However, in the Disney film, the Prince is introduced early in the story. He falls in love with Snow White, and the Queen gets jealous. Events progress similarly, although Snow White is only tricked once and only eats the poisoned apple. However, now only “true love’s first kiss” can awaken her. The Prince fills this role, and his kiss brings her out of her death-like state. In this version, the Prince is the hero, as his actions are what make the happy ending.
A key similarity between the two versions is that Snow White keeps the dwarfs’ house for them. While they go out to work, she stays home to cook and clean. However, even in this there are a few minor differences. Her role is exaggerated in the Disney film, as the dwarfs are portrayed as excessively messy and dirty before she comes along. The Grimm tale portrays the dwarfs as capable of taking care of themselves before her arrival.
Overall, the Disney version portrays Snow White as belonging in a domestic setting and being entirely dependent on men to save her. Disney made these changes to promote his own ideological beliefs. However, these beliefs were so radical at the time. The film came out in 1937 and in the middle of the Great Depression, most women were the homemakers and the men were trying to earn money. It also fit with the zeitgeist of the time, since the audience needed to believe in the Prince Charming character. Many men were having trouble providing for their families due to the economic circumstances. Disney’s Snow White showed the audience that men still held a vital role in society and that little girls could dream of a rich, handsome man coming to rescue them from an unfortunate situation. It is still important to note that the message of the film is that women belong in the house, and that was part of Walt Disney’s beliefs. He likely exaggerated the portion of the film where Snow White takes care of the dwarfs to further endorse this lifestyle for a woman.