Published on July 11, 2016
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on the German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, it is the first full-length cel animated feature film and the earliest in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The story was adapted by storyboard artists Dorothy Ann Blank, Richard Creedon, Merrill De Maris, Otto Englander, Earl Hurd, Dick Rickard, Ted Sears and Webb Smith. David Hand was the supervising director, while William Cottrell, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, and Ben Sharpsteen directed the film’s individual sequences.
Snow White premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre on December 21, 1937, followed by a nationwide release on February 4, 1938. It was a critical and commercial success, and with international earnings of $8 million during its initial release briefly assumed the record of highest grossing sound film at the time. The popularity of the film has led to it being re-released theatrically many times, until its home video release in the 1990s. Adjusted for inflation, it is one of the top ten performers at the North American box office.
At the 11th Academy Awards, Walt Disney was awarded an honorary Oscar, and the film was nominated for Best Musical Score the year before. In 1989, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry and is ranked in the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films, who also named the film as the greatest American animated film of all time in 2008. Disney’s take on the fairytale has had a huge cultural impact, resulting in popular theme park attractions, a video game, and a Broadway musical.