Movies with high amounts of special effects are, simply put, not my forte (not everything can be historical, am I right?). But in the case of Snow White and The Huntsman, the special effects not only add to the film but actually make for a great movie. Without the special effects, Snow White loses its glamour, storyline, and overall appeal in the process. “Even realistic movies can benefit from [Computer generated imagery]” (Gianetti p33). Though the film is a fantasy movie, it is realistic visually. Constructing characters through CGI’s gave the film wide variety in style, allowing realism but also glamour and creativity.
The first special effect featured in Snow White and The Huntsman is during a fight scene. Two armies come to battle with large forces on both sides. One side, fighting with the King, is played by normal actors. The special effects come in with the opposing force, as the entire other side is computer generated imagery (CGI). As the king’s army kills the opposition (the CGI), they simply crack into a million black pieces. All of the army gets struck, cracks, turns black and metallic and hard, and then falls to the ground. The pathos in the special effect is a feeling of mystery. It begs the question: What is this army? Why are the breaking apart like that? The pathos also adds glamour. This special effect is intriguing and grand, setting the tone of the movie as glamourous and ornate, as it is. It makes for more grandness than most actual deaths could. The effect also adds ethos. The army’s dissolution is very convincing. Although no one dies like that in real life, it is a very believable in the scene. “As technology makes it easier for people to create and transmit images, images become more compelling than ever…” (Lunsford p442). The better the image, the more believable, the more compelling just as the death is. The CGI also adds logos that comes later in the movie. When the newly crowned queen kills the king, the audience is told that the original army the king fought was a phantom army. This gives the effect the logos; the way the soldiers degenerated makes sense, now that we know the army were phantoms. It is logical that a phantom would die in an unreal way for they are not real but only an image.
Another instance where Snow White and The Huntsman nailed it was in the mirror scene with the creation of the man from the mirror. We all know the famous Snow White evil queen line, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who’s the fairest of them all?” Of all of the movies who have said that line and done that scene, SW and The Huntsman does it best. This is entirely in part to the CGI’s. In the film, the mirror is a gold plaque on the wall. The evil queen asks the question and the gold melts. This melting is entirely special effect, computer generated imagery. The gold melts down and then grows into a full fledge man, covered by the gold. It perfectly outlines a man as a sheet would. This again adds ethos, pathos, and logos. The ethos comes from the true nature of the gold. The CGI gold melts like real gold, looks like real gold, and covers the man like a real gold sheet. Another type of ethos that comes is in the new style of the mirror scene. In the typical Snow White movie, the man appears in the mirror. In Snow White and The Huntsman, and through the use of CGI’s, he is the mirror. It is credible in that it is different, it is a fresh outlook on an overdone scene, giving it believability and plausibility adding more reputation to the movie. The pathos again comes from the glamour. It is ornate and beautiful effect like the army. It truly creates a sense of awe. The logos comes from that the mirror starts as gold, and ends as gold. It makes sense.
Snow White and the Huntsman shows that special effects, particularly CGI’s, when done right, can really add to the argument of the movie. These two effects discussed added, ethos, pathos and logos, and made the movie what it is. It added glamour, and truly made it stand out as the best Snow White movie done (yet... SW&TH2 is on its way). But hey who am I to judge… although it was nominated in the category of “Best Visual Effects” at the Oscars. With that, I give Snow White and The Huntsman’s special effects 5 pickles.