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"Snow White" Diamond Edition: A Legacy of Firsts

by on October 7, 2009

In conjunction with the release of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition DVD/Blu-ray combo pack, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has released “Legacy of Firsts:” a collection of stills and videos about the ways Snow White blazed a trail more than 70 years ago for feature animated films to follow. The article is accompanied by a selection of still photos of Walt Disney, Hyperion Studios, and the animation equipment used to create the movie.

Additionally, two new video clips were released as well: Creating Snow White and The Story Teller:

Creating Snow White

The Story Teller

The full article from Disney follows. Click any image to enlarge.

A Record-breaking Legacy of Firsts for
The Fairest of Them All

Walt Disney’s beloved animated masterpiece SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, maintains a legacy of distinctive firsts within the entertainment industry. Though it’s been 70 years since she first graced the silver screen, SNOW WHITE still charms and thrills generations of audiences while continuing to mark an unsurpassed record of achievements.

The prestigious American Film Institute places it within its Top 10 films of all times, and in 2008, listed SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS as the “Greatest Animated Film of All Time.” Setting at #34 of the overall 100 Greatest Films of all time, SNOW WHITE’S evil Queen ranks #10 of the all time top 100 film villains of all time, rounded out by Snow White’s timeless musical wish, “Someday My Prince Will Come,” is the 19th most memorable film song of all time.


  • AFI Top 10 Top 10 Lists – Greatest Animated Film of all time (2008): #1
  • AFI 100 Greatest Films (2007): #34
  • AFI 100 Hereos/100 Villains (2003): The Evil Queen #10 Villain
  • AFI 100 Years 100 Songs (2004): ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’ #19 song

Among the other notable accomplishments for SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, are a number of groundbreaking firsts within the art of film entertainment, including:


  • First full-length animated feature produced by Walt Disney
  • First film to have a soundtrack album released
  • First to be considered a Walt Disney Animated Classic
  • First American animated feature film in movie history
  • First Disney film theatrically re-released in seven-year pattern, starting 1944
  • Among first 25 featured films to be preserved in the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, 1989
  • First film entirely scanned to digital file, restored and recorded back to film, 1993
  • First video released in Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection, 10/28/1994
  • First DVD released in Disney’s Platinum Series, 10/9/2001
  • 2009: will be first Disney film released in Diamond Collection series (DVD & Blu-ray)


With numerous awards accumulated by this ground-breaking animated film, Walt Disney’s SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS continues to receive some of the highest awards bestowed within the world of Cinema. These prestigious awards include:

Academy Awards:

  • 1937 Music (Scoring) – Nominee
  • 1939 Special Award
    • To Walt Disney for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, recognized as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon.
    • One regular size Oscar plus seven small Oscar statuettes on stepped base
    • Presented to Walt Disney by Shirley Temple

Venice Film Festival

  • 1938 Grand Biennale Art Trophy – to Walt Disney (producer)

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

  • 1939 Special Award Winner

Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Awards

  • 1987 Special Award – Winner
    • To Walt Disney, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the movie.

National Film Preservation Board, USA

  • 1989 added to the National Film Registry
    • recognized as “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant, to be preserved for all time

Walk of Fame – Hollywood

  • 1988 Snow White inducted with Star (Motion Picture category)
    • 6912 Hollywood Blvd.

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA

  • 2002 Saturn Award – Winner – Best DVD Classic Film Release


With generations of fans and viewing audiences, SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS continues to climb the box-office strata. With a record-breaking production budget at the time, this tender young princess certainly proved her worth as SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS smashed box office records at the time of release and continues to rank within the top ten domestic box office grosses of all time:

  • Production budget (1934-1937): $1,488,422.74
  • Grossed over $8,500,000 internationally when originally released
  • The highest grossing film in American cinema history for one year
  • Surpassed in 1939 by “Gone With the Wind”
  • Top grossing film of 1938 (general release began Feb. 4, 1938)
  • Domestic Lifetime Gross: $184,925,486
    • 12/21/1937: $66,596,803 (incl. 5 re-issues before 1983)
    • 07/15/1983: $30,100,000 (re-issue)
    • 07/17/1987: $46,594,212 (re-issue)
    • 07/02/1993: $41,634,471 (re-issue)
  • All-time Box Office Domestic Gross (inflation adj.): $782,620,000 ranked #10th


Cover article of TIME magazine – ‘Cinema: Mouse & Man’ (Dec. 27 1937)

  • “it is an authentic masterpiece”

New York Times review (Jan. 14, 1938)

  • “It is a classic, as important cinematically as The Birth of a Nation or the birth of Mickey Mouse.”
  • “If you miss it, you’ll be missing one of the ten best pictures of 1938. Thank you very much, Mr. Disney, and come again soon.”

New York Times – ‘Snow White at 50: Undimmed Magic’ (July 12, 1987)

  • Quoting British filmmaker Michael Powell from his c. 1944 article…
  • “Seven years after the premiere, in an article for Film Review in Britain, Michael Powell, having just written and directed but still three years away from ‘The Red Shoes,’ called Disney ‘one of the three persons necessary to the evolution of film making – Griffith, the master showman; Chaplin, the lonely genius; Disney, the experimenter and planner; the director of the future will partake of all of them; without them he could not exist, whether he ever heard of them or not…”
  • “Mr. Powell tried to sum up what Disney had done with Snow White: ‘At one stride, with this feature-length cartoon in color, for making which he had been ridiculed, Disney became one of the world’s greatest film producers.’ “
  • “After the Hollywood premiere of Snow White, Charlie Chaplin, who was present, told The Los Angeles Times that the film ‘even surpassed our high expectations. In Dwarf Dopey, Disney has created one of the greatest comedians of all time.’ ”

Variety review (Dec. 29, 1937)

  • “There has never been anything in the theatre quite like Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”
  • “thrilling entertainment”
  • “It is an inspired and inspiring work”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition is available now.

Return to Snow White Diamond Edition featurette round-up

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