Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
was nicknamed "Disney's Folly" by contemporary observers; they doubted that the short cartoons shown before the main film could ever successfully make the transition from filler to feature presentation. Surely, no one would sit still for over an hour to watch an animated film, their eyes smarting from the bright colours on screen? Fortunately, Walt Disney and his army of artists persisted and the world's first full-length animated feature was finally released in 1937 to widespread acclaim.
Adapted from the Grimm fairytale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is chillingly dark in places, reflecting its roots in European folklore, but the deft Disney touch ensures that the overall tone remains light and the story develops apace, swept along on the perfect musical score. Any lingering gloom is quickly dispelled by the superbly characterised dwarfs and by the humorous antics of the various irresistible fauna that threaten to steal the show in several scenes. The pioneering animation is breathtaking and songs such as "Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho" and "Whistle While You Work", now firmly embedded in popular culture, are seamlessly interwoven with the action.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs happens to be an interesting technological milestone in cinema history--it is also an enduring masterpiece of family entertainment. To the millions who have fallen under its spell over the years, this magical fairy tale remains one of Disney's most enchanting and best-loved films. Only Grumpy could resist. --Helen Baker
On the DVD: the video quality on this DVD is stunningly clear. Though it is noticeable that the film is nearly 65 years old, Disney has done a great job in the cleaning process: the bright colours shine clearly, the blacks are deep and the whites clear. There is little to no visible wearing on the film and the digital transfer has done wonders in restoring Snow White and her seven little pals. The sound is very clear and you get a real sense, in places, of the newly mastered 5.1 Dolby Sound enhancements that have been added, making for enjoyable listening to the well-loved songs.
The extras on disk one are plentiful and give a real insight into the making of Snow White. Little was done in 1937 for the filming of behind-the-scenes documentaries, but what could have been included has been. The audio commentary is strung together from interviews with Walt Disney himself, all of which are fascinating, and to keep the kids happy there is a familiar Disney sing-along and a Dopey game to play.
The disk two extras are packed with information on the movie and Disney, from the 3-D virtual tour of the Snow White kingdom, that also has some documentary information, to an outtakes section showing abandoned footage and ideas that were never included in the final movie. There is also an informative timeline of the creation of the Walt Disney Studios that includes some deleted scenes from the movie. Altogether, great additions to a classic film. --Robert Hyde