Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs – Diamond Edition Blu-Ray DVD Review And Much More

The feature-length animated film that started it all, widely known as Disney’s Folly before it premiered, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, hit shelves yesterday, October 6th, in the Diamond Edition release, and it is an amazing treatment filled with special features. The package includes 2 Blu-Ray discs, and a standard DVD format copy of the film. A standard DVD release will follow on November 24th.

Unavailable since 2001, and newly restored, this is simply a must for every family and film lover. The Blu-Ray looks amazing and now has 7.1 sound, and the special features include something for everyone.

Exclusive Snow White Diamond Edition Bonus Features

Hyperion Studios – Audiences are digitally transported to 1937 to discover first-hand, Hyperion Studios, the original studio Walt Disney himself built and where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was conceived and developed. Viewers will virtually walk the halls of this historic landmark experiencing life at Hyperion Studios back in the 1930’s. This amazing “Backstage Disney” feature contains newly dimensionalized archival photos, never- before- heard animator recordings, archival transcripts and rare footage of Walt himself revealing how Disney’s gifted filmmakers crafted the very first animated feature.

This is really a navigation system to other features, rather than a feature itself, and it is a giant world to explore. In addition to what’s mentioned above, you’ll be treated to more fun treats than can be mentioned. From classic short-form cartoons to interviews, there is a truly surprising amount of history to explore, and I would really be surprised if anyone didn’t love every minute of it. Of particular interest are the clips of the animators who worked on the film discussing the process of creating the film, and working with Walt.

Magic Mirror – Using the latest in Blu-ray technology, the iconic Magic Mirror guides the audience through the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition features with ease, serving as the “host” for an incredibly immersive experience. The Mirror will recognize viewing patterns, knows where the audience has left off and will even suggest where to navigate next. This marks the first use of this type of technology in a Disney Blu-ray release and provides viewers the control to personally create a customized Snow White experience.

Basically, the kind of “What Princess Are You,” quiz we’re all familiar with, with a bonus built in that kids will love.

DisneyView – Disney’s pioneering animated feature is brought to the modern era of widescreen high definition viewing by allowing the user to expand their viewing experience beyond the original aspect ratio of the film. Utilizing Disney Blu-ray™ technology, acclaimed Disney artist Toby Bluth was able to ‘draw’ beyond the borders of classic full frame cinema and fill the otherwise dark edges of the screen with beautiful custom imagery, giving audiences a new view of their animated classic favorite.

Without question one of the best additions to a DVD release to come along, DisneyView is a real treat. While perhaps not adding tremendously in general, though seeing the movie in the expanded aspect is rather nice, it is simply awe-inspiring to watch this view and wonder at the effort and talent that went into creating it.

What Do You See? – To win this exciting interactive game, players must untangle scrambled images.

Images of the characters and so on from the film slow become more clear, and the object is to be first to figure out what the image is. There is also a single-player mode which has you selecting from a number of choices. A minor amusement, but the kids will probably enjoy.

Jewel Jumble – Players put jewels from the Dwarfs’ mine in the proper order to win this game.

Another mildly entertaining feature, this one is a pretty straight-forward game which is nevertheless rather fun all things considered.

Scene Stealer – Allows viewers to upload a personal photo and experience life as one of the Seven Dwarfs—on-screen in the actual film.

If you can’t have fun with this, I don’t know what to tell you. The mechanics aren’t difficult and the results are sure to get a few laughs.

From there the list of special features goes on and on. These so far are only those exclusive to this version of the release. Also included are an audio commentary track by John Canemaker, which is an E-ticket ride if ever there was one, a Disney Through the Decades featurette that is a lot more fun than many might expect, a “Heigh-Ho” Karaoke Sing-Along, Dopey’s Wild Ride Game, and much more.

I would generally opt for an exhaustive list of the features on a DVD release, such would seem obviously part of the purpose in reviewing it, but that way madness lies. However, I must also note The One That Started It All, a brilliant featurette that goes over the myriad ways that this film really changed Hollywood.

One of the most worthwhile and interesting collection of special features I’ve ever seen, the historic footage (including newly uncovered sketches that appears to show that a short-form sequel was in the works at one point) and bonuses could have been packaged separately and you would have paid hard cash for it, and been glad for the chance to do so.

Own this classic on Blu-Ray today!

Now for some bonus fun.

Meet the Dwarfs

SEVEN DWARFS – FUN FACTS

 

“The seven dwarfs, we knew, were ‘naturals’ for the medium of our pictures.  In them we could instill boundless humor, not only as to their physical appearances, but in their mannerisms, personalities, voices and actions.” – Walt Disney

By late 1933, Walt Disney began to crystallize his idea of making Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as a feature-length animated film.  Development on the Seven Little Men began early on and by the Fall of 1934, from several early story meetings in Walt’s office, initial shapes and designs of these characters gave them more of a forest Nome look.

◊ Individually, each dwarf represents a type of human personality generally found in most offices, schools or neighborhoods.

◊ Other names considered for the dwarfs early on included: Wheezy, Puffy, Stuffy, Biggo-Ego, Jumpy, Baldy, Nifty, Gabby, Stubby and Burby.

◊ Six of the famed dwarfs have eyebrows fashioned after Walt Disney’s own expressive eyebrows as they fascinated everyone who ever sat in story meetings with him.  Walt’s eyebrows tended to wander about, helping to more perfectly express anything Walt wanted to convey.  Early on, the artists agreed on this resemblance however, Happy is the only one who is different as his eyebrows are white and bushy.

◊ These rosy-cheeked, apple-faced dwarfs stand about knee high to Donald Duck and made their living at their own mine where they daily hauled gold, rubies, emeralds, diamonds, sapphires and other precious gems.  Nice work if you can get it!

◊ With the exception of Dopey, the dwarfs are dressed in woodsy russet, tan, brown and grey jerkins layered over neutral-colored breeches which tuck into soft leather footgear.

◊ It was determined early on that upon meeting the Dwarfs, the audience should get a sense that things have gone along unbothered for these fellows for hundreds of years.  Everything is pleasant in a humdrum sort-of-way – everything going according to schedule.  The startling interruption of Snow White into their lives clearly shakes things up for these gentle men.

◊ Personal hygiene for the Dwarfs is usually not a priority as washing and bathing apparently occurs on rare occasions such as an annual event like New Years Day for example.  But with Snow White’s mandate, the Dwarfs respectfully mind their best table manners and wash up!

◊ “Jiminy Crickets” – is usually chorused by all of the Dwarfs when something astonishing or surprising occurs.

◊ By late in 1936, it was determined that Doc would be the leader of the crew

◊ It was determined early on that the Dwarfs would carry picks rather than shovels or sacks as they make their way to and from the Diamond mine.  Dopey was initially designated to carry a lamp swinging from his pick, but in the end, it is Doc leading the way with his lantern.

◊ Other commonalities include having only 3 fingers and a thumb.

◊ Final designs of the Seven Dwarfs were approved by late 1936.

◊ Artists were offered $5.00 – a hefty sum by late 1930’s standards — for every gag featuring the Dwarfs that made it into the final film.

◊ The Seven Dwarfs appeared together in several commercial shorts after the release of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,’ including: ‘The Standard Parade’ – 1939, ‘The Seven Wise Dwarfs’ – 1941, ‘All Together’ – 1942 and, ‘The Winged Scourge’ – 1943.

DO YOU KNOW ALL SEVEN NAMES?

 

DOC

Appearing a bit pompous at times, this self-appointed lead of the group has a habit of getting his words and ideas mixed up.  Easily befuddled, Doc’s spectacles often slip a little too far down on his nose as his words often tend to get mixed up.  Overly gracious and highly efficient in his own mind until an important decision is necessary and his nerves take over, preventing any relevant decision from being made.  A little nervous,

Doc never seems to know what to do with his hands.

 

HAPPY –

A fat, roly-poly little fellow, Happy is easily recognized with a perpetual smile and his bright, cheery disposition. His unique bushy white eyebrows are constantly bobbing with his eager grin as Happy always looks on the brighter side of things.

 

SLEEPY –

He sees the world through half-closed eyes and always seems to be talking through a yawn.  Perpetually nodding off, Sleepy could easily recline anywhere to get some sleep.  A rare talker, when he does have something to say, it is always straight and to the point – even though he’s too tired to know it.

 

SNEEZY –

His chronic hayfever presents a difficult challenge as Sneezy often tries to talk through his nose.  Always sneezing at the wrong time, Sneezy is a hardworking and loyal friend…in between sneezes.

 

GRUMPY –

The real leader of the group, Grumpy is ‘agin’ everything.   Hi is grouchy, crabby, and his primary dislike is ‘wimmin!’ While his nose is the most prominent part of his face, his soft, tender heart is even bigger under all that gruff veneer – much to his own disgust.  When trouble arises, it’s Grumpy who acts first to save the day!

BASHFUL –

An incurable romantic, Bashful is a willing and kind-hearted friend, but it’s Snow White who brings out the blush in this shy fellow.  Full of wriggles, giggles and ‘oh gosh’-es, Bashful is often twisting one foot around the other or braiding his beard while batting his bashful baby blue eyes.

DOPEY –

This loveable, slightly-balmy, child-like fellow gets a great kick out of life.  Imbued with a sense of fun, he is a bit like Harpo-Marx, in that Dopey doesn’t speak, but his sly grin seems to ‘tell all.’  Dopey’s garments are at least 5 sizes too big for him, but that only adds to his charm.  Somewhat mischievous, Dopey somehow manages to capture the hearts of everyone.

The Legacy

Walt Disney’s beloved animated masterpiece SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, maintains a legacy of distinctive firsts within the entertainment industry.  Though it’s been 70 years since she first graced the silver screen, SNOW WHITE still charms and thrills generations of audiences while continuing to mark an unsurpassed record of achievements.

The prestigious American Film Institute places it within its Top 10 films of all times, and in 2008, listed SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS as the “Greatest Animated Film of All Time.”  Setting at #34 of the overall 100 Greatest Films of all time, SNOW WHITE’S evil Queen ranks #10 of the all time top 100 film villains of all time, rounded out by Snow White’s timeless musical wish, “Someday My Prince Will Come,” is the 19th most memorable film song of all time.

BEST OF LISTS:

 

  • AFI Top 10 Top 10 Lists – Greatest Animated Film of all time (2008): #1
  • AFI 100 Greatest Films (2007): #34
  • AFI 100 Hereos/100 Villains (2003): The Evil Queen #10 Villain
  • AFI 100 Years 100 Songs (2004): ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’ #19 song

Among the other notable accomplishments for SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, are a number of groundbreaking firsts within the art of film entertainment, including:

FAMOUS FIRSTS:

 

  • First full-length animated feature produced by Walt Disney
  • First film to have a soundtrack album released
  • First to be considered a Walt Disney Animated Classic
  • First American animated feature film in movie history
  • First Disney film theatrically re-released in seven-year pattern, starting 1944
  • Among first 25 featured films to be preserved in the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, 1989
  • First film entirely scanned to digital file, restored and recorded back to film, 1993
  • First video released in Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection, 10/28/1994
  • First DVD released in Disney’s Platinum Series, 10/9/2001
  • 2009: will be first Disney film released in Diamond Collection series (DVD & Blu-ray)

 

AWARDS

 

With numerous awards accumulated by this ground-breaking animated film, Walt Disney’s SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS continues to receive some of the highest awards bestowed within the world of Cinema. These prestigious awards include:

 

  • Academy Awards:
    • 1937 Music (Scoring) – Nominee
    • 1939 Special Award
      • To Walt Disney for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, recognized as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon.
      • One regular size Oscar plus seven small Oscar statuettes on stepped base
      • Presented to Walt Disney by Shirley Temple
  • Venice Film Festival
    • 1938 Grand Biennale Art Trophy – to Walt Disney (producer)
  • New York Film Critics Circle Awards
    • 1939 Special Award Winner
  • Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Awards
    • 1987 Special Award – Winner
      • To Walt Disney, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the movie.
  • National Film Preservation Board, USA
    • 1989 added to the National Film Registry
      • recognized as “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant, to be preserved for all time
  • Walk of Fame – Hollywood
    • 1988 Snow White inducted with Star (Motion Picture category) 6912 Hollywood Blvd.
  • Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
    • 2002 Saturn Award – Winner – Best DVD Classic Film Release

BOX OFFICE RECORDS

With generations of fans and viewing audiences, SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS continues to climb the box-office strata.  With a record-breaking production budget at the time, this tender young princess certainly proved her worth as SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS smashed box office records at the time of release and continues to rank within the top ten domestic box office grosses of all time:

  • Production budget (1934-1937): $1,488,422.74
  • Grossed over $8,500,000 internationally when originally released
  • The highest grossing film in American cinema history for one year
    • Surpassed in 1939 by “Gone With the Wind”
  • Top grossing film of 1938 (general release began Feb. 4, 1938)
  • Domestic Lifetime Gross:  $184,925,486
    • 12/21/1937: $66,596,803 (incl. 5 re-issues before 1983)
    • 07/15/1983: $30,100,000 (re-issue)
    • 07/17/1987: $46,594,212 (re-issue)
    • 07/02/1993: $41,634,471 (re-issue)
  • All-time Box Office Domestic Gross (inflation adj.):  $782,620,000  ranked #10th

QUOTABLE PRESS – DEBUT

 

(1937-1944):

  • Cover article of TIME magazine – ‘Cinema: Mouse & Man’ (Dec. 27 1937)
    • “it is an authentic masterpiece”
  • New York Times review (Jan. 14, 1938)
    • “It is a classic, as important cinematically as The Birth of a Nation or the birth of Mickey Mouse.”
    • “If you miss it, you’ll be missing one of the ten best pictures of 1938. Thank you very much, Mr. Disney, and come again soon.”
  • New York Times – ‘Snow White at 50: Undimmed Magic’ (July 12, 1987)
    • Quoting British filmmaker Michael Powell from his c. 1944 article…
    • “Seven years after the premiere, in an article for Film Review in Britain, Michael Powell, having just written and directed but still three years away from ‘The Red Shoes,’ called Disney ‘one of the three persons necessary to the evolution of film making – Griffith, the master showman; Chaplin, the lonely genius; Disney, the experimenter and planner; the director of the future will partake of all of them; without them he could not exist, whether he ever heard of them or not…”
    • “Mr. Powell tried to sum up what Disney had done with Snow White: ‘At one stride, with this feature-length cartoon in color, for making which he had been ridiculed, Disney became one of the world’s greatest film producers.’ “
    • “After the Hollywood premiere of Snow White, Charlie Chaplin, who was present, told The Los Angeles Times that the film ‘even surpassed our high expectations. In Dwarf Dopey, Disney has created one of the greatest comedians of all time.’ ”
  • Variety review (Dec. 29, 1937)
    • “There has never been anything in the theatre quite like Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”
    • “thrilling entertainment”
    • “It is an inspired and inspiring work”

    Meeting the Dwarfs

    Whistle

    Creating Snow White Featurette

    The Story Teller Featurette

    Heigh-Ho

    RU?

Marc Eastman
Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

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