Inset: Finnish Director Matti Ranin
It all started for Kenneth Sundberg when he was about 8 or 9 years old. He was sitting in a café of a big department store with his mother...
It was the magic moment - my very first glance at the movie's beautiful trailer. As I remember it, there was a small silver screen on a wall on which movie trailers were projected. All of a sudden a sunny forest, lush with colour, grabbed my attention. On top of a little hill, among some animals, there was a beautiful young woman in a yellow dress, stretching her arms. For me, it was love at first sight.
It was the early 1980s, and the theatrical trailer he saw was for the re-release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A lifelong interest in Disney's first princess had begun. It wasn't long after that Ken went to see the film all by himself as a kid.
After seeing it the first time, I spent nearly all following weekends in the same movie theatre, watching SNOW WHITE at least ten times during the following month or so.
I was enthralled by the whole of the motion picture. The sights, the sounds, the story and soul of SNOW WHITE captivated me entirely.
Ken lives outside of Helsinki, so the Disney version he watched back then was the Finnish dubbed and directed film by Matti Ranin, a legendary actor-director in Finland.
In the new dub (of 1982 or 1983), Matti Ranin really gave the character a distinct amount of credibility by choosing Jaana Oravisto in the speaking role. And the singing - provided by opera singer Johanna Nurmimaa - matched the speaking voice beautifully.
Ranin clearly stayed away from emulating the original 1937 voices. Actress Jaana Oravisto breathed significant new life into Snow White's character with a beautifully warm voice that even had a touch of maternal quality.
Many years have passed since Ken's introduction to Snow White, but his fondness for the film hasn't waned. He is the creator of the KenNetti Snow White Database, a website he developed to share information about his interests.
Recently, I had the opportunity to ask Ken a few questions via email about his site. Here's what he had to say...
If I have one true obsession, it is the obsession for information. Despite a vast amount of information on the Internet, the quality and the presentation are often questionable. And even if good information is found here or there, the continuous searching usually bugs me. Thus I began collecting comprehensive databases that would make it easier for myself to talk about things I love. Yes, KenNetti is basically a database for my own use. Because it contains only the things I find interesting, it tells shamelessly about myself and features quite unusual perspectives. So, it's actually a mixture of a blog, a fansite and a serious database.
The name of KenNetti is a combination of my name and the Finnish slang word "netti" (meaning Internet). I wanted the domain name to be as simple as possible. Simplicity is also a guiding force in everything I do. I actually hate websites that are too complicated in their structure and with everything flashing, blinking and moving with very little actual content to be found.
Character illustrations copyright Disney. Enhanced by KenNetti.
The SNOW WHITE'S SCARY ADVENTURES TRIBUTE is only one part (though an enormous one) of the KenNetti site. The "SWSA Tribute" is actually a subsection of KenNetti's SNOW WHITE DATABASE, that includes several smaller sections about the movie. Another enormous section is THE FAIREST...AND THE SCARIEST OF THEM ALL, offering a thorough look to the more epic SNOW WHITE movie that was planned but eventually not made.
Though the site is currently very incomplete (especially its English sections), my future vision of it is really a database where everything will eventually connect to everything (with thousands of links) - exactly like in my very own head... ;)
Other subsection samplings from the Snow White Database include info on the movie soundtrack, Disneyland's Snow White's Grotto, and the 1980s Finnish film version by Matti Ranin.