Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
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Walt Disney’s first great love letter to the Brothers Grimm was described at the time as ‘Disney’s Folly’. In 2008, the American Film Institute named it the greatest American animated film of all time.
Its influence has been deep. It was the first feature-length animated film in the United States and the first American film to have a soundtrack album. With a staggering two million illustrations, it became the template for all the great animated films that followed. Its innovative use of story, colour, animation, sound, direction and background later inspired directors like Federico Fellini and Orson Welles.
The story of Snow White is a Festival Focus, so why not also take a look at the silent film that inspired Disney as a boy, as well as two brilliant stage versions - Ballet Preljocaj’s lush, full-length story ballet, and the new bloody reimagining from La Boite and Opera Queensland.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is part of the Festival Focus. Click here to take part in the Festival Conversation about Snow White and The Little Mermaid.
PRODUCER: WALT DISNEY
Walt Disney was an American motion-picture and television producer, famous as a pioneer of cartoon films and the creator of Disneyland.
Born in 1901, Disney showed an early interest in art and was encouraged by his family to pursue his talents. The success of his first cartoons enabled him to set up his own commercial art studio. He later moved to Hollywood where he made a success of his Alice Comedies, based on the Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.
In 1932, the production entitled Flowers and Trees (the first colour cartoon) won Disney the first of his studio’s Academy Awards. Five years later, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated musical feature, premiered in Los Angeles. The film was produced at the unheard-of cost of $1,499,000 and is still considered one of the great feats and enduring monuments of the motion picture industry.
Walt Disney Studios went on to complete other beloved animated classics such as Pinocchio, Fantasia, Cinderella, Dumbo, and Bambi, solidifying Disney as one of the twentieth century’s great visionaries.