This March, Walt Disney Animation will release Zootopia, the studios 55th animated feature. Sometimes it’s hard to believe how far the Disney Company has come over the years. One thing is for sure, there would be no 2016 Zootopia if there were no 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Often called “Walt’s Folly,” Disney followed his heart and put his life on the line with the film. The success of the film shut the mouths of Walt’s critics. It was a huge success.
|The original movie poster.|
Some say that the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs feeds on stereotypes and complain that the main character just sits around waiting for a man to rescue her. However, they forget that in this story, Snow White is just a young teenager. She lives with her jealous step mother who treats her like a slave. It’s not like she had a choice to just move out on her own. There were no child protection services in this fairy tale. Still, the critics do have a point. She probably shouldn’t have just run off with the first prince that she met.
In some ways, you can compare the life of Snow White to life of Joseph from the Bible. It is doubtful that Disney had that in mind when creating the picture, but the similarities are interesting to note:
- Joseph was loved by his father, Snow White was loved by her father.
- Joseph’s siblings were jealous of him. Snow White’s step mother was jealous of her.
- Joseph’s brothers took him away to kill him. Snow White was taken to the woods to be killed by the Woodsman.
- Joseph’s life was spared, but was sold as a slave. Snow White’s life was spared and was told to run away and never come back.
- Joseph was thrown into prison. Snow White was poisoned.
- Joseph was later reunited with his brothers. Snow White was reunited with her prince.
Parents can actually use the story of Snow White as a biblical teaching tool. As role models go, parents could do worse. Snow White is almost always cheerful. She has a can-do attitude. She has a strong work ethic and whistles why she works. She is kind to animals (PETA would love her) as well as strangers. (Unfortunately, she is kind to a fault. Say “no” to the apples).
Over the years, the story of Snow White has been re-released a few times in theaters and the film has been made available on VHS and DVD for a period of time before going back into the "vault." This week, the film has been re-released again on Digital HD, DVD and Blu-ray. It will not only make a nice addition to family collection of films but it will appeal to animation enthusiasts as well. Special features in this edition include:
- Iconography (7:16)
A short film showing how the iconic film still influences pop culture today. Various professionals inspired by the film are interviewed, including Nathan Sawaya, LEGO artist; Brittney Lee, Art Director at Walt Disney Animation Studios; Sarah Banet-Weiser, Professor and Director, School of Communication, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; and Leslie Kay, creator of DisneyBound.
- @DisneyAnimation: Designing Disney’s First Princess (5:16)
Creative team members of Walt Disney Animation Studios discuss the animators who worked on the film and what each contributed to it.
- The Fairest Facts of Them All (4:37) Seven things you may not know about the movie hosted by Sofia Carson from Descendants.
- Snow White in 70 Seconds (1:12)
A rap about the basic key points of the movie sung/spoken by a young girl.
- Alternate Sequence: The Prince Meets Snow White (3:39)
This short uses original illustrations and recordings of Walt and his crew discussing a different idea for the film.
- Disney’s First Feature: The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (33:15)
A documentary on the production of the film. It includes interviews with film historian Brian Sibley, composer Michael Giacchino, historian John Canemaker, animator Eric Goldberg, director John Musker, and author Neal Gabler, alongside vintage interviews from folks like animators Ward Kimball and Marc Davis.
- Bringing Snow White to Life (11:35)
Animator Andreas Deja hosts this documentary about the animators who taught the famous “Nine Old Men.”
- Hyperion Studio Tour (30:36)
A documentary about the original studio used in the making of the film located in Silverlake.
- Decoding the Exposure Sheet (6:49)
A short showing all the work and detail that went into a production like Snow White by analyzing the scene where the Prince first meets Snow White as explained by Producer Don Hahn.
- Snow White Returns (8:44)
A short discussing the discovery of a Snow White project called Snow White Returns that was abandoned long ago. Apparently, it was intended to be a new cartoon short about the princess coming back to the dwarf’s home for a visit. In it narrated by Don Hahn.
- Story Meeting: The Dwarfs (5:51)
A reenactment of remarks made during the film’s production describing how the dwarfs should look, act and talk.
- Story Meeting: The Huntsman (8:44)
Same as above focusing on the character of the Huntsman.
- Deleted Scenes: (4:07 and 6:28)
"Soup Eating Sequence" and the "Bed Building Sequence"
- Animation Voice Talent (6:20)
A short built with archival footage and conversations with actors who voiced various characters for Disney and the reasons why Walt and his crew choose certain voice talent to be used in Snow White.
- Audio Commentary
This unique audio commentary is compiled mostly of Walt Disney audio files recorded over three decades.