Tallying the timeless charm of Disney's 'Snow White'

July 02, 1993|By Stephen Hunter | Stephen Hunter,Film Critic

Seven harsh truths about "Snow White":

1.) The dwarfs aren't really that great.

2.) The prince? A geek.

3.) Snow's singing voice gets on your last nerve.

4.) Dopey? You'd lock up your kids if he moved into the 'hood.

5.) No, they didn't have to re-upholster all 5,000 seats in Radio City Music Hall after the movie had played because of all the "accidents" but . . . isn't it pretty to think so?

6.) How overrated is "Some Day My Prince Will Come"?

7.) The little bump on the witch's nose was the scariest thing about her and probably cost a generation of grandmothers millions of kisses and hugs.

Seven interesting facts about "Snow White":

1.) "Using Kodak's Cinenon system, imperfections on the original negative such as cel dirt, reflections from the glass platen and bumping and flickering have been largely and selectively removed," according to the press notes.

2.) Disney is finally acknowledging that some of Snow's motions were rotoscoped -- that is, "traced" from live footage, but the kicker is that the body model in the footage was Marjorie Belcher who later achieved fame as Marge Champion of the dance team Marge and Gower Champion.

3.) In 1989, "Snow White" was among the first 25 films entered in the Library of Congress's National Film Registry.

4.) "Hollywood's most famous sneezer, Billy Gilbert, responded to an ad in Variety seeking the 'voice' of Sneezy and was hired on the spot," according to the press notes. But shouldn't that read, "Was hired on the snot?"

5.) The teen-aged Deanna Durbin tried out for the singing voice of Snow, but was rejected in favor of Adriana Caselotti, who is older and the daughter of a vocal coach, because Deanna sounded "too mature."

6.) During its three-year inception period, the movie was popularly known in Hollywood culture as "Disney's Folly."

7.) One drunken evening in 1938, Errol Flynn asked Walt to "introduce" him to Snow White. Oh, all right, it probably didn't happen. But it could have.

Seven wonderful truths about "Snow White":

1.) The pursuit through the haunted forest and the witch's ultimate death amid stabs of lightning, blasts of thunder and torrents of rain. Nothing in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or "Jurassic Park" or anything else in Spielbergland comes close.

2.) "Whistle While You Work" and "Heigh-Ho" still work!

3.) The Evil Queen: cool.

4.) Unbelievably dense and menacing forest scapes.

5.) Makes you believe in true love.

6.) "Mirror Mirror on the Wall/ Who's the Fairest of them all?" has entered folklore.

7.) After all these years: still ****.

'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'

Animated feature

Produced by Walt Disney

Released by Disney

Rated G

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