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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs poster
Directed by David Hand (supervising)

William Cottrell Wilfred Jackson Larry Morey Perce Pearce Ben Sharpsteen

Produced by Walt Disney
Written by Ted Sears

Richard Creedon Otto Englander Dick Rickard Earl Hurd Merrill De Maris Dorothy Ann Blank Webb Smith


Starring Adriana Caselotti

Lucille La Verne Harry Stockwell Pinto Colvig Roy Atwell Otis Harlan Moroni Olsen Billy Gilbert Stuart Buchanan


Music by Frank Churchhill

Paul Smith Leigh Harline


Editors Unknown


Cinematography Unknown


Studios Unknown


Distributors RKO Radio Pictures (initial release)

Walt Disney Pictures


Release date (s) December 21, 1937 (Premiere)

February 4, 1938 (United States)


Language English


Preceded by Unknown


Followed by Pinocchio (film)


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the world's first full-length animated feature and the first in the Disney Animated Canon. It was also the first one in English, the first one in Technicolor, and the first one ever made in the United States. It was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Productions, premiered on December 21, 1937, and was originally released to theatres by RKO Radio Pictures on February 8, 1938. The film is an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale; an evil queen attempts to have her stepdaughter Snow White murdered so she could be the fairiest in the land, but the girl escapes and is given shelter by seven dwarfs in their cottage in a forest.

It is generally considered to be Walt Disney's most significant achievement, his first-ever animated feature. Snow White was the first major animated feature made in the United States, the most successful motion picture released in 1938, and, adjusted for inflation, is the tenth highest-grossing film of all time. This historical moment in motion picture history changed the medium of animation. Before 1937, there was no such thing as an animated feature. The only animated films back then were short cartoons.

The movie was adapted by Dorothy Ann Blank, Richard Creedon, Merrill De Maris, Otto Englander, Earl Hurd, Dick Rickard, Ted Sears and Webb Smith and was supervised by David Hand, and directed by William Cottrell, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, and Ben Sharpsteen. Snow White is particularly memorable for songs like "Heigh Ho" and "Some Day My Prince Will Come", several frightening and intense sequences, and a style influenced by European storybook illustration.

Plot Edit

Prologue Edit

An ornately decorated book, filmed in live-action, sets the scene: the Evil Queen, who cares only for being the fairest one of all, is jealous of the beauty of her stepdaughter Snow White. She dresses the princess in rags and forces her to become a scullery maid in her castle (but unbeknowst to her, it gives her stepdaughter knowledge of cuisine and tidying up). Every morning, she consults her Magic Mirror, asking the spirit within who is the fairest of all. The Magic Mirror tells her that she is the fairest, and for a while she is content.

The Wishing Well Edit

One morning, the Mirror tells the Queen that there is a maiden fairer than she: Snow White. Meanwhile, Snow White is in the courtyard, singing I'm Wishing to herself as she works. The Prince, riding by the castle, hears her voice and is enchanted by it. He climbs over the castle wall, unseen by Snow White, who is singing to her reflection at the bottom of the wishing well, which is in the middle of the courtyard. The Prince joins in the singing, which startles and surprises Snow White; she runs indoors, but when he pleads for her to return she comes to the balcony and listens as he sings One Song to her. Unseen by both, the Queen watches from her window high above. Infuriated at Snow White's beauty (and perhaps jealous for the Prince's affections), she closes the curtains. The Prince smiles at Snow White before leaving.

The Flight through the Forest Edit

The Queen summons Humbert the Huntsman, whom she orders to take Snow White to a secluded glade in the forest and, there, kill her; she demands the girl's heart as proof. The Huntsman is reluctant to do so, but is bound by his orders; he takes Snow White deep into the forest, where he lets her gather wild flowers. As Snow White helps a baby bird find its parents, the Huntsman unsheathes his dagger and advances on the princess. When Snow White sees him approaching, she screams; however, Humbert is unable to fulfill his orders and, shaking, drops his dagger. Taking pity on Snow White, he begs her for forgiveness and, warning her of the Queen's intentions, pleads that she run far away. As Snow White flees through the forest, her fear manifests itself in what she sees around her; eventually she falls to the ground in fright. She is befriended by the animals of the forest; she sings "With A Smile And A Song" and asks them if they know of a place she can stay.

The Cottage of the Seven Dwarfs Edit

The animals lead her to the Cottage of the Seven Dwarfs, which she finds empty and dirty. Thinking that cleaning the house may persuade the cottage's owners to let her stay, Snow White and the animals clean the cottage and its contents while singing "Whistle While You Work". The seven dwarfs, meanwhile, are working in their mine, digging for diamonds. When it is time for them to go home for the day, they march through the forest, singing "Heigh Ho". After cleaning the house, Snow White falls asleep on several of the dwarfs' beds. When the dwarfs see light coming from the cottage, they approach cautiously, thinking that a monster has taken up residence in their home. They search the ground floor of the house, but are afraid to go upstairs. After an unsuccessful attempt by Dopey to chase the 'monster' down, all seven dwarfs venture upstairs to discover Snow White asleep. She wakes up and guesses the name of each dwarf. They allow her to stay (though Grumpy is reluctant). Snow White remembers that she has left soup downstairs and rushes downstairs to prepare it, ordering the dwarfs to wash while they wait. The dwarfs proceed outside to a trough, where all but Grumpy wash themselves; the six other dwarfs later wash Grumpy, dumping him into the trough when supper is ready.

The Heart of a Pig Edit

That evening, the Queen once again consults the Magic Mirror, who tells her that Snow White still lives; the Huntsman has given her a pig's heart. Furious, the Queen descends a spiral staircase, entering her dungeon, where she resolves to do away with the princess herself. She uses potions to transform herself into a witch-like peddler - a disguise to deceive Snow White. She then decides to use a Poisoned Apple to send Snow White into the Sleeping Death (a magically-induced coma). At the cottage, the dwarfs perform "The Silly Song" to entertain Snow White. She then sings "Some Day My Prince Will Come" (referring to her romance with the Prince) before sending them up to bed; however, Doc orders the dwarfs to sleep downstairs, allowing Snow White to sleep in their beds upstairs. Meanwhile, the Witch prepares the poisoned apple and, dismissing the possibility that Snow White may be revived by 'love's first kiss' (the only cure for the Sleeping Death), gleefully proclaims that Snow White will appear dead and will be 'buried alive'. She leaves the castle and makes her way to the dwarfs' cottage, kicking the skeleton of a long-deceased prisoner on the way out.

The Poisoned Apple Edit

As the dwarfs leave for the mine at 9:00 am, Snow White kisses each dwarf on the forehead; though Grumpy initially resists, Snow White's kiss sends him into a love-struck supported. He warns her not to let any strangers into the house. After the dwarfs have left the cottage, the Witch takes Snow White by surprise and offers her the poisoned apple, which Snow White is about to bite until the forest animals, sensing danger, try to attack the Witch. This causes Snow White to take pity on the old woman and take her into the cottage for a glass of water. The animals rush to the mine, and tell the dwarfs of the danger. The dwarfs eventually realize what is happening and, led by Grumpy, hurry back to the cottage. The Witch persuades Snow White to take a bite from the apple by telling her that it is a 'wishing apple'; after biting the fruit, the princess falls into the Sleeping Death and the Witch cackles in triumph, The dwarfs arrive and chase the Witch, eventually cornering her on a cliff, where she attempts to crush them with a boulder, but is sent over the cliff by a bolt of lightning, crushed by the boulder, and eventually devoured (offscreen) by vultures.

Snow White is Revived Edit

The dwarfs and animals mourn a comatose Snow White, believing her to be dead. They find her to be so beautiful, even in repose, that they place her in a glass coffin in a peaceful glade in the forest. The Prince arrives and, after singing a reprise of One Song, kisses Snow White and breaks the spell. Awakened, she bids farewell to the dwarfs and rides into the sunset with the Prince to live happily ever after.

Voice Cast Edit

  • Adriana Caselotti as Snow White
  • Lucille La Verne as the Evil Queen/The Witch
  • Harry Stockwell as the Prince
  • Roy Atwell as Doc
  • Pinto Colvig as Grumpy and Sleepy
  • Otis Harlan as Happy
  • Scotty Mattraw as Bashful
  • Billy Gilbert as Sneezy
  • Mel Blanc as Dopey
  • Stuart Buchanan as the Huntsman

Non-speaking roles are the Forest Animals, the Raven, the Fly and the Vultures.

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