Despite any and all feedback from audiences, the Walt Disney Company continues to churn out live-action remake films. Most recently, Disney reimagined The Little Mermaid (1989), making the ground-breaking choice to cast Halle Bailey as the beloved Disney Princess in the live-action version.
Although audiences’ reception to The Little Mermaid (2023) was anywhere from lukewarm to pleasantly surprised, the original still reigns supreme for many fans. That seems to be the general consensus each time the Walt Disney Company releases yet another live-action remake.
This time, Disney has set its sights on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).
Upcoming Snow White Remake Already Receiving Backlash
So far, there’s already been a fair amount of controversy and outcry in response to the upcoming Snow White (2024) film, which will be directed by Marc Webb (the director behind The Amazing Spider-Man series starring Andrew Garfield). But the most infamous controversy by far has come. as a result of some of the things the lead actress has said about both the original film and the upcoming remake.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rachel Zegler, who has been tasked with bringing the first ever Disney Princess to life, stated that the original movie frightened her as a child. As a result she “watched it once and never picked it up again.”
In another interview with Variety, Rachel Zegler. mentioned some of the changes being made for the upcoming remake. After all, the first movie is nearly 90 years old, and a lot has culturally shifted since then. The young actress assured audiences that Snow White is “not going to be saved by the prince. And she’s not going to be dreaming about true love. She’s dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be.”
She reminded audiences, “it’s no longer 1937.”
In anther instance, during a D23 Expo interview, Rachel Zegler poked fun at the original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs film once again, describing Disney’s first Prince Charming as “a guy who literally stalks [Snow White],” reassuring audiences that this will not be the case in the upcoming film.
At this point in production, we have very little to go off of regarding the upcoming film’s plot. We only have the comments made by Zegler, hardly any production photos, and the confirmed casting choices. But even by going off of these scant details alone, we’re starting to paint together an idea, and it’s not a very pretty picture…
What’s the New Snow White About, Anyways? Here’s What We Think…
Based on Rachel Zegler’s comments, it seems that the titular Snow White will no longer be dreaming about true love, and instead will be dreaming about her rightful place on the throne. Maybe Gal Gadot’s Evil Queen will be explored, and we will see how her unkind actions span across the entire kingdom, and not just toward Snow White? We’re just speculating.
But in any case, it seems like the Walt Disney Company may be taking a film from nearly 100 years ago and attempting to modernize it. How are they doing this? By trying to make it “WOKE?” Unfortunately, by creating a more ‘driven’ version of Snow White, Disney has created a very anti-feminist narrative.
We know, we know, that sounds crazy. It sounds crazy to argue that a driven female character is anti-feminist, but that’s not what we’re saying. What we’re saying is that the original Snow White had drive and she had agency. It’s the character’s goals that modern audiences take issue with, which is an anti-feminist take in and of itself.
Throughout the film, Snow White perseveres, even when she’s terrified and entirely alone. She manages to find the positivity, and even manages to brighten the moods of those around her. Her goals are to find true love and to hide from the Evil Queen who wants her dead. Many modern audiences take issue with Snow White waiting around for her prince to save the day…but that’s not what she does.
Snow White isn’t living with the seven dwarfs in an attempt to simply wait for her Prince Charming. She’s hiding from her stepmother who has already attempted to take her life. And while she’s in hiding, she’s working hard around the cottage.
The idea that a princess who dreams of true love and performs household duties as anti-feminist is simply untrue. Feminism, true intersectional feminism, is rooted in the idea that all women, from all backgrounds, deserve respect, and that their choices deserve respect, whether we agree with them or not. That means each and every woman, from the stay at home moms to the CEOs.
Where “WOKE” Disney Fails and Why
Male characters get to be driven and get the girl, and little boys grow up seeing that. So why can’t little girls watch a Disney Princess who’s driven and gets her Prince Charming? Why is it always either/or for women? By updating this story, Disney may be inadvertently teaching little girls something entirely different than what little boys are being taught.
Instead of teaching little girls that all Disney Princesses deserve respect, we may be teaching them that only the Disney Princesses who aren’t interested in romance deserve respect. It doesn’t take a genius to see that we’re still pressuring little girls, and that hasn’t changed since the original film debuted.
Instead of pressuring little girls into becoming housewives who dream of true love, Disney is now pressuring little girls to be more career-driven. Instead, we should be combining the romance of classic Disney films with the goals of modern feminism. We should stop separating the two.
Separating romance from a female character doesn’t make her inherently more feminist. There are bigger societal issues at stake for women than the concept of romance and relationships. Furthermore, implying that heterosexual romance is inherently anti-feminist due to societal power imbalances is the entirely incorrect direction to go in.
In short, instead of continuing to pressure little girls into molding themselves into a new ideal, why not try moving in an entirely new direction? Why not teach little boys from a young age to be more respectful of their sisters, their mothers, the girls in their classes, etc.? A truly feminist future can’t be achieved if we only teach little girls what they’ve always been taught: that they must grow up faster than their male peers. By only giving little girls the pressure of living up to these standards, Disney is doing precisely that.
Not only that, but Disney shouldn’t perpetuate the idea that only some women’s ambitions are worthy of respect.
Whether career-oriented, family-oriented, or a unique mix of both, society needs women of all mindsets to properly function. That means no one person’s ambitions are any more or less important than others, and it’s unfair to teach little girls otherwise.
We want to hear from our readers! What do you think about Disney’s upcoming “WOKE” version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? Let Disney Dining know in the comments below.