The beautiful and kindhearted princess Snow White charms every creature in the kingdom except one - her jealous stepmother, the Queen. When the Magic Mirror proclaims Snow White the fairest one of all, she must flee into the forest, where she befriends the lovable seven dwarfs - Doc, Sneezy, Grumpy, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, and Dopey. But when the Queen tricks Snow White with an enchanted apple, only the magic of true love's kiss can save her.Written by
Lesley (from the back of the Snow White DVD)
For the scene where the dwarfs are sent off to wash, animator Frank Thomas had Dopey do a hitch step to catch up to the others, as suggested in the storyboard. Walt Disney liked it so much he had the step added to other scenes - much to the chagrin of the other animators, who blamed Thomas for the extra work they had to do. See more »
During Snow White's funeral, the first shot of the entire room shows Grumpy, Sneezy and Bashful sitting in a row, while Sleepy is on the left side, holding onto a chair. However, the close-up shots show Sleepy and Grumpy's positions reversed.
Similarly, when the Dwarfs later surround her glass coffin in the forest, Grumpy sits next to Sneezy and Bashful (similar to the previous scene), but in the following shot (which shows a wide view of the forest), Grumpy and Sneezy's positions are switched (with Grumpy sitting between Sneezy and Bashful). See more »
Slave in the magic mirror, come from the farthest space, through wind and darkness I summon thee. Speak! Let me see thy face.
What wouldst thou know, my Queen?
Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?
Famed is thy beauty, Majesty. But hold, a lovely maid I see. Rags cannot hide her gentle grace. Alas, she is more fair than thee.
Alas for her! Reveal her name.
Lips red as the rose. Hair black as ebony. Skin white as snow.
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Unusual for a film of this era, the words "THE END" never appear on screen. See more »
It has a complicated censorship history in the UK and was once censored. In 1938, it was passed A uncut, meaning it was restricted to viewers aged 16 and over unless accompanied by an adult. In 1953, RKO resubmitted the film in the hope of lowering the original decision to a U for a 1954 re-release. The BBFC refused to do so unless the following cuts were made:
Remove sounds of screaming and sight of clutching hands from the forest sequence.
Reduce sound effects in the Queen's transformation sequence.
Remove the sight of a skeleton in the poison apple sequence.
Remove the sound of the witch screaming as she falls from the rocks.
RKO declined to make the cuts so appealed the decision to the local authorities where the film was to be shown - councils have the power to overturn the BBFC's theatrical decisions (which very rarely happens). The results were mixed - some lowered it to a U and others stuck with the BBFC's A decision. For the 1964 re-release, RKO relented and made the cuts, as it would be less confusing for the film to play with the same certificate nationwide. Only in 1987 was it finally passed uncut at U, for the 50th anniversary cinema re-release. Examiners noted that each scare was either followed by a joke within the same scene or a reassuring scene immediately afterwards (e.g. "Thirsty? Have a drink!" when the witch spots the skeleton and kicks a bucket of water at him, or the animals comforting Snow White after her ordeal in the forest). The uncut U decision has been upheld for video submissions in 1994, 1996 and 2009, as well as for cinema in 2016. The current 'insight' (official content description) states it contains "very mild scary scenes, threat". See more »
the Dwarfs steal the show, but there's much to see in this ground-breaker of cinema
To call Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs a classic goes without saying that practically everyone has called it such. It is a great film, but there are certain factors that make it so, and without them the film could've gone the other way and become important more for its technical breakthrough(s) than for the content. The fact is a story with the utmost simplicity like Snow White, the chief characters- Prince Charming, the wicked Queen/witch, and of course Snow White- are all very basic, simple, if not one dimensional than basely two-dimensional characters. It's appropriate, to be sure, as it is based off a Grimm fairy tale. Despite the beauty and charm of the early scenes, its really on par entertainment-wise with the Silly Symphonies Walt Disney produced in the 30's.
This also goes without saying that Snow White's run through the woods is one of the highlights of the film, still bringing a sense of terror and the surreal for the adults in the audience (if you're a little kid it could be one of the scariest things you've ever seen). But then- just as Snow White settles into her little 'hide-out' in a house she thinks occupied by messy, orphaned children- we're introduced to the seven dwarfs, and this is where the film picks up most of its energy, laughs, and complete and total balance. In a way, not to analyze too deep for a filmed fairy tale, they each represent the different sides of men, and so it gives the film the appropriate human dimensions it needs (in this, also setting up practically all the hand-drawn Disney films of the next seventy years or so). It's tempting to say which are my favorite, or whom I got the most enjoyment out of. There would be three, two for more obvious reasons, one for subtle ones.
Dopey, who is almost a perfect re-incarnation (in Disney Dwarf form of course) of Harpo Marx- he's a lovable idiot, with barely two sounds in the course of the film, who (and I hate to sound sappy) brings out the laughing kid in anyone. Grumpy, who I found to be maybe the most complete character in the film, has attitude to spare, and gets comic bit after comic bit happen to him from the animators- and yet, there is heart behind him, and when its revealed in key parts of the film, they act as the most emotional points. There is also Sleepy, who also barely says a word, but who's physical movements are really divine little moments among the big, inspired musical numbers. Indeed, there are little moments throughout the film that help make up the greatness: the mood and atmosphere in the Queen's dungeon of witchcraft; the scene where the dwarfs go to sleep (a fly that rests on Sleepy's nose); the traits given to the animals in the forest (that little turtle is hilarious).
All these parts help to add to the basic structure of the story- Queen wants the good looks, goes after her once the hunter fails, gives her the poison apple, then it goes even more predictable from their (though in a good way). The detail of the animated scenes, the backgrounds, the visual effects, are often mesmerizing. And the songs, which were some of the most standard I heard from the Disney oeuvre as a kid (they were always on those Disney 'Sing-along' videos) are still whimsical most of the time. Then there is also the icing on the cake- the voice of Snow White, Adriana Caselotti (who got contracted into this being her only film role, based of producer/uncredited director Disney's insistence), brings something to the film that's hard to describe, except to say that it's, well, serene.
Even if she's not the strongest character, her main goal of making people around her feel good and inspiring happiness makes her watchable, and in a way lovable. It's a very curious, though important, factor that she (and Prince Charming and the Queen pre-witch) are animated very traditionally, apart from the cartoon-like dwarfs and animals. Its a reminder of the film's, and Disney's, strongest success- that as an imagined and visualized fairy tale, the representation is strong, and touching. In the new century studios move away from hand-drawn animated films, but it's a good idea to look back to the early Disney films, if not for just nostalgia (or to watch with your kids) to get a sense of the experimentation, the purity of it. It remains one of only several animated films, from any country or style, to have the crucial elements come together- music, voice-talent, usage of colors, and cinematography.
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