Discs Are Rated
Click above to purchase "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:
Platinum Edition" at amazon.com
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
review by Zach B.
Running Time: 84 minutes
Starring the voices of Adriana Caselotti, Harry
Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Moroni Olsen, Roy Atwell
Directed by David Hand
Retail Price: $29.99
Disc One: Audio Commentary with Walt Disney, hosted by
Animation Historian John Canemaker, Still The Fairest Of
Them All: The Making Of "Snow White And The Seven
Dwarfs", "The Goddess Of Spring" short, "Heigh-Ho"
Sing-Along Song, Dopey's Wild Mine Ride game, "Some Day My
Prince Will Come" by Barbra Streisand Music Video, Guided
Disc Two: Abandoned Concepts, The Restoration, Walt
Disney Biographical Timeline, Snow White Biographical
Timeline, Original Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale, Storyboard To
Film Comparisons, Art And Design, Visual Development,
Layouts and Backgrounds, Camera and Tests, Animation,
Deleted Scenes, Original RKO Opening And End Credits, Disney
Through The Decades, The Premiere, Trailers, Publicity,
Specs: 1.33:1 Standard, Digital Transfer, English
Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, English Mono,
English Closed Captions, English Subtitles, Chapter
Selection (27 Chapters), Two-Disc Set, THX-Certified
Yes, it really is the one that started it all and can be
argued that it is the fairest of them all. Before mass
merchandising, before mass hype, before tons and tons of
money and when films began to revolutionize us and started
to take off more, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," is the
one that truly began Disney's animated empire and was the
first animated film ever. It was history, and after sixty
years, it is still a movie that holds up and will forever be
considered timeless. It also began Disney's animated film
tradition, which they still continue today. While their
animated films have declined in box office grosses in the
mid 1990s, and it can be argued the quality has declined,
Disney has brought back the film that revolutionzed industry
upon industry. The film that gains a whole new audience all
the time. The film that continues to still enchant us all.
And finally, the film that makes us wonder how so much was
all once so simple and how it grew into a popular medium.
There's no denying the impact "Snow White and the Seven
Dwarfs" has had and still has. This wonderful new and deep
DVD edition proves that, and will continue to expand the
film's legacy, as well as show off more of Disney's great
Okay, let's get the plot out of the way for the four of
you who don't know anything about it. We have our fair Snow
White, who the evil queen is jealous of and who's magic
mirror tells the truth. So she plots revenge that involves a
disguise and a deadly apple, and at first, a killing from a
hunstman. And yeah, you got dwarfs with different
personalities that she meets, and the charming prince all
little girls yearn for and hope that will come. And yes, it
all works out okay for everyone.
I really don't know what more I can say about the movie.
The glorious "old school" yet so enthralling animation still
holds up, the score and songs are still sung today and it
seems that everybody knows them as Disney created the
standard for animated musicals, the story and the characters
are so rich and defined in the eighty-four minute running
time, the voice acting fits everyone perfectly and just the
magic that it created and still creates really cannot be
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is a good movie for all
ages. Still, the legacy and history that it created is
perhaps what it's best known for and what it will forever be
known for. Disney defined a medium, an era and a whole
studio out of it, despite the success of their animated
short. Fairy tales will always be loved, and Disney had
always struck gold when creating them, as well as other
tales in animation. Yes, this movie began a whole industry.
While others during the past sixty-four years have attempted
to create their own animated magic and rival the Disney
studio, none have really come close to what they are capable
of. It's all timeless and it's all history. So sit back,
relax, pop the discs in and enjoy a fine film, all while
experiencing history and enjoying one of the best DVDs ever
Presented in its original theatrical ratio of 1.33:1
(though it begins in 1.37:1 I believe), this restoration of
a film that is over sixty years old (!) is simply
jaw-dropping. How Disney pulled off such incredible results
is beyond me (okay, probably with techniques, skill and
technology), but I'm not going deep and asking questions. I
never thought a film so old could look this good. I mean,
some films from the early nineties do look pretty terrible
on DVD. This just goes to show with time, effort and care,
you can get a fantastic result (with the right tools I
guess) for a film no matter how old, and if the elements are
in good shape.
The colors are probably the most stunning aspect of this
transfer. So many of us are used to seeing so many faded
colors, dullness and dark spots in older theatrical runs and
a bit on the VHS release seven years ago. Here... it's like
a whole new picture literally. So much stuff we could not
see before has been faithfully restored and we see things we
once we could not see. It's amazing. Everything is so rich
and pleasant. Besides the fine saturation, detail is spot on
and black levels are tremendously solid. What's even more
amazing is how spotless it is... no blemishes, scratches or
pieces of dirt either. There is a decent amount of
shimmering and noise though. A mark or two may appear now
and then that probably could not have been removed, but few
will notice and it does not interfere with probably one of
the greatest film restorations ever.
Disney sure knows how to please! They're remixed the
audio in pure Dolby Digital 5.1, but for true purists we
also have the original mono track, and a French 5.1 Dolby
Digital track (plus English subtitles and English closed
captions). Before getting to the 5.1, I'll start with the
original mono. It sounds rather magnificent. It's really
clear, it's really crisp and sounds just so natural and
perfect. It doesn't sound low and it's quite a treat to hear
how good it sounds, and how good something so simple can
sound. So if you like original stuff (I know I do), you'll
be pleased here.
I was also really pleased with the brand spanking new 5.1
Dolby Digital mix. Fidelity is also rather high on it to my
surprise, and despite the limitations, the dynamic range and
.1 LFE is rather good. Like the mono, dialogue is rather
clear and crisp. Other sounds don't overpower the other
sounds either, making for a rather nice experience for the
ears. Music and other sounds are well mixed. All in all, a
fine experience and remix for such classic material.
The first of ten Platinum Disney DVD titles, I guess it's
good Disney started with their first film ever. This being
only Disney's second release of the movie on home video (now
and back in 1994), they have constructed the ultimate
edition of the film. With such in-depth supplements that
really cover every single aspect of the film, it really
comes to show how history was made. Children may like some
of the extras, but older fans and animation buffs will
probably get the most out of this experience. I just find it
so amazing what Disney has done here, and all of you
probably will too. They're calling it their first
"immersive" DVD experience, and while I guess it does break
some new ground in some areas for the format, it's pretty
much set-up the way all their past collector editions have
so I feel that may possibly be some sort-of overstatement.
By no means is that a bad thing, in fact, it actually means
it's beyond perfection.
So let's get down and dirty with the first disc. The
Audio Commentary with Walt Disney, hosted by Animation
Historian John Canemaker, is a rather great supplement
to the film. While Canemaker introduces and fills in the
gaps at times, Disney's comments are rather good, even if
they're not screen specific. This track is obviously edited
from archives of the man himself, since Walt is long gone
now (just like the Fantasia track which I rather liked). But
things are constantly said, and the information chosen to be
in this track offers cool production stories and a load of
information on making the classic. While your own kids may
not want to listen to this, film and animation buffs should
give it a spin.
Still The Fairest Of Them All: The Making Of "Snow
White And The Seven Dwarfs" is a fine documentary that
lasts nearly forty minutes. With clips from the film itself,
a host of various stills and film footage, this documentary
is narrated by Angela Lansbury and it's rather nifty. There
are a variety of interviews that know their stuff about
animation, and explains a bit about Disney's background and
his earlier projects. A lot is acknowledged here, and it's
all shown through storyboards, other shot films and a whole
lot of stuff. There's so much to gain out of here. I observe
everyone to watch how the first film was made and assorted
background info. One of the best documentaries I've ever
seen. Not to be missed.
The rest of the stuff on the first disc isn't much. We
have the animated short The Goddess Of Spring, a
set-top DVD game Dopey's Wild Mine Ride, a sing-along
song for Heigh-Ho and a decent rendition of Some
Day My Prince Will Come by Barbra Streisand.
Finally, on the first disc there are two Guided
Tours which are actually rather nice. One is about
twenty-five minutes and takes you through parts of each part
of the first disc, while the second one is much shorter and
barely scratches the surface. Hosted by the Magic Mirror,
these tours give people a feel of what's on the disc and is
Now for the meat... disc two! Broken up into five
sections, each with much information on all sorts of things.
In the Queen's Dungeon, you'll find Abandoned
Concepts. Introduced by John Canemaker, there is some
audio and the concepts are told through concept art and
storyboards. Interesting for sure. We have "Snow White Meets
The Prince," "Some Day My Prince Will Come - Fantasy
Version" and "The Prince Is Captured."
The Restoration is also in the dungeon. Interviews
with Chris Carey (Senior Vice President of DVD Production),
executive director of the sound department of Terry Porter
and a host of others explain the wondrous restoration of the
classic and what it means to them. Clips from the film,
stills and archival footage are used, but there is quite a
bit on then doing the whole restoration and a host of
comparisons. Very interesting and really cool. I wish it was
a bit longer. It lasts five minutes and nineteen seconds.
In Show White's Wishing Well, you'll find a Walt
Disney Biographical Timeline and a Snow White
Biographical Timeline, plus the Original Brothers
Grimm Fairy Tale. These are all text based supplements,
and give more insight on to certain matters and are good to
know (especially how true the movie stays to the original
fairy tale... as we know, more recent animated adaptions
have stretched a lot of new source material).
Also in the well are Storyboard To Film
Comparisons for "The Forest Chase," "Cleaning House,"
"The Dwarfs Chase The Witch" and "The Queen's Order." You
can watch the final film, the storyboards or both via split
screen. There's an introduction from John Canemaker
explaining it in twenty-one seconds.
In the Queen's Castle, we have a lot to experience. The
one minute and forty-three seconds Art And Design is
narrated by Canemaker with stills and film footage about the
movie's visual style. Visual Development is a giant
still gallery that even has optional audio for you to listen
to on certain stills. Layouts And Backgrounds is
broken up into "About Layouts And Backgrounds" and a gallery
for them. The about is another featurette with Scott
MacQueen, the director of Library Restoration that has
clips. This lasts nearly five minutes, and focuses on early
Disney and the film's wondrous background design. There's
also Camera And Tests which features excerpts from
"The Story of Silly Symphony" and "Tricks Of Our Trade",
plus various Camera Tests that Macqueen hosts. Finally,
Animation features another excerpt from "Tricks Of
Our Trade", and three other featurettes. Voice Talent
has an old footage segment with legendary Disney
animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas talking about
voicing a film, Canemaker plus clips from the film and
thoughts on the voice actors, lasting over six minutes.
There's also the clip ladden Live Action Reference
that lasts nearly seven minutes and is rather interesting,
plus a gallery of Character Designs for "Snow White
and The Dwarfs," "The Queen/The Peddler" and "The
Huntsman/The Prince/The Animals."
Down in The Dwarf's Mine, we have five Deleted
Scenes that are compiled with rough animation and voices
believe it or not, while others even are more complete.
There's an intro from Canemaker that lasts forty seconds.
The scenes are "The Witch At The Cauldron," "The Bedroom
Argument," "'Music In Your Soup'," "The Lodge Meeting" and
"Building A Bed."
Interesting enough, RKO originally distributed the film.
But then the credits for it changed over time to reflect
that RKO was out, but you can view the Original RKO
Opening And End Credits.
Yet what I found really interesting was the Disney
Through The Decades trailer. Hosted by several
celebrities (each represent a certain decade), this is a
fun, great and really informative lookback at Disney's
history. It's amazing how much there influence extends and
how much they have accomplished. During the decades you can
also view the various Snow White trailers. Film history
fans, watch this.
The final section is pure marketing. In The Dwafs'
Cottage and under Premiere, you'll find a newsreel of
the film's premiere held on December 21st, 1937 and a radio
broadcast of it. There are also eight Trailers that
show the original release and various re-releases through
the years, while there's a load of stills under
Publicity. Divided into three sections, there's a
Scrapbook that's even broken down further - "The
Premiere," "Pressbook," "Production Photos," "Merchanside"
and "Posters." The other two are old time but still great
featurettes: A Trip Through The Walt Disney Studios
and How Disney Cartoons Are Made, both introduced
by Scott MacQueen.
And last but not least - Vintage Audio. Under
Radio Broadcasts, you'll find the "Lux Radio Theater"
(September 28th, 1936), another "Lux Radio Theater"
(December 20, 1937) and "Mickey Mouse Theater Of The Air"
(January 9th, 1938.). There are also seven Radio
Commercials (three from 1958, four from 1967) and in
Songs, there's the Silly Song Recording
Session and a Deleted Song: "You're Never Too Old To
Be Young." The first has audio introductions, like a
commentary explaining the material and finding it. Cool to
Finally, the highly interactive and highly animated menus
have such a great effect and are so well done, it makes you
feel like you're in the film. Also, the keep case booklet
included is really well designed, well written and well
done. Not only does it offer insight on to this beloved
classic, but it acts as a map of-sorts to the DVD. Oh, and
the menus are even in 5.1!
A dazzling new transfer, an impressive 5.1 remix and the
original mono track, plus some of the best supplements ever
to grace DVD, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" really
deserves to belong in everyone's DVD collection. The film is
simply timeless and is history, and the DVD proves it to the
fullest extent. It's like a "Snow White" encyclopedia! I
can't wait for future platinum releases as Disney will
continue to show off their best animated films in the best
ways possible. This is something, that families will share
with their children, and then pass it on. One of the best
DVD titles of all time that deserves a spot in everyone's
collection. What you get for such a good price is
(5/5 - NOT included in
(4.5/5, NOT an average)