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Snow White (1937) Walt Disney, The Brothers Grimm, Adriana Caselotti & Lucille La Verne

Book Vs Movie Podcast

Book Vs. Movie: Snow White
The Grimms Fairy Tales Version Vs. the 1937 Disney Classic

In December, we cover Disney and what better adaptation to discuss than one of the greatest feature-length animated films of all time? 1937’s Snow White is considered a masterpiece of storytelling by Walt Disney, who believed in the future of animation and created a studio empire with the popularity of the film’s release.

The original story starts with Grimm’s Fairy Tales, a collection of 1800s and earlier stories that were passed down from generation to and were often violent and today might be labeled “too scary” for kids. The Brothers Grimm (Jacob & Willhelm) Their first collection was published in 1812, and the brothers fought for decades to teach and discuss German history and folklore and unified the German language. Their active years were from 1812-1858.

For context, France invaded Germany at the time, and the brothers wanted to save their culture and traditions. Later, they were seen as a building block for Germany which attempted to rule the world twice in the 20th Century.

Snow White’s origin story is that of a little girl with a stepmother jealous of her beauty. The stepmother is an evil Queen and sends a huntsman to kill her (she is seven years old, by the way) and bring back her lungs and liver as proof. The huntsman loses his nerve and instead sets her free in the woods. She spent the next ten years taking care of seven dwarves.

When the Evil Queen discovers Snow is alive, the queen (who practices black magic) schemes to kill her through a few different methods, finally having a poisoned apple as a successful weapon. The dwarves put Snow in a glass coffin and guard her. Eventually, she meets a Prince who saves her life, and they wed.

Disney first saw the story as a silent film in 1915 and was determined to bring it to the big screen. The effort took hundreds of people, dozens of $5 “gags,” millions of film cells. The movie was called “Disney’s Folly” for its rumored $1.5 million budget. However, it was a smash hit from the start and is now considered one of the greatest movies of all time.

So between the Fairy Tale and the 1937 film? Have a listen to find out!

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In this ep the Margos discuss:
Grimm Brothers and antisemitism
The major differences between the book and the movie
Walt Disney and his first big feature hit
The 1937 cast: Adriana Caselotti (Snow White,) Lucille La Verne (Evil Queen,) Harry Stockwell (The Prince,) Pinto Colvig (Grumpy & Sleepy,) Scotty Mattraw (Bashful,) Billy Gilbert (Sneezy,) Eddie Collins (Dopey,) Moroni Olsen (The Magic Mirror) and Stuart Buchanan as the Hunstman.

Clips used:
Snow White meets the dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1937 original trailer with Disney
Evil Queen finds out Snow White is alive
Evil Queen offers poisoned apple
Music by Frank Churchill, Paul J. Smith, Leigh Harline, and Larry Morey.

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