Story

This movie is an adult version of the Snow White fairy tale. In the movie the Queen, Ravenna (Charlize Theron), is not only evil and sadistic but seems to have a split personality as well. The mirror represents her other persona and her madness. Her stunning beauty bewitches the recently widowed King Magnus (Noah Huntley), whom she kills on their wedding night. As reigning Queen she has the power to satisfy her lust for eternal youth and beauty. She can do this by sucking the blood from young life forms.

Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is imprisoned as a child. When she reaches adulthood, she becomes a threat to the Queen because the mirror sees her as pure of heart and innocent. The Queen orders her brother Finn (Sam Spruell) to kill Snow White, but she manages to escape to the dark forest. Enraged, the Queen orders a professional huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to seek her out and kill her. But the huntsman comes to care for Snow White and protects her as she tries to escape from the Queen’s soldiers. Together they face many dangers and find help when they meet the seven dwarves in an enchanted forest. Snow White is more concerned with saving her kingdom than with having a romantic relationship, which gives the original story an interesting twist.

Themes

The supernatural; madness; eternal youth

Violence

There is quite a lot of violence in this movie (although no blood and gore). For example:

  • King Magnus rides to battle with his soldiers to fight the dark army. When these soldiers are attacked with swords, they explode into fragments.
  • Queen Ravenna kills the King by stabbing him in the chest with a large dagger.
  • Queen Ravenna plucks the heart out of a bird with long false fingernails and drinks the bird’s blood.
  • Queen Ravenna picks up a young girl, Greta, by the throat and sucks her youth from her.
  • Snow White attacks Finn with a long nail, which leaves a scar down his face.
  • Queen Ravenna hits out at Finn and screams at him.
  • There are several battles between the huntsman and the Queen’s soldiers. The fighters use axes and swords.The Queen’s soldiers attack a women’s camp where Snow White has taken refuge. The soldiers burn down the huts and force the women and children to flee.
  • When the dwarves first see Snow White and the huntsman, they capture them, tie them upside down from a tree and hit the huntsman with sticks.
  • Finn almost kills the huntsman and tortures him by telling him how he killed the huntsman’s wife.
  • The huntsman kills Finn.
  • One of the dwarves is killed in the battle.
  • The final battle scene is very violent. The Queen’s soldiers send fire balls over the castle walls to kill Snow White and the Duke’s soldiers. They fire arrows, which hit men and horses. Many people are knocked down and killed.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight years. For example:

  • Snow White finds her father lying dead with a dagger in his chest.
  • The dark army throw Snow White into a prison cell where she stays until she’s an adult.
  • Greta grows old immediately when the Queen sucks her youth from her.
  • The mirror tells the Queen she must get Snow White’s heart to gain immortality.
  • The dark forest is very scary. Snow White sees dark ghostly creatures, hordes of beetles, snakes and dead birds.
  • A huge reptilian beast appears in the forest, knocks out the huntsman and roars at Snow White.
  • The Queen continuously changes from being young and beautiful to being old and ugly.
  • The Queen recalls that, when she was a child, her mother told her to drink blood to keep her youth.
  • In a particularly upsetting scene, the Queen’s soldiers shoot a beautiful white mountain goat with arrows.
  • When the huntsman kills Finn, the Queen feels his pain and falls to the ground writhing.
  • The Queen changes herself into Prince William, Snow White’s childhood friend, and gives Snow White a poisoned apple.
  • The huntsman attacks the Queen (who still looks like Prince William) with his axe, just as she’s about to take Snow White’s heart. She changes into a flock of crows.
  • The dwarves carry Snow White’s body back to the Duke’s castle.
  • The Queen stands in a circle of fire. Her face appears to be glowing with embers. 

From 8-13

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the violent and disturbing scenes mentioned above. 

Over 13

Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above. 

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie shows some use of substances. For example:

  • The huntsman and the dwarves all drink quite a lot.
  • One of the dwarves jokes about feeling ‘lovely’ because of eating the mushrooms in the enchanted forest.
  • The apple is poisoned, and Snow White eats it. 

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • The King is in bed with the Queen. He lies on top of her and kisses her, and then she kills him.
  • The Queen is shown nude from her lower back up, as she gets into a bath. 

Product placement

None of concern 

Coarse language

This movie has some mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Snow White and the Huntsman is an adult fairy tale that uses computer graphics very well to show magic and supernatural effects. It’s a much darker version of the original story and too scary and disturbing for children and younger teenagers.

The main message from this movie is that purity and innocence are better than beauty.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include selflessness, bravery, heroism and care and compassion for other people.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues, such as these:

  • When you destroy other people and things, you also destroy yourself.
  • A thirst for total power breeds fear and hatred.