Facebook suggested I go by order of publication so that put Snow White at the top of the list!
I saw this movie as a story about a girl becoming a woman while dealing with an abusive step-mother.
The Evil Queen (EQ) forces SW to wear rags and work as a scullery maid. Basically, we're talking abusive situation. We don't see them interact (other than the poison apple) so I'm left assuming that SW was ignored...much like the other "help" would have been.
However, she still maintains a hopeful outlook. She has faith that one day her prince will come and take her away from a bad situation. According to the internet, this would have taken place in the 1500's. Wanting to find a good husband was an appropriate goal! Even if we're talking the 1930's!! We shouldn't be shaming SW for finding SOMETHING, ANYTHING to keep her going each day.
The Prince is actually the creep here, to me anyway. HE jumps a wall to profess his love for this girl that, presumably, he hasn't met before. SHE runs into the castle in a state of freakout. She wants A prince but doesn't throw herself at THIS prince. I give her points for that.
After she runs from the Huntsman she has a panic attack in the woods. Her reaction after calming down?
Anyone that's been in an abusive relationship knows that your feelings are constantly minimized and stomped down. SW is simply reacting in the way she's been taught: That her feelings don't matter. I don't see this as her "princess training" but more as her "victim grooming."
When she comes upon the Dwarf House she believes orphan children live there. She wants to help them and does the ONLY THING SHE KNOWS and cleans up for them. I didn't see this as "girls are only good for cleaning/cooking" at all. I saw a girl who was taught she was only useful as a MAID and did what she knew she was good at: cooking and cleaning.
When SW eats the apple given by the EQ it's only after she's told it's a WISHING apple. This is a girl that has had nothing to hold on to in life except her wishes and dreams.
But Kas, isn't it silly that she believes biting an apple will grant her wish?
Isn't it silly to wish on a shooting star? To wish when you blow out candles? To wish at 11:11? What makes YOUR silly rituals different from hers?
Now...on to the HIDDEN THEME (in my opinion, anyway)
Snow White is a story about a girl growing up.
The EQ is considered the "fairest of them all" until SW turns 14...until she hits puberty. The queen wishes to have her killed: she wants to keep a little girl from growing up.
Each of the dwarfs can be seen as personality traits that someone going through the roller coaster that is puberty would experience.
Sneezy...okay, I couldn't fit this one in BUT I do remember being sick a lot as a teen?
SW embraces these dwarfs...these changes...with open arms and an open heart. The EQ is the one that has a problem with it.
The "growing up" and losing innocence is also clear when we talk about how to break the spell. It isn't "True Love's Kiss" that breaks it. The key is "True Love's FIRST Kiss." In order to make that final step from childhood to adulthood SW basically has to lose her innocence in the form of her first kiss.
And don't talk to me about "she needed a prince to save her!" The girl was in a magically induced coma. She isn't pulling out of that herself.
What role-models can we find in this story?
Male: The Huntsman is actually a great role-model. He refuses to kill SW. He is a shining example of standing up for what you believe in!!
The Dwarfs are also pretty good role-models. They're hard workers. They genuinely care about SW. They sacrifice their own comfort and sleep downstairs so that she can sleep in the comfortable beds.
Female: Surprisingly, Snow White. She maintains hope and a positive outlook in the face of abuse. When she's alone in the woods she still has the mentality of "I'll be fine. I can do this." She never stops dreaming and keeps faith that someday she won't have to put up with the abuse any longer. That takes serious strength.
Edited to Add: The only violence or mistreatment in this movie is woman on woman. The huntsman (male) refused to harm the girl. The dwarfs (male) take her in and accept her. It's the queen (a woman) that wants to harm another female. So it's actually the men that come out as the good guys.