The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The problematic movie that isn’t even out yet: Disney’s “Snow White”

Casandra Minchaca
Disney’s new “Snow White” movie was supposed to be released in March of 2024 but has been pushed back a year due to all the controversy surrounding the film, spurred by Rachel Zegler, its main actress.

Known for their enchanting animated films, Disney continues to produce live-action remakes of their older movies, seemingly undeterred by the myriad of negative critic reviews that flood their box office. Despite their rates of nonsuccess and large money losses, Disney still fails to consider releasing more original content.

The Jungle Book,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” and “The Little Mermaid” are all well-known titles that were successful as animated films. However, their live-action counterparts always seem to raise controversy.

Then there are recognizable titles like “Pinocchio,” “Dumbo,” “Lady and the Tramp,” “Mulan,” and “Peter Pan” that are rarely ever heard of in the realm of live-action films because of how badly the adaptations flopped.

The upcoming live-action “Snow White” movie is Disney’s latest catastrophe. A large part of its controversy is due to its star actress, Rachel Zegler, who is not shy to speak about “Snow White”’s modernized and, in her opinion, better storyline.

“[Snow White’s] not going to be saved by the prince, and she’s not going to be dreaming about true love; she’s going to be dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be,” Zegler said.

The internet, in return, hasn’t been shy about expressing its disdain towards the film’s new plot and the actress herself.

Middle College students have their own mixed opinions about the upcoming “Snow White.”

Sophomore Julissa Ramos thinks that the intended original message is lost in the new film.

“It strays too far away from the original storyline and feels like performative feminism,” Ramos said.

Sophomore Yara Haquet believes Snow White is more than capable of balancing the things she finds important to her.

“I think that she can still be a leader and have a man,” Haquet said.

Junior Audrey Gurrola thinks it’s great that independent women are getting exposure in big movies.

“I think it is important that we show young women that they don’t need a man to be successful in life,” Gurrola said.

Junior Amanda Avalos finds Zegler’s words slightly disrespectful.

“I do not agree with the way she words it, almost as if she is insulting the other version because back then morals were different and did not hold the same modern perspectives we have today,” Avalos said.

Another controversial point that the film has managed to hit is passing up on the opportunity to cast actual dwarf actors. Yes, Disney hired people of average height to play the role of Snow White’s dwarfs.

This information was not well-received by the internet. Disney took it upon themselves to try to make amends. Rather than discarding the dwarf scenes completely and finding replacement actors that fit the role, they decided to use CGI to bring the dwarfs to life.

While some MCHS students don’t find this to be an issue, most agree that casting seven actors with dwarfism would offer more opportunities to underrepresented actors in the dwarfism community.

Freshman Kimmie Nguyen believes that the obvious height difference would look odd and defy what is portrayed in the original film.

“It would be weird for dwarfs to be as tall as Snow White. If the dwarfs were as tall as Snow White, it would destroy the meaning of the story and the word itself,“ Nguyen said.

Freshman Evelyn Mendoza believes it takes away the magic of the film.

“Dwarf actors deserve better and this role would have been perfect for them. Average people could get roles whenever they want but dwarf actors would have to look for specific roles. Using CGI would take a lot more time and human actors are so much better because you can see the emotion on their faces. I don’t understand why Disney can’t just hire dwarf actors,” Mendoza said.

Senior Joseph Lira wholeheartedly believes Disney is in the wrong with using CGI characters over real people since there are multiple actors literally built for the role but are essentially cropped out to save money.

“This exact move was what they did in ‘Wonka’ with the Oompa Loompas, and I hope the trend ends so people can get the right exposure within the film industry,” Lira said.

As a result of these problematic events, the movie has been pushed back a year, now expected to be released in March of 2025 rather than 2024. It seems that Disney has taken into account all the criticism surrounding the film and plans to reconstruct certain aspects of the story so it aligns better with the internet’s interests and quell their complaints.

I conducted a schoolwide survey to gauge how students feel about movie remakes. Out of 236 student responses, 57.2% of our students believe that movie remakes cannot live up to their original films. 24.2% believe that remakes can be just as good as the original, while the other 18.6% have mixed opinions.

An article by USAToday elaborates on why live-action Disney remakes never live up to the animated movies.

“There’s nothing magical about a fantasy world that looks like a real one… A great animated movie is bright, brilliant, and brimming with possibility. It has dynamism. Every comparable image from a live-action remake is flat and dull,” USAToday reporter Kelly Lawler said.

If so many live-action adaptations are doing so terribly, why does Disney keep doing it?

The simple answer is money. As stated in Why Disney keeps remaking so many of its animated movies by Business Insider, live-action adaptations are usually cash-grab projects intended to benefit without having to come up with original concepts. This laziness and inability to come up with new ideas is a familiar occurrence when it comes to Disney.

Much of the internet, disappointed by Disney’s changes to the nostalgic film, already plans on not going to see the film when it comes out. 65.3% of our students are also deciding not to watch next year’s live-action “Snow White” with a small 8.1% that do intend to watch it, and 26.7% that might.

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About the Contributor
Casandra Minchaca, Staff Writer
I’m a huge fan of horror movies and anything creepy, rainy weather, and concerts. Some of my favorite artists include The Garden, The Weeknd, Rosalía, and Melanie Martinez.