Easter Movie #2 and this time its off to see the most recent incarnation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A timeless classic re-invented on the big screen with non other than screen legend Julia Robers heading up the cast as the Wicked Stepmother / Queen. There are a few tweaks this time around but a majority of the story remains the same.
Snow's mum dies at birth, King re-marries, he then mysteriously disappears and our heiress ends up banished to her room until on her 18th birthday she ventures into the village to discover its amass of poverty and hunger, not the singing and dancing fairyland she once remembered.
A jealous Queen orders her death in the woods but now skint, aims to bag herself a handsome new prince and Snow is lovingly saved thanks to a 'caring' butler (not woodsman) and runs across seven adorable dwarf thieves who re-style her into a 'Pirates of the Caribbean' style heroine determined to marry the prince herself, take back her fathers kingdom and put an end to the evil queens reign.
So, no real drama. Just as Disney 'originally' wrote it albeit with a few differences. Firstly, the full 'working' title is "Mirror Mirror: The Untold Adventures of Snow White" so they are looking at a definite new angle - more of a swashbuckling adventure rather than a ploddy fairytale. Then there's the Queen herself, Roberts plays a blinder and managed to pull off evil and comical with a single breath. Snow herself is gorgeous, Lily Collins (Phil's daughter) stepping out in her fourth movie to date and making a name for herself as in my eyes, not a duff movie on the resume with The Blind Side, Priest & Abduction already tucked safely under her belt.
Now the stars of the show - The Dwarfs. Forget Sleepy, Happy and Dopey - let me introduce you too Napoleon, Half Pint, Grub, Grimm, Wolf, Butcher & Chuckles. The new clan of lost souls, living wild in the woods, thieving from the queen at every opportunity and crying out for a female touch around the hollowed out log they reside in.
These guys manage to add humour & action to our proceedings and along with Snow, make a devilish army of little rascals and not to be taken lightly.
Other notable performances from Sean Bean and Nathan Lane are well received as is most of the household staff who remember the castle as it should be from times gone by and luckily, all remain firmly on Snow's side.
The only character left is the Prince, played by Armie Hammer (Social Network, Gossip Girl) who is every inch as suave and sophisticated as any great Prince should be but with the added flair of managing to bounce of Julia Roberts with sincere ease, making their scenes together laughable and enjoyable, especially the 'Puppy Love' bit.
What else is there to say about a tried and tested classic. No-one is going to be brave enough to remake Snow White and royally mess it up - unless Tim Burton has a pop at it but luckily, Burton and his muse, Johnny Depp are back with their own 'spooky' marvel later this year [Dark Shadows] which from the outset - looks like a re-invention of the Addams Family - but way funnier.
So, Collins is adorable, Roberts is brilliant, Hammer is dapper and the dwarfs are sublime. Parents and kids alike - you should all enjoy this one.