Historical Events  Movies
Mirror mirror

Mirror, mirror

Magic mirror

Did the movie change the line?

Pretty much everyone remembers the quote from Disneys 1937 classic "Snow White" as "Mirror, mirror on the wall..." but in the movie the line is actually "Magic mirror on the wall...".

It's referenced as "Mirror, mirror" in many places too - such as the Shrek movie, and there is even a movie actually titled "Mirror, mirror" too.

There could be an explanation for this one, however.

The movie Snow White was based on is the earlier Brothers Grimm fairy tale book in which it actually is written "Mirror, mirror...", so this line would have already been in the public consciousness by then, and Disney changing it at the time might not have been noticed.

Brothers Grimm

The actual lines from the book are:

Spieglein, Spieglein, an der Wand,
Wer ist die Schönste im ganzen Land?

In English:

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who's the fairest on the land?

Other languages

It turns out the phrase is translated the incorrect way in other languages too.

Portuguese: "ESPELHO ESPELHO MEU" (translating would be something like : "MIRROR MIRROR MY"), but the correct is : "FALA MÁGICO ESPELHO" ("TALK MAGIC MIRROR").

Italian: "specchio specchio delle mie brame" (mirror mirror of my desires) but it's actually "specchio, servo delle mie brame" (mirror, servant of my desires).

Spanish:  “Espejo, espejito, en la pared” (mirror, small/little mirror, on the wall) However, it's actually "sabio espejo consejero" (wise mirror adviser)

The point is the translation carries over the double "Mirror, mirror" when it shouldn't, because the meaning is to actually say "special", "wise" or "magic" etc which is an attribute of the mirror, and not just the word repeated as in English.

Here's the clip, along with the Shrek version:

This one does seem to have more evidence pointing towards it not being a Mass Memory Discrepancy Effect than most.

It is still incredibly common for people to quote it "wong" - assuming they are not aware of the controversy.