Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was the very first full-length cel-animated feature in the history of motion pictures.
Created by Walt Disney, it may have been technically surpassed by sophisticated animation films that followed, but remains incomparable for the endearing characters, real emotions, and fine storytelling. Based on the German fairy tale by Brothers Grimm, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs tells the story of the large-hearted, innocent Snow White who escapes her evil stepmother only to be sheltered in the woods by the lovable dwarfs - Sleepy, Dopey, Sneezy, Happy, Bashful, Grumpy, and Doc. In 2008, the American Film Institute named it the greatest American animated film of all time. 2012 will be the 75th anniversary of the feature.
The Making of Snow White
Walt Disney met with much opposition during the making of Snow White. Up until then, Disney Studios had only been making animated short subjects in the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. Disney's estimated budget for Snow White was $250,000 - ten times the budget of an average Silly Symphony. During production, Hollywood scornfully referred to the film as Disney's Folly and Disney had to mortgage his home to finance the production. Finally, the film was completed at a cost of $1,488,422.74, a staggering sum for a film in those days.
Snow White was the first American film to have a soundtrack album released simultaneously with the film's release. Some popular songs from the film are - 'Heigh-Ho', 'Whistle While You Work', and 'Some Day My Prince Will Come'.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered on 21st December 1937 to a star-studded audience that included Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Judy Garland, Ginger Rogers, and Shirley Temple, among others. As the film ended, it got an ecstatic standing ovation from the audience, many of whom had called it Disney's Folly! New York Times responded with Thank you very much, Mr. Disney and Time magazine featured Disney with his adorable dwarfs on its cover. The full-length animated featured had finally arrived! This film which Disney's wife, Lillian, had predicted nobody would pay a dime to see went on to make an international gross of $6.5 million by May 1939.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs won an Academy Honorary Award for Walt Disney who was presented with a full-size Oscar statuette and 7 miniature ones. Snow White is one of the few fictional characters who has been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
75th Year Celebrations
To commemorate turning 75, a special edition wall calendar is being released featuring Snow White and her seven little protectors. Meanwhile, two movies with the character of Snow White are being released in 2012. The first is The Brothers Grimm: Snow White starring Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen and Lily Collins as Snow White. The second is Snow White and the Huntsman with Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Chris Hemsworth as the Hunter, and Charlize Theron reprising the part of the Evil Queen.