Peter Dinklage slams Disney for their remake of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’

Disney is clearly very invested in Rachel Zegler, the star of their critically acclaimed redux of West Side Story. They plucked her out of obscurity and before WSS even came out, they cast her in their live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The problem is that no one knows how Disney is going to handle what could be a pretty problematic live-action remake. And Peter Dinklage remains insulted at the idea that Disney would do a flat remake, and actually give the movie the same title:

Peter Dinklage isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to Disney’s upcoming Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs remake. The subject of the live-action movie — which is set to be directed by Marc Webb and star West Side Story breakout Rachel Zegler — came up in a recent interview on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast to promote Dinklage’s new film Cyrano. “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,” Dinklage said. “Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me.”

The Game of Thrones alum continued: “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?”

Not much else is known about the film, including how it will handle the portrayal of the seven dwarfs. For Dinklage’s part, he said the new film shouldn’t be shelved per se, but it needs to be handled the right way.

“If you tell the story of Snow White with the most f—ed up, cool, or progressive spin on it? Let’s do it,” he said. “All in.”

[From EW]

Snow White was one of my least favorite – if not my full-on most-hated – Disney film from this era of animation. Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella remain the gold-standard! Both films are so amazing. But yeah, any remake or “reimagining” of the Snow White story would always have to figure out a way to deal with the whole plot point about Snow White going to live with seven little people (men!!!) in the woods.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, poster courtesy of Disney.

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43 Responses to “Peter Dinklage slams Disney for their remake of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’”

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  1. Wiglet Watcher says:

    He makes very good points. Why Disney wants this, idk. The whole movie is problematic and wasn’t the best storyline.
    Also, does Rachel Z have some high powered connection?

  2. equality says:

    Didn’t the dwarves live in a house and the cave was their diamond mine?

    • BayTampaBay says:

      @equality – I think you are correct. The Dwarfs work in cave-mine and live in a lovely wooded house in the woods.

      Snow White is not one of my favorites but the “Hi-Ho” sequence is some of Disney’s best ever animation. Doc is my favorite of the dwarfs.

    • Eurydice says:

      Yes, they lived in a house and their work was mining for jewels. As I recall, the dwarfs decided to let her stay in exchange for cooking and cleaning and then they were kind of like adoptive parents to her for something like 10 years. I might be mixing up the Grimm’s fairy tale with the animated film. In the fairy tale, Snow White is a child when she escapes the huntsman. Not sure why it should be problematic that she’s living with a group of male dwarfs (unless they’re making a porn film) – they can treat it as a “found family” story – there are a zillion of them out there.

    • Lauren says:

      They did live in a house.

      I also thought they were more of the mythical/folktale dwarfs, and not really humans who have growth condition of dwarfism. More Tolkienesque, since the tale comes from German folklore. I mean, that’s why the have mines, because the mythical dwarfs were miners and metalsmiths.

      • Calypso says:

        Yeah I also thought they were always mythical creatures, not real people, but I can see how that is problematic (I mean… humans who have dwarfism exist, it’s not mythical the way centaurs are). I have no doubts that the mythical creatures are probably based on people with dwarfism, right? I guess I’m not well-versed enough to say whether it’s offensive or not. But surely Disney can just title the movie “Snow White” and the characters can be miners? Or, tbh, the whole thing can become a commentary on child labor if you make it that a bunch of kids are being forced to work these mines (this may be too dark in fairness).

  3. Katie says:

    When I revisted the film with my daughter a couple of years ago, I found it surprisingly charming. That said, not everything needs to be remade.

  4. Liz version 700 says:

    I have to agree 100% here it promotes a way outdated and gross view of little people. And 100% Snow White is the worst Disney movie. I remember asking my mom why she liked to clean so much!

    • BayTampaBay says:

      @Liz version 700 – Sorry Liz but I must disagree. “Song of the South” is the worst Disney film of all time. It has never been released in video form or for streaming and it never will be re-released again in any form for very god reason.

      • Liz version 700 says:

        Ouch, yep I forgot about that one. I think there is a plan to make all of us forget. That one is dreadful no argument at all

  5. Jay says:

    Could the Snow White story be reimagined and retold in a much more interesting way? Certainly.

    Do I trust Disney to do it? Heck no. And if they intended to rewrite it, they probably wouldn’t have kept that title, no matter what they might say after being criticized.

    Honestly, who is out there asking for all of these live action remakes? Is it some kind of copyright extension scheme?

    • Ashley says:

      Yeah, they did Snow White and the Hunstman. Peter’s right, this is ridonk.

      Also, the misspelling of dwarves has always bugged.

      • Mrs.Krabapple says:

        “Dwarfs” has always been the correct spelling. “Dwarves” was popularized by J.R.R. Tolkien, but he later said that “it was just a piece of private bad grammar” on his part.

  6. bettyrose says:

    I wasn’t even allowed to watch Disney movies as a kid because my mom is easily offended and she was offended by something in every movie. But now I get it. Disney. UGH!! He’s right that they’re better about diversity with princesses, which I suspect in some part is market demand rather than any real corporate “woke” ness, but this is the problem with Disney to begin with. So many of their stories are just fundamentally awful. I know Disney didn’t write them. They just plagiarized Grimm over and over, but Grimm is by definition awful. The whole point of their stories was to put fear in the hearts of children. This is why remakes need to just stop, Disney and otherwise. It’s a new world with new stories to tell. /r

    • Pusspants says:

      I agree Betty Rose. I really don’t like the Disney corporation & the stuff they turn out…particularly their older films. It’s almost always a prince saving a princess or a princess pining for a prince. Why does this story need to be regurgitated? And to anyone questioning why Peter is offended, consider that his perspective on this stuff is valuable since he is a part of the community being portrayed in this film. As someone that is average height, my feelings about this are not going to come from the same place as his. So if he, and other people with dwarfism are upset about this, I will respect their feelings and consider it problematic.

    • ITA. In my opinion, they butcher some of those stories anyway. The Little Mermaid was my favourite fairytale as a child (though now I’m older I recognize there are some potentially problematic elements), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame is one of my favourite books—I loathe what Disney did to them.

      On the other hand, I like some Disney films that are more original, like Fantasia, Lilo and Stitch, the Wreck-It Ralphs, and the Pixars.

      • bettyrose says:

        Disney owns everything at this point, so if you count Pixar (which is Disney but not the Disney of dainty blonde princesses), then kinda have to count all the new Star Wars offshoots too. And we hella watch the Mandolorian and Book of Bobba. 😉

      • @bettyrose: I’m not particularly into Star Wars, so I haven’t seen the offshoots….though I’m beginning to think I at least need to check out The Mandalorian since I keep hearing good things about it.

      • bettyrose says:

        If you have any nostalgia at all for Star Wars, the Mandalorian is worth the investment of 10 episodes (of 30-40 minutes each) to experience the world it creates. I’m avoiding all spoilers here in just saying it’s so satisfying.

  7. Cessily says:

    As a kid I only liked Snow White because she was not a blonde.

  8. LooneyTunes says:

    Or the fact that she’s named Snow White because of her light complexion (“fair as snow”). Just let this one be, Disney.

    • CourtneyB says:

      I agree. It’s literally her defining characteristic. Lol It’s different from the casting, imo, in the live action little mermaid because Ariel is literally a fantasy creature. She can be any color whatever. Or a Princess like Cinderella or aurora.

  9. MA says:

    I’m still side eyeing Rachel Ziegler ever since she did a dramatic reading mocking Britney Spears’ tweets to her sister.

    • Sid says:

      She’s an interesting one. Supports social justice on SM but then does things like what you mentioned. I am curious about her opinion regarding the issue Dinklage raised.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      wow, really? I didn’t know that about her. how callous.

      not really interested in anything about her until she apologizes for that.

      guess she and Ansel whateverhisnameis are a matched set of jerks.

  10. Eve says:

    I don’t get it…what the hell does he want? The dwarfs being played by 7′ men?

    I used to own those tinted vinyl records with stories being narrated and “interpreted” by voice actors. So keep in mind the following comments come from the mind of a little girl (3 to 4 years old, I think).

    1) Anyway…always hated Snow White, used to root for the Queen — that’s right, I said it;

    2) Never understood why Cinderella was so sheepish, that was HER house;

    3) My most hated was Little Red Riding Hood though — didn’t get why they had to kill the wolf, in my mind the grandmother couldn’t possibly still be alive because how could she breathe inside the wolf’s belly? Anyway, used to be scared of the hunter, not the wolf. When I heard the hunter’s voice and the banging on the door, my heart skipped a beat and I would cover my head with the blanket or sheet. I swear it was traumatizing! And I was always sorry for the wolf — I thought it was just hungry.

    4) Alice in Wonderland was the only one I found interesting. Maybe because she had a cat (Dinah). Although I think they changed its name to Daphne here in Brazil.

    This record was different though. Small, black, and it came inside a folded book or something. Disney quality.

    P.S.: Please, please, Kaiser, let this comment stay. It took me forever to finger type on my phone….

    • AnneL says:

      I never got why Cinderella was so sheepish either, and the one in the Disney remake with Lily James was such a sappy victim, always banging on about “Kindness.” The only Cinderella rendition I really love is “Ever After” with Drew Barrymore. She had a backbone.

      As for this remake, I think Rachel Zeigler is crazy talented. Her voice is beautiful and she can act, so I might watch for her. I never liked the original that much. They will have to be careful how they handle it, but I think they might be able to make it work. I get what Dinklage is saying, but having characters who are dwarves is not automatically a bad thing, is it? It depends on how they’re portrayed.

      I thought Sleeping Beauty was really boring.

    • I’m also puzzled by Dinklage having a problem with this, especially since he had no problem playing a mythical-type dwarf in Avengers: Infinity War. Does he also have an issue with the dwarves in the Lord of the Rings series?

      • Strawberry says:

        This movie is stereotyping dwarfs as silly caricatures to laugh at, as freaks. In Avengers and GOT, he wasn’t a goofy object. This should be obvious.

  11. Becks1 says:

    Is there a way to tell this story that is appropriate for the 21st century? Yes, there definitely is, and we’ve seen it before – from Snow White and the Huntsman to Once Upon a Time. I’m not sure what the point of this particular remake is – just because they can?

    Some of the live action remakes “hit” for me and some don’t. I wasn’t that big a fan of Lion King or Beauty and the Beast, but I loved the Aladdin remake. I have a feeling this is going to fall into the former category.

    For the original movie – it is also one of my least favorite movies, but it is a work of art, when you consider it was the first full length Disney movie. But Sleeping Beauty is so much better. I’m meh on cinderella.

  12. Eve says:

    *Quick correction: it was not a folded book. My mistake. Alice in Wonderland was slightly thicker than a booklet, with a small “pocket” on the endpapers, where the little disc was placed.

    • Winechampion says:

      My sister and I had a bunch of those too, Disney put them out. Booklets with accompanying record/cassette. There would be a chime when it was time to turn the page. 🙂

  13. Kath says:

    Cinderella and Sleeping beauty were the gold standard? Hard disagree
    For me the best old school Disney movies were Mulan, Aladdin, Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

    • Valerie says:

      I must have watched Cinderella as a kid because we had the VHS, but I couldn’t remember anything about it. I popped the tape in a few years ago, and it was surprisingly boring! It was beautifully animated, and there were some cute moments in it, but apart from that, I couldn’t see why it was so popular.

      Little Mermaid, on the other hand, didn’t make a strong impression on me as a kid, but I loved it as an adult. I thought it was really cute and funny. No idea why I shunned it when it came out.

    • The Recluse says:

      Technically not old school. They were not produced during the golden age of animation. They were the next stage, followed by the Pixar revolution.

    • Becks1 says:

      I don’t consider Aladdin, Little Mermaid etc “old school.” They were part of the big revitalizing of Disney movies in the early 90s. Little Mermaid basically brought the animated Disney musical back to life. But the OGs were Snow White, Cinderella, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty – that era in the 40s and 50s. (well Snow White was 37 but you get my point.)

  14. Selena says:

    Someone needs to call them out for not spelling “dwarves” correctly!

    • Lou says:

      Dwarfs is actually the correct spelling. Dwarves is a Tolkien misspelling, as someone said in an earlier comment. 🙂

  15. CourtneyB says:

    Once upon a time dealt with it just fine. Besides the dwarves in the fairy tale are more mythical aren’t they? Like hobbits? Maybe they could just call it Snow. Then not refer to the dwarves as dwarves, not define them at all. Maybe that would help? And unless they go all cgi it could be great work opportunities for some otherwise marginalized actors.

  16. jferber says:

    Love this man. He is one HELL of an actor. I enjoyed him and Melissa McCarthy so much as lovers and enemies in the comedy The Boss. Delightful.

  17. Mika says:

    Peter Dinklage knows what he’s talking about. If he says it’s offensive Disney, and all of us, should listen to him.