Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Prince of a Birthday Card

Now that's a prince! He's gonna make the rest of us guys look bad. Produced by Sunrise Greetings, this birthday card was purchased in 2012 at the Co-op Market in Santa Monica, CA. Image and info supplied by Snow White collector Elana Sperber.

Inside reads, "May all your wildest birthday dreams come true."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Heigh Ho" Deleted Segment from Original 'Snow White' Soundtrack

We continue with our look into the Snow White songs released on the 1938 soundtrack record as they compare with those found in the movie. In addition to The Silly Song (previous post), the other track worth noting is Heigh Ho.

Record image courtesy of the Rick Payne Collection via dadric's attic.

Heigh Ho follows Dig-a-Dig-Dig on Side B of the first disc of the three-record set. Of course, we know they also run back-to-back in the film; the dividing point between the two occurs when we see the clock strike five and Doc calls out "heigh-ho!"

Both record and theatrical-release of Heigh Ho are identical up until 44 seconds into the song. In the movie, Dopey has just put the vault key on the nail, and he runs to catch up with the others on their homeward journey.

The record version then continues on with about 18 to 20 seconds of a whistling melody which is not included in the movie sequence. Animation for this segment was planned, but due to time considerations, it was cut.

The remainder of the "Heigh-Ho" song is the same as what we hear in the film when the Dwarfs march home to the cottage for the first time.

This whistling melody, however, was not left out completely. It was brought to my attention by Snow White enthusiast, Nunziante Valoroso from Italy, that it did indeed make it into the final movie. It was simply moved to the last reel of the film and occurs in the scene right before the animals arrive at the mine to warn the Dwarfs about the Witch. They whistle the tune while they're pulling a mine cart.


After comparing the other songs from the 1938 record set with what is in the movie, I happened to notice another minor anomaly. At the conclusion to One Song, when the Prince is singing to Snow White from below her balcony, she sends a dove down to him to deliver a kiss.

The dove blushes while sitting on his hand. In the picture, a dove "cooing" sound effect was inserted at this point. On the record album, it was not. All of the other dove intonations, though, do seem to be in place on the soundtrack disc.

Screen captures and audio excerpt copyright Disney. Included here for historical documentation purposes.

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Silly Song" Deleted Lyrics from Original 'Snow White' Soundtrack

If you were to do a side-by-side comparison of the original 1938 Snow White soundtrack record (RCA/Victor three-disc set) with the songs heard in the actual movie, you'd find that the two recordings are generally the same...but not identical. There are some really interesting differences. Of course, the audio we have in the film today has all been digitally remastered, but the variance we're about to explore is not related to sound quality.

I first became aware of these discrepancies after reading a 2011 article on the subject by Cartoon Brew contributor Eric Graf. Eric discovered that a set of lyrics included on the record and sung by Sneezy in the Dwarfs' Yodel Song (aka The Silly Song) are not in fact in the movie. There was discussion as to whether or not this deletion of content occurred because of censorship. The thought was that the lines in question might have been slightly too racy for a 1938 audience. However, Snow White author/historian JB Kaufman commented on the post and said the scene 'wasn’t censored, just cut for time considerations. It never made it in the Technicolor cutting continuity, dated January 1938.'

The disc label from the first 78 rpm record of the Dwarfs' Yodel Song. Note that it is not referred to as The Silly Song.

Record image courtesy of the Rick Payne Collection via dadric's attic.

The Yodel Song from the original soundtrack recording (OS) runs a little over three minutes (3:15). The version used in the theatrical-release (TR), although missing the deleted lyrics, still calculates out to be more than a minute longer (4:25). The exact lengths actually depend on where you mark the endings to the songs. For consistency, let's agree that both tracks conclude right after Snow White laughs and says, "That was fun." Now we're ready for the side-by-side comparison.

As we know, the sequence in the film begins with an exterior shot of the Dwarfs' cottage before pushing in on the party inside. Good music and lots of cheer welcome us in as Happy (dancing with Dopey) steals the initial few seconds of the show with his fancy moves. The Dwarfs are singing the yodeling refrain.

Happy is then the first to sing a verse.
I like to dance and tap my feet
But they won't keep in rhythm.
You see, I washed them both today
And I can't do nothing with 'em.

Up until this point, 51 seconds into the song, both versions are the same. Now the two begin to diverge.

Immediately following Happy's lyrics, he does a kind of a soft-shoe while Snow White watches from the foreground and Bashful and Doc play instruments in the corner.  In the OS, we hear the princess laughing during Happy's funny moves. Strangely, this laughter track is not included in the TR even though we can clearly see her laughing on screen.

This scene is also the first time we hear the "Silly Song" chorus...or do we? Certainly in the film, the following lines are sung with both Bashful and Doc moving their mouths to the words.
Ho hum the tune is dumb
The words don't mean a thing.
Isn't this a silly song
For anyone to sing?
I was really surprised, however, to learn that the OS does not include this chorus. The melody is there, but it's performed by a banjo and clarinet rather than vocals. This would explain why on the original record label, The Silly Song title is absent. The "Silly Song" lines were not included anywhere in this version.

At about 59 seconds, we come to Sneezy's deleted scene. In the OS, his lyrics go as follows.
A minute after I was born
I didn't have a nighty.
So I tied my whiskers around my legs
And I used them for a didee.
The last word, didee, is delivered in conjunction with a classic sneeze from Billy Gilbert who was the voice of Sneezy. This entire section was cut and not included in the final film and thus is not found in the TR.

Both versions now go into Dopey's drumstick segment (the sticks pass through his sleeves), the OS at the 1:25 mark and TR still at 59 seconds. It's followed by Bashful's lines.
I chased a polecat up a tree
Way out upon a limb,
And when he got the best of me
I got the worst of him.

We run through a couple more yodeling refrains including a Happy solo; Snow White hits her operatic soprano note and dances with Doc, Bashful and Sneezy; Dopey and Sleepy go through their "house fly" gags.

The Dwarf's Yodel Song comes to an end in the OS with the tweeting of the wooden bird whistle on Grumpy's organ. It's followed by laughter and Snow White's "That was fun" line. The total running time is 3:15.

In the film, the song keeps right on going. Instrumental music, hand clapping, and shouts of "Hey!" fill the room, all while we watch the dancing sequence with Dopey on Sneezy's shoulders.

After Sneezy explodes with another sneeze that shoots Dopey to the rafters, everyone enjoys a laugh for about 12 seconds at the conclusion of the song. Snow then gets to say "That was fun." The running time of the TR version totals 4:42.

Screen captures and audio excerpts copyright Disney. Included here for historical documentation purposes.

On January 9, 1938, Billy Gilbert performed his Sneezy role during the Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air radio program. We hear the deleted lyrics again, but in a slightly different form.
When I was born so long ago
I felt so high and mighty.
I tied my whiskers around my legs
And I used them for a ...di, a...dee, a...doo [sneeze!]
...for a nightie.

During the Lux Radio Theater performance of Walt Disney's Snow White, December 26, 1938, Billy Gilbert's back as Sneezy. This time he sings the original deleted lines except he ends with "nightie" again rather than "didee".


A few of the informative comments on the 2011 Cartoon Brew post...

Eric Graf on October 31, 2011 at 9:34 am said:
Most early Disney songs have verses that are in the sheet music and/or popular recordings of the songs, but weren’t used, or even intended, for the movie. For instance, this scary looking record, released in 1955
contains the...Yodel Song verse, as well as [another] verse that never made it into the movie in the first place:

“I used to have a billy goat/ we had him disinfected./ He could have slept in Grumpy’s bed/ but the billy goat objected.”


Greg Ehrbar on October 31, 2011 at 10:26 am said:
The “billy goat” lyric was sung by Jimmie Dodd, who performed the song, along with Tommy Cole and Kevin “Moochie” Corcoran, on a Mickey Mouse Club LP called A WALT DISNEY SONG FEST that was reissued as WALT DISNEY’S MOST BELOVED SONGS.


Jeff Kurtti on October 31, 2011 at 4:57 pm said: 
When I was doing the Platinum DVD of “Snow White,” we had all manner of trims, outs, and camera tests that had been found over many years by Scott MacQueen. I’m not sure the additional lyric was ever actually animated, but may have been cut prior to that.

There is evidence that the film was tweaked several times after the premiere at the Carthay Circle and well into its initial release, I believe it was “locked” in its currently-known form only on its first reissue in 1944.


Eric Graf on October 31, 2011 at 6:50 pm said:
This link: has the film-to-record transfers being completed between November 26 and December 17, 1937. The Murray reference book on Disney records says the contract between Disney and RCA was signed on December 7th, so presumably it would’ve been near the end of that range. Would they still be making changes to the soundtrack that close to the December 21 premiere?


JB Kaufman on October 31, 2011 at 8:35 pm said:
Sneezy’s verse was animated (by Les Clark), but Steve Segal is right: it wasn’t censored, just cut for time considerations. (It doesn’t appear in the Technicolor cutting continuity, which is dated January 1938.) For what it’s worth, Sneezy did sing his verse in two radio broadcasts after the film was released: “The Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air” in January 1938, and the “Lux Radio Theatre” the following Christmas. In both instances, the word “didee” was interrupted by a sneeze.


JB Kaufman on November 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm said: 
I don’t think the scene is lost, exactly, but to my knowledge it exists only as pencil animation. It was in the picture as late as October 1937 — sweatbox notes reveal that Clark was still revising it at that date — but I believe it was cut before reaching the ink-and-paint phase. As far as I can tell it’s not possible to watch it.


David Gerstein on November 2, 2011 at 10:27 am said:
When the British MICKEY MOUSE WEEKLY comic book published the lyrics to “The Silly Song” (in issue 126, 1938), they included [another] version of Sneezy’s lost verse:

The minute after I was born
I didn’t have a nightie;
I used my beard to keep me warm,
And tied it round me tightly!


Mac on November 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm said:
It could be that the lyric wasn’t changed in the comic for reasons of censorship, but simply because British audiences wouldn’t know what a didee was. I can’t speak for Brits who were around in the the late 30′s, but I’ve never heard anyone use the word didee over here and we call ‘diapers’ ‘nappies’.


Jeff Kurtti on November 2, 2011 at 8:48 pm said:
We were not able to find any other test or pencil footage while doing the DVD edition (pretty much everything we could find was put on the disc, even though some of it is very short, or the context takes more time than the actual footage!). And BELIEVE me, the Home Video Marketing folks would have loved nothing more than to tout more “lost” footage ;-)

Tune into the next post as we examine the original Heigh-Ho track.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Original Snow White Soundtrack on 1988 CD

The original songs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs were recorded in 1937, then released to the public in January 1938 on three Victor/RCA 78 rpm discs (see earlier post). However, edits to the movie were still in progress right up to before the world premiere. As a result, a couple tracks on that first album actually contain sections which were cut from the final film.

Fifty years after its initial release, the music from that first unedited record was re-issued in 1988 on Compact Disc by BMG (RCA). Catalog no. 8455-2-R.

Both the CD and inserts are labeled "Not Licensed for Radio Broadcasting".

From the disc's liner notes...
This digital release was assembled from elements in the RCA/Victor vault and from original shellac records, which have survived much better than most of the metal parts in storage. The recordings were first put through an ITI Parametric equalizer to bring the voices out on analog tape, which was then transferred to a flat digital copy. A Harmonia Mundi was used to digitally reduce the residual hiss and surface noise.
--Patrick Snyder

Images from the Filmic Light Collection.

In the next post, we'll compare how these tracks differ from what we hear in the movie today.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

2013 Evil Queen "Classic" Doll

Right before the start of the new year, Disney Store released several villains into their Classic Doll Collection. Among them is none other than Snow White's evil stepmother. The 12" Queen comes in her purple satin gown with gold trim and a red braided tie, plus a black cape lined with red satin.

Item No. 6070040900174P

The Queen, with her oversized head and affordable sticker price ($14.50 or two for $20), is more in line with a younger target audience. Some folks don't quite know what to make of her enlarged cranial dimensions, but I kind of like the big noggin. Fully poseable. Plastic/polyester.

The same "Classic Doll Collection" packaging was seen earlier in the series with the 2012 Snow White & Prince dolls.

Stock image copyright Disney.

The Queen's 'cowl' is molded to her head, but the crown comes off.

Additional image courtesy of drj1828.

Special thanks to Evil Queen/Witch collector Kurt Raymond for additional info on this doll.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

1938 Lunch Box Tin - Dairy Premium

A wonderful example of vintage Snow White memorabilia, this three-piece lunch box set features lithographed images of the characters on the lid and side panels. A copyright imprint "© 1938 Walt Disney Enterprises" is also included. Tin measures approximately 7" x 5" and is 4" tall.

According to Cecil Munsey's 1974 Disneyana book (p.98), this tin container was part of the 1938 dairy promotional campaign which included the matching tin serving tray and the collectible premium glasses.

A sandwich tray also came with the set but is rarely found in today's online sales of this item.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

2012 Morrisons 'DLP 20th Anniversary' Trading Cards

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris, a series of trading cards were released in early March 2012. As with the 2011 Magical Moments collection (previous post), this one was developed by Belgian manufacturer Cartamundi and sponsored by the UK-based Morrisons Supermarkets.

Featuring characters from the Disney animated films, the set is divided into eleven subsets (A-K) with nine cards each. The Snow White gang makes up subset B. The entire 110 card collection contains 77 base cards, 22 sparkle cards (#4 and #6 in each group), and 11 rare shiny cards. The numbers on the front can be used in two different card-playing games.

  • The Snow White base and sparkle cards...

Back of cards...

The eleven A-K #5 shiny cards all have a distinguishing blue boarders. Here's Snow White's shiny...

Cards were sold in packs of seven (six base cards and one shiny), and a Collector Binder was also available...

Morrison promos included the extremely rare Gold Cards too. Find one of these in your pack and get free admission on your next trip to Disneyland Paris.