Grumpy is, well, grumpy. He’s cantankerous, irritable, but deep down, he has a heart of gold. Grumpy’s physical appearance includes a perpetual scowl and a bushy unibrow, reflecting his perpetually sour mood. Although he his initially the only dwarf that refuses to give Snow White shelter, he secretely falls in love with her more any other dwarfs and ends up being the most dynamic one during the final chase. His voice, brought to life by Pinto Colvig, is gruff and raspy, perfectly capturing his cantankerous nature. Animators Fred Moore and Vladimir Tytla were instrumental in crafting Grumpy’s distinctive expressions and body language, making him a memorable character in the Disney pantheon.

In a December 3, 1934 story meeting, Grumpy was described as follows:

Grumpy is the old sour puss – he knows something about everything and he is dead set against women. To him, most anything is a sign of impending danger. He is the prime mover in exciting the Dwarfs to a high pitch when they find the light in their house. He is stubborn and we play this characteristic up throughout the story by him not giving in to Snow White’s charm outwardly, whereas inwardly he falls for her that first night during the entertainment sequence. Grumpy’s remarks are a great source of irritation to Doc. Doc can be in the happiest mood, but one look at Grumpy brings a complete change over him and a sort of determination to show his authority.


After initial suggestions by designers Albert Hurter and Ferdinand Horvath, Gustaf Tengren helped refined the look of the dwarfs and Fred Moore, who animated them in the test sequence 5A, gave them their round features as we know them today.

Dot Smith, who worked as a checker in the Ink and Paint Department, told David Johnson that she was responsible for selecting the colors of the dwarfs. She felt that a purple tunic would be ideal for Grumpy, because it felt like a strong and grumpy color. Her boss Hazel Sewell, who happened to be the sister of Walt Disney’s wife, knew that her brother-in-law hated the color purple and tried an alternate green version but Dot Smith’s version was eventually chosen.

Joe Grant believed that Vladimir Tytla probably was inspired by the movements of Perce Pearce to animate the character.

Grumpy (September 28, 1936 – Sheet 2)
Test for Grumpy’s green version

Grumpy’s fame

Aside from other film or TV productions (see above), Grumpy also appears in other media, as he seems to be one the most appreciated dwarfs with Dopey. He starts his career by appearing in the February 1938 issue of Stage magazine.

In the trailer of the never released 3D 2006 sequel Snow White II – The Boys Are Back, Dopey and him are the only characters of the original film who appear, which gives time to Grumpy to list some of his achievements: “I’ve been headlining Disney on Ice for 35 years. I’m huge in France. People love me in Disneyland. My mother loves me.”