Like the Queen, the Prince in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is an ultra-realistic character. This was not always a given for the studio artists. Indeed, the major problem with the character was that he had to be graceful and masculine at the same time. To get around this problem, the animators at one time imagined him doing antics in the manner of the zany characters in past shorts. Once it was decided that this approach was not appropriate for the film, the rotoscope was needed, and with it the multiple problems related to the fact that our eye being used to human movements, we are less tolerant when a character that is supposed to be realistic moves in an unrealistic way.

Marge Belcher & Louis Hightower

It was again the class of Ernest Belcher, father of Marge Belcher, who provided the new recruit who would serve as the Prince’s principal model. His name was Louis Hightower, a dancer chosen because his stature was particularly masculine, and he had sturdy legs.

He and Marge were featured in an article in Time magazine, where a photo essay organized after the release of the film showed them recreating the movements of the characters to illustrate the article. The two dancers appeared in the MGM short film Sunday Night at the Trocadero (available on the bonus features of this DVD) where they demonstrated their chemistry and talent.

After this role, Louis returned to the studio to lend his silhouette to the alligator in The Dance of the Hours sequence in Fantasia.

Unfortunately, he was sent to war and died in 1942, somewhere in Italy.

Sunday Night at the Trocadero