Snow White (Snow White And The Seven Dwarves)
The First of Many
The beautiful, sweet Disney princess Snow White of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, was the very first feature length animated film ever created. It premiered in Hollywood at a theater called the Carthay Circle Theater on December 21st in 1937. Snow White is officially the first Disney princess and she set a high standard for all the rest to come.
The Depression Era
The 1930s in the United States were not an easy time. There was an economic depression, which means that many people who had jobs and money before had none. There was no extra money for ‘the pictures', as movies were called. Disney short cartoons with music and dialogue not spoken but written for the audience to read off the screen in between the cartoon images were still a huge hit.
Making a full length feature cartoon when it had never been done before and for a country full of people with so little hope (or money) in between World Wars I and II, was an act of bravery by Walt Disney. And it worked! America fell in love with Snow White and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was a huge success.
Big Money Spent
Disney spent $1.4 million – a huge sum of money in and of itself but adjusted for today's value of dollars that amount would equal roughly $80 million! That's was a huge bet for the young Walt Disney. Lucky for us it paid off.
Big Money Earned
Walt Disney certainly won back his investment and did so many times over. His Snow White and the Seven Dwarves made more money than any film before it and held the title of highest grossing (or highest earning) film of all time until Gone With the Wind came out. The first time Snow White bit the apple on big screens across the country, she earned Walt Disney $8.5 million! This amount would equal hundreds of millions of dollars today!
No Short Adventure
Snow White was not a princess who appeared overnight. She was born from a fairy tale hundreds of years old with as many different versions as there are cultures to tell it. Walt Disney himself first got the idea for a full length animated version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves when he saw the fairy tale on screen as a silent film.
Once Walt Disney chose Snow White as the first princess whose story he would produce, he took his time and made sure to do it right. Three years and 750 animators, artists, producers, advisers, editors, colorists, singers, songwriters, musicians, actors, designers, and writers later, Snow White made her debut in Hollywood.
A Special Award
In 1939, when Oscar time rolled around, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves received an award that has not since been replicated or repeated. At the Academy Award ceremony, Walt Disney was given a full sized Oscar statuette as all winners received – as well as seven dwarf sized Oscar statues. Shirley Temple, a child star famous worldwide (probably chosen due to the nature of the film and her short, dwarf like stature, as well) presented Walt Disney with his Academy Award.