Sunday, February 2, 2014

*Disney Week* 20 Things You Didn't Know About Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs


  1. As Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the first full-length animated film ever, you can imagine that Walt Disney fought hella adversity. The film was nicknamed "Disney's Folly" by the press, as most believed it would fail. Walt's brother and business partner, Roy, and wife, Lillian, both attempted to talk him out of it.
  2. Ever wonder why Walt picked the Snow White fairy tale to adapt first? He was drawn to the possible "screwiness" of the dwarfs and the gags that could be built around them. In fact, the thrust of the film was to originally focus on the dwarfs.
  3. Walt and his cohorts selected the dwarfs' names from a large pool of ideas, including Jumpy, Deafy, Dizzey, Hickey, Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Nifty, Sniffy, Swift, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, Tubby, Shorty and Burpy. The final seven names were chosen through process of elimination. And if you don't know what those seven names are, seriously just go home.
  4. Animators opposed using the name Dopey, as they considered it too modern a word. Walt assured them that Shakespeare used the word. To this day, "dopey" has yet to be found in any of his works.
  5. Most of the animators working on the film were cartoonists and were not artistically trained. Walt had them take classes in animating human and animal anatomy. Also, as was common with many early Disney films, scenes involving Snow White, the Queen, and Prince were filmed with live actors as reference material for the animators. Though the animators disapproved of rotoscoping, or the tracing of live action footage for animation, some scenes involving Snow White and the Prince were rotoscoped.
  6. Walt was forced to mortgage his home when the film's budget ballooned from $250,000 to $1.5 million.
  7. Though it's not stated in the film, original publicity material for the film states that the Queen's name is Grimhilde and the Huntman's name is Humbert. The Prince is never officially named, but he was unceremoniously given the name Florian once when Disney started its princess franchise.
  8. Incidentally, Florian is a pedophile because Snow White is 14 years old.
  9. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first film to be accompanied by the release of a soundtrack album.
  10. Lucille La Verne, who voiced the Queen, was able to achieve the raspy snarl of the Old Hag by removing her dentures.
  11. Though the film takes place in Germany, the trees animated for the forest sequence are only found in Canada. Walt had toured British Columbia and liked the trees' twisting shapes.
  12. At one point during the film's production, the Queen wasn't poised, vain, and beautiful, but fat, batty, and self-satisfied. Likewise, the Prince was originally clown-like. I think we can all holler a collective "thank God" all of that was changed.
  13. The Prince proved extremely difficult to animate, which is why (1) an entire subplot in which the Queen kidnaps him and tries to marry him was scrapped and (2) he looks like a girl.
  14. To make Snow White look more natural and radiant, female animators applied their own blush to the drawings. Walt was so impressed with the results that he had them do it for the entire film.
  15. Walt Disney had voice actress Adriana Caselotti backlisted in Hollywood, believing that Snow White's voice shouldn't be heard anywhere else. I happen to agree, but only because it's annoying as shit.
  16. This movie is apparently really scary, because not only did the UK stamp a rating on it that required anyone under 16 to be accompanied by an adult to see the film, but young children reportedly wet their pants, and consequently the seats, at the film's premiere at the Radio City Music Hall. Those seats had to be reupholstered.
  17. At the time of its release, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the most successful sound film of all time, as well as the most successful film of 1938.
  18. At the 11th Academy Awards, Walt Disney received an honorary Oscar statue and seven little statues for the film. The award was presented to him by Shirley Temple.
  19. Hitler was apparently a huge fan of the film. Not only did he hold private screenings, but he even drew sketches of the film's character. Does that not just make your bowls twitch?
  20. A short film entitled Snow White Returns was in its early production stages when Walt scrapped it for unknown reasons.
That's it, folks! Disney Week is over.

2 comments:

Taylor said...

So sad that Disney week is over!!!

Taylor said...

LOL at 10 and 12!
But sort of upset about #13! I would have loved some more of the queen!