Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs must have blown people’s hair back in 1937. It stands as a major triumph for Walt Disney (still just 36 years old at the time of the film’s release)- it is a landmark film- the first feature length color animation film. And it was a monster at the box office, still one of the top 10 films of all-time when you factor in inflation.
Heavy praise at the time from everyone from Eisenstein (he called it the best film of all-time) to the New York Times (comparing it to The Birth of a Nation)
The film also serves as a blueprint for the many of the Disney films to come—Snow White is awoken by her prince like Sleeping Beauty, and she an animal-whisperer just like Cinderella (and many others)
From the very beginning Disney’s animation feature cinematic and photographic traits like candles for natural lighting, a spotlight used on Snow White in bed, and even pulling back the “camera” to simulate a movement in the forest
Highlights of animation include the rippling water in the well, the colored panels on the window of the queen (Maleficent is simply a much better character than Snow White—ditto for the Seven Dwarfs).
Musical highlights include “Whistle While You Work” and “Heigh Ho”
One of the strongest frames and sequences is the two candles lit around Snow White in bed directly after the death of the Queen.
I know auteur theory is usually limited to directors, but do you believe there is an argument for Walt Disney being an auteur as a producer on these animations he had a hand in? Obviously there isn’t much of an argument for producers as auteurs over directors in general, but there are a handful out there who at least leave a mark on their work. Maybe David O Selznick or George Lucas on Empire Strikes Back. What others are out there?
@DeclanG- Certainly a handful that are worth discussing and exploring. You have a good list here. I’d add Val Lewton.