Today, June 1, “Snow White and the Huntsman” hits the big screen but it is far from the Disney’s animated classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” That makes today as good a day as any to share 15 fun facts about the Snow White fairy tale.
1. The film, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ took 3 years to produce. In fact it was known mockingly in the industry as ‘Disney’s Folly, ’ and even Walt’s wife, Lillian, said ‘No one’s ever gonna pay a dime to see a dwarf picture. ’ She had to eat her words – it was a major success from the day it was released!
2. Disney had to mortgage his house in order to finance the production of the film, which eventually cost a whopping $1. 5 million, a vast amount for a film made in 1937. He had initially hoped it could be produced for just $250, 000, so this was a huge miscalculation on his part.
3. The premier of the film took place at the Cathay Circle Theater on December 21st, 1937 and it was given a standing ovation. It went on general release on February 4th, 1938, and made more money than any other motion picture in that year.
4. Until 1939, ‘Snow White’ was the highest grossing film in American cinema history but it was ousted by ‘Gone With the Wind. ’ However, it is still one of the top ten money-making American films of all time.
5. The songs were composed by Larry Morey and Frank Churchill. Some of the most popular songs were ‘Whistle While you Work, ’ ‘Some Day My Prince Will Come, ’ and ‘Heigh-Ho. ’ I am sure most of us are able to sing along to these classic melodies. The film was nominated for ‘Best Musical Score. ’
6. There were about 50 names suggested for the seven dwarfs, including Silly, Awful, Sniffy, Dizzy, Cranky and Scrappy. The final seven were Bashful, Grumpy, Sneezy, Doc, Dopey, Sleepy and Happy.
7. The film was re-released in 1944 during World War II, in order to raise revenue for the studio. It has been re-released every 7-10 years and the film was restored in 1987 for its 50th anniversary re-issue. It was also digitally restored in 1993.
8. Each of the dwarfs has its own character. Doc looks the oldest and is always considered to be the leader of the dwarfs. He wears glasses and tends to jumble up his words. At the mine, his job is to check the gems to make sure they are authentic.
9. Happy laughs a lot and is the fattest of the dwarfs.
10. Grumpy has the biggest nose of the seven dwarfs and he is as grumpy as his name suggests. He disapproves of Snow White, just because she is a woman, but underneath his crusty exterior he actually cares about her safety. He tries to warn her about the Wicked Queen, and rushes to help her when she is in danger.
11. Bashful is very shy and is probably secretly in love with Snow White.
12. Sleepy always looks tired. At the mine his job is to haul the diamonds and rubies by cart for Doc to inspect. He has the longest beard.
13. Sneezy has an allergy to flowers – hence he is always sneezing. He has the shortest beard of all the dwarfs.
14. Dopey looks younger than all the dwarfs and has no beard at all. He never speaks, and his job is to clean up all the unusable gems. You can always see him at the end of the line of dwarfs as they make their way to and from the mine.
15. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs won an honorary Academy Award for Walt Disney ‘as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field. Walt Disney received a full size Oscar statuette and seven miniature ones. The child actress Shirley Temple presented them to him.