Artist’s Pick: Mirror, Mirror versus Snow White and the Huntsman

“I find more bitter than death
    the woman who is a snare,
whose heart is a trap
    and whose hands are chains.
The man who pleases God will escape her,
    but the sinner she will ensnare.”

~Ecclesiastes 7:26

I’ve already somewhat analyzed Mirror, Mirror in Cross-Examination: Profile of a Witch. Today I want to revisit  part of that analysis, but compare it instead to Snow White and the Huntsman.

Growing up, Snow White never was one of my favorite Disney Princesses (or even Grimm Princesses). No, I’m a Cinderella kind of girl.  However, I enjoyed both Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman more than I’ve enjoyed the “real” adaptations of Cinderella. Both adaptations follow the traditional Snow White story – you know, beautiful (but evil) queen will do anything to hold on to her beauty.

The art direction in Mirror, Mirror is bright and extravagant, mirroring (no pun intended) its more comedic and ridiculous storyline.   On the other hand, Snow White and the Huntsman‘s art direction is toned down – with costuming and coloring befitting the Middle Ages.  In a couple of instances, it discreetly nods to the animated Disney movie – like when Snow White is running through the forest with trees and shadows clawing at her and Ravenna’s crown and the ravens associated with her magic. Both movies have interesting but distinct takes on the Magic Mirror. Both also use the dwarves for comic relief (which is a separate analysis all together).

I enjoyed both movies (really), but I liked Snow White and the Huntsman better. It did a really good job with character development (with the exception of the dwarves who were significantly under-developed).

I especially appreciated how they dealt with Ravenna’s obsession with beauty: she wasn’t just obsessed with it, for her it was her power, a way to control. She wasn’t your typical “I just want to stay young and beautiful forever” character. When I was watching the movie and thinking about Ravenna’s character, the Ecclesiastes verse above came to my mind. This is truly her character. Someday, I would really like to see a movie where this “damaged woman” archetype is redeemed. In these fairy tales, her heart just explodes or her eyes get plucked out or some such business. Why not let the damaged woman heal?

I also liked Snow White as a battle princess. In the end, it wasn’t the Huntsman who “saved” or “rescued” her. She did battle for herself. In compassion at the end of the movie, she tells Ravenna, “You cannot have my heart.” I just liked that. For those of you who don’t know me well, I really like the concept of the warrior or battle princess. There is something very powerful about a woman who fights for who she loves and what she believes in. I don’t like that Snow White is portrayed as just good, like it’s something in and of herself. All women need redemption, not just the wounded ones.

The Huntsman was (at least in my experience) a pretty accurate portrayal of modern manhood. Guys, I’m not hating (really). I just think men in our society are a little bit afraid to step up to the plate as men. (And probably for a lot of reasons that since I am not a man, I will not get into). That was disappointing to Snow White, but not so disappointing that she turned into the damaged woman.  Eventually, he deals with his complicated background, and does step up and ride into battle with Snow White.  He cannot rescue or redeem Snow White (that’s not his job), but he fights along side of her. *Happy sigh*

Yeah, uh, so now that I’ve watched it to analyze it, I’m going back to watch and enjoy it. 🙂


Lydia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, and Film. She is passionate about reaching artists with the good news of Jesus Christ and discipling them in the arts.


3 Comments to “Artist’s Pick: Mirror, Mirror versus Snow White and the Huntsman”

  1. I really like the idea of redeeming the queen as well. Have you seen “Once Upon a Time”? I keep hoping they’re going to do that with Regina’s character.

    • I’ve been told I need to watch “Once Upon a Time” but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. 🙂 Everybody talks about it. Maybe this summer I can look it up on Hulu or something. You’ll have to let me know if they break the tradition. I figure if nobody ever makes movies about the damaged woman being redeemed, I probably will. 🙂


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