A new Disney-themed LEGO set is causing quite an uproar–and the darn thing hasn’t even been released yet.
You don’t have to be a diehard Disney fan to know that over the past few years, controversy is continually brewing within the House of Mouse, and in the past several months, it seems controversy lurks around every corner where Walt, Mickey, the movies, and the parks are concerned.
From plans to rebuild the charred remains of the Notre Dame Cathedral to Disney’s ultimate decision to permanently close a Guest-favorite attraction at Magic Kingdom (and everything in between), it seems no subject is safe from the clutches of controversy and groups of angry, upset individuals who seem to grow angrier when their demands are not met–and yes, we’re still talking about Disney here.
There’s even talk of Disney changing the official name of the Walt Disney World Resort. Don’t think that won’t be met with a tailor-made uproar from diehard Walt fans all the world around! In addition to that, Disney has been making remakes of its timeless Classics, leaving many nostalgic fans–this writer included–to feel jaded toward any future projects that bare the name “live-action” or “remake” in their narratives.
The disdain often comes from the current Studios’ projection of the new films as remakes, take-twos, of classics Walt Disney had his hands on decades ago–but the so-called “remakes” aren’t simply live-action renditions of the films. Rather, they are often glorified exercises in “modernizing” the classics–in making them everything they weren’t and keeping nothing they were. Clear as mud, right?
Case in point: the upcoming (so-called) live-action remake of Disney’s 1937 classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The new take on the princess with “lips red as the rose and skin white as snow” is exactly that–a new take, not a remake–and hardly a project worthy of wearing any part of the name of Walt Disney. The remake is steeped in controversy on every front. And now, a LEGO brick set inspired by the original film has landed itself in undeniably hot water.
Not even LEGO brick sets are safe from the claws of controversy.
A brand-new LEGO set inspired by Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was proposed by a man named Harry Finkel in 2021. The proposed set was a hit with fans on the LEGO Ideas website, immediately gaining more than 10,000 votes from eager LEGO enthusiasts who hoped the LEGO Brand would take notice. LEGO did notice the set–and turned it down flat, rejecting the idea altogether.
But now, almost two years later, the LEGO Group is rumored to be releasing its own version of a Snow White-inspired brick set, complete with Snow White’s cottage and the Seven Dwarfs.
The LEGO Group works on its sets years in advance, so it’s not unusual to see an Ideas project turned down because it clashes with products already planned for release. What is unusual is that the LEGO Ideas team initially delayed its decision on Snow White’s cottage to the second 2021 review, claiming it needed more time to properly determine whether to put it into production.
In the end, Finkel’s build wasn’t rejected until February 2022. But if the reason was that the LEGO Disney team already had its own set in the works, would the project not have been turned down straight away in October 2021, when the results of the first 2021 review were announced?
It’ll be nearly impossible to determine why LEGO rejected the idea, only to produce and release one of its own in 2023. But there is at least one explanation, according to BrickFanatics.
“There is one potentially obvious explanation,” the post reads. “The official LEGO Snow White’s cottage set could well be a smaller and cheaper façade, populated by mini-dolls, while the Ideas build proposed a more detailed and expensive set anchored around Minifigures.”
But perhaps the set was originally rejected as it was proposed during a time of loud controversy over Disney’s remake of the film. The chain of events does line up, but whether fans would ever know that was the reason for the rejection of the proposed set in 2021 is dubious at best.