“Skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony,” – the immemorial line that described the young princess who was "fairer than them all". A German fairy tale popularised by the Brothers Grimm, it followed the story of a sweet young princess and her vain and jealous stepmother.
Like many of the Grimms’ fairy tales, it’s had multiple incarnations on stage and screen. This week’s Sunday night movie, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, forms part of the canon, so with that in mind, we’re taking a closer look at the movie and four other productions featuring the legendary princess.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
With seven quirkily named dwarfs and a host of songs which would become Disney classics, it was the studio’s first animated feature film. At the Academy Awards in 1939, Walt Disney (the man, not the studio) received an honorary Oscar for the film in the form of a full-sized statuette plus seven smaller ones. Check it out below.
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Disney’s Snow White was sweet and doting, but the princess featured in this film was way tougher. Cast as the princess was Kristen Stewart, at the height of her Twilight fame; but it’s our very own Charlize Theron who steals the show as the fearsome, evil stepmother, Queen Ravenna. The other title character, the huntsman, is played by Chris Hemsworth, swapping Thor’s hammer for an axe, while some of Britain’s finest assemble to play the dwarfs.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)
Four years later a sequel was released, which focused more on Ravenna. With Theron delivering such a magnetic performance in the first film, it’s easy to understand why. It also notched things up a bit and went all fairy-tale-crossover by introducing Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen, played by Emily Blunt.
Mirror Mirror (2012)
In the same year Snow White and the Huntsman was released, this Snow White adaptation with Lily Collins as the princess and Julia Roberts as her stepmother was also in cinemas. This kind of occurrence is hardly anything new in Hollywood. In 1998, Armageddon and Deep Impact battled for top spot as disaster movie of the year. More recently (as in, last year), Jon Favreau released his live-action Disney adaptation of The Jungle Book. Next year we can expect another adaptation, this time with Andy Serkis at the helm.
Once Upon a Time (2011 – )
If you love fairy tales and Disney movies, there’s no doubt you’ve watched this TV series. Although it features characters from Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Frozen, Rumpelstiltskin, and Sleeping Beauty, amongst many others, the main characters are Snow White and Prince Charming, as well as their daughter and grandson, who were created for the show.
Watch The Huntsman: Winter’s War, your Sunday night movie on 12 February at 20:05 on M-Net.
Fairytales not your thing? Try tales of a different kind with your other Sunday night movie selections: sci-fi thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane at 20:30 on M-Net Movies Premiere or Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film, Julieta, at 21:00 on M-Net Edge.