Best Fairy Tale Movies: Snow White and the Huntsman

From recent theatrical releases, such as Into the Woods, to required reading lists for students, fairy tales are prominent contributors to popular culture and academia. Some parents may contemplate the lessons taught by fairy tales, while others fear the films may be too scary for their youngsters. We are sharing the Best Fairy Tale Movies series with the intention of addressing both of these considerations as well as broadening the fairy tale genre to include animated classics, live action adventures, and modern interpretations. So, delve into these on-screen stories to experience lessons in love, loss, and life and, perhaps, to find your new favorite film.


Snow White and the Huntsman may be based on a classic, but it is far from the sweet and colorful fairy tale that audiences are used to. This version depicts a very dark story with a lot of violence and mature scenes.    

Movie Details:

Released: June 1, 2012

Directors:  Rupert Sanders

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron

Rating: PG-13

Run time: 127 minutes

Snow White and the Huntsman is brought to us by the producer of 2010’s Alice in Wonderland.

Snow White and the Huntsman has a PG-13 rating, and parents are strongly cautioned – some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Is Snow White and the Huntsman educational?

It is hard to get past all of the death and mature themes that arise in Snow White and the Huntsman, but, if you do, you may be able to find some lessons worth bringing up with your kids. One lesson to be learned is one of protection. The story begins with the Huntsman being ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed. Spoiler alert! He finds her almost immediately, but is unable to kill an innocent, young beauty, and finds that she truly is “the fairest in the land.” Instead, the Huntsman winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.

Another lesson is one of maturity and growth. Snow White remains a princess in the eyes of the peasants, yet has undoubtedly become a brave warrior as the movie progresses. In order to regain her right to the thrown, she rallies the townspeople with words of experience and inspiration by saying:

We have rested long enough. Frost to fire and fire to frost. Iron will melt. But it will writhe inside of itself! All these years, all I’ve known is darkness. But I have never seen a brighter light than when my eyes just opened. And I know that light burns in all of you! Those embers must turn to flame. Iron into sword. I will become your weapon! Forged by the fierce fire that I know is in your hearts! For I have seen what she sees. I know what she knows. I can kill her. And I’d rather die today than live another day of this death! Who will ride with me? Who will be my brother?

The film is very different that the children’s story it was inspired by, but the general lessons remain the same. We can learn a great deal from a young girl who acquires the strength and confidence to become the person an entire town relies on her to be.

Will my family like Snow White and the Huntsman?

Overall, Snow White and the Huntsman will cause concern for parents, particularly those with children under the age of 13. Please be aware of the sex & nudity, violence & gore, profanity, alcohol/drugs/smoking, and frightening/intense scenes which may pose questions from your children, and could be seen as a bad influence. 

The film is based on the Brothers Grimm classic that has stood the hands of time. In their first edition, Snow White’s jealous mother is the villain, and takes her to gather flowers and abandons her. In 1937, Walt Disney released the animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which tells the story of 14-year-old Snow White who is found in the dwarf’s home by the evil queen, her step-mother, who tried to kill her with a poison apple.

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