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Snow White: The Fairest of Them All (2001) – DVD Review

Snow White: Fairest of Them All DVD


Written by: Caroline Thompson and Julie Hickson, based on the story by the Brothers Grimm
Directed by: Caroline Thompson
Starring: Miranda Richardson, Kristin Kreuk, Tom Irwin, Vera Farmiga, Karin Konoval


  • A Look Behind the Scenes
  • Kristin Kruek’s Neutrogena Commercial

Released by: Hallmark
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: N/A; it appears in its original 1.33:1 format

My Advice: Skip it

John (Irwin) and Josephine (Farmiga) have had just had a beautiful baby girl that they name Snow White (Kreuk). Their dreams of a happy family are sadly cut short when Josephine dies shortly after giving birth. With no way to feed his new baby girl, John buries his wife and starts out on the journey of trying to find food. Just as he is giving up on his life and his little girl’s, he awakens a genie in the form of The Green Eyed One (Clancy Brown) who grants him three wishes. His first is milk for his little girl, but the second wish cannot be granted. He wishes to have his wife back, but The Green Eyed One hasn’t the ability to bring back the dead. Instead, he provides John with a new queen (Richardson) in his life, and the kingdom to go along with it. There is one other thing: The Green Eyed One chooses his own hag of a sister to be John’s new queen. He transforms her into a ravishing beauty, but he doesn’t plan on what happens when the spell begins to wear off.

[ad#longpost]This is definitely not the happy-go-lucky sing-a-long that Walt Disney envisioned in the 1930s. This follows the storyline of the Brothers Grimm story a little more closely than the Diz version did. And because of this, it’s a much darker, more dangerous story. Still, it has its problems. The script is strong in story, but weak in dialogue and in clear character arcs. It’s hard to tell whether the blame lies with the actors or the writers, but some of the characters seem to be in a completely different story. The best example I can think of for this is the casting of Vincent Schiavelli as one of the dwarfs…he’s at least six foot five. That being said, I think the only thing this video has going for it is the beautiful sets and costumes.

Rounding out the special features are a “making-of” featurette and Kreuk’s Neutrogena commercial. Let me come back to that one in just a second. The featurette is your pretty standard DVD somewhat extra fare; its filled with the director and cast saying what a great adaptation this is and blowing smoke up everybody’s skirts. Now–this Neutrogena commercial: it’s in the Cast and Crew bios section of this DVD where resides the commercial in question. If you click on Kreuk’s name, you can read her bio and view said commercial. It has no bearing whatsoever on the source material. I mean, if Neutrogena was a corporate sponsor of this Hallmark original presentation, that’s one thing–but I can’t find any evidence of that anywhere. The only conclusion I can draw is that the producers of this DVD were scraping the bottom of the barrel when looking for extra stuff.

So, I would say leave this one on the shelves for some sap who doesn’t frequent the hallowed halls here and will not be warned. I consider this me taking one for the team.