This box contains three discs of the American soundtrack to Snow White, released by Victor Record in Japan. It seems that this set dates from 1953, when the 78-rpm format was in its last days.

The three heavy 78 rpm discs, made of shellac at the time, are packaged together in a box, each contained in a cardboard sleeve.

The bright red sleeve features a drawing of Snow White, several animals and the heads of the dwarfs, who seem to float in the air, with the exception of Dopey, the only dwarf to be completely drawn. Although this drawing is very heavily inspired by studio drawings, there is a discreet signature under his cloak, “fumito”, which tells us that it is indeed a local work.

The only text on the cover is in English: “Songs from Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as originally sung by Snow White – Victor S Record”. It’s surprising not to find Japanese writing, but after all, the recording is in English.

The inside, however, does feature text in Japanese, signed by Kaoru Nogawa. He explains the genesis of the film, pointing out that it was released in 1938, that it had been in the works since 1934, and that it lasts “only” one hour and 26 minutes, which is definitely a 1950s opinion since, in 1938, the film’s duration was considered particularly long. The author then tells the story of the film, quoting the titles of the songs in context, so that the listener can listen to them while reading the story.

On the back cover, the English lyrics of the songs can be read, and the dialogues are also included.

The records

The 78 rpm discs feature buttons on a pink background, with Snow White holding a candle and Dopey looking on, and the words “manufactured by Victor Co. of Japan, LTD, Yokohama” and “Silly Symphony”. Each side states that these are songs “from the Walt Disney feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as originally sung by Snow White (The Prince or the dwarfs) with dialogue and sound effects”. Although the texts are mainly in English, each song title is translated into Japanese. The recording is therefore the English version as heard on the original American discs, since no Japanese version was recorded until 1957.

It’s important to note that the recordings are not those often reproduced from the film’s first American soundtrack, which contained mix differences or cut scenes: these are extracts from the final mix. In “Dwarfs’ Silly Song”, for example, the song begins just before Happy’s solo and ends at Sneezy’s sneeze, whose solo verse is not included, as in the film.

Track listing

The songs are broken down as follows:

Record SA-19

  • With a Smile and a Song (45-5097-A) (3:33)
  • Dig-A-Dig-Dig and Heigh Ho (45-5098-A) (2:44)

Record SA-20

  • I’m Wishing and One Song (45-5099-A) (3:26)
  • Whistle While You Work (45-5099-B) (3:24)

Record SA-21

  • Dwarfs Yodel Song (45-5098-B) (3:45)
  • Someday my Prince Will Come (45-5097-B) (2:10)