In honor of the 85th anniversary of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney gives fans a peek at some exclusive art used in the film’s visual development!
The 1937 film brought the fairytale story of Snow White, a humble princess targeted for her beauty by her wicked stepmother, to life on the big screen. What’s more, the first-ever feature-length animated film revolutionized the cartoon industry and began the Disney empire we know and love today.
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Indeed, the gamble on the part of creator Walt Disney revolutionized the cartoon industry forever and kickstarted the Disney empire we know and love today. Of course, the film also made history for introducing the first of Disney’s many adaptations of fairytale princesses, a collection of beloved stories that would culminate in the Disney Princess Franchise in the early 2000s.
This inclusion spawned a line of toys, children’s costumes, and other merchandise along with animated shorts, musical albums, and Disney Parks appearances featuring characters like Snow White. Furthermore, Snow White starred Adriana Caselotti in the leading role, providing both the speaking and singing voice of the princess.
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Caselotti, just 18 at the time of the film’s production, was the musically gifted child of a vocal coach and an Italian opera singer who suggested herself for the role when Disney consulted her father for suitable voice actresses. Sadly, though Caselotti brought extreme talent to her performance, which combined with the visual elements from Snow White model Marge Champion, she would not receive any recognition for the role until later in life.
In fact, at the behest of Disney himself, no other actors received voice credits for the film, while Caselotti herself had to sneak into the film’s premiere at the Carthay Circle Theater to maintain the “illusion” that Snow White was real. Moreover, Caselotti, who received $970 for her contributions, was contractually prevented from performing any more vocal work for the Walt Disney Studios, or elsewhere in Hollywood to preserve the image of the princess.
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As a result, the young prodigy’s career died almost as soon as it had begun until her later recognition as a Disney Legend, including a segment with Julie Andrews and vocal work for the Disneyland Resort. However, the film remains one of the best depictions of Caselotti’s vocal talents, and certainly the most memorable piece of the late actress’ legacy to date.
On its Twitter account, Disney Animation shared a look at the stunning visual development concepts used to bring the world of Snow White to life:
It's the 85th Anniversary of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! ?? Take a closer look at visual development art created for the film from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library. pic.twitter.com/arbwwMDneh
— Disney Animation (@DisneyAnimation) December 21, 2022
It goes to show that magic is possible with nothing more than a “smile and a song!” Fans can watch Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs now with an active Disney+ subscription, plus shop Disney’s new 85th-anniversary collection online.