Two mirrors, two evil queens, two fairest maidens and fourteen dwarves -- add all that together and you get two very, very different interpretations of "Snow White." The dueling fairy tale adaptations "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Mirror Mirror" have both launched their first full-length trailers now, giving viewers their best points of comparison yet for the two similar projects... except, if you've watched the trailers, you know they're hardly similar at all.
The MTV Movies team of Josh Wigler, Amy Wilkinson and Kevin P. Sullivan put their heads together to weigh the similarities and differences between the two "Snow White" trailers. Read the pound-for-pound results after the jump!
Josh Wigler: Right off the bat, the difference in tone between these two “Snow White” projects couldn’t possibly be clearer. “Huntsman” takes itself very seriously, selling what looks like a “Lord of the Rings” take on the classic fairytale. Tarsem’s take, on the flip side, is slap-sticky and over-the-top in the comedy department. Call me tasteless, but I sort of love how ridiculous “Mirror Mirror” looks, though I know some of my colleagues don’t agree…
Kevin P. Sullivan: You can count me as one of your opponents on this. It’s easy to pick on “Mirror Mirror” for the silliness that was that trailer—and don’t get me wrong, it was ridiculous—but the bigger problem is that I’m not sure who that film is aimed at. Is it for the kids? Is it for middle-aged women? Nathan Lane fans? I have no idea. “Huntsman,” in the trailer at least, knows exactly what it is and who it’s trying to get into theaters, and I count myself among those people.
Amy Wilkinson: Tarsem’s made it pretty clear that this movie is for children, even going so far as to tell Moviefone that it’s “sickeningly kiddie.” Here’s hoping a PG rating follows, but regardless, “Mirror Mirror” is the sort of fare you’ll want to take the nieces and nephews to see, while reserving “Huntsman” for date night.
JW: Usually, you know a Tarsem Singh movie when you see it. Which is why it’s so weird that when I look at the “Huntsman” trailer, that’s got the more obvious Tarsem style: vast landscapes, creatures disintegrating in elaborate fashion… more than that, “Mirror Mirror” just seems so far outside of Tarsem’s usual wheelhouse. It’s not what I expect at all from the director of “The Cell,” to say the least.
KS: I do have to agree with you that some elements of the “Huntsman” trailer look more like the Tarsem we know and love, but “Mirror Mirror” is undeniably a Tarsem Singh joint, just not as weird as we’re used to seeing. The style is definitely there, just not in the heaping helpings we got in “Immortals” and “The Fall,” and sadly nothing stuck out to me as particularly interesting, just boilerplate Tarsem. “Huntsman,” on the other hand, surprised me with how engaging I found some of those visuals, especially the sassy, gold lamé-draped mirror.
AW: As the lone girl in this clubhouse (and the only one whose closet isn’t composed solely of plaid), I suppose the duty falls to me to comment on “Mirror Mirror”’s style through a fashion lens, and in that regard, I disagree with Kevin. I mean, this clip has enough eye candy to leave you sick with a tummy ache for days. For one, Snow and Prince Charming obviously went on a double date to Princess Beatrice’s milliner, because those fascinators perched precariously on their heads are wild. And where “The Huntsman” wallows in its shades of gray, “Mirror Mirror” is the cinematic equivalent of a 64-count box of Crayolas. And I love it.
JW: Both Snow White trailers have leaned heavily on their Evil Queens, and why not? These Oscar-winners are the heaviest hitters in both projects, so it makes sense to let them shine as much as possible. Charlize’s Queen chews on scenery and spits out venom in return, and it yields a very potent sting. Julia, meanwhile, chews on scenery, swallows it up and relishes in her bloatedness. She’s having a very fun time playing this character, but I wonder if we’re going to have as much fun watching her.
KS: They just had to get a patented Julia Roberts laugh into the trailer, didn’t they? Haw-HA! In fairness, Julia did bring some life to the “Mirror Mirror” trailer. Both Queens are doing what they do best, and that’s always appreciated, but Charlize going all out evil is the performance that’s going to be remembered beyond opening weekend.
AW: It’s almost unfair to compare Julia’s Queen to Charlize’s Queen. Perhaps I unknowingly took a bite of a poisonous apple, because I found myself simply spellbound by Charlize’s menacing maniac, while Julia’s kooky caricature barely kept my attention.
JW: Speaking purely in terms of exposure, Lily Collins wins the Snow White battle so far. We know Lily’s Snow better, simply from hearing her talk and watching her go through the motions of several scenes with dwarves and princes aplenty. Stewart’s Snow is taking the less-is-more approach for now, leaving that first “Huntsman” trailer without uttering a single line. I think her silence works quite well in the context of the trailer, but from another perspective, her downplayed presence could be a warning sign...
KS: Josh, you took the bait. The “Huntsman” trailer wanted you to want to know more about Stewart’s Snow White, and that’s exactly what happened. The lack of Snow White presence in that trailer is intriguing, especially because she offers something different, character-wise. The Lily Collins Snow gets overshadowed by Julia’s Queen and the dwarves, which we’ll get to in a moment. Less takes the cake over more here. Stewart’s Snow gets my nod.
AW: It’s interesting that both films are intent on positioning Snow as anything but a damsel in distress. To wit, Lily’s Snow lilts in the trailer, “I’ve read so many stories where the prince saves the princess. It’s time we change that ending.” If that’s the litmus test by which we’re judging the two heroines, Kristen is clearly the fiercest of them all. For goodness’ sake, Lily doesn’t even pull her hair back for the big sword-fighting scene. I don’t know any girls who swashbuckle with their mane loose!
JW: We barely see the dwarves at all in the “Huntsman” trailer. But because not a one of them utters the words “Snow White? Snow Way!” in the trailer, they’re already better than the dwarves in “Mirror Mirror.” I dig what Tarsem’s trying to do here, but this is even a little too ridiculous for me.
KS: “Snow way” induced a legendary head shaking on my part. “Mirror Mirror” handed critics a review headline gift-wrapped when that line showed up in the trailer. If Stewart’s Snow tops Collins’ by virtue of less is more, the dwarves of “Huntsman” beat “Mirror Mirror” because a non-appearance trumps whatever that was.
AW: Do I really have to comment on little ugly men? I’d rather write an ode to Chris Hemsworth…
Which trailer do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section and on Twitter!