Take the version we watched in class on Wednesday: we were shown a woman who wanted to be beautiful, and sought the (mis)guidance of a witch who wanted Snow White's head. The woman's initial desires had nothing to do with Snow.
Then think about the Disney take on the story, in which right away we are confronted with a villainous version of that same character, and the woman jealous of Snow White's beauty is already the stepmother. We never see her character or intentions out of connections from Snow.
Does this seemingly minor change do anything to the story? I think so.
The Disney version, in which the stepmother is after Snow White from the start, gives credence to the idea that there is a parent out to get the child. Like we read from Bettleheim a while ago, it is possible that children want to believe that. Versions in which the villain is already the stepmother allows for that thought trail, because her intentions are against Snow White.
In other versions of the story, the future stepmother's cruelty is less of a focus, because it all falls in the master plan to become beautiful. Since the witch is the master of the plan against Snow, the stepmom-to-be loses some of her agency as a true villain. Her intentions are solely to be beautiful - Snow is simply an unfortunate stepping stone to achieving that goal.
What do you think?