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The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Disney oversees originality, prioritizes diversity

Live-action remake of ‘Snow White’ fails to keep originality of its classic film

Showcased as the original of all originals, “Snow White” was Disney’s first princess production. A new, live-action “Snow White” is set to premiere on March 21 of next year, following other recent live-action remakes like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Little Mermaid.”

The remake, originally set to premiere in 2024, was delayed to 2025 after Disney faced several backlash about the diverse casting of the seven dwarves, according to Vanity Fair. (Illustration by Elena Shim)

In this upcoming remake, Disney made an extra effort to break away from the stereotypes and promote diversity. I understand the importance of diversity and inclusivity. However, when it comes to remaking a movie that was a portion of my childhood that impacted not only me but a larger community, I believe that having an accurate depiction of the characters is important.  

The remake movie features only one actor with dwarfism, Peter Dinklage. Disney said they are taking a “different approach” for the casting of the seven dwarves to “avoid reinforcing stereotypes,” and that staff have been “consulting with members of the dwarfism community” to approve of the idea, according to Forbes

Compared to the original film, the dwarves in the remake had different heights and racial ethnicities. Although I see good in Disney’s decision to diversify actors, it still shatters my expectations for the film’s accuracy.

Actress Katrina Kemp, an advocate for individuals with dwarfism and disabilities, said the casting for the Disney remake was unsuccessful in acknowledging the dwarfism community, according to Forbes. I also view Disney’s choice as a failure to give major acting opportunities to actors with dwarfism, when with such traits, they would best suit the roles. Diversity portrayed through the remake cannot gain my praise because Disney has missed giving acting opportunities to the people who not only best fit the roles but are not easily granted such opportunities. 

In addition to the casting controversy for the dwarves and Snow White, the remake regained its attention for its announcement of the removal of the classic character, Prince Charming. Rachel Zegler, the actress cast for Snow White, said without the prince, the remake can change the old views of the princess and will portray the character as one who dreams about becoming a leader rather than true love and being saved by the prince, according to Direct.

Snow White’s finding of love in the movie made the plot light-hearted, which greatly appealed to my younger self and all young audiences. Without Prince Charming, the remake ruins the ideal story of Snow White that remains in the memories of not only my childhood but also those of other teens and grown-ups. 

By removing Prince Charming, Disney attempts to convey a message of empowerment. Despite their good intentions, I believe that the remake brings up a complex topic to young audiences, who I think deserve to experience joy in their childhood, rather than trying to understand those messages.

The remake seems as if Disney is trying to force the message of breaking stereotypes and diversity by diversifying the cast. To kids, the remake fails to offer them a lighthearted plot that they could truly enjoy watching and instead, exposes them to such a message that is hard to understand as young children. 

The remake provides nothing but a fractured, inaccurate story, lacking to engage me and the older audience who expected a true remake of the original movie. 

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About the Contributor
Elena Shim
Elena Shim, Reporter
Elena is a sophomore at HHS and a first-year reporter in The Epitaph. Her favorite activities are watching "Pride and Prejudice" and staying at home during breaks. She looks forward to what her journalism journey will look like.

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