Snow White Through The Ages: Who's The Fairest of Them All?

PHOTO: Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/Mary Margaret in Once Upon A Time.Autumn de Wilde/ABC
Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/Mary Margaret in 'Once Upon A Time'.

Hollywood's obsession with fairy tales is such that it should be nicknamed Fairywood.

This year alone, there were two feature films starring the character of Snow White, each portraying the raven-haired beauty in very different ways. And with the return of the hit series Once Upon a Time (Sundays at 8pm on ABC), it's the perfect time to take a look back at the most memorable variations of Snow White, dating as far back as the Brothers Grimm classic, from 1812.

It's interesting to see the sweet, innocent, and borderline helpless female heroine that worked so well nearly 200 years ago, evolve with the times.

"Little Snow White," by the Brothers Grimm (1812) The original creators of the tale were known for writing children's books in late 19th century Germany, and many of their tales were recreated in the 20th century by animator Walt Disney. In the original story, the central character didn't have a stepmother; instead, it was actually her own mother that wanted to kill her. Aren't you glad you were told the less dark version of this tale as a child?

Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, (1937) According to The Atlantic, Walt Disney was originally inspired to recreate Snow White's story after watching a silent film in 1916 called Snow White. Disney's 15-year-old imagination would go on to create one of the most memorable – and highest grossing – films of all time 20 years later. Most of us are familiar with this version, especially the loveable dwarves. Disney gave names and personalities to each of them (in the Grimm Brothers' version, the dwarves were just referred to as a collective group). Now, it's hard to imagine a retelling without Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Sneezey, Happy, Bashful, and Doc.

Kristen Kreuk in Snow White: The Fairest of Them All (2001) Starring Smallville's Kristen Kreuk (Lana Lang), Snow White is born into a peasant family (in every other version she is a princess) and after her mother dies, her father accidentally awakens a creature -- one of Satan's representatives -- who then grants him three wishes. If that weren't enough to make you scratch your head, the filmmakers also decided to rename the dwarves after the days of the week and give them each a color association. This TV movie remake is odd, to say the least.

Ginnifer Goodwin in Once Upon a Time (2011) Although Once Upon a Time incorporates the retellings of various fairy tales, Snow White is the central character and storyline that holds everything together. The writers of Lost created a world where Snow White (Goodwin), Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and co. have been cursed by the Evil Queen (a deliciously evil Lana Parrilla) and stripped of their happy endings, instead being forced to live in a modern day town called Storybrooke, Maine.

Lily Collins in Mirror Mirror (2012) Typically, Snow White's story has more dramatic elements in it than it does comedy, but for this 2012 film version, director Tarsem Singh (Immortals) decided it was time for a retelling within the comedy genre. Julia Roberts is surprisingly likeable as the Evil Queen and Lily Collins plays the wide-eyed and furry-browed Snow White, who isn't as much a damsel in distress as she is a girl looking for new adventures and a way to save her deceased father's kingdom from a corrupt leader. It's a charming remake (especially Armie Hammer as the Prince) and a suitable companion to Disney's 1937 version.

Kristen Stewart in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) The second 2012 Snow White film made more headlines because of a scandalous affair between its director and lead star than it did because of the movie itself. Notably, this version has been the darkest to date, not only in the look of the film, but also the characters -- Charlize Theron's truly Evil Queen and Kristen Stewart's fearless warrior. It appears that the classic tale will be revisited in a rumored part two, though perhaps not with the same cast/director.