Disney Creates “Anti-Snow White” Movie After Failed Rachel Zegler Incident

in Disney, Entertainment

Rachel Zegler on a still of Snow White looking shocked

Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney has seemingly created the “anti-Snow White” movie, just as their upcoming live action film has undergone a ton of negative backlash.

Disney's Snow White looking terrified against a background of green eyes
Credit: Disney

If you’ve been staying updated on the ongoing developments surrounding the live-action adaptation of Snow White, you’re probably acquainted with the discontent among Disney fans regarding the lead actress, Rachel Zegler. Zegler’s perspectives on the original narrative of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) have sparked controversy. The 1937 film, representing Walt Disney’s initial venture into feature films, has held a cherished status for years. Consequently, when Disney unveiled its intentions to create a live-action rendition of its inaugural princess tale, it generated considerable enthusiasm among fans.

Similarly to The Little Mermaid live action casting, Disney went with an actor who did not look like the “original” in terms of skin color. In The Little Mermaid, Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel, and many took issue with the fact that Halle is Black and Ariel is animated as Caucasian. The same happened with Snow White. 

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

Many did not like that Rachel Zegler was of Latina heritage having slightly darker skin. Snow White is written to be the “fairest of them all”, and while Zegler has certainly proven she can sing like a princess in West Side Story, there are still some who wanted to see an actress who matched the animated version of the character more closely.

The issues with Snow White grew exponentially from this point; however, following some announcements from Disney, coupled with an interview conducted with Rachel.

In this rendition of Snow White, there’s no Prince Charming; instead, a character named Jonathan (Andrew Burnap) plays a minimal role and may not even serve as a love interest. Initially, Disney declared the absence of dwarfs, replacing them with seven magical creatures.

However, due to significant backlash for removing this iconic element, Disney appears to have reconsidered. A photo released during the announcement of the one-year delay (the movie now set to debut in 2025 instead of 2024) hinted at characters resembling the seven dwarfs, though Disney may still refer to them as “magical creatures.”

Rachel Zegler as Snow White in Disney's live-action version of Snow White
Credit: Disney

The primary controversy stems from Zegler’s statement that Snow White will assume a leadership role, emphasizing that “it is not 1937 anymore.”

Zegler expressed, “I just mean that it’s no longer 1937. We’ve created a Snow White where she won’t rely on a prince for salvation, and she won’t be yearning for true love. Instead, she aspires to become the leader her late father believed she could be if she embodied qualities like fearlessness, fairness, bravery, and truth.”

The film has faced substantial criticism, as many question the major alterations made to the original animated story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Critics argue that Disney’s portrayal of Snow White as a leader deviates significantly from the gentle princess who enjoys baking for friends and seeks the love of a fairy tale, leading some to brand the film as “pseudo-feminist” and criticize Disney for being “woke.”

Many even thought that Disney would replace Zegler, giving Gal Gadot a new scene partner. That seems to no longer be the case, however. 

While the comments of Snow White being a knowing leader caused the biggest upset, Disney attempted to backtrack with their newest film.

Snow White dancing with the seven dwarfs
Credit: Disney

Wish, a 2023 American animated musical fantasy film, is a production of Walt Disney Animation Studios and has been released by Walt Disney Pictures.

The cast features the voices of Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, Angelique Cabral, Victor Garber, Natasha Rothwell, Jennifer Kumiyama, Harvey Guillén, Evan Peters, Ramy Youssef, and Jon Rudnitsky.

Asha looks nervously at a dancing star in 'Wish,' the upcoming Disney movie.
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

The narrative centers on Asha, a 17-year-old girl voiced by DeBose. In a moment of desperation, she passionately appeals to the stars after sensing a darkness in the Kingdom of Rosas that goes unnoticed by others. The film has not yet debuted, but Disney is heavily promoting the new film, which will come out in theaters on November 22, 2023.

Recently, The Direct released an interview with Chris Buck, the movie’s director, who shared why Asha is so different from other Disney princesses. He says:

“I mean, it’s a character that there are certain aspects that are like some of our other leads, there’s a passion and a drive and a strength to her. One thing she doesn’t know right away is that she has these leadership qualities. Maybe she doesn’t believe them, whatever. But she definitely steps into them by the end of the movie.”

Asha from Disney's 'Wish' standing in front of a door
Credit: Disney

An interesting thing to note from this is that Asha begins the movie not seeing herself as a leader at all, which is the opposite of how Disney’s live action Snow White will be played, as per Zegler’s description. Since that depiction of the princess was not well received, this new arc that Asha has is combating the exact belief and personality that this new Snow White character will have.

That being said, Wish has not received rave reviews just yet, so perhaps this character depiction is also problematic for audiences.

As for Zegler, she is currently starring in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, which is a 2023 American dystopian action film helmed by Francis Lawrence. The screenplay, crafted by Michael Lesslie and Michael Arndt, is based on Suzanne Collins’ 2020 novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Serving as a prequel to The Hunger Games (2012), it stands as the fifth instalment in The Hunger Games film series. The cast includes Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler (as Lucy Gray Bird), Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Josh Andrés Rivera, and Viola Davis.

Do you think that Disney is making a mistake with their upcoming Snow White film?



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