First up we have a classic fairy tale which draws on this for the basic script and to bring us a world of evil magics, natural spririts and honest purity of love. The cast is superb, they all bring the exaggerated nature of their roles to the screen and I think that is what works here for a fairy-tale telling. In much the same way that the comic characters need to be big and bold, here we have the same but with the twists and flaws either backgrounded or highly fore-grounded for us.
[Snow White and the Huntsman promo imagery via desktopexchange]
The production was wonderful, from the lighting and cinematography to the dramatic soundtrack. Seeing the armoured knights on horseback storming into battle was a standout for me along with the majesty of the enchanted forest sequences. There are shortcomings, I think Snow White would have come across better if the character grew or had to overcome something of herself as our primary protagonist. In this regard the Huntsman was superior and a more honest and relateable character (plus he has a cool set of axes).
The CG effects work on the film is one of the highlights with exceptional work in a host of areas and doubtless a whole set of places that we cant even tell. First up the dwarves are superb, with normal-sized actor performances dwarfised for us. All the magical effects from mirrors to crows and trolls to fairies and some lovely ageing and youthfulising of the evil Queen. The computer work in films like this allows the creators to take us deeper into a fantasy world, to bring to life the vile, the monstrous and the magical.
[Snow White and the Huntsman CG by The Mill via CGSociety article]
Articles like the one on CGSociety show how a range of CG houses brought these CG sequences to life. The Mill used Maya, Houdini and Softimage to create the guts of the transforming mirror. Check out the article for some nice Troll mocap and info on ncam.
The costumes, armour and basically everything worn by everyone was lovely to watch and so some special credit should go to Collen Atwood. Check out these articles of the work on MovieFanatic and Ecouterre for more details.
Lastly lets draw a little inspiration from the concept artists, looking at the credits there was a small army of them brought on to deliver the visual feast. As always I love how these artists manage to imply detail while executing so much depth of feeling. Here is some work by Annis Naeem and Sebastian Meyer.
[Snow White and the Huntsman Concept Art by Annis Naeem via their blog]
[Snow White and the Huntsman Concept Art by Sebastian Meyer via his blog]
All up I loved this little fairytale film despite it being a little shallow in places - perhaps a real treasure for home-spun trailers as it is a superb looking piece of cinema.