Snow White actress Rachel Zegler confirmed that the upcoming live-action Disney film will be changing the meaning of “the fairest of them all.”
In the original animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the meaning of them fairest of them all clearly responds to the Evil Queen and Snow White’s beauty.
The film opens up with images from a story book that read, “Once upon a time there lived a lovely little princess named Snow White. Her vain and wicked stepmother the queen feared that some day Snow White’s beauty would surpass her own. So she dressed the little princess in rags and forced her to work as a scullery maid.”
The opening continued, “Each day the vain queen consulted her magic mirror. ‘Magic Mirror on the wall who is the fairest one of all?’ ..and as long as the Mirror answered, ‘You are the fairest one of all,’ Snow White was safe from the queen’s cruel jealousy.”
As the film continued, the Magic Mirror eventually revealed that Snow White was indeed the fairest of them all and the Evil Queen sets about trying to destroy her, first tasking the Huntsman with killing her and later attempting to poison her with an apple.
This clear definition of fairest of them all as shown in the original animated classic will no longer be the definition in the upcoming live action as Zegler explained to Entertainment Weekly following an appearance at D23 in September 2022.
Zegler, who plays Snow White in the film said, “The reality is that the cartoon was made 85 years ago and therefore it’s extremely dated when it comes to the ideas of women being in roles of power and what a woman is fit for in the world. And so when we came to reimagining the actual role of Snow White it became about the fairest of them all meaning who is the most just. And who can become a fantastic leader.”
Zegler continued, “And the reality is, you know, Snow White has to learn a lot of lessons about coming into her own power before she can come into power over a kingdom.”
Gadot, who plays the Evil Queen, added, “Also the fact that she’s not going to be saved by The Prince and she’s the proactive one and she’s the one who set the terms is what makes it so relevant to where we are today.”
Ironically, earlier in the interview with Entertainment Weekly, Zegler admitted to not having watched the film since she was a child before being cast in the role. She said, “I was scared of the original cartoon. I think I watched it once and I never picked it up again.”
“I’m being so serious. I watched it once and then I went on the ride in Disney World which was called Snow White’s Scary Adventures — doesn’t sound like something a little kid would like — was terrified of if. Never revisited Snow White again.”
She then said, “So I watched it for the time in probably 16, 17 years when I was doing this film.”
Zegler previously teased this change in definition while speaking with Variety at D23 as well. When asked why she described the film as having a “modern edge,” she explained, “I just mean it’s no longer 1937, and we absolutely wrote a Snow White–”
Gadot interjected, “She’s not gonna be saved by the prince.”
Zegler continued, “She’s not gonna 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. The leader that her late father told her that she could be if she was fearless, fair, brave, and true.”
“And so it’s just a really incredible story for, I think, young people everywhere to see themselves in,” Zegler concluded.
What do you make of this new definition that The Walt Disney Company will use for the fairest of them all in their live-action Snow White film?