“Replacement” ‘Snow White’ Actor Rachel Zegler Meets Competition

in Disney, Entertainment

Rachel Zegler dressed as Snow White

Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

Rachel Zegler ran into the one actress that is truly her “competition” regarding her upcoming film in which she is being seen as a “replacement” in.

Rachel Zegler has been the main topic of conversation in the media lately, especially when it comes to Disney.

Evil Queen as an Old Crone giving Snow White the poisoned apple
Credit: Disney

Starting nearly a decade ago, The Walt Disney Company embarked on a mission to remake all of its classic animated films, giving them a live-action spin. We’ve seen countless classic Disney films get remade, some with stunning visual effects and upgrades, like The Lion King (2019), The Jungle Book (2016), and Cinderella (2015), to name a few. Peter Pan & Wendy, the most recent “live-action” adaptation, was released earlier this year on Disney+. Disney also attempted to capitalize on its classic Haunted Mansion attraction for the second time with 2023’s Haunted Mansion.

We have also seen films like Beauty and the Beast starring Harry Potter star Emma Watson, and Pirates of the Caribbean, starring Johnny Depp, break records at the box office and breathe new life into an old story.

Disney also released a reimagining of its iconic 1989 film The Little Mermaid, with Halle Bailey taking on the role of Ariel in The Little Mermaid (2023). This is when things took a turn for Disney.

Disney has been moving in a much more inclusive direction in all facets of the company –– some of which has been controversial to guests.

At Disneyland Park, we saw Disney entirely shift Snow White’s Scary Adventure into Snow White’s Enchanted Wish. Not only did the ride get a lot less scary for little ones, but the message of consent was smudged, according to some.

snow white's enchanted wish
Credit: Disney

Snow White’s Scary Adventures is an attraction as old as Disneyland itself. The popular Disney Princess ride first opened as Snow White’s Adventures in 1955 and is one of the first dark rides to debut in Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom. Being one of the anchors of Fantasyland, Snow White’s Scary Adventures is a must-do for anyone who wants to “walk in Walt’s shoes” during their Disneyland day. And although its counterpart at Walt Disney World is long closed (Magic Kingdom in Florida now hosts the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train), the original version in California still stands.

In order to make the attraction more appealing to a larger crowd and the children that love Disney’s first Princess, the Imagineers retooled and reimagined the ride to be happier and enhance the classic storyline. But the new scene that shares Snow White and The Prince’s first kiss is causing quite the argument online.

Snow White's Enchanted Wish Doc statue
Credit: Disney

During the reimagined ending scene on the attraction, Imagineers have us flipping through the pages of Disney’s classic film, seeing both the poisoning of Snow White as well as her reawakening via True Love’s Kiss. This scene wasn’t previously included in the attraction, as we focused on the Evil Queen/Old Hag’s fall from the rocks (still included in the story!). Now, the final scenes of the attraction showcase the True Love’s Kiss before showing Snow White as happy as ever with all of her animal friends surrounding her as The Prince waves in the background.

When this storyline came out, reports were shared that Disney was pushing a non-consensual narrative and teaching kids the wrong message.

snow white's enchanted wish
Credit: Disney

“The new ride includes a more comprehensive storyline — but that’s also the problem. The new grand finale of Snow White’s Enchanted Wish is the moment when the Prince finds Snow White asleep under the Evil Queen’s spell and gives her “true love’s kiss” to release her from the enchantment. A kiss he gives to her without her consent, while she’s asleep, which cannot possibly be true love if only one person knows it’s happening.” said the SF Gate.

“Haven’t we already agreed that consent in early Disney movies is a major issue? That teaching kids that kissing, when it hasn’t been established if both parties are willing to engage, is not OK? It’s hard to understand why the Disneyland of 2021 would choose to add a scene with such old-fashioned ideas of what a man is allowed to do to a woman, especially given the company’s current emphasis on removing problematic scenes from rides like Jungle Cruise and Splash Mountain. Why not re-imagine an ending in keeping with the spirit of the movie and Snow White’s place in the Disney canon, but that avoids this problem?”

dax shepard and kristen bell
Credit: Kristen Bell Instagram

Interestingly enough, this is something that Frozen star Kristen Bell who plays Anna in the franchise, noted in 2018. In an interview, she stated that when she read Snow White to her kids, she would have to discuss with them why the prince’s decision to kiss Snow was wrong as he did not have her permission.

While this is of course, correct, and kissing someone who is unconscious is not a good message to send to anyone with a developing mind, many adults who love the nostalgia of Walt Disney’s first full-length feature animated film do not want to see the storyline changed.

This is why Rachel Zegler has been under such deep scrutiny as of late.

snow white (left) rachel zegler (right)
Credit

There are two main instances that caused fans outrage with the upcoming film. Firstly, there will be no dwarfs in the film, but seven magical creatures, which deviate from the iconic story that Walt Disney himself created on screen. Many have not understood why the characters were removed, with a point being made that this is depriving little people with dwarfism the opportunity to gain a role in a major feature film.

The second comes from an interview where Zegler and Gal Gadot say that Snow White will not have a prince charming (played by Andrew Burnap), and there is no one who needs to save her.

At this point, fans accused Disney of creating a totally different film, and creating a pseudo-feminist film that makes Snow White’s ideals and behavior be seen as wrong, creating a corrupt narrative for females who may dream of finding their “prince charming”, or behaving as more of a softer character, than someone who is constantly trying to be the leader, as Zegler said Snow White will now be. With this, fans have been outraged at Disney pushing their “woke” agenda. The film no longer resembles any of the same storyline, according to fans, and many do not understand why such major changes were made to a historic film.

Zegler has made it clear that she thinks the original character of Snow White was a helpless damsel in distress who was only able to be rescued by a prince. While this trope is true for certain Disney films, to many people, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was all about Snow White’s journey. This fact is only proven further by the fact that the prince has about five minutes of screen time in the original movie.

Following the extreme backlash, Zegler took to Twitter to try and have Disney fans be more kind towards her. She wrote, “i love you very much. forever and ever. remember to be kind. treat each other with patience and empathy. remember that you are loved unconditionally, no matter your mistakes, no matter your misunderstandings. you deserve it. you deserve love. you deserve to live without fear. x” as well as “i hope the world becomes kinder” on August 11, 2023.

Ansel Elgort as Tony (left) and Rachel Zegler as Maria (right)
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Recently, the actress has shifted to promoting a movie she has received much more praise for.

As we know, Zegler is playing Lucy Gray Baird in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a role in which she has received much more positive media attention. Recently, she changed her social media descriptions and location to hint at the promo for her new film. This makes sense, as it focus’ on the project that fans are excited to see, and away from her ongoing scandal, and the news that she has been let go of Paddington 3.

Rachel Zegler as Lucy Baird bowing with her arms wide
Credit: Lionsgate

Speaking of the Hunger Games franchise…

Hunger Games aficionados rejoice: Rachel Zegler and Jennifer Lawrence just had a trans-generational District 12 meetup during Paris Fashion Week. It appears that Zegler was able to meet the actress she is essentially replacing in the franchise as the new face of The Hunger Games. 

When the Panem universe collides, am I right? Jennifer Lawrence famously played the leading role of Katniss Everdeen in the original Hunger Games film franchise, which spanned four movies from 2012 to 2015. Rachel Zegler, on the other hand, stars in the franchise’s next leading role as Lucy Gray Baird in the upcoming prequel film The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, based on Suzanne Collins’s 2020 controversial novel.

Rachel Zegler's Lucy in the Hunger Games prequel
Credit: Lionsgate

Teen Vogue noted, “Zegler and Lawrence met during Dior’s spring-summer 2024 show at PFW. Unfortunately, the two did not get to sit side by side during the actual show, as other A-listers like Rosalía, Jenna Ortega, and Anya-Taylor Joy sat in between them.”

Zegler and Lawrence did take a chance to snap a few pictures together to mark the occasion before taking their final seats — and we’re pretty sure Zegler was more than stoked about it.

The West Side Story and Snow White actress made sure to share her excitement on social media for the whole world to see. “A mother to many. A mother to Me,” the 22-year-old captioned a post on X, which included a behind-the-scenes video of her and Lawrence posing and laughing together. “She’s actual mother,” Zegler doubled down on Instagram Stories, resharing the same clip.

The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes will be premiering on November 17.

What do you think of Rachel Zegler? Are you a fan of the West Side Story actress?

 

 

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