Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Willa: An American Snow White
Part of the From the Brothers Grimm series - a collection of folk and fairy tales retold in American settings - Willa: An American Snow White is an adaptation of the Snow White story, set in the rural South around the year 1915.
After her father dies, Willa is left to live alone with her stepmother - an aging woman who was once a beloved and beautiful stage actress. The vain woman grows increasingly jealous of Willa, who, in addition to being young and beautiful, is a budding actress herself. To escape her stepmother's evil wrath, Willa leaves home and falls in with a travelling medicine show, performing every night and selling Chief Tonka's magical (and, as Willa finds out, horrible tasting) "elixir of life." When the evil stepmother finally catches up with her, we hope Willa's new friends and a handsome movie maker will be able to help protect her.
Beautifully filmed, humorous, and haunting, this movie will be especially appealing to older kids and adults who enjoy fairy tales. Included in this dvd's special features are two documentaries about the type of travelling medicine show depicted in the movie, and which were popular in the early 20th century. Also included is a Spanish language version, "El Elixir De La Felicidad."
If you like this movie, be sure to check out another film from this series, Ashpet: An American Cinderella.