Blog #100: Movie Review: Mirror Mirror

When I think of classic fairy tales, like Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, or Cinderella, I always think of the Disney versions.  There have been, and are a number of movies and television shows depicting classic fairy tales quite differently.  I’m not certain how much this is a new take on the stories as it is going back to the original stories that often differ from the Disney versions.

Mirror, Mirror, is definitely not the Disney fairy tale.  While many elements of the classic Snow White story are present, the famous poisoned apple doesn’t make an appearance until the story is essentially over and seems thrown in just so it’s there.

The acting wasn’t great with the exceptions being Julia Roberts as the queen and Nathan Lane as Brighton (he is hysterical).  The dwarfs were renamed with stupid names, wear stilts as they go around robbing people, and are generally ridiculous.

There is a wonderfully animated scene that tells the back-story of what happened to Snow White’s father.  Other that that, pretty much the only scenes worth watching are those with the Queen talking to her reflection in the mirror and anything with Brighton.

Not a terrible movie, and funny at times, but the absurdity of the dwarfs, the queen trying to marry the prince, and things like that makes it hard to really get into.

Thanks for reading!

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About lmb3

I’m 36 years old, and I work in network tech support for a public school system. I am a huge fan of Star Trek, Transformers, Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics as well as numerous other fandoms. I’m a big sports fan, especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I collect toys (mostly Transformers but other stuff too), comic books, and Red Sox baseball cards. I watch an obscene amount of television and love going to the movies. I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard Rock and I write Harry Potter Fanfiction, though these days I am working on a couple of different original YA novels.
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2 Responses to Blog #100: Movie Review: Mirror Mirror

  1. lmb3 says:

    Azadeh, thanks for the question. Not sure I’m the most qualified to speak on this, but here’s my opinion.

    I don’t know that it is as much a feminist twist as it is making it more relevant to today. The classic stories almost always have the hero saving the damsel in distress, whether it’s fairytales or other genres. They are often being replaced with strong female characters, because I think girls today don’t want to be the damsel in distress anymore. (They would rather be Katniss and kick some butt.) Why is that? While I am sure some of these changes are motivated by feminism, and feminists who have now gotten into positions to tell stories the way they want them to, I think marketing the damsel in distress just doesn’t work like it used to. At least that’s my take on it. Everything is about marketing. (The fact that the next “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie will be missing fifty percent of those words from the title is a prime example of marketing ruling the world.)

    A good example from television is “Once Upon a Time”. (Spoiler Alert) Towards the end of the season, we learn that the Queen’s hatred of Snow White has nothing to do with who is more beautiful (as, I must be honest, I was fully expecting all season long). Instead of a story about vanity, we find that the Queen’s true love was killed due to Snow White’s innocent mistake as a young girl. The Queen’s vendetta against Snow White is about revenge, not vanity. I loved this show before that, and even more so after. It makes for better stories that more people want to watch (or read). How would this have played on television thirty years ago? Probably not so good.

    Regardless of whether it’s a feminist agenda, or a good marketing strategy, in my opinion it makes for better stories for everyone and presents girls with strong heroines. I can’t imagine an argument against both being good things.

    I’m going to stick with fairytales, since it makes my argument simpler.

    As to what the next generation will think, I’m not sure. It depends on what you mean by “classic”. Strictly speaking, Disney is not classic fairytales. Those stories were all quite different before Disney started making animated movies. If you asked kids about the classic fairytales like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty prior to Disney, the stories they knew were quite different. If you ask me, a 36-year-old guy who saw all the Disney movies as a kid, I will tell you the Disney versions.

    As to the future, I think few kids even today have any interest in the classic versions of those fairytales, but I’m far from an expert on this subject. Disney fairytales on the other hand, have become so ingrained in pop culture, I don’t see them ever being forgotten, especially since most of these new fairytales aren’t exactly kid friendly. I can’t imagine a bunch of toddlers being put in front of a television to watch “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

    Pop culture never really goes away. As an example, of the fifteen top grossing movies of the last five years, only Avatar and the Hunger Games were based on characters created within the past ten years, and ten of the remaining thirteen were based on characters that were are 25-50 years old. All fifteen of them are firmly ingrained in pop culture. Pop culture doesn’t go away, and I think it’s a good thing.

    As far as the true “classic” fairytales go, my guess is they will fade further into obscurity. How many parents today share those classic fairytales with their children? My guess would be not many. They are sharing the classic Disney versions they grew up with. Is it a bad thing? I honestly don’t know.

    (The other thirteen movies, if you’re curious, were The Dark Knight, Avengers, Toy Story 3, Spider-Man, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Spider-Man 3, Alice in Wonderland, Shrek the Third, Transformers, Iron Man, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.)

    I hope I’ve answered your questions and not just rambled on pointlessly.

    Thanks,

    Lewis

  2. Azadeh says:

    Hi, I was researching about modern fairy tale movies made during past 10 years and their effects on literature so I found your review.

    These fairy tales are being retold with a feminist twist. The most recent example is ‘Mirror Mirror’, and the young snow white turns into a Robin Hood, fights with the wicked queen and is smart enough not to bite the apple.

    And it is not all about fairy tales, even classic love stories is getting a feminist twist (Gnomeo and Juliet). I was wondering what is the effect on classic literature. Can we consider fairy tales as a genre in literature? Is it going to fade? Will our children or grand children remember the original ones or even be interested in reading them? Is it a good or bad thing?

    I am curious to hear your opinion about this.

    Thanks

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