Sunday, February 03, 2013

Snow White turns 76

When Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs had its world premiere on December 21, 1937, Walt Disney claimed it was his Christmas gift to the children of the world.

For many animators my age, the two most pivotal films mentioned for starting their interest were "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", and "King Kong.  This was certainly true for myself but I still marvel at the revolutionary vision of Snow White.

I've said this more than once, (and people who have worked with me probably wish I would stop), but never in print.  So let's look at what makes this the stand-out film for me.

Considering the times cartoons had largely been limited to short films.  Despite what Disney would like you to believe, Snow White was not the first animated feature, there were two others before, and this may have caused some to prematurely label Snow White as Disneys' Folly, but the film was a water-shed success.  It garnered enough money to save the studio and finance more feature work.

Snow White was a unique and unproven mix of genres.  It is first a fairytale, then it's a romance.  It is also a musical, and a comedy.  Surprisingly it is a drama and a horror film.  And last but not least, it's an animated film.  This mix has become a bit of a formula for everything that followed at Disney but what a gutsy first move!

You can argue the films done under Walts supervision and after his death but you can't argue Walt as a visionary and the lasting appeal of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".  She is still the fairest in the land to me.


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