Art Books, Disney, Reviews

[BOOK REVIEW] ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Art and Creation of Walt Disney’s Classic Animated Film’

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snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs-art-bookThis review deals specifically with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. To read the review of The Fairest One of Allclick here.

It’s been 75 years since the release of Walt Disney’s first feature-length animated film, Snow White. To celebrate the film’s anniversary, the Walt Disney Family Foundation Press has released a pair of books that commemorate the making of the film: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Art and Creation of Walt Disney’s Classic Animated Film and The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a “catalogue”, or companion piece, to the Walt Disney Family Museum’s first special exhibition, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic. The exhibit runs from November 15, 2012 through April 14, 2013 and showcases original concept sketches, background paintings, production cells from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This book features over 200 pieces of artwork from the exhibit, providing the reader a mini tour and idea of what the real exhibit is like.

The book was written by J.B. Kaufman with forewards by Walt’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, and the CEO of the Walt Disney Family Museum, Gabriella C. Calicchio. Diane talks about her love for collecting and gifting Disney animation art, which eventually became large enough to host an online “virtual museum.” Apparently, so many people thought it was a real place and kept asking the location of the museum that Diane and the family decided to turn the museum into a reality. It’s very interesting to read her love and passion for her father’s legacy, especially for Snow White.

The book elegantly tells the story of the making of Snow White from concept to the final film, focusing on all the characters, scenes and important elements. The beginning of the book details Snow White’s original concept designs: from a Betty Boop-esque character to even red-heads and blondes versions. The book then organically moves to her final character model, showing model sheets and production cells. What I loved about this early part of the book is how descriptive it is about each step of the process in detailing the animation process (for those who aren’t as familiar with the process).



The book organically moves from one scene of the film to another, which was a great way for it to be structured. It didn’t categorize section by characters, backgrounds, or deleted scenes, but rather told the story and history of each scene while including all the relevant pieces. It felt much like a director’s commentary, but on paper, which was spectacular since such a commentary doesn’t exist. I could relive each scene in sequence.

I loved being able to relive this movie in a very detailed, behind-the-scenes way. Looking at the soft, masterful backgrounds and perfectly on-model Snow White made me appreciate the pioneers and masters who were employed at Disney’s studio. These animators and artists truly were masters of their crafts and this film is their legacy of a near-perfect animated film.



Photos from Weldon Owens

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Art and Creation of Walt Disney’s Classic is a lovely book that is worthy of any Disney fan’s collection. It provides a rare glimpse into one of the most iconic and important films of all time, making this book important to any collector of film memorabilia. It’s really that good. This book is definitely more like your traditional “art and making of” book, while The Fairest One of All is more of an expanisve history plus art. I loved this book much more than some other “making of” books I’ve come across and know I will be returning to its pages over and over again.

Published by Weldon Owen. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Art and Creation of Walt Disney’s Classic is available October 16, 2012. Buy the book on Amazon here!



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About Morgan Stradling

Morgan is a native of Arizona and is a desert rat who loves the heat--she doesn’t even turn on the AC in her car in the middle of the summer! She loves big eyeliner, Survivor, Lady Gaga, and, of course, animated films. She has her MBA in Marketing from ASU and now works as a Product Manager for a tech company. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.