Saturday, May 19, 2012
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Disney Special Platinum Edition)
#49 (1998) and #34 (2007) on the AFI Top 100 Movies List
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on the German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, it is the first full-length cel-animated feature in motion picture history, the first animated feature film produced in America, the first produced in full color, the first to be produced by Walt Disney Productions, and the first in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The story was adapted by storyboard artists Dorothy Ann Blank, Richard Creedon, Merrill De Maris, Otto Englander, Earl Hurd, Dick Rickard, Ted Sears and Webb Smith. David Hand was the supervising director, while William Cottrell, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, and Ben Sharpsteen directed the film's individual sequences.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre on December 21, 1937, followed by a nationwide release on February 4, 1938. It went on to gross a total of $8 million in international receipts in its opening release. The film was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" in 1989. It was one of two animated films to rank in the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest American films of all time in 1997 (the other being Disney's Fantasia), ranking number 49. It reached number 34 in the list's 2007 revision, this time being the only traditionally-animated film on the list. The AFI named the film as the greatest American animated film of all time in 1998.
* Adriana Caselotti as Snow White': Snow White is a young princess and the protagonist of the film. She is the daughter of a great king whose wife died when the daughter was very young. Her wicked stepmother has forced her to work as a scullery maid in the castle. Despite this, she retains a cheerful but naïve demeanor.
* Lucille La Verne as Queen Grimhilde: The Queen is the stepmother of Snow White and the main antagonist of the film. Once her magic mirror tells her that Snow White is fairer than she is, she immediately enlists Humbert the huntsman to kill her in the woods. After she discovers that Snow White did not die, she disguises herself as an old hag and uses a poisoned apple in order to remove Snow White from her path without killing her.
* Harry Stockwell as The Prince The prince first sees Snow White singing at her wishing well. He immediately falls in love with her and her voice. He later reappears to revive her.
* Roy Atwell as Doc: The leader of the seven dwarfs, Doc wears glasses and often mixes up his words.
* Pinto Colvig as Grumpy: Grumpy initially disapproves of Snow White's presence in the dwarfs' home, but later warns her of the threat posed by the Queen and rushes to her aid upon realizing that she is in danger, leading the charge himself. He has the biggest nose of the dwarfs, and is frequently seen with one eye shut.
* Otis Harlan as Happy: Happy is the joyous dwarf and is usually portrayed laughing.
* Pinto Colvig as Sleepy: Sleepy is always tired and appears laconic in most situations. Sterling Holloway was also considered for the role.
* Scotty Mattraw as Bashful: Bashful is the shyest of the dwarfs, and is often embarrassed by the presence of any attention directed at him.
* Billy Gilbert as Sneezy: Sneezy's name is earned by his extraordinarily powerful sneezes (caused by hay fever), which are seen blowing even the heaviest of objects across a room.
* Eddie Collins as Dopey (vocal effects and live-action reference only): Dopey is the only dwarf that does not have a beard. He is clumsy and mute, with Happy explaining that he has simply "never tried to speak".
* Moroni Olsen as The Magic Mirror: The Slave of the Magic Mirror appears as a green mask in clouds of smoke. The Queen regularly asks him who is the fairest in the land.
* Stuart Buchanan as Humbert the Huntsman: Despite his status as the Queen's assassin, the Huntsman cannot bear to kill Snow White, even when the Queen orders him to take the princess's heart.
The songs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs were composed by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey. Paul J. Smith and Leigh Harline composed the incidental music score. Well-known songs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs include "Heigh-Ho", the waltz "Some Day My Prince Will Come", and "Whistle While You Work". Because Disney did not have its own music publishing company at this time, the publishing rights for the music and songs were administered through the Bourne Co., which continues to hold these rights. In later years, the studio was able to acquire back the rights to the music from many of the other films, but not Snow White. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became the first American film to have a soundtrack album, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, released in conjunction with the feature film. Prior to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a movie soundtrack recording was unheard of and of little value to a movie studio.