Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
AFI Top 100 / Animation / Cartoon / Classic / Family / Fantasy / Musical
A storybook opens, telling of a little Princess named Snow White. Her wicked stepmother the Queen was afraid that Snow White’s beauty would someday surpass her own, and thus dressed her in rags and forced the Princess to work as a maid. With this fear in mind, she confronted her Magic Mirror daily and asked “who is the fairest of them all?” For many years, the Queen was always the answer.
The film’s opening shows the Magic Mirror telling the Queen that Snow White is now the fairest in the land, with “lips red as the rose. Hair black as ebony. Skin white as snow.” Focus is then turned to the Princess, who is busy cleaning outside and talking and singing to the white birds around her. Although she is dressed in rags and forced to work, she is cheerful and her striking beauty is apparent.
Meanwhile, the jealous Queen orders a huntsman to kill Snow White and bring back her heart. While he objects, she will not allow any arguments. The huntsman encounters Snow White in the woods, but cannot bring himself to harm her. He begs for her to forgive him, and urges her to flee and never come back. He brings a pig heart to the Queen instead, claiming that it is the heart of the Princess.
Frightened by the forest , Snow White runs around frantically until she collapses on the ground. When she finally comes to, she is befriended by friendly woodland animals. They lead her to a little cottage in the middle of the woods. After knocking without a reply, she enters the small house. It is terribly untidy inside, so the Princess cleans up the place with the help of her new animal friends. After working she goes upstairs and falls asleep in the bedroom, which is furnished with seven small beds. The owners of the house, the Seven Dwarfs, Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Dopey, Sneezy, and Bashful, return home after a day of work at the diamond mines. They are startled to discover that their cottage is orderly, clean, and the lights are on. They travel upstairs, and are even more surprised to find the slumbering Princess lying across three of their beds. Snow White wakes up just then and introduces herself to the seven little men . She strikes a deal with them, offering domestic duties for a place to stay.
Back at the castle, with a heart in her hand, the Queen asks her mirror “who now is the fairest one of all?” It replies: “Over the seven jeweled hills, beyond the seventh fall, in the cottage of the seven dwarfs dwells Snow White, fairest one of all.” She is confident the mirror has made a mistake, as she believes she holds the heart of the Princess. The Magic Mirror reveals that the heart she carries is the heart of a pig. Realizing that she has been deceived, the Queen descends to her laboratory where she makes a potion that turns her ugly. She also poisons a red apple, which puts whoever eats it into a “Sleeping Death”. The only cure is true love’s kiss.
One day while the Seven Dwarfs are busy at work, the Queen, disguised as an old hag, goes to the cottage. She tricks Snow White into eating the poisoned apple. The Princess falls into a deep sleep. The woodland animals sense danger and race to tell the dwarfs what the Queen has done. They all chase the Queen up a cliff, trapping her. Lightning strikes the cliff she is standing on, and it collapses, sending the Queen to her death.
Returning to their cottage, the Seven Dwarfs find Snow White in a death-like slumber. They believe she is dead, so they place her in a crystal domed coffin in a clearing in the forest . Seasons pass, and Snow White remains lifeless while the dwarfs grieve around her. After much time, a prince, who had prior fallen in love with the Princess, visits. As a last farewell, he kisses her cold red lips. The spell breaks and she is awakened. The Prince takes her on his horse and together they ride off to his castle, where they live happily ever after.
Original movie trailer for the first theatrical release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, complete with Walt Disney himself introducing the seven dwarfs.
The first animated film from the Disney Studios. The story revolves around a fascinating young princess who is saved by a group of seven dwarfs from the malicious exploits of her devious stepmother, the queen. A classic Walt Disney film loved by different generations of children.
In 1989, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
The Seven Dwarfs and how to remember their names:
As the dwarfs' occupation is working in the diamond mines, they are often depicted carrying rudimentary tools of the trade (lanterns, picks, etc.)
Dopey: the youngest, sweetest, and silliest of the seven, and the only one to be completely bald and beardless; wears a too large lime green tunic and purple cap.*
Grumpy: the grouchiest and most curmudgeonly of the group, though even he is supremely devoted to the beautiful Snow White; wears a red tunic, long white hair and beard.
Doc: the only one of the dwarfs to wear glasses (so presumably the most intellectual); wears an orange-brown tunic, long white hair and beard.
Happy: the most rotund of the dwarfs; wears a brownish two-tone tunic, yellow cap, long white hair and beard.
Bashful: evokes his bashful nature through a classic pose of shyness (hands clasped behind back, shoulders slightly raised, eyes upturned); sometimes difficult to distinguish between Sneezy and Sleepy; depicted in purple tunic and magenta cap (on video), as well as long white hair and beard.
Sneezy: frequently shown with one finger underneath his nose, as if trying to stifle a sneeze; sometimes difficult to distinguish between Sleepy and Bashful; wears a yellow-brown tunic, long white hair and beard.
Sleepy: perhaps the most difficult to differentiate between Sleepy and Bashful, though he wears a perpetually sleepy looking, heavily lidded expression on his face; wears a brownish tunic, green cap, long white hair and beard.
Keeping track of all seven dwarfs is actually quite simple once you have mastered this simple mnemonic device: two S's, two D's, and three emotions. Two S's: Sleepy and Sneezy; two D's: Dopey and Doc; and three emotions: Happy, Bashful, and Grumpy.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Original Trailer
Show White and the Seven Dwarfs - 1944 Trailer
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - 1958 Trailer