“Een moderne toovenaar!”: The history of Walt Disney in the Netherlands (Part 1)

by Sam Vlas

For my first article, I thought it would be fun to look at familiar Disney history… from a slightly different angle. I grew up with the Dutch versions of the beloved classics. Today it seems more than self-explanatory that the newest Disney films are dubbed in Dutch, but I wondered: how did it all start in Holland? Continue after the page break and find out…

Today, I would like to look at a very important part in Disney history, the release of the first full-length animated feature film ever: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Not the 1937 release in the Carthay Circle Theater, but the 1938 Dutch release in the Nöggerath theatre in Amsterdam.

The history of Walt Disney in the Netherlands begins slightly earlier than 1938, with little comics first appearing in Dutch newspapers in the 1930’s. The adventures of Mikkie (Mickey), Miepsie (Minnie), Arabella (Clarabella) and Bleskop (Horace) in a Dutch translation of Mickey Mouse and the Gypsies were now for everyone to enjoy. We’ll get into the history of Disney’s newspaper comics later.


Sneeuwwitje en de Zeven Dwergen was originally set to release in the same year as the original: 1937. However, a lawsuit prevented the film from releasing. The “Centrale Commissie voor de Filmkeuring” (Central Commission for Film Rating) had rated the film as “suitable for everyone 14 years and up”. This is a very unusual rating, especially considering the very tame nature of this film, even in those times. Disney, along with the Dutch distributor of the movie R.K.O., protested heavily against this rating. Eventually, to make the film suitable for all ages, they had to cut almost every iconic passage with the Evil Witch. Can you imagine watching Snow White without the Witch? The trimmed film was eventually released on November 11, 1938.

The first Dutch translation of the movie was done by famous musician, composer and journalist Max Tak, who also directed the voice-over sessions. Snow White’s speaking voice was done by Cecilia Bach, her singing voice was provided by Frieda van Hessen. A wide array of professional variety and radio actors portrayed the seven Dwarfs, people like Johan Kaart, Wam Heskes and Louie de Bree.

The Evil Queen was voiced by Tilly Perin-Bouwmeester. The voices were redone by order of The Walt Disney Company in 1984 and some voiced were changed again in 1990.

When Sneeuwwitje en de Zeven Dwergen first came out in the Nöggerath theatre, the façade was elaborately decorated. Above the entrance to the theatre was a beautifully designed and painted panorama of the forest with the Dwarf’s cottage in the middle, Snow White and the Dwarfs on the right and the Evil Queen and the Huntsman on the left. In the windows of the theatre were mannequins of the main characters. The façade and the mannequins were designed by famous Dutch animator Joop Geesink, who later went on to animate many exquisite stop-motion movies, such as Kermesse Fantastique (which you can watch below, it’s excellent!).
Joop Geesink was just beginning his career at this point; he was a huge Disney fan.


The newspapers were lyrical about this new innovation in family entertainment. In the years following the release of Sneeuwwitje en de Zeven Dwergen, the newspapers would pay a lot of attention to Walt Disney and his newest movies, such as Pinokkioand Fantasia. This would mark the beginning of Disney history in the Netherlands. It didn’t stop there, though, but that’s a story for another time. I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it! 
Are you still here? Good, because I added a little bonus to this article. The following images are a newspaper comic of Snow Whitein Dutch and some advertisements using the characters from the movie. I also added a nice poster of the Dutch release of Fantasia. Don’t tell anyone…



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Disney Avenue Welcomes Sam Vlas

Disney Avenue is very excited to welcome our newest contributing writer Sam Vlas. Sam comes to us all the way from the Netherlands! He has several interesting articles lined up for you and we are thrilled to have Sam be apart of the Disney Avenue community. Please continue after the page break and allow Sam to introduce himself…

Hello everybody! You might be thinking: hey… where is Keith? What have you done to him? Who are you? Wow, five seconds on this page and already so many questions. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

My name is Sam Vlas and I’m from the Netherlands. In everyday life I’m a Communication major, studying International Event, Music and Entertainment Studies at the Fontys Academy for Creative Industries in Tilburg. A mouth full, eh? I’m following the Theme Park course, since I’m an aspiring Imagineer. That’s something you don’t hear very often, especially in the Netherlands.

I’ve been a life-long theme park and Disney fan, so I’m glad that I’ll be able to share everything I know with an interested audience. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been going to Efteling, which is a world class theme park in the Netherlands (with a lot of Disney connections I might add!). When I was a teenager, I became more interested in the technical side of things. It was around that time also that I found out that Walt Disney was an actual person, not just some name. Can you imagine the confusion and excitement I got? That must have been the most awesome guy ever, I thought to myself. Turned out he was… Since then I’ve been pursuing a creative career in the theme park industry.

I’ve never been to any of the Disney parks in the US before, but that’s about to change. I’ll be participating in the Academic Exchange Program in Walt Disney World from July 2014 to January 2015. I’m super excited that I’m finally able to head west and experience the Disney theme park from the inside and outside. You’ll be hearing much more of that in the near future!

Besides Disney and theme parks, I have a broad interest in everything fantasy, sci-fi and horror. I write short stories and I’m currently working on my own website “Dreamventurer”, which I hope will be released very soon!

I will write about many different aspects of the company, from the very well known places and movies to very obscure corners of the Company. Since I’ll be working in Orlando real soon, I’ll be able to share some Cast Member stories too. Everything Disney picks my attention, so if I find something exciting, I will write on it!

I hope you’ll have a wonderful time on Disney Avenue, I know I will, and if you like what you’re reading, feel free to leave a comment. They are more than appreciated!

See ya real soon!

As you can see, Sam will bring a lot of material for your reading pleasure and we are excited to have him on board. Check back soon for Sam’s first article: “Een moderne toovenaar!”: The History of Walt Disney in the Netherlands.
We are still looking for a couple more writers to join Disney Avenue. If you too are passionate about Disney and the theme parks and have an interest in sharing your thoughts then Disney Avenue would love to have you join our team. You can contact us at disneyavenue316@yahoo.com.

Disney News Central


One of my favorite things to do daily is search my favorite theme park blogs and believe me when I tell you my favorites drop down list is a mile long. Well, now I no longer need to scroll through it because Alain Littaye, of the popular Disney and More blog, has created a fantastic new site called Disney News Central. It features all the popular theme park sites and their last four articles all in one place! I know, why wasn’t this created sooner…well now it’s here for your reading pleasure so be sure to check it out if you haven’t had a chance!

Disney Avenue Looking For Writers

Have you ever wanted to write about your passion for Disney? Have you gathered a ton of knowledge and history over the years about Walt, the Disney Company and the theme parks and want to share it with the world? If so, Disney Avenue wants you! Continue after the page break for more info…

I thoroughly enjoy writing about Disney history, it has turned into a wonderful hobby and a great way to meet and inform people. Disney Avenue is looking for a few contributing writers to help us grow to our full potential. If you are interested please email me at disneyavenue316@yahoo.com for more information and let’s grow together!

Disney Documentary Hour: The Sweatbox

The year was 1997, musical performer and composer Sting was asked by the Walt Disney Company to write the music for a new animated feature called Kingdom of the Sun. It was to be directed by Roger Allers who was basking in the success of his work on The Lion King. Sting agreed, on the condition that his wife, filmmaker Trudie Styler, could document the process of the production with their own production company, Xingu Films. The final making of the film documentary was co-directed by Styler and John-Paul Davidson. The 86-minute documentary The Sweatbox, originally set for release in early 2001, was heavily edited down into a short extra feature on The Emperor’s New Groove DVD and named “Making the Music Video” and only featuring the Oscar-nominated song, “My Funny Friend and Me.” Today you will see the complete, 95-minute unedited version of the film here on Disney Avenue. Continue after the page break for the rare and unreleased documentary The Sweatbox

Walt’s screening room aka The Sweatbox

Trudie Styler had been allowed to film the production of Kingdom of the Sun/The Emperor’s New Groove as part of the deal that originally brought her husband Sting to the project. As a result, Styler recorded on film much of the struggle, controversy, and troubles that went into making the picture (including the moment when producer Fullmer called Sting to inform the pop star that his songs were being deleted from the film). Disney owns the rights to the documentary and has not released it on home video or DVD. The naming is due to the screening room at the Disney studio in Burbank, which when originally set up had “no air conditioning, causing the animators to sweat while their rough work was being critiqued”. The “process of reviewing the animation as it developed” became known as the Sweatbox, and as the documentary was about “the process of making an animated film”, the term was chosen as the title.

Sting and wife Trudie Styler

This “making of” documentary was co-directed by Styler and also John-Paul Davidson, who had produced Davidson’s previous directorial works. A review by MotionPictureComics.com explains the plot: While “the first thirty-to-forty minutes of The Sweatbox unfolds as one might expect any in-depth look at the making of an animated film to go”…about forty minutes in, we witness the fateful day in which an early story-boarded cut of the film is screened for the heads of Disney Feature Animation, Thomas Schumacher and Peter Schneider. They hate the film, declare that it is not working, and begin a process of totally scrapping and reinventing huge chunks of the story. Characters are totally changed…voice actors are replaced, and the entire story is shifted around”. Dorse A. Lanpher said the film “documents the pain and anguish of the maneuvering to get The Kingdom of the Sun/The Emperor’s New Groove made into a movie.



 The 84 minute film, which was originally supposed to be released at the beginning of 2001, was “heavily edited down into a short extra feature on The Emperor’s New Groove DVD and named ‘Making the Music Video’ and only featuring the Oscar-nominated song, ‘My Funny Friend and Me.'” A Disney-approved version of the film received a worldwide premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on September 13, 2002. It also had a short run at the Loews Beverly Center Cineplex of Los Angeles “in an unpublicized one-week run in order to be eligible for an Academy Award nomination”. In addition to this, the film was also “shown at The Enzian theater in Orlando as part of the Florida Film Festival”.

According to Wade Sampson, staff writer at MousePlanet who attended a screening, each time Tom Schumacher or Peter Schneider (Disney Feature Animation president and Disney Studios chairman respectively), were on the screen, “there were howls from the audience that was partly composed of animators from Disney Feature Animation Florida”. He says that “the two executives did come across as nerdy bullies who really didn’t seem to know what was going on when it came to animation”, and that they “were unnecessarily hurtful and full of politically correct speech”. He adds that it is left to the viewer to decide if this impression is due to editing or a “remarkable truthful glimpse”.
Peter Schneider and Tom Schumacher
Sampson adds “rarely have artists been caught so evocatively in fear of executives, or executives portrayed as so clueless as to how to deal with artists, how to resolve story problems and how to understand what audiences wanted”. He says that “supporters of Allers’ original vision still feel that if he had been given the time, money and support that the film would have been a masterpiece”, but “instead of the more ambitious Kingdom of the Sun, the Disney Studio decides to go with a supposedly more commercial film incorporating some of the same characters and location, Emperor’s New Groove”.
Roger Allers
Although the film in its completed form had been kept under wraps for about a decade, on March 21, 2012 it was “posted online…by an eighteen-year-old cartoonist in the UK”. After the documentary was leaked online, Amid Amidi of CartoonBrewgave the following analysis of the film:
“The Sweatbox is at turns infuriating, hilarious and enlightening. You’ll cringe in sympathy with the Disney artists as you see the gross bureaucratic incompetence they had to endure while working at the studio in the 1990s. The film not only captures the tortured morphing of the Kingdom of the Sun into The Emperor’s New Groove, it also serves as an invaluable historical document about Disney’s animation operations in the late-1990s. If any questions remain about why Disney fizzled out creatively and surrendered its feature animation crown to Pixar and DreamWorks, this film will answer them.”
— Amid Amidi, CartoonBrew 
Rich Juzwiak of Gawker said it was more of “a too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen story about sensitive creative types and the people in charge who have to tell them, ‘No'”, rather than a story full of “fury or vengeance”.
And now Disney Avenue presents the rare and unreleased documentary The Sweatbox:

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Remembering Roy E. Disney

Roy Edward Disney was a longtime senior executive for The Walt Disney Company, which his father Roy Oliver Disney and his uncle Walt Disney founded. At the time of his death he was a shareholder with more than 16 million shares or about 1%, and served as a consultant for the company and Director Emeritus for the Board of Directors. He is perhaps best known for organizing the ousting of two top Disney executives: first, Ron Miller in 1984, and then Michael Eisner in 2005. As the last member of the Disney family to be actively involved in the company, Roy Disney was often compared to his uncle and father. Continue after the page break as we take a look into the storied life of Roy E. Disney…

Disney was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Edna and Roy Oliver Disney, and nephew of Walt Disney. He graduated from Pomona College in 1951 and first began working for The Walt Disney Company as an assistant director and producer of the True-Life Adventure series. He continued until 1967 when he was elected to the Board of Directors of the company.

Roy E Disney and Ron Miller

Roy Disney resigned as an executive from the Disney company in 1977 due to disagreements with corporate decisions then. As he claimed later, “I just felt creatively the company was not going anywhere interesting. It was very stifling.” He retained a seat on the board of directors. His resignation from the board in 1984, which occurred in the midst of a corporate takeover battle, was the beginning of a series of developments that led to the replacement of company president and CEO Ronald William Miller (married to Walt’s daughter Diane Marie Disney) by Michael Eisner and Frank Wells.

Michael Eisner, Roy E and Frank Wells

While investors were attempting hostile takeovers of Disney with the intention on dismantling the company and selling off its assets, Roy organized a consortium of white knight investors to fend off the takeover attempts which led to Eisner and Wells being brought on. Roy soon returned to the company as vice-chairman of the board of directors and head of the animation department.

During the 1990s, Roy’s department produced a number of commercially successful, critically acclaimed films and the era has been called a renaissance for the company and animation. The Lion King, for instance, has garnered nearly $1 billion USD since its release in the summer of 1994 and was the second highest grossing film of the year. There was, however, a marked decline in profits starting at the end of the decade as Disney expanded into lower grossing though profitable direct-to-video spin-offs and sequels.

Roy E, Eisner, Dick & Bob Sherman at Disney Legend Award Ceremony

On October 16, 1998, in a surprise presentation made at the newly unveiled Disney Legends Plaza at the company’s headquarters, Disney Chairman Michael Eisner presented him with the prestigious Disney Legends Award. Roy Disney’s pet project was the film Fantasia 2000, a sequel to the 1940 animated movie Fantasia produced by his uncle Walt Disney. Walt Disney had planned a sequel to the original movie but it was never made. Roy decided to make this long-delayed sequel, and he was the executive producer of the film that took nine years to produce and was finally released on December 17, 1999. Like its predecessor, the film combined high-quality contemporary animation and classical music; however, it was not a financial success at the U.S. box office.

After a struggle with CEO Michael Eisner, Roy Disney’s influence began to wane as more executives friendly to Eisner were appointed to high posts. When the board of directors rejected Disney’s request for an extension of his term as board member, he announced his resignation on November 30, 2003, citing “serious differences of opinion about the direction and style of management” in the company. He issued a letter criticizing Eisner for mismanaging the company, neglecting the studio’s animation division, failures with ABC, timidity in the theme park business, instilling a corporate mentality in the executive structure, turning the Walt Disney Company into a “rapacious, soul-less” conglomerate, and for refusing to establish a clear succession plan.

After his resignation, Disney helped establish the website SaveDisney.com, intended to oust Michael Eisner and his supporters from their positions and revamp the Walt Disney Company. On March 3, 2004, at Disney’s annual shareholders’ meeting, a surprising and unprecedented 43% of Disney’s shareholders, predominantly rallied by former board members Roy Disney and Stanley Gold, voted to oppose the re-election of Eisner to the corporate board of directors. This vigorous opposition, unusual in major public corporations, persuaded Disney’s board to strip Eisner of his chairmanship and give that position to George J. Mitchell. The board did not give Eisner’s detractors what they really wanted: his immediate removal as chief executive. Roy Disney’s campaign regarded Mitchell himself unfavorably; 25% of shareholders opposed Mitchell’s re-election to the board in the same election.

Roy E and Stanley Gold

As criticism of Eisner intensified in the wake of the shareholder meeting, however, his position became increasingly tenuous, and on March 13, 2005, Eisner announced that he would step down as CEO on September 30, one year before his contract expired. On July 8, Roy and the Walt Disney Company, then still nominally headed by Eisner but, in fact, run by Eisner’s long-time lieutenant, Bob Iger, agreed to “put aside their differences.” Roy rejoined the Walt Disney Company as a non voting Director Emeritus and consultant. Roy and Gold agreed to shut down their SaveDisney.com website, which went offline August 7.

On September 30, Eisner resigned both as an executive and as a member of the board of directors, and, severing all formal ties with the company, he waived his contractual rights to perks such as use of a corporate jet, a Golden Pass and an office at the company’s Burbank headquarters. Eisner’s replacement was Bob Iger. One of Roy Disney’s stated reasons for engineering his second “Save Disney” initiative had been Eisner’s well-publicized but financially unjustified dissatisfaction with long-time production partner Pixar Animation Studios and its CEO Steve Jobs, creators of shared hits Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and other critically acclaimed computer animated motion pictures. This estrangement was quickly repaired by successor Iger upon Eisner’s exit, and on January 24, 2006, the company announced it would acquire Pixar in an all-stock deal worth US $7.4 billion, catapulting Jobs, also co-founder and CEO of Apple, Inc, to Disney’s largest shareholder with 7% of the corporation’s outstanding shares. Jobs also gained a new seat on Disney’s board of directors. Former CEO Eisner, who still holds 1.7% of shares, became Disney’s second-largest shareholder, and Director Emeritus Roy Disney, with 1% of shares, became its third-largest owner. Roy Disney’s efforts to oust Eisner from the company were chronicled by James B. Stewart in his best-selling book, DisneyWar. The book DisneyWar was an amazing read that offered a rare look inside the inner workings of Disney’s corporate offices and I highly recommend you read it. You can find the book here.

Disney held several sailing speed records including the Los Angeles to Honolulu monohull time record. He set it on his boat Pyewacket in July 1999 (7 days, 11 hours, 41 minutes, 27 seconds).
On January 19, 2007, Roy Disney (then 77 years old) filed for divorce from his wife, Patricia (then 72), citing “irreconcilable differences”, according to court documents. The couple, married 52 years, had been living apart for an unspecified amount of time, according to the Los Angeles County Superior Court filing. They had four adult children: Tim Disney, Roy Patrick Disney, Abigail Disney, and Susan Disney Lord. Patricia Disney died of Alzheimer’s disease on February 3, 2012, aged 77.
In 2008, Roy Disney married Leslie DeMeuse, a CSTV producer, and Emmy winner of various sailing documentaries. The two created the sailing documentary TransPac—A Century Across the Pacific in 2000, and were executive producers of the sailing documentary Morning Light, which follows the selection and training of 18- to 23-year-old sailors on the 2007 Transpacific Yacht Race.

Roy E aboard his beloved Pyewacket


On January 4, 1998, Pope John Paul II made Disney a Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great.

On April 26, 2008, Disney received an honorary doctorate from the California Maritime Academy, for his many contributions to the state and the nation, including international sailing.

As a tribute to Roy, an animation building at the Walt Disney Studios, in Burbank, California, was re-dedicated as the “Roy E. Disney Animation Building” on May 7, 2010. Hundreds of D23 members were present for the celebration. VIPs Roy Patrick Disney, CEO executive Bob Iger, Producer Don Hahn, and Mickey Mouse were on hand for the dedication.

Roy E Disney Animation Building

Disney died of stomach cancer on December 16, 2009 at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach California. He was 79 years old, and had been suffering from the disease for over a year. After his funeral service, he was cremated, and his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.

Roy E Disney Tribute video:

I just finished reading this book, Remembering Roy E. Disney: Memories and Photos of a Storied Life, and it is a wonderful view into the life of Roy E. Disney and the impact he had on The Walt Disney Company. This is not a stuffy biography but rather a glimpse into Roy’s life as told by some of his friends and co workers at Disney and masterfully woven together by the author, Dave Bossert. Mr. Bossert had the opportunity to work with Roy E. and many of his stories illustrate that this was an extraordinary man with a passion for what his father Roy O. Disney and uncle Walt E. Disney began, keeping the Disney dream alive. You can find the book here. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Snow White: The One That Started It All

Snow White is considered to be Walt Disney’s most significant achievement, his first-ever animated feature. Snow White was the first major animated feature made in the United States, the most successful motion picture released in 1938, and, adjusted for inflation, is the tenth highest-grossing film of all time. This historical moment in motion picture history changed the medium of animation. Before 1937, there was no such thing as an animated feature. The only animated films back then were short cartoons. The Disney brothers banked everything on the success of this film and the result would determine the fate of the company. Thankfully, it became a smash hit and enabled Walt to create the company and the parks we adore today. Continue after the page break and have a look at Snow White: The One That Started It All…

Before the video here are 25 Things You Didn’t Know About Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:

1. Walt Disney’s plan for the first feature-length animated film was in some ways even more ambitious than what he actually did: a live-action/animation hybrid of “Alice in Wonderland” with Mary Pickford as Alice wandering through an animated universe. (It would be another decade and a half before Disney would release an animated feature version of “Alice.”)

2. Disney ultimately chose the fairytale of Snow White for his first animated feature because he recognized that the dwarfs would make great cartoon characters and that the forest setting would be a natural opportunity to animate a variety of “appealing little birds and animals.” He also had vivid memories of the 1916 live-action silent version of “Snow White,” one of the first movies he ever saw.

3. In 1934, he made a Silly Symphony cartoon short called “The Goddess of Spring,” a version of the Persephone myth, whose human-figure heroine and woodland setting made the film essentially a test reel for “Snow White.”

4. Tween star Deanna Durbin auditioned for the role of Snow White, but Disney reportedly found her voice too mature. The role ultimately went to 19-year-old Adriana Caselotti, the daughter of Guido Caselotti, a Los Angeles vocal coach, and Maria Orefice, an opera singer. She reportedly earned $970 for her voice work on the movie.

Adriana Caselotti voice of Snow White

5. The film’s production took nearly five years. It took at least 570 crew members (some sources say 750), most of them animators or water-color artists. As many as 2 million sketches and paintings were created, though only about 166,000 of them can be seen in the finished film.

6. Dancer Marge Champion (then known as Marge Belcher) was the movement model for Snow White’s animators to study, and her dance partner Louis Hightower provided the same service for the prince.

Marge Champion and Louis Hightower

7. The picture marked the first major use of a Disney technical innovation, the multi-plane camera, which gave the animation the illusion of depth by allowing three to seven cels to be photographed in the same frame. It also allowed the foregrounds and backgrounds to be kept in proportion as the camera angle changed. Disney had used the device once before, on 1937’s Oscar-winning cartoon short “The Old Mill,” but with “Snow White,” it became a key tool for studios making animated features.

8. If the voices of Sleepy and Grumpy sound familiar, it’s because they both belong to Pinto Colvig, the longtime voice actor behind Disney’s Goofy.

9. Rejected dwarf names: Awful, Biggy, Blabby, Dirty, Gabby, Gaspy, Gloomy, Hoppy, Hotsy, Jaunty, Jumpy, Nifty, and Shifty.

10. Sneezy was inspired by Billy Gilbert, the comic actor who voiced him, whose professional trademark was comic fits of sneezing.

11. Dopey was initially conceived as a speaking character, but when the casting team could find no suitable actor to play him, the character was rewritten as mute.

12. The wicked queen was drawn to resemble the vengeful character played by Lucille La Verne in 1935’s “A Tale of Two Cities,” and La Verne herself was hired to voice the queen.

13. Several scenes were planned but never fully animated. They included a scene where the wicked queen holds the prince captive in her dungeon and makes skeletons dance before him; a reprise of “Some Day My Prince Will Come” in which Snow White imagines dancing with her prince up in the clouds below an ocean of stars; and a song called “Music in Your Soup” with the dwarfs warbling an ode to the supper Snow White has just cooked for them. It was recently reported that the deleted song “Music in Your Soup” will be played in the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train queue.

14. Frank Churchill and Larry Morey composed some 25 songs for the film, though only seven were used in the final picture.

15. The movie is believed to be the first to include its own soundtrack album. “Music in Your Soup” and another song cut from the film, “You’re Never Too Old to Be Young,” both appeared on a subsequent album, “The Seven Dwarfs and Their Diamond Mine.” The dwarfs’ yodeling song appeared on yet another album, one that included a new dance number, “Doin’ the Dopey.”

16. The movie’s supervising director was David Hand, an animator who went on to make Disney’s “Bambi,” but he’s never received the credit he was due, perhaps because Walt Disney himself maintained final cut, a right he exercised often and ruthlessly over any footage he felt wasn’t advancing the story. At one time, Disney reportedly scrapped six months’ worth of finished footage because he thought it looked too crude. The completed film would clock in at a lean 83 minutes.

17. Disney had initially budgeted the film between $150,000 and $250,000, but the final cost came to nearly $1.5 million. It cost about four times as much per foot of film ($200) as one of the studio’s Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts (about $50 to $75). Hollywood insiders at the time reportedly described the project as “Disney’s Folly.”

18. The movie premiered in Los Angeles on December 21, 1937 (an event attended by Hollywood royalty from Marlene Dietrich to Donald Duck) but didn’t gain wide release across the country until February 4, 1938. The film grossed $8.5 million during its initial release, making it the biggest moneymaker in Hollywood history until “Gone With the Wind” blew the record away in 1939. Disney invested the movie’s profits in the construction of the Burbank production facility that Walt Disney Studios occupies to this day.

19. Academy voters nominated “Snow White” for just one award, Best Musical Score, but the film won a special achievement prize at the 1939 Academy Awards. Walt Disney was given one full-size trophy and seven smaller ones, handed out by 10-year-old presenter Shirley Temple.

20. The film set the plot formula for the Disney studio’s cartoon features for decades to come. There’s a happy princess (or would-be princess), a handsome but dull leading man, an absent parent or two, a jealous villainess, at least one comic-relief animal, some catchy songs, and a happily-ever-after ending. It was a formula that informed such Disney toons as “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Little Mermaid,” and with minor modifications, “The Sword in the Stone,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King.”

21. In fact, the formula was so durable that the Disney studio finally felt secure enough to spoof it in 2007’s “Enchanted.” Amy Adams’ performance as the chirpy, animal-loving, cheerfully housecleaning princess owes a huge and obvious debt to Caselotti’s warbling turn as Snow White.

22. Walt Disney Pictures has re-released “Snow White” in theaters at least nine times, most recently in 1993. Over the years, it has earned some $185 million in theaters; adjusted for inflation, that makes it the tenth highest-grossing movie of all time.

23. The wicked queen made a memorable brief appearance in an animated fantasy sequence in Woody Allen’s 1977 romance “Annie Hall.” That is, she looks like the evil monarch, but she has the voice of Annie (Diane Keaton).

24. Snow White was part of one of the most notorious moments in the history of the Academy Awards. At the 1989 ceremony, Rob Lowe joined with a singer (Eileen Bowman) dressed as Snow White for a duet of “Proud Mary,” a number generally considered the worst musical performance in Oscar history. Within days, the Disney company filed a lawsuit over the unauthorized use of the character but dropped the suit a week later after the Academy apologized.

25. 2012 saw two live-action “Snow White” adaptations on the big screen, the tongue-in-cheek “Mirror Mirror” and the darker “Snow White and the Huntsman.” (Only the latter, starring Kristen Stewart, was a hit.) The previous fall saw the debut on Disney’s ABC television network of “Once Upon a Time,” the weekly drama series in which Snow White, Prince Charming, the wicked queen, the dwarfs, and other fairytale characters find themselves trapped by a curse in a modern-day Maine hamlet, with little or no memory of their magical pasts.

Here now is the video of Snow White: The One That Started It All:

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