Disney Legend Stands By Rachel Zegler as Snow White

in Disney, Movies

Rachel Zegler as Lucy Baird bowing with her arms wide

Credit: Lionsgate

Rachel Zegler has received a lot of flack for her casting as the titular princess in Snow White (2024). However, a Disney legend who dislikes live-action remakes still stands by the young actor in that role.

Rachel Zegler wearing a little green men hat and looking nervous near a poisoned apple
Credit: Rachel Zegler Twitter

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Disney has come under constant attack for its live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). One person who has been the focus of these attacks is Rachel Zegler, an up-and-coming actor who first made her mark on the Hollywood landscape with her performance as Maria in West Side Story (2021). Since then, she has starred in Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) and will also star in the upcoming The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023) and Paddington in Peru (TBA).

However, Zegler is now mostly spoken about in terms of Snow White, where she plays the titular Disney princess alongside Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen. People from all over have slammed her for her irreverent takes on the original film, as well as the fact that she is a non-white person playing Snow White. And while she has numerous attackers on social media, Rachel Zegler also has at least one person on her side: Disney legend Tim Rice.

Tim Rice Hates Live-Action Remakes, Has No Issue With Rachel Zegler as Snow White

Rachel Zegler pretending to be Snow White in front of a poster of the classic animated princess
Credit: Rachel Zegler, Twitter

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Sir Tim Rice is one of the most successful lyricists in the history of musical theatre, working with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John, and Alan Menken to create such classics as Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), Evita (1976), Beauty and the Beast (1994), Aida (2000), and the stage adaptation of Aladdin (2011). He also worked on multiple Disney films, including The Lion King (1994) and the live-action remakes of Beauty and the Beast (2017), Aladdin (2019), and The Lion King (2019).

Despite his work on multiple live-action and stage remakes of Disney classics, Rice has spoken out against the concept, noting in an interview with GB News that they fail to capture the energy and joy of the animated originals. He particularly pointed at The Lion King and the upcoming Snow White, saying, “The story, as I understand it… is being changed so much: the characters are being changed… Why call it a remake? Why not just make a new film with an exciting new story?”

Related: “Make a New Film,” Disney Legend Slams “Woke” Snow White

Surprisingly, Rice disagreed with the discourse surrounding Rachel Zegler’s casting as the titular Snow White. “I don’t really have an objection to casting problems,” he said. “I think anybody if you’re an actor, should be able to play any part. And the only thing, really, that matters is whether the actor is good and right for the part.”

He then brought that concept back around to Disney’s plethora of live-action remakes, saying, “I think that’s what should apply to all the Disney films as well. Do they work as movies? And if you start with a story that was written in 18-whenever-it-was by the Brothers Grimm, and you change it so much, you aren’t really recreating the story. You’re doing a new film, which may or may not be good.”

While many people are criticizing the “woke” casting of Zegler as Snow White, no one can deny that she has the talent and skill to pull off the character. She was one of the many highlights of Stephen Spielberg’s West Side Story, and her singing voice is incredible. If there is justice, she will continue to have a thriving career long after Snow White has come and gone.

Do you think Disney should simply cast who is best for the part? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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