A children’s classic for decades, Snow White has now fallen into a controversy over the famous ‘true love’s kiss’ by the Prince as the fairytale ends on a happy note. But a new set of critics are not-so-happy about the ending with the kiss, which they say was not consensual because Snow White was sleeping.
What triggered this question after so many years?
When Disneyland reopened after a 13-month closure, some of its classic shows including the Fantasyland ride Snow White’s Scary Adventures got a facelift. With new sound, lights and far fewer jump/cry-inducing scenes, the show was renamed Snow White’s Enchanted Wish. The reviewers of the show, at the website SFGATE, asked if it’s a mistake ending the movie with the prince kissing Snow White while she is asleep.
“Haven’t we already agreed that consent in early Disney movies is a major issue? That teaching kids that kissing, when it hasn’t been established if both parties are willing to engage, is not OK?” the writers asked.
This led to a debate if Disney’s one of the most famous films reinforces culture of male domination.
Is it? Let’s revisit the plot of the story
A self-obsessed queen, who wants to be the fairest of all, poisons princess Snow White with a “Sleeping Death” apple, a curse which can only be broken by her true love kissing her. Then, a group of seven dwarfs, who Snowhite has once befriended, “bury” her in a glass coffin thinking she was dead. But when the prince walks past her, he is enchanted by her beauty and kisses her. As the spell goes, the princess wakes up and then they live happily ever after.
The Brothers Grimm original tale doesn’t exactly go like that, but this is Disney’s version and was made in 1937.
The authors of the article in SFGate asked that when the Disney parks are working hard to make other ride changes on Splash Mountain and the Jungle Cruise, why would “add a scene with such old-fashioned ideas of what a man is allowed to do to a woman.”
“Haven’t we already agreed that consent in early Disney movies is a major issue? That teaching kids that kissing, when it hasn’t been established if both parties are willing to engage, is not OK?” the writers asked, while reviewing the show for SFGate website.
In a press statement, Imagineer Kim Irvine said: “The Snow White attraction has such a rich history. We wanted to take into account the beautiful scenic work that has always existed and retell the story in a special way. We believe guests will enjoy this sweet storyline in a stunning experience.”
For critics too, it’s fine “as long as you’re watching it as a fairy tale, not a life lesson.”