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” made by “Barbie” director Greta Gerwig and featuring a non-white Snow White and racially diverse, multi-gendered, size-inclusive dwarfs, is about to be another girl-boss blockbuster committed to dismantling yet another beloved classic tale.
“It’s no longer 1937,” Snow White actress Rachel Zegler told Variety in a now-viral, recently-resurfaced interview from Sept. 2022. “She’s not gonna be saved by the prince, and she’s not gonna be dreaming about true love,” said Zegler. “She’s dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be and the leader that her late father told her that she could be if she was fearless, fair, brave, and true.”
I don’t know about Zegler, but I’ve read the Brothers Grimm version of Snow White, to which Disney’s 1937 adaptation is fairly faithful, and nowhere does Snow White’s father encourage her to become a “fearless” leader, nor did her father die. He is essentially an absent father who goes almost entirely unmentioned as his wife, the evil queen, attempts to murder his daughter, Snow White.
Why is her father rarely, if ever, mentioned in the original story? To understand why you have to understand the purpose of folklore. Folktales like “Snow White” are traditional short stories for children orally passed down to both teach a moral lesson and preserve a shared culture.
The full version of “Snow White” can be read in no more than 10-15 minutes because oral tradition requires stories to be easily memorized, concise, and digestible to keep children’s attention.
Consequently, folktales focus on conveying only a few key moral lessons. In “Snow White,” envy — on the part of the queen — and vanity — on the part of the queen and Snow White — are central to the story. This is why these women are the tale’s most prominent figures. There’s no time to explore the king’s marriage with the queen nor his political aspirations for Snow White.
“Snow White” is primarily a story of womanhood, worldly temptation, blossoming into maturity, and the perils of failing to grow old gracefully. (Jordan Peterson and Jonothan Pageau break this down wonderfully).
It’s also a story about love. Although it’s over-emphasized in the 1937 Disney adaptation, in both the Grimm and Disney iterations, Snow White is swept off her feet and removed from the influence and malice of the evil queen as her prince charming carries her off to a better life.
No one should be surprised that Snow White’s desire for her prince (in the 1937 film) and contentment in marriage (in both versions) would be scrubbed from the new live-action. One of the feminists’ most obnoxious attacks on popular culture over the last several years is declaring war on Disney princesses for their “problematic” promotion of gender norms, romance, and marriage. As Zegler declared, women should not be “dreaming about true love.”
Consequently, woke moms have refused to let their children watch classic Disney princess films or even allow them to play with Disney princess dolls. And as a way of apologizing for their classic princess characters, Disney made every one of its new characters a girl-boss who never wants or needs a man.
This messaging is destroying generations of women who have tied their self-worth and happiness to their careers instead of “patriarchal” marriage and caregiving.
In reality, human biology is geared toward love and children. The most important thing for both men and women to do in their young adult years is to focus on their love life. Discouraging women (and men) from doing so is evil. It’s a sham that directly contradicts human nature and leads only to misery.
Everyone knows that feminists’ obsessive desire to “deconstruct” science and female psychology is negatively impacting all parts of Western culture, not just the movies. However, Disney’s retelling of “Snow White” is destructive on an even deeper level.
Gerwig doesn’t like the story of Snow White; she hates it. But she has decided to use it instead of outright erasing it. Gerwig is attempting to deconstruct the story and tell it in woke terms to erase its original, intended message.
In this way, Disney’s upcoming live-action is akin to the Black Lives Matter rioters tearing down statues of the founding fathers or vandalizing Plymouth Rock. For cultural Marxism to take root in the West, our culture, history, and Christian values must either be eradicated or repurposed to promote leftist movements like feminism and other forms of identity politics.
Since tearing down a statue is such a literal representation of the left’s goals, it’s been easier for people to condemn. However, reimagining and warping classic stories is more difficult. Proponents of feminist “Snow White” will accuse its critics of being antiquated, anti-woman, and anti-diversity.
Yet preserving the integrity of Western folklore couldn’t be more crucial. Myths and legends build and expand on one another, creating a connecting web of shared culture. The story of Snow White has roots in the ancient Greek story of Echo and Narcissus and the biblical stories of Cain and Abel and The Fall of Man. This means the left’s perversion of classic tales is an attack on the very essence of Western culture and values.
Now this isn’t to say that there is no room for new stories and reinterpretations — not at all. J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” draws from a plethora of classic stories to create something entirely new and beautiful. The difference is that Tolkien, who revered ancient myths and English literature, added to the Western tradition; Gerwig wants to destroy and replace them with something entirely foreign and countercultural.
As a wise former professor of mine once told me, “Good stories challenge us,” “give us direction and heroes to imitate,” “reveal truths about ourselves that we otherwise cannot see,” “awaken the Christian imagination,” and “transform the soul.” The great Western stories are intrinsically tied to Christianity — the core of our civilization. This is why the fight to preserve folklore, promote contemporary storytellers with an appreciation for the past, and oppose the likes of Gerwig has never been more imperative.