A beautiful girl, Snow White, takes refuge in the forest in the house of seven dwarfs to hide from her stepmother, the wicked Queen. The Queen is jealous because she wants to be known as "the fairest in the land," and Snow White's beauty surpasses her own. The dwarfs grow to love their unexpected visitor, who cleans their house and cooks their meals. But one day while the dwarfs are at their diamond mine, the Queen arrives at the cottage disguised as an old peddler woman and persuades Snow White to bite into a poisoned apple. The dwarfs, warned by the forest animals, rush home to chase the witch away, but they are too late to save Snow White from the poisoned apple. They place her in a glass coffin in the woods and mourn for her. The Prince, who has fallen in love with Snow White, happens by and awakens her from the wicked Queen's deathlike spell with "love's first kiss."
Walt came up with the idea for "Snow White" when he was only 15, working as a newsboy in Kansas City. He saw a major presentation of a silent film version of the tale starring Marguerite Clark. The screening was held at the city's Convention Hall in February, 1917, and the film was projected onto a four-sided screen using four separate projectors. The movie made a tremendous impression on the young viewer because he was sitting where he could see two sides of the screen at once, and they were not quite in sync.
For a while after its release the film was the highest-grossing motion picture of all time, until it was finally surpassed by "Gone With the Wind" a couple of years later. This statistic is all the more surprising when one realizes that children were paying a dime to get into the theaters in 1937, and the film, of course, had great appeal to that age group. The original worldwide gross was $8.5 million, a figure that would translate into several hundreds of millions of dollars today. In England, the film was deemed too scary for children, and those under 16 had to be accompanied by a parent.
"Snow White" was the first animated feature film ever. Costing $1.4 million, and featuring such classic songs as "Someday My Prince Will Come," "Heigh Ho," and "Whistle While You Work," the film was in production for three years and utilized more than 750 artists. From many who auditioned for the voice of Snow White (Walt turned down Deanna Durbin), he chose the young singer Adriana Caselotti. Harry Stockwell, the father of Dean Stockwell, did the voice of the prince, and many radio and screen personalities were selected for other roles, including Lucille LaVerne as the Queen and Billy Gilbert as Sneezy. Pinto Colvig (Goofy) did the voice of two of the Dwarfs.
Supervising director: David Hand. Animators: Hamilton Luske, Grim Natwick, Jack Campbell, Robert Stokes, Les Clark, Milt Kahl, Hugh Frasier, Eric Larson, Marc Davis, Paul Busch, and Antonio Rivera. 83 min. Starring: Adriana Caselotti (Snow White), Harry Stockwell (Prince), Lucille LaVerne (Queen), Billy Gilbert (Sneezy), and Pinto Colvig (Dwarfs). A stage version of the movie played at Radio City Music Hall in New York in 1979. For its 1993 reissue the film was completely restored, being the first ever to be completely digitized by computer, cleaned up, and then printed back to film. The film was reissued eight times, in 1944, 1952, 1958, 1967, 1975, 1983, 1987, and 1993, and released on video in 1994. The film received a special Academy Award® in 1939 consisting of one full-size Oscar® and seven dwarf Oscars, all presented to Walt Disney by Shirley Temple.