December 13, 1937

One week before its premiere, Life magazine devotes an article to the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The article, entitled “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Disney animates a full-length film”, focuses on the behind-the-scenes aspects of the film, both in its brief, educational text, and in the illustrations, which reproduce three “model sheets” actually used during production, and three successive illustrations explaining how the celluloid characters are applied to the fixed backgrounds. This is followed by two pages of color illustrations summarizing the story. These images would later appear in Whitman’s book publishing 777.

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” Disney animates a full-length film

At the Mickey Mouse studio in Hollywood. Walt Disney and his prodigious crew of artists have just finished the first feature-length animated film ever made. It is the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which millions of children have read in Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Snow White cost $1,500,000 and took three years to make. Using human characters extensively for the first time. Disney began by making charts to show how each one should be drawn. The charts at left show (top) the seven dwarfs: (centre) their comparative heights; (bottom) specifications for Sleepy. Twenty-five artists painted the pastel backgrounds. Then 300 animators drew the characters in motion on sheets of celluloid. Two million “cels” were painted before 250,000 were finally chosen to be successively photographed against the backgrounds (see below). Snow White was aimed at the Christmas trade but was such a gigantic job that only Los Angeles will see it before mid-January. Meanwhile its advance publicity has reached such proportions that Mr. Disney may well worry lest his public expect too much.

The Magazine