Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (DVD)

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Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (DVD)

Disney's first full-length animated masterpiece features all the elements of a classic fairy tale--a beautiful heroine, an evil queen, Prince Charming...

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Review of "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (DVD)"

published 24/09/2001 | shabbie
Member since : 23/09/2001
Reviews : 14
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Pro Classic family entertainment.
Cons Kids will want to watch it again and again.
very helpful
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"Heigh-Ho, It's Off To Work We Go."

Can you name the Seven Dwarfs? In the Grimms' nineteenth century version of the fairy-tale, the dwarfs had no names, and yet today most of us can recall Doc, Dopey, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful, Grumpy and Happy. This is all due to the magic of Walt Disney and one of the most popular films in history; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess who had a wicked step-mother. Now mummy dearest was very vain, and was a bit miffed one day when her mirror told her she was not the fairest in the land, but her step-daughter Snow White was. Right, that's it, says she to her huntsman, I don't want to mess the carpets with blood and stuff, so take Snow White out into the woods, kill her, and bring me back her heart. But this was a nice huntsman, so he let Snow White go and took back the heart of a deer.

Meanwhile, poor Snow White is out in the forest alone, until some friendly bunnies take her to a wee cottage where she eventually meets the seven wee guys that live there; the Dwarfs. Now I don't want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't seen the film, so I won't tell you about the adventures they all get up to, or how they sort out mummy dearest, or how Snow White meets her handsome Prince. Go and see the film, and take the kiddies; or buy the video. They'll love it.


Way back in 1934, Walt Disney was already famous for his Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Three Little Pigs and Silly Symphonies, but alas these short cartoons didn't bring in very much money. In fact the only thing that kept him afloat was the money his brother Roy made from licensing Disney-character merchandise, without which he would probably have been bankrupt. So Walt decided he would have to aim for bigger money.

He remembered a film from his childhood, a silent film version of Snow White starring Marguerite Clark. "That story has everything", claimed Walt,"the prince and princess for romance, the dwarfs for comedy, and a wicked old witch as its villain. It's perfect". His announcement that he would make it into an animated feature film, was not in the least popular. The industry analysts claimed he was crazy to expect an audience to sit through an 83 minute cartoon.

But Walt Disney was not to be swayed. He believed in his idea, and called 40 of his artists into the recording studio, where he explained his what he wanted, and even acted out each character as he saw them. The artists were shocked at his plans, as they knew how hard it was to produce a short cartoon, never mind one which lasted for 83 minutes. In the end though, Walt's enthusiasm won them over.

In bringing the characters to life, Walt insisted each dwarf had to have a definite personality, so work began in differentiating them by voice, gesture and name. Walt claimed he knew some domineering doctors, so they named the dwarfs' bossy leader, Doc. They made Doc stand well back on his heels with his wrists pressed to his hips, to convey pompousness. They then gave Grumpy a slight hunch and a swagger that made him look pugnacious, and Sneezy became a serious, responsible dwarf - that's when he wasn't sneezing of course.

Next came the voices. Hollywood's most famous 'sneezing' comedian, Billy Gilbert, was hired as the voice of Sneezy. Pinto Colvig, who was already the voices of both Goofy and Pluto, spoke for both Sleepy and Grumpy, and Happy, Bashful and Doc were voiced by character actors Otis Harlan, Scotty Mattraw and Roy Atwell respectively.

What about Dopey? Well in the film, Happy tells Snow White, "This is Dopey. He don't talk none". Snow White then asks, "You mean he can't talk?" Happy replies, "He don't know, he never tried". So this is how Walt made Dopey different. And that's our lineup of the little fellas, now for Snow White.

As the film was to be a musical, Walt had now to find the voice of the leading lady herself. He was looking for a natural and innocent soprano voice for his princess, so he contacted Hollywood voice coach Guido Caselotti. Now Caselotti's daughter, Adriana, was apparently listening-in on the extension, and mid-way through the conversation, blurted out, "How about me?" And Snow White had her voice. A Broadway performer, Harry Stockwell, was then chosen for her prince.

Walt Disney right from the start, knew exactly what he wanted for the character of the wicked queen. "She must be a mixture of Lady McBeth and the Big Bad Wolf......She must have sinister beauty, maturity and plenty of curves...Magic fluids will transform her into an old witchlike hag". The boy sure knew what he wanted. Anyway, he cast Lucille LaVerne as the voice of both queen and witch.

Next came the songs. Composer Frank Churchill and lyricist Larry Morley set to work, and although several songs were rejected, eight titles became Snow White classics, including; "Whistle While You Work", "Heigh-Ho", "I'm Wishing" and "Some Day My Prince Will Come".

Well, time passed, and two million drawings later, Walt was running out of time and money. The film had gone almost one million dollars over the original budget, and the bank was not too happy at lending any more without evidence of what had been done so far. Walt then literally acted out the whole story, playing all the parts, and leaping about the office in front of the amazed bankers. "Well, as everybody knows, we got the loan, and the film made money," Walt said years later, " and if it hadn't, there wouldn't be any Disney Studios today."

Time magazine, in the week of the film's 1937 premiere, published a cover story which proved to be prophetic:-

"Snow White is a combination of Hollywood, the Grimm Brothers and the sad, searching fantasy of universal childhood. It is an authentic masterpiece, to be shown and loved by new generations long after the current crop of Hollywood stars are sleeping where no Prince's kiss can awaken them."

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Comments on this review

  • jackie-b published 25/10/2001
    I borrowed this off my niece not long ago, it's such a fantastic film!!
  • hiali published 13/10/2001
    Thanks, I love snow white! DoubleTrouble has a bit of a nerve saying your op was only helpful, i thought it was brill, cheers!
  • Toady published 12/10/2001
    Welcome to ciao and excellent first opinion, keep it up. Toady
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Product Information : Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Disney's first full-length animated masterpiece features all the elements of a classic fairy tale--a beautiful heroine, an evil queen, Prince Charming...and a septet of whistling dwarfs. In hiding from her jealous and wicked stepmother, the fair Snow White takes refuge with a band of kind-hearted, hard-working dwarves: Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy, Dopey and Doc. Eventually the vain queen finds Snow White and tricks her into eating a poisoned apple. Luckily, a wandering prince comes to her rescue, but can he break the evil queen's spell?<BR><BR><BR>Based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS was initially thought a crazy idea for a feature film by those at Walt Disney. However, its lush production and charming characters proved otherwise. Standing the test of time since its release in 1937, the film has entranced audiences for decades, teaching them to never be vain and always whistle while they work.


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