Model Sheet "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" Squirrels
Walt Disney's 1937 Production of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
OK'd By Animator Harry Bailey
Model Sheet Used For Reference By Disney Animators
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American film based on the eponymous German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. It was the first full length animated feature to be produced by Walt Disney, and the first American animated feature film in movie history.
Snow White was one of only two animated films to rank in the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest American films of all time in 1997 (the other being Disney's Fantasia), ranking number 49. It achieved a higher ranking (#34) in the list's 2007 update, this time being the only traditionally animated film on the list. The following year AFI would name the film as the the greatest animated film of all time.
In 1989, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
Development on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs began in early 1934, and in June 1934, Walt Disney announced the production of his first feature to the New York Times. Before Snow White, the Disney studio had been primarily involved in the production of highly successful animated short subjects in the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. Disney hoped to expand his studio's prestige and revenues by moving into features, and estimated that Snow White could be produced for a budget of $250,000 - ten times the budget of an average Silly Symphony.
Walt Disney had to fight to get the film produced. Both his brother Roy Disney and his wife Lillian attempted to talk him out of it, and the Hollywood movie industry mockingly referred to the film as "Disney's Folly" while it was in production. He even had to mortgage his house to help finance the film's production, which eventually ran up a total cost of just over $1.5 million, a massive sum for a feature film in 1937.
Snow White, which spent three years in production, was the end result of Walt Disney's plan to improve the production quality of his studio's output, and also to find a source of income other than short subjects. Many animation techniques which later became standards were developed or improved for the film, including the animation of realistic humans (with and without the help of the rotoscope), effective character animation (taking characters that look similar — the dwarfs, in this case — and making them distinct characters through their body acting and movement), elaborate effects animation to depict rain, lightning, water, reflections, sparkles, magic, and other objects and phenomena, and the use of the multiplane camera.
The names of the Seven Dwarfs (Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy and Sneezy) were created for this production, chosen from a pool of about fifty potentials. The one name Disney always had in mind from the start was Grumpy, or something similar. Blabby, Jumpy, Shifty, and Snoopy were among those that were rejected.
The songs in Snow White were composed by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey. Paul J. Smith and Leigh Harline composed the incidental music score. Well-known songs from Snow White include "Heigh-Ho," "Some Day My Prince Will Come," and "Whistle While You Work." Snow White became the first American film to have a soundtrack album released in conjunction with the feature film. Prior to Snow White, a movie soundtrack recording was unheard of and of little value to a movie studio