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Mirror, mirror, on the wall


It looks like Snow White is indeed still the fairest of them all as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs celebrates its 80th anniversary year

Back on December 21st 1937 at the Carthay Circle Theatre in L.A., Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered. It was followed by a nationwide release on February 4th 1938. When adjustments for inflation are taken into account, the animated movie is one of the Top 10 performers at the North American box office.

So how did the story of Snow White begin over 80 years ago? Walt Disney actually thought of the idea to bring Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the big screen when he was just 15, having been inspired by the silent film version of the classic fairytale in Kansas City.

The animated film itself took about three years to produce – at a cost of $1.5 million – a large cost considering it was the 1930s, and it greatly exceeded Disney’s initial budget of $250,000.

The first feature-length animated film in U.S. history, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs included 250,000 drawings with 750 artists completing more than two million sketches.

Early concept art depicted Snow White as a blonde with her raven hair eventually becoming one of her defining physical characteristics, as the Magic Mirror described her beauty in detail to the Evil Queen: ‘Alas, she is more fair than thee: lips red as the rose, hair black as ebony, skin white as snow.’

And when it comes to the dwarfs, we all know their names: Doc, Sleepy, Dopey, Sneezy, Grumpy, Bashful and Happy. However, there were a variety of names considered before the final seven were decided on and they ranged from Blabby, Crabby, Daffy, Dirty, Flabby, Gloomy, Lazy, Nifty, Scrappy, Stubby and Thrifty.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the highest grossing film ever – until it was surpassed by Gone With the Wind just a year later. So popular it was in fact, that the movie was re-released eight times in total. It was first re-released in 1944 to raise revenue for the budding studio during World War II and subsequently re-released in 1952, 1958, 1967, 1975, 1983, 1987 and 1993.

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