In 1937, Walt Disney Productions and RKO Radio Pictures released the animated feature SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. This was Disney’s first full-length animated feature and it is not only a classic film from Disney but in all of American cinema. It is the old fairytale about The Evil Queen who is so deep in her own vanity that she has to be the most beautiful woman in existence. She has a magic mirror that tells her about a girl named Snow White. Snow White is more beautiful than The Queen and she wants the girl killed. That’s about as deep into the story as I’ll go because I figure you probably know it or I’d like you to enjoy it for the first time.
The animation is incredible and the filmmakers used techniques that are not common practice anymore since the introduction of CGI. This was basically the beginning of motion capture or Mo-Cap as its commonly referred. See, back then everything was done by hand from the smooth animation to the hand-painted backgrounds to the brilliant coloring throughout the film. When the animators would want to capture someone’s natural movements in their art, they would take an actress who was dressed like that particular character and film it. Then, they would re-sketch the image for the movie to get to the final product. Watching this process is a really cool thing to see.
Disney has a long list of successful animated features but I think that there are some that may not hold up as well as others but that can be said about almost any genre/production company. Seeing that a movie that is almost 80 years old and it still has that magic & charm after all these years is really something to marvel.
The video transfer is a 1080p AVC presentation.
Disney has put a lot of care into this transfer by restoring the film from the 1937 originals frame by frame. They also left in the natural grain that gives it a certain amount of charm. The images are sharp with excellent details that also bring out the thick, hand-dawn lines. There is some good contrasting that can especially be seen in the scenes where Snow is lost in the forest. The blacks are inky and deep, as they should be. As far as the coloring, the restoration makes all of the colors bold but not overpowering. The reds are particularly nice.
The main audio track is an English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix.
This is a strong mix for the movie and after hearing it; you’d be surprised that it was in mono for it’s original release. The film is dialogue centric with some singing of course but there is excellent surround use when needed. This mix has a lot of the sound moving from side to side depending on who is on screen. One of the things that I’m glad Disney didn’t do was add effects that weren’t in the original or if they did, it sounds natural enough that it doesn’t take away from the film. For the fans and purists, there is also the mono track included incase you want to have the 1937 experience.
-Audio Commentary: Commentary by Roy E. Disney and Disney Historian John Canemaker, and some voice recordings by Walt Disney.
-In Walt’s Words: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: This 5 minute clip of footage from Walt Disney in 1956 where he talks about the inspiration and creating the movie form the ground up.
-Iconography: This featurette focuses on how SNOW WHITE has lived on through the years due to some of the classic elements in the movie.
-@DisneyAnimation: Designing Disney’s First Princess: This featurette includes Bill Schwab (art director), Mark Henn (animator), and Michael Giaimo (art director) discussing what designing Snow White as the first Disney Princess would take back in the 30’s.
-The Fairest Facts of Them All: 7 Things You May Not Know About SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS: This featurette reveals some secrets about a few things in the movie and Sofia Carson gives you the rundown.
-Snow White In Seventy Seconds: This is exactly what it says. It is the entire story in 70 seconds.
-Alternate Sequence: The Prince Meets Snow White
-Disney’s First Feature: The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
-Bringing Snow White to Life
-Hyperion Studios Tour: This featurette explores what creating the studio took back in the ’30s.
-Decoding the Exposure Sheet
-Snow White Returns: This featurette explains why SNOW WHITE never received a sequel.
Soup Eating Sequence
Bed Building Sequence
-Animation Voice Talent
2 disc set w/1 Blu-ray and 1 DVD
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 1.34:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
English Dolby Digital Mono
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS has always been a magnificent piece of cinema and Blu-ray takes it to the next level. From what I understand, the audio & video is the same as the previous release but the version has a few new extras. For the Disney fanatics and collectors, you’ll be happy to know that the packaging has been changed with some really nice spot-glossing on the slipcover and new artwork. That alone might be the reason to double-dip on this one but if you don’t own this, I highly recommend on picking this one up.