#10 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
How terrific is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? Sergei Eisenstein (Yes, the Battleship Potemkin guy) called it “the greatest film ever made.” How groundbreaking is this movie as the first feature-length cartoon? Some people at the time thought that humans could not sit through a cartoon if it were longer than ten minutes. I do not know what these naysayers thought would happen upon the eleventh minute of viewing animation: Bleeding eyeballs? Mild nausea? Madness? Discomfiting discharge? Fatal case of “the whimsies?”
There, the Pope is now officially the first critic to mention the beloved Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the same sentence as “discomfiting discharge.”
The poor huntsman given this dirty job is a bleeding-heart liberal who opposes the death penalty. He takes pity on Snow White and sets her free in the forest. (Presumably he believes that dainty princess/bluebird-whisperer Snow White has had extensive outdoor survival training, and will somehow prevail.) Snow White befriends some forest creatures and eventually comes upon a little cottage.
The animation here is without peer. At the time, Disney was famous for scrapping weeks of animation if it was not up to his high standard. In fact, this feature project was so close to his heart that, during the meeting in which he introduced Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to his animation team, Walt acted out the entire story, playing all the parts himself, over the course of ninety minutes. I love Walt.
Even Popes like to have fun—and I like to play “The Dwarf Game!” I cannot be the only one who, after screening the film, enjoys making up names for dwarfs who did not quite make it into the movie. Disney and his animators wound up choosing the iconic seven’s names from a much longer list that originally included such memorable monikers as Baldy, Burpee, Dizzy, Gabby, Jumpy, Lazy, Nifty, Puffy, Shorty, Sniffy, Stuffy, Swifty, Tubby, and Wheezy. So dive in and make up your own B-List!
Post your favorite “also-ran” dwarfs in the comments section below.
Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, and other early classics in an honest-to-God movie theater. I treasure those memories and wish Disney would bring this program back. Parents need an alternative if the only movie for kids on a given weekend is The Secret Life of Pets! What parent would not instead opt for the original Lady and the Tramp, Jungle Book, or even The Fox and the Hound?
Listen up, Disney. There is money to be made.
In nomine Disney, et Dopey, y spiritu Grimm, Amen.