📽️ Disney Time – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

List Item:  Watch The Disney Animated Canon
Progress: 1/57Title: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Year: 1937

It has been three days since I got home from Latvia and, honestly, I have SO been looking forward to starting this. That box of DVDs with all those treasured childhood memories staring at me from across the room – so here we go with the first of what is going to be a fun trip through some animation history.

Speaking of animation history, how often is it that a studio takes a risk into a new type of cinema and the end result basically helps to legitimise a genre. That’s what Disney did when they moved from their Silly Symphonies shorts into their first feature length venture: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. 

Whilst this was not the animated movie to hit the feature length (The Adventures of Prince Achmed predates it by 10 years, but that is shadow animation rather than hand-drawn), it popularised it and helped lay the groundwork for American animation and inspired millions. Also, it’s hard to deny just how beautiful this film looks some 82 years later.

Thinking about Snow White in context, it’s interesting to see how a number of the sequences (like the ‘Silly Song’ and ‘The Dwarfs’ Washing Song’) could have been Silly Symphonies on their own and this film is the natural evolution from there. Also, the contrast in tone between the scenes with the evil queen and the dwarfs is stark – they work well to heighten each other, but this isn’t necessarily something you see too often in future Disney films (well, at least not in such large proportions).

Now, taking it out of context, it’s astonishing that Disney hit it out of the park on their first attempt at a feature length. Watching this is like watching a moving watercolour painting, the songs are so in the culture that I forgot how many originated here and some of the darker sequences are still genuinely chilling. Sure, the character of Snow White is a little bit passive but that’s what the fairytale character was… and the juicy material of the queen, the comedy of the dwarfs and the cuteness of the animals more than make up for that.

Seeing this is as an adult was a genuine pleasure and it makes me excited for the next entry in the Disney Canon: Pinocchio. I would have made this a double feature… but I think I may need to pace myself because I might run out of steam by the time I hit the likes of Melody Time.

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