The opening sequence, directly after the credits, plunges us straight into the story. Gone are the early concepts of showing the death of Snow White’s mother, or the elaborate introductions where the Queen was entertained by dancers and musicians in a ceremonial hall covered with her portraits in various rich costumes. Here, simplicity is the name of the game: the camera moves slowly towards a castle perched on a hill, inspired by the Alcazar of Segovia, and we enter the room where the Queen consults her mirror, adorned with the signs of the zodiac, whose slave appears in a cloud of flames and smoke.

The slave describes the young girl who has surpassed her mistress in beauty, and the shocked sovereign exclaims, “Snow White!”

Wolfgang Reitherman, future director of Robin Hood, animated the slave in the magic mirror here, and you can see from the animation drawings how he simply achieved this perfect, unreal symmetry of the character’s face: by folding the sheet in half!

Arthur Babbitt is in charge of animating the Queen, heavily inspired by her live model.

Here you’ll find the preparatory drawings for these two characters, as well as the production drawings used to create this scene.


Here is the sequence broken up into scenes with the corresponding animators.

Concept drawings

In this sequence, two characters appear for the first time on screen: the Queen and the slave in the magic mirror. Both characters and their surroundings had to undergo many changes before beeing finalized. The Queen was originally approached as a comedy character, closer to what was found in the Silly Symphonies.


Animation drawings

Layouts and Backgrounds