French edition of the American soundtrack

This 1993 compact-disc, running 73:36, is the most complete digital version of the soundtrack to date, with the exception of a brief extract towards the end (a few seconds of the very last moments of the film are missing since track 24 presents an edited version of the finale). This is the version published in France, although the soundtrack is in English and the text is almost entirely in English in the booklet. In addition to the music from the film, there are two songs cut before the film’s release: “Music in Your Soup” and “You’re Never Too Old to Be Young”.

The main difference with the British version of the CD is the penultimate page of the booklet, which contains advertisements for the other American soundtracks in their editions published in France, and of course the reference which is specifically French (WDR 36009-2 CB811, 3418153600928). The booklet contains a list of technicians and artists, song lyrics, a track listing, and a fascinating text on sound restoration written by Randy Thornton and Michael Leon, the album’s producers. Here’s the text.

Polishing a Disney Gem – The Restoration of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Soundtrack

The World’s First Soundtrack

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is distinguished as Walt Disney’s first full-length animated feature. It was also his biggest gamble and his most spectacular success. What isn’t widely known is that the film also spawned a milestone in recording history: the world’s first original soundtrack album. Released by RCA Victor Records in 1938, the Snow White soundtrack included just five songs from the movie, but for the first time, these songs were the same recordings actually heard during the film. Until that time, interpretive re-creations were the norm for movie music albums.

Snow White and the Seven Sources

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is one of Disney’s most widely researched films. Even so, surprisingly little documentation exists from the original production, especially in the area of music. Our research for this album uncovered the sad fact that the film’s complete music only tracks no longer exist; we embarked upon an exhaustive search to find other audio sources. Luckily, we were able to locate Snow White nitrate optical instrumental tracks — just as they were about to be shipped off to the Library of Congress storage vaults. But even these nitrate optical tracks, which contain the original recordings actually used in 1938, were not complete. To make up for the missing sections, we searched for and finally located five other Snow White music only and music effects masters, as well as an early composite (music + effects + vocal + dialog) master. With these track masters in hand — seven different sources in all — our work began in earnest. Our mission was to piece together the most complete music soundtrack possible and still remain as true to the original recording as technology and luck would allow. We re-created the meter of the music as it was composed, and in doing so, followed the original orchestra score manuscript. We also used Snow White’s spoken-in-verse segments (words phrased in time to the music), which had never before been included. And finally, through digital restoration, we carefully removed noise from the master and repaired the sonic breaks. The entire program was then digitally equalized and mastered.

Digital Restoration – We Made a Wish and Took a Byte

During the re-creation and restoration, we used a total of four Apple Macintosh IIci computers, each equipped with specialized software and hardware. The seven source masters alone took up an enormous amount of hard disk space — more than 3.6 gigabytes! We soon realized that if it weren’t for the flexibility of digital computer technology, this restoration would not have been possible.

A Tribute to Itself

Our labors paid off with what we feel is the most complete Snow White soundtrack ever compiled. Saved from deterioration in the nick of time, here is the music of Snow White as it has never been presented before. The album is as much a tribute to itself as it is to Walt Disney’s most renowned animated feature, and to the wonder of Disney music. Enjoy!

Randy Thornton and Michael Leon, Album Producers, January 1993

The Booklet

Track listing

  1. Overture (Morey/Churchill) (2:10)
  2. Magic Mirror (Harline) (1:25)
  3. I’m Wishing / One Song (Morey/Churchil/Harline) (3:06)
  4. Queen Theme (Churchill) (0:44)
  5. Far into the Forest (Morey/Churchill/Smith/Harline) (2:25)
  6. Animal Friends/With a Smile and a Song (Churchill/Harline/Morey) (4:23)
  7. Just Like a Doll’s House (Churchill/Smith) (2:46)
  8. Whistle While You Work (Morey/Churchill) (3:24)
  9. Heigh-Ho (Morey/Churchill) (2:46)
  10. Let’s See What’s Upstairs (Churchill/Smith) (1:15)
  11. There’s Trouble a-Brewin’ (Morey/Churchill/Harline) (4:19)
  12. It’s a Girl (Harline/Churchill) (4:26)
  13. Hooray! She Stays (Churchill) (2:48)
  14. Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum (The Washing Song) (Morey/Churchill) (4:25)
  15. I’ve Been Tricked (Harline) (4:05)
  16. The Silly Song (The Dwarfs’ Yodel Song) (Morey/Churchill) (4:35)
  17. Some Day My Prince Will Come (Morey/Churchill) (1:53)
  18. Pleasant Dreams (Smith/Churchill) (2:28)
  19. A Special Sort of Death (Harline) (2:02)
  20. Why Grumpy You Do Care (Churchill/Harline/Morey) (2:06)
  21. Makin’ Pies (Harline/Morey/Churchill) (3:02)
  22. Have a Bite (Harline) (1:26)
  23. Chorale for Snow White (Churchill) (1:05)
  24. Love’s First Kiss (Finale) (Churchill/Harline/Morey) (4:08)
  25. Music in Your Soup (Morey/Churchill) (2:35)
  26. You’re Never Too Old to Be Young (Morey/Churchill) (3:20)