Monday, November 1, 2010

1938 "Popular Science" Snow White Article

Here's a great find by the folks over at the Modern Mechanics blog. Printed soon after the December 1937 premiere of Snow White, the magazine Popular Science Monthly came out with an article on the making of the film in their January 1938 issue.
The piece includes numerous behind-the-scenes accounts including such details as how actor Moroni Olsen--to create the unique resonance for the voice of the Magic Mirror--stuck his head into a box covered with old drumheads.

All images via


  1. Thanks very much, it's very interresting :)

  2. Thanks Camile and Tony. The thorough researchers from the Modern Mechanics blog did all the hard work.

  3. Page 50: concept artist Albert Hurter at his desk, with Pinto Colvig acting out a role.

    Hurter was one of several top notch conceptual artists hired by Walt Disney. He did nothing but draw fanciful drawings all day, giving life to inanimate objects.

    Colvig is most famous for his voice work - Goofy, Practical Pig and two of the dwarfs: Sleepy and Grumpy. He also had an affair with Adriana Caselotti, the voice of Snow White, which according to unconfirmed reports, led to his dismissal from the company.

    Page 51: the lady in the top right corner is an inker - one of the toughest jobs at the Studio. Not only did you have to make sure you used the right colors, but their ink lines had to be consistent in width and flow, and they had a daily quota. Some of the inkers said they abstained from drinking coffee to prevent jittery hands.

    If I am not mistaken, the fellow with the backgrounds is Sam Armstrong.

    Page 52: I think the lady with all of the cels is a color checker. Her role was exactly what the title implied: check to make sure the colors on the cels are the correct ones.


  4. You rock David! I know who to go to with those questions that no one else has the answers to. I'm currently doing a bit of research on Kay Kamen for a post, and it's your blog site that keeps coming up in the Google searches. Keep up the great work!