On Tuesday, Disney responded to the harsh criticism from Emmy Award-winning “Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage over their remake of the classic 1937 film “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs,” telling Variety, “To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community. We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.”
Dinklage, who has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia, had segued on the Marc Maron’s WTF podcast from commenting on Disney being “progressive” for casting a Latina actress, Rachel Zegler, as Snow White to ripping Disney vis-à-vis dwarfs, saying:
Literally no offense to anyone, but I was a little taken aback when they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White — but you’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. … Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me. You’re progressive in one way but then you’re still making that f***ing backwards story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together, what the f*** are you doing, man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soap box? I guess I’m not loud enough. I don’t know which studio that is but they were so proud of it. All love and respect to the actress and all the people who thought they were doing the right thing. But I’m just like, what are you doing?
“Disney in 2020 began slapping racism warnings on some of its most iconic movies, including Peter Pan and The Jungle Book, to alert viewers to sensitive scenes,” The Daily Mail pointed out. “Movies with warning include the 1970 musical comedy The Aristocats, 1955 canine love story Lady and the Tramp and 1960 adventure Swiss Family Robinson.”
One woman who is a member of the Restricted Growth Association in the UK told The Telegraph, “I very much stand with Peter Dinklage on the disappointment and irritation towards Disney for the remake of Snow White. As a 46-year-old woman with restricted growth, this story has always had a negative impact on me. Not just the physical characteristics, but the labelling of ‘Dopey’ and ‘Bashful’ were not helpful in the playground. People with restricted growth are in majority born to average height parents – they never live in gingerbread houses, have little bear beds nor live in homogeneous groups together.”
In 2008, the American Film Institute called the 1937 film the greatest animated film of all time. It grossed $8 million when it was released, the most a film had ever made. The New York Times wrote:
When “Snow White” was first released, viewers were dumbfounded that moving drawings could have such an emotional effect on audiences. Vladimir Tytla and Freddy Moore, who had the overall responsibility for the animation of the dwarfs, were astonished to note the number of people at the premiere, such as James Gleason, an actor who specialized in hardboiled types, who could be seen sobbing along with Dopey and Grumpy when the dwarfs were gathered around Snow White’s bier.
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