It’s a wonder Disney ever earned the reputation for sugary wholesomeness after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), its — and America’s — first animated film. The doe-eyed, badly-in-need-of-a-tan heroine nearly gets knifed to death in the woods in the film’s first few minutes, and late in the movie there are two murders, then a hefty dose of necrophilia at the end, as the unnamed prince opens up Snow White’s casket to spark his zombie bride to life with a disturbingly passionate peck on the lips.
The surprisingly hard-edged, freaky yet transcendent movie busts out in an elaborate Blu-ray/DVD combo, the first in a series of a series Disney has dubbed the Diamond Collection, which will eventually include Beauty and the Beast, Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, The Lion King, Bambi, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmations and, oddly, Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio, both of which are already out on Blu-ray. The collection appears to be a clever Trojan Horse to pique DVD die-hards’ curiosity about Blu-ray.
Standing out from the usual smattering of making-of and restoration documentaries is the widescreen “Disney Vision” feature, which fills out the edges of widescreen TVs with sideshow art that complements the backgrounds in the 4×3-ratio film and is a welcome replacement for boring black sidebars.
If you’re looking for a plain-old new Snow White DVD – which is going on Amazon for $18.99; $6 less than the $24.99 Diamond edition – you’ll have to wait until Nov. 24.
- Also out this week:
Imagine That: Eddie Murphy plays a busybody, neglectful daddy in this morality play, in which his character’s daughter (Yara Shahidi) creates a fantasy world to fill the void. Extras: Commentary, deleted scenes, set tour.
My Life In Ruins: Nia Vardalos tries and fails to recapture her My Big Fat Greek Wedding magic as a travel agent who reignites her stalled lovelife in Greece. Extras: Deleted scenes, alternate ending.
Year One: Jack Black and Michael Cera play cavemen in this silly Harold Ramis comedy. Extras: Gag reel and commentary from Black, Cera and Ramis.
Phil Villarreal’s humorous money-saving book, Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, is available at bookstores and on Amazon.