Schneewittchen und die sieben Zwerge (1937)

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Schneewittchen und die sieben Zwerge: Directed by William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen. With Hal Rees, Roy Atwell, Stuart Buchanan, Candy Candido. Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.

“There isnu0026#39;t much that hasnu0026#39;t already been said about u0026quot;Snow White and the Seven Dwarfsu0026quot;, Walt Disneyu0026#39;s first feature length animated film. Suffice it to say that it not only fulfilled the studiou0026#39;s hopes beyond their wildest dreams, it made possible the Disney films that followed it. From the famous Grimm fairy tale about a beautiful princess who flees her jealous stepmother and finds refuge with seven friendly dwarfs, Walt Disney created a cinematic milestone. At the time the film was in production until the day it was released, rival producers were supposedly referring to it as u0026quot;Disneyu0026#39;s Follyu0026quot;.Although this myth has been recently debunked in film historian JB. Kaufmanu0026#39;s magnificent new book (u0026#39;u0026#39;The Fairest One Of All:The Making Of Walt Disneyu0026#39;s Snow White And The Seven Dwarfsu0026#39;u0026#39;Weldon Owen/Disney Press, 2012)itu0026#39;s true that only after itu0026#39;s huge success, did fellow movie makers attempt their own full-length cartoon features. Upon itu0026#39;s debut, at Hollywoodu0026#39;s Carthay Circle theater, (December 21, 1937)the film was embraced both by critics and audiences, grossing many times itu0026#39;s then record (for an animated film) $1.5 million budget. Eight successful reissues have kept the movie in the public consciousness now for over six decades, during which time the field of animation has grown by leaps and bounds. Still. despite the cinematic advances and the passage of time, u0026quot;Snow Whiteu0026quot; stands alone. While the classic story is but a framework for the film (a fact which troubled me for years), u0026quot;Snow Whiteu0026quot; can be fully enjoyed for the pioneer it truly is. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAlong with a splendid cast of voices headed by Adriana Caselotti (Snow White) Harry Stockwell (father of Guy and Dean, as the Prince) and Lucille La Verne (The Queen), there are songs which can truly be called timeless: u0026quot;Whistle While You Worku0026quot;, u0026quot;Heigh Hou0026quot;, u0026quot;Some Day My Prince Will Comeu0026quot;, etc.). Much time and effort went toward developing the characters of the Seven Dwarfs and giving each a distinct personality (absent in the original story) which went a long way in making audiences care for Snow Whiteu0026#39;s plight. Interestingly enough, although the fairy tale was toned down considerably to make it more u0026quot;family friendlyu0026quot;, the overzealous way in which the film makers transformed the Wicked Queen into a hideous hag at the climax was the subject of an incredible amount of controversy at the time. In fact, it was under a partial ban in England which made it off-limits to children under 16 years of age! Nevertheless, it was the recipient of a special Academy Award in 1938.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eTo go on about the impact made by the film would be redundant. It simply must be seen to be appreciated. In 2001, it was released on DVD as the first of Disneyu0026#39;s u0026quot;Platinum Editionsu0026quot;. And many months before it was in stores, there was great speculation about the content. All the anticipation was justified when the DVD finally arrived. Critics and consumers were overwhelmed (just like the audiences back in 1937) with both the content and the painstaking restoration (beyond that done for itu0026#39;s 50th anniversary reissue) and made it THE DVD for the subsequent holiday season. Without going into detail, it looks as if it were made yesterday, and sounds better than a film of this vintage could ever be expected to. But the streamlining has not diminished itu0026#39;s charm–only accentuated it. And when you think (before you are drawn into the story, and you ARE) that u0026quot;Snow Whiteu0026quot;, unlike todayu0026#39;s computer-drawn animated features was entirely done by hand, that makes it even more of a miracle.In one scene, when Snow White is scrubbing the steps of the Castle, and pours water from a bucket on them, the effect is remarkable-and that one, near the beginning, is just one small sample of the filmu0026#39;s artistry.Back to the DVD. Instead of listing the already well publicized bonus features, let me say that this u0026quot;Platinum Editionu0026quot; is like a self-contained history of the film, with hours worth of delights the most astounding being a pieced-together commentary by Walt Disney himself. Out of print for years, it is well worth the effort and expense to find. And although Disney made it a point to announce that they planned to go even further with their subsequent u0026quot;Platinum Editionsu0026quot;, they have yet to top this one. And I doubt they ever will. Incidentally, this year marks the filmu0026#39;s 75th anniversary, and I can think of no better way to celebrate this movie milestone than picking up Professor Kaufmanu0026#39;s beautiful new books The second volume u0026#39;u0026#39; Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs:The Art And Creation Of Walt Disneyu0026#39;s Classic Animated filmu0026#39;u0026#39;is also published by Weldon Owen/Disney Press.Itu0026#39;s a very extensive and fully detailed catalog of the u0026#39;u0026#39;Snow Whiteu0026#39;u0026#39; exhibition,(currently at the Walt Disney museum in San Francisco,California).Here, the emphasis is more on the beautiful art as well as rough sketches and background paintings. Along with itu0026#39;s companion book u0026#39;u0026#39;The Fairest One Of Allu0026#39;u0026#39; it will educate and enchant anyone who cares about the history of Film, Disney Animation and especially u0026#39;u0026#39;Snow Whiteu0026#39;u0026#39; They are, without a doubt,the definitive tributes to a Timeless Classic, and together, they make perfect souveniers for both the filmu0026#39;s 75th Anniversary and and a once in a lifetime event.”


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