Live-Action Snow White’s Dwarfs Make The Casting Controversy Even Worse

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Summary

  • Snow White’s CGI dwarfs in the upcoming remake resulted from Disney’s controversial decision to cast one actor as all seven dwarfs. This choice has been met with criticism for not providing opportunities to actors with dwarfism.
  • Disney’s decision to use CGI for the dwarfs instead of casting actors with dwarfism takes away opportunities for underrepresented individuals in the community. It also increases production costs by requiring CGI in every scene with multiple dwarfs.
  • The controversy surrounding the Snow White remake is further exacerbated by the use of CGI to create the dwarfs. Disney would have been better off casting actors with dwarfism, both for inclusivity and for the film’s reputation.


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Disney has released a first-look image from its upcoming live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, simply titled Snow White, and it doesn’t help the film’s casting controversy. The new version of Snow White will star Rachel Zegler as Snow White and Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen. It’s directed by The Amazing Spider-Man’s Marc Webb from a screenplay by Erin Cressida Wilson and Barbie’s Greta Gerwig. Snow White was originally set to be released on March 22, 2024, but it’s been delayed until March 21, 2025, due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Since its announcement, Snow White has generated a lot more controversy than the average Disney remake. From the remake’s changes to the story to Zegler’s comments dismissing the original movie, there are plenty of controversies surrounding Snow White. One of the most polarizing aspects of the production was Disney’s decision to only cast one actor – Martin Klebba – to play all seven dwarfs. Based on Snow White’s first-look image, it looks like Klebba has potentially been CGI’d in some way, which makes it feel worse that Disney didn’t just cast seven different actors with dwarfism in these roles.


Snow White’s CGI-Looking Dwarfs Are The Result Of Disney’s Casting

First look at Rachel Zegler in Snow White

The uncanny-valley CG dwarfs in the Snow White remake are a result of Disney’s controversial casting decision. Instead of casting multiple actors, the Mouse House hired Klebba to play each of the seven dwarfs, so they have to be CGI’d into scenes where they are all together in some fashion. This is similar to how Temuera Morrison played all the clones in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, but where those clones were canonically identical, the dwarfs are all supposed to be separate, distinctive characters.

The choice to retell the story with the dwarfs at all was met with some backlash. Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage made headlines when he criticized Disney for continuing to tell a “backwards story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together.” The responses to Dinklage’s comments were mixed, but the negative responses claimed that removing the dwarfs from the story would take opportunities away from actors with dwarfism, which Disney’s CGI is doing anyway.

Disney’s Live-Action Snow White Would’ve Been Better Off With Casting More Actors With Dwarfism

The logo for Disney's Snow White remake

Disney would have been better off casting seven actors with dwarfism to play the dwarfs in its Snow White remake. First and foremost, this would offer more opportunities to underrepresented actors in the dwarfism community. But it would also save the studio money, because it wouldn’t need to use CGI in every single shot featuring more than one of the dwarfs. Disney is already in hot water over this Snow White remake, and CGI-ing one actor to play every dwarf won’t help.