Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Release Year: 1937
Directors: David Hand (supervising), William Cottrell (sequence), Wilfred Jackson (sequence), Larry Morey (sequence), Perce Pearce (sequence), Ben Sharpsteen (sequence)
Writers: Jacob & Wilhem Grimm (based on their 1812 fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Ted Sears (adaptation), Richard Creedon (adaptation), Otto Englander (adaptation), Dick Rickard (adaption), Earl Hurd (adaptation), Merrill de Maris (adaptation), Dorothy Ann Blank (adaptation), Webb Smith (adaptation).
Starring (voices): Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Pinto Colvig, Eddie Collins, Otis Harlan, Billy Gilbert, Scotty Mattraw, Moroni Olsen
Rating: Won 1 honorary Oscar for its significant screen innovation (one big Oscar and seven small ones). Nominated for 1 Oscar: Best Score.
Sunday Classic #300, week 12 2020
The evil Queen is jealous of her stepdaughter Snow White’s beauty and plans her murder, but Snow White escapes into the big forest wheree she is rescued by seven dwarfs, who take her into their household.
By the mid 1930s Walt Disney had made his animation studio World famous by the help of a little character called Mickey Mouse as well as his wonderful short masterpieces known as Silly Symphonies. Yet, when he announced his intention to create the world’s first animated feature film many thought he had lost it and would ruin himself. Needless to say, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a great succes both commercially and critically and, when corrected for inflation, remains the highest grossing animated film of all time. In one fell swoop, Disney convinced the naysayers and made moviegoers realise the great potential of animation. Even today, so many Disney films later, it is easy too see Snow White’s great appeal. The film is as meticulously and carefully animated as any of the seven minute short of that period. This was a time when Disney studio’s animation quality was superb in everything they did, something that the financial aftermath of World War Two would put a stop to, and this artistic pride really shows. There is great detail given to characters; Snow White and the prince may be somewhat over-sweet, but what they lack in charm, the seven dwarfs more than make up for. Snow White can also boast of having one of the absolute best Disney villains in the form of the evil Queen. The house of the dwarfs display gorgeous “set design” and all the animals of the foret are simply adorable. With wonderfully music, funny as well as moving and even frightening scenes inspired by German Expressionism,this classic European fairy tale is brought to funny, charming, and beautiful life and as the fairy tale itself, this adaptation of it remains a timeless classic and a must-see for anyone with an interest in film history.
Some of the animators were opposed to the name Dopey as they found it too modern for a classic fairy tale. However, Disney argued for it by claiming that the name had been used by Shakespeare and the animators were evidently convinced by this. Any reference to the word “dopey” in Shakespeare has yet to be found.
Lucille Le Verne, the voice of the Queen, was told that they needed an older, rapsier voice for the Queen when disguised as the Old Witch. La Verne left the sound booth, returned a few minutes later, and delivered just what they had asked for. When they asked her how she had done that voice, she replied “Oh, I just took out my teeth”.
Disney Studioes in Burbank, California was build with the profits from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Picture Copyright: Disney