SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937) (Mania.com)

By:Mike Lyons
Date: Friday, June 08, 2001

Before Walt Disney's SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS hit screens, animation was a world where rubbery animals 'bonked' each other on the heads with blunt objects. Disney knew that his film was going to need to be more. In SNOW WHITE, the characters run a gamut of emotion: a huntsmen plots the death of Snow White; an evil queen transforms herself into a wicked crone; and all seven Dwarfs, gelatinous tears flowing from their eyes, mourn the 'passing' of the film's heroine. The fact that animation was merged with acting is what truly quantifies SNOW WHITE as a landmark. Disney married all this with a Gothic tone borrowed from European fairy-tale storybooks. In addition, SNOW WHITE's pristine animation is even more amazing to watch today, considering that computer imagery wasn't even a germ of an idea. It must have all had its intended effect. 'Legend' has it that when SNOW WHITE premiered at New York's Radio City Music Hall, so many children wet their pants out of fright that ushers had to constantly change the seat cushions. Subsequent generations can empathize: to this day, each time SNOW WHITE is shown, there's not a dry seat in the house. Mike Lyons