This year, Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs celebrates its 80th anniversary! To honor this classic, we have put together a list of 5 things you may not have known about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
#1: The First Film of Its kind
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was unlike anything that the world had ever seen before. It was the first ever full-length animated feature film and it started an entirely new genre called the Animated Film for which Disney has become synonymous. Cartoons were no longer just shorts to tack onto big-ticket movies; they had become the main event themselves. Many critics called Snow White “Disney’s folly”. They all thought it was a foolish idea and that no audience would want to sit through a cartoon of that length. Boy, did Uncle Walt show them! Not only did Walt get an audience to sit through almost an-hour-and-a-half of cartoon joy, but he got them to love it. It is now a pop-culture icon which has lasted for 80 years. Many film historians consider Snow White to be the most important animated film in history; and even one of the most important films in general!
#2 It Put Walt Disney on the Map
It was true that Walt Disney had already become famous for his creation of Mickey Mouse and the extremely refined quality of his animated shorts, but it wasn’t until the humongous success of Snow White that he became a true icon. Considering that Walt Disney had to mortgage his own house to keep the film financed, all while enduring the mocking of most critics, I would say that the fame the studio gained from it was well earned! Every dime of money earned at the Box office for Snow White was poured back into the studio’s future. With the profits from Snow White, the old Hyperion studios from which the film was born got traded out for the brand-new Walt Disney Studios in Burbank CA; the very same studio that the company still inhabits today. Without Snow White, Disney would not be the entertainment empire it is today.
#3 There Used to Be A LOT More Dwarfs
One of the many things that Walt emphasized was the transition of the original nameless dwarfs from the fairy tale into fully-fleshed characters with individual personalities. However, this caused a great deal of trouble for Walt’s team because they couldn’t figure out what names to use! In fact, the studio considered over 60 Dwarf names before finally narrowing it down to seven. These names include, but are not limited to, Silly, Sappy, Scrappy, Snappy, Snoopy, Goopy, Gloomy, Gaspy, Gatsby, Gabby, Blabby, Flabby, Crabby, Cranky, Lazy, Dizzy, Dumpy, Snurfles, Dirty, Daffy, Doleful, Woeful, Wistful, Soulful, Helpful, Awful, Graceful, Tearful, Tubby, Weepy, Wheezy, Sneezy-Wheezy, Sniffy, Puffy, Stuffy, Shorty, Shifty, Thrifty, Nifty, Neurtsy, Hotsy, Hungry, Hoppy, Jaunty, Jazzy, Busy, Burpy, Baldy, Biggy-Wiggy, and Biggy-Ego! Whew…That is a lot!!!!!
#4 It Received an Extremely Unique Oscar
Snow White’s greatest achievement in critical circles was won at the 11th Academy Awards in 1939. Walt Disney was gifted with the Academy’s most prestigious award; the ‘Honorary Award’. This award is one of the highest honors at the Academy Awards and signifies extreme respect by one’s peers; given only to those who have made a significant contribution to the film industry. It was presented to Walt by child star Shirley Temple as one normal sized Oscar along with seven miniature Oscars. The honor was addressed; “For Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, recognized as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field”.
#5 It’s One of the Greatest Box Office Juggernauts in History
We talk a lot about the Avatar, Star Wars VII, and Avengers regarding their power at the Box Office. These films have grossed millions in the theaters upon their release in today’s money. But let’s face it, a dollar is not worth what it once was. Adjusted for inflation, Snow White’s true value dwarfs most modern ‘Box-office hits’ at a whopping theatrical gross of $963,560,000!!! Adjusted for inflation, Snow White ranks as the ‘10th Highest Grossing Film of All Time’. Avatar comes in at 15, which is still extremely high, but Snow White beats it by over a hundred million dollars!