Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Disney Store 'Snow White Kissing Dopey' Snowglobe - 2001

A Snow White snowglobe from the Disney Store. Resin and glass. Plays Dwarfs' Yodel Song. With most musical globes, a turn-key is found on the underside to activate the tune. However, this one has an unusual winding mechanism--you turn the base where the Seven Dwarfs are located. As it plays, they circle the globe. Measures approximately 8.5" high. Dates from 2001. Original retail $55 USD.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Snow White In Bed Snowglobe - 2002

Snow White awakens from her sleep in the Dwarfs' bedroom as they sneak up the stairs to see who's there. Resin and glass. Measures approximately 8" high. Base 6.5" x 5.75". Bottom on/off switch activates the battery-powered light-up lanterns. The rear-mounted turn-key plays Brahm’s Waltz. Sold in the 2002 Disney Catalog. Original retail $58.50

Disney Catalog page.

Additional image and info courtesy of Disney Snowglobes Collectors Guide.

Snow White Happily Ever After Snowglobe - 2007

Snow White finds herself in the arms of the Prince as the dwarfs celebrate around the base of the snowglobe. Glass and resin. Approximately 9" tall. Plays Someday My Prince Will Come. Includes battery-powered blower. Sold at the US theme parks. Dates from 2007. Retail $85.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fleischer Studios - Gulliver's Travels

The development of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was first disclosed to the world by Walt himself via the New York Times in June of 1934. This was also the year that Max and Dave Fleischer had wanted to counter Walt Disney's announcement and begin work on their own animated feature at their New York-based Fleischer Studios. Their aspirations were thwarted, however, by the Paramount suits who refused to support and distribute anything other than the Fleischer short cartoons.

Yet, with the massive success of Disney's Snow White premiere in 1937, the Fleischers finally got the green light in the spring of 1938. Grim Natwick, the main animator on Disney's Snow White character, returned to the Fleischer Studios to be a part of this feature. Working for the Fleischers was nothing new for Natwick as he was the original animator of their Betty Boop series back in the early thirties.

On December 22, 1939, Paramount Pictures released Fleischer Studios' Gulliver's Travels, and like Snow White, it turned out to be a box-office success. The film is now in public domain.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rare 1938 Italian Bertelli Soap Poster

Folded Snow White poster from Italy, coinciding with the film's original 1938 general release. An advertisement for Sapol bar soap from Bertelli. Poster dimensions: 21" x 27". See the soap bars in their original packaging in a later Archive entry.

Image via

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Snow White Costumes and Cast Members

This is the start of a couple new blog series on Snow White costumes. One group of posts will feature images of Disney theme park cast members dressed as the princess. The other will focus on non-cast Snow White costumes that may include celebrities, Halloween gatherings and anywhere else one might find people adorned in the princess attire.

A Disney Princess Snow White Deluxe Halloween Costume for girls age 7-9. Retails on the Toys R Us website for $39.99 (USD) + an officially Disney-licensed Women’s Snow White Costume sold (but no longer available) at Target stores (catalog #10302480).

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a rather unique salon located inside Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland and Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World, plus in the World Of Disney store at Orlando's Downtown Disney area. Girls get a royal makeover into their favorite princess, for a price.

Disneyland cast members Snow White and the Evil Queen shot by photographer Britt Dietz. Images are from his May 20, 2008 Gallery on the Disneyland Cast Magic site:

Halloween in Hollywood brings out the stars. Here Michelle Trachtenberg is Snow White (with Lydia Hearst as a sort of vampire-ish fairy).

Photo credit: Bennett Raglin.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Old Witch Caged at the Villain's Lair

The following question was asked of Disney Chief Archivist Dave Smith. It was about the caged Witch that used to be at Disneyland...
Q: I've seen over the years at Disneyland a cage that held the Hag from Snow White. When the cage was rattled, she would come to life and try to bribe folks to let her out by promising to show how to "turn water to gasoline." Who made this and what was the reason? Reid, Ben Lomond, California

A [Dave Smith]: The Witch in the cage was originally made by the former WED Display and Design Department at Walt Disney World, under Jim McNalis, for use in 1975 Emporium windows in the Magic Kingdom park promoting Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. When the Disneyana Shop opened on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland in 1976, the Witch, animated and with added audio, moved west to become a major display piece in that shop. Later on it was used in the Villain's Lair shop in Fantasyland and Le Bat en Rouge in New Orleans Square.

Video posted by TwilightZoneAnaheim

Screen Capture

From Snow White/Witch collector Kurt Raymond...
That Old Witch was in the cage at Disneyland's Main Street's Emporuim when I was 11 in 1977. My dad, being that he was not shy, asked a cashier if she was for sale after I BEGGED him to see. The woman brought a manager out who quoted him $5000.00. We passed, obviously.

PS: Rumor has it, that Michael Jackson paid a small fortune for an exact replica in HIS house

A Witch mural, based on Gustaf Tenggren's original inspiration art, could also be seen at the Villain's Lair shop in Fantasyland from approximately 1998-2004.

Image courtesy of The Raymond Collection.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Goddess of Spring

Image copyright Disney via The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts

What could be better than the Silly Symphony return of Persephone here on the Spring Equinox? It is well known that in 1934, three years before the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt Disney's The Goddess of Spring served as a testing ground for his animators. Since they'd had only limited experience with drawing believable human characters, practice on Persephone would eventually lead to perfection--but not at first.

The characters were designed by Albert Hurter [the studio's first inspirational sketch artist], who suggested certain poses and gestures that the animators were not yet skilled enough to emulate. After realizing that a greater knowledge of anatomy was required in order to produce believable human animation, [Walt] hired Don Graham, who held anatomy classes in order to prepare the animators for their first feature.
Source: The Disney Wiki

Artist Model Sheet. Copyright Disney.

Video copyright Disney provided by Pokellan

From Stephanie Stewart :
I just wanted to let you know that for the record, my Grandmother, Diana Gaylen, was the one who did the singing for this particular Disney short...It seems that they didn't give those kind of credits back then. Diana Gaylen was widely known in the 30's and 40's, for both her stage performances and her behind the scenes work in many movies singing for the stars. Anthony Adverse is one you might have heard of, she did the singing for Olivia DeHavilland. Source: The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts

Friday, March 19, 2010

Snow Nouveau - Goddess Pin

The Vernal Equinox is fast approaching here in the northern hemisphere and with it comes images of the Goddess of Spring, Persephone. Let's revisit a couple of the "goddess-themed" works of Alphonse Mucha, one of the main visionaries responsible for the birth of the Art Nouveau movement during the late 19th and early 20th century.

Image of Mucha in his Rue du Val-de-Grace studio, Paris 1903

Many of his works evoke a certain female deity appreciation.
Model posing in his studio, 1898

Two in particular, Ivy and Laurel, could have been patterned from subjects right out of the Greek Pantheon.

A. Mucha, Ivy, color lithograph 1901 + Laurel,color lithograph1901

Just over a century after Mucha created these two lithographs, it appears that the Disney artist who designed this 2004 Snow White pin was influenced by the original pieces.

"Halo of Hearts" Princess Profile, limited edition 1,000 gold-finished pins, Disney Auctions, 2004. 

I'm certainly a fan Snow White depictions in goddess form. See another 2004 princess deity design in earlier post.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Snow White in Sand, 2008

Holland has some lovely sandy shores along the English Channel. So much so that every September, the town of Noordwijk aan Zee with its 12 kms of beach hosts the European Sand Sculptures Festival. The event attracts some of the best sand artists from around the world as well as over 200,000 visitors.

The international carving teams create beautiful, grand, yet fleeting works of art. The results are stunning. The sculptures evoke something reminiscent of Tibetan or Navajo sand paintings, not in style, but in the impermanence and almost spiritual nature of the artwork.

In 2008, eight carving teams had the task of creating sculptures, all with a Disney motif. A number of them were princess-themed, including one of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Sculpted by Jiri Kaspar, Jakub Zimacek and Olga Kolot.



Snow White and Prince

Friday, March 12, 2010

Snow Boop?...or Maybe Betty White?

If Snow White and Betty Boop were morphed into one embodiment by the Evil Witch, this could very well be their doppelganger. Illustration by cinematic artist Adam Koford of Hobotopia.

Creative Commons image courtesy of Ape Lad

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fleischer Studios - Betty Boop as Snow White

Around 1915, Max Fleischer invented the rotoscope technique where live-action film movement is traced frame by frame to create lifelike animations. Max and his brother Dave developed their first character, Koko the Clown using this method, and in 1921, founded Out of the Inkwell Films (later Fleischer Studios). The studio became well known for its human characters (as opposed to the anthropomorphized mice, cats, dogs, ducks and pigs of the other animation rivals). In its prime, the Fleischers--with characters like Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman--were the only serious competition for Walt Disney.

In 1933, the Fleischers produced their own version of Snow White featuring Ms. Boop as the, um, princess. The song, Saint James Infirmary Blues, was performed by Cab Calloway. The real artistic talent behind this film was not, however, Grim Natwick* nor the Fleischer brothers. It was animator Roland Crandall.
Dave Fleischer was credited as director, although virtually all the animation was done by Roland Crandall. Crandall received the opportunity to make Snow White on his own as a reward for his several years of devotion to the Fleischer studio, and the resulting film is considered both his masterwork and an important milestone of The Golden Age of American animation. "Snow White" took Crandall 6 months to do.
The film has been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 1994 it was voted #19 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field. The film is now in public domain. Source: Wikipedia

Watch the film...

Video via the Internet Archive

*Note: It was 1934 when Grim Natwick went to work for Walt Disney as the primary animator of his Snow White character. But four years earlier, Natwick was actually employed by the Fleischer's as the original top animator of Betty Boop.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Snow White On Steps Mural

Snow White washes the stairs near the wishing well. This mural is located behind one of the cashier check-out counters (which is designed to look like the wishing well) at the World of Disney store, Downtown Disney in Orlando.

Images from the Filmic Light Collection. Updated February 2011.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Walt Disney's Snow White Oscar

Oscar night February 23, 1939. On hand at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles was Walt Disney. At age 38, he'd already been the recipient of seven Academy Awards from previous years (the first of which he garnered back in '32 for his ground-breaking color Silly Symphony, Flowers and Trees--first Oscar ever awarded to an animated film).

But his award this night was different. As anyone who is a fan of Disney already knows, Walt was presented an Honorary Academy Award for Snow White's
significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon.

The Oscar consisted of one full size statue and seven miniatures. Shirley Temple, after presenting the award, said, "Aren’t you proud of it Mr. Disney?"  Walt replied “I’m so proud I think I’ll bust.”

Walt Disney holds the record for winning the most Academy Awards with 22 wins in the competitive categories. He was also the recipient of 3 Honorary Awards and an Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. Walt holds the record for most nominations as well with a total of 59.

His Oscars including the Snow White set are on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco as seen in the video below.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Getty and Disney ARL to Study Snow White Cels

Last week the Getty Conservation Institute (Brentwood , CA) released a press release announcing their collaboration with the Disney Animation Research Library (Glendale, CA) in a new long-term study on the preservation of plastics used in modern artworks. The focus will be on the animation cel art.

The materials used in the original cels during the Golden Age of Disney animation were made from cellulose nitrate and acetate, both of which are susceptible to deterioration. “Knowledge of how best to treat and stabilize artwork containing plastic is relatively new territory for the conservation profession,” said Tom Learner, GCI senior scientist.

"The initial phase of research will involve an assessment of the best methods for the identification of the actual plastics used in the cels, and for monitoring the condition of cels made with cellulose nitrate and acetate." The two teams will then be examining both the physical and thermal properties of these cels in an effort to better understand the deterioration process.

Included in the study are cels of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as well as other classic Disney characters such as Chernobog from the Bald Mountain sequence in Fantasia.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

1938 Snow White Milk Bottles

In their 1990 Tomart's Price Guide to Character and Promotional Glasses, authors Carol and Gene Markowski write that a major reason why Disney was so successful with its dairy campaigns of the 1930s and 40s was due to the fact that the milk bottles being delivered to customer doorsteps were decorated with Disney characters. The bottles made the perfect tie-in to the drinking glasses (see earlier post), which were being offered as premiums.

In 1938, a series of Snow White milk bottles were produced. They featured color pyro-glaze graphics of the characters, along with a rhyming text meant to promote milk consumption. In addition, the name (or logo) of the individual dairy would be included, either as a graphic or embossed lettering. Made from glass, the bottles came in quart and pint sizes. Lids were either screw-on or cork style.

This first bottle shows Dopey, Sneezy and Snow White. The text reads, SNOW WHITE AND THE DWARFS SO GRAND--DRINK THEIR MILK TO BEAT THE BAND! It's a quart-size container with a threaded lip.

Image via Tomart's Price Guide to Character and Promotional Glasses, 1990, p.50.


The same graphic is seen on a pint-size bottle. Container measures about 7.25" tall and 3" across at base. Top would have been sealed with a cork lid.

As the black and red pyro glaze indicates, the bottle came from Benson Co-op Creamery in Benson, Minn. The glass was manufactured by Owens-Illinois and is embossed on the bottom with an "O' and "I" logo.

Benson Creamery images via vintagepointartifactsmn.


In a green graphic, Happy raises a glass to the slogan "HAPPY KNOWS WHAT'S GOOD FOR HIM--GOOD FRESH MILK FOR VIGOR AND VIM!" Dairy name is embossed on bottle.

Image via Tomart's Price Guide


Red graphics, the heads of Snow White and all Seven Dwarfs surround the lines "HEALTHY AS CAN BE, THEY'VE HAD THEIR MILK AS YOU CAN SEE."

The one quart bottle comes from Johnstown Sanitary Dairy in Johnstown, PA.

Johnstown images via ralphthemoose.


Orange graphics feature Snow White dancing with Doc. Blue text read, "SNOW WHITE'S SKIN IS SMOOTH AS SILK, DOC SAYS THAT'S FROM DRINKING MILK!" Dairy name is printed on opposite side and letters are embossed on bottom.

Images via thebottleguy.


There was at least one other Snow White bottle known to have existed in this series. It featured Doc with an Owl. All of the bottles are much more scarce than the dairy glasses because...
There was a deposit paid on these bottles and most were redeemed by dairies or taken out of service due to chipping, excess wear, or breakage. Hence, character milk bottles are very rare. The biggest source [today] has been dairies going out of business. Source: Tomart's Price Guide...p.148.

Who could have known back in 1938 that these simple and utilitarian milk and cream containers would today be such prized possessions for the serious Snow White collector? We're keeping our eyes open for more.

August 2017 UPDATE: See a super rare Snow White milk bottle design in another post.