Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Snow White Movie Posters - Complete One Sheets from US Theatrical Releases

Over the decades, the movie industry has produced a number of different styles and sizes of promotional "posters" to be used at theatres. For lobby exhibition, there were the smaller lobby cards (8" x 10" to 14" x 17"), inserts (14" x 36") and half-sheets (22" x 28"). Also for use in the lobby were the larger standees (40" x 60") as well as a variety of banners and other unique displays. Then there were window cards (10" x 18" to 22" x 28") meant to be placed in stores and other locations around town. 

However, when it comes to movie posters, it's almost always the one-sheets that people think of. These posters seen hanging outside of theatres had a standardized size of 27" x 41" (68.6 x 104.1 cm) up until about 1985. In the mid to late 80s, the one-sheet size changed slightly to 27" x 40". They also used to be delivery to theatres folded flat which caused creases. Now they're sent rolled in tubes.


Following are the one-sheets produced for all of the US theatrical releases of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. [Be sure to click on images to see the super-sized version.]

-1937: The premiere one-sheets. Three different versions were created. The first spotlighted just the seven dwarfs, while the second, the most desirable of all the Snow White one-sheets featured the artwork of Gustaf Tenggren and all the characters from the movie. The third is the rarest of all of the Disney posters and again features the Gustaf-Tenggren illustration of Snow White. The original cost per poster to theatre owners was a mere 15¢.

1937 RKO release, Folded One Sheet (27" X 41") Style A. This poster sold for $2,390.00 (US) in November 2008.

1937 RKO release. Folded One Sheet (27" X 41") Style B. Sold for $17,925.00 (US) November 2009.

1937 RKO release. Folded One Sheet (27" X 41.25") Style C. Sold for $15,812.50 (US) November 2004.

-1940: In order to raise much-needed revenue for the studio, Snow White was brought back to theatres as part of "The Great Walt Disney Festival of Hits".

1940 RKO release (27" X 41").

-1944: The first stand-alone reissue of Snow White to theatres. This set in motion a tradition of re-releasing Disney animated features every seven to ten years.

RKO re-release (R-1943). Folded One Sheet (27" X 41").  Sold for $567.63 (US) November 2008.

-1952: This would mark the last time RKO would be the theatrical distributor for Snow White. All subsequent re-releases would be handled by Disney's wholly-owned subsidiary, the Buena Vista Film Distribution Company, formed in 1953.

 RKO re-release, (R-1951). Folded One Sheet (27" X 41"). Sold for $298.75 (US) March 2008.

-1958: This, the first Buena Vista re-release, came only six years after its predecessor (and three years after the opening of Disneyland and Snow White's Adventures ride).

Buena Vista re-release, (R-1958). Folded One Sheet (27" X 41"). Sold for $207 (US) April 2006.

-1967: Two different one-sheet versions. The first is very similar to the 1958 poster with the princess kissing the top of Dopey's head. The second features six key scenes from the film.

Buena Vista re-release, (R-1967). Folded One Sheet (27" X 41") Style A.

Buena Vista re-release, (R-1967). Folded One Sheet (27" X 41"). Style B.

-1975: The mid-seventies brought with it a one-sheet with a new, slightly more modern rendering of Snow White and the other key characters.

Buena Vista re-release (R-1975). Folded One Sheet (27" X 41").

-1983: The '75 and '83 illustrations for Snow White and the other characters are the same. The main differences occurred in the font style, background shading, outer framing, and the number of birds.

Buena Vista re-release, (R-1983). Folded One Sheet (27" X 41").

-1987: The 50th Anniversary one-sheet came in two versions. They appeared almost identical except one had raised gold foil on the lettering and the highlights on Snow White's dress and bow.

Buena Vista re-release (R-1987). Rolled One Sheet (27" X 41")

-1993: The last full-blown theatrical re-release of Snow White brought us two more one-sheets. The first was a dynamic design by cinematic artist/painter John Alvin. The second poster was a completely different concept in the form of a glossy mylar "magic mirror".

Buena Vista re-release (R-1993). Rolled One Sheet (27" X 40" Style A.

Buena Vista re-release (R-1993). Rolled Mylar One Sheet (27" X 40.5") Mirror Style

With the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on home video, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (no longer Buena Vista) ceased reissuing the movie to theatres on a nationwide basis.

All auction sale prices and large one-sheet images copyright Heritage Auction Galleries.


  1. Even though I first saw the movie in the 1983 release, I best remember the 1987 poster. After looking at them all, I'd have to say the 2nd one from 1937 is my favorite (although the mirror from 1993 is cool) because of the Tenggren art.

  2. I don't really like the new posters. I prefer the old one. I think they represent better the movie

  3. I'm a bit partial to the older posters also, but I do like that there's been variety in the one-sheet artwork over the years as well.

  4. I never got what happened back in 1987 when Snow White suddenly went for the "pretty in pink" look and I really think the Tenggren artwork version of fifty years earlier is still the fairest of them all.

    1. Also what seems really silly is how the poster for the late 1960s re-release has snowflakes in the background for some odd reason despite that winter was only seen in one brief moment in the film and that Snow White's name being connected with snow being a stretch.

    2. Hi Andrew, the 1958 re-release occurred in February so maybe someone from the Disney promotional machine figured it would be a good idea to throw in a few snow flakes for the season. The 1967 re-issue was in July, but the poster is sort of a revamp of the '58 and even included the few snow flakes. Over the years, Disney has on many occasion associated Snow White with winter. From a mythological viewpoint, this makes sense since in many cultures, the winter solstice is associated with death and rebirth, which the Snow White story represents so well during the "sleeping death" segment.