Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was Walt Disney’s first feature-length animated film. It is a treasure, it is iconic, and it was a major turning point in the history of the Walt Disney Company. Because it is so legendary, one would assume that everyone has seen it—however, one fateful day, I was sitting in a meeting at the Oh My Disney offices, and had a realization. It was as if I woke up from a magical spell and realized, oh no, I haven’t SEEN THE WHOLE MOVIE. My childhood Disney memories flashed before my eyes. I have seen many scenes from the movie and know the ride Snow White’s Scary Adventures at Disneyland by heart (anyone who has read my bio will know that I’m still scared by the part with the trees.) But for all these years, I felt like I had seen the movie, when, in fact, I had not.
Knowing this was unacceptable on many levels, I immediately volunteered to watch the film and take notes, and professed my deep shame and embarrassment for waiting so long to do so. I blame it on the Evil Queen, who obviously put a spell on me via a poison apple to make me think I saw the film at some point during my childhood. See? I know the characters and the story. Or do I? Let’s begin watching this masterpiece:
I love how in older movies they have five minutes of credits before the film starts. When did that change I wonder? Will make a mental note to ask Drew, our Disney Insider, about that.
Oh, look, a beautiful book is opening!
I love that we get to read the beginning of the story off the page. I feel like that doesn’t happen anymore because nowadays audiences would be too lazy to read it, so that’s why narrators were invented. That thought was not based on real facts whatsoever.
What is a scullery maid? Kitchen maid? Add it to the list of things to ask Drew.
There’s the Evil Queen and her magic mirror!
Fire in the mirror. The mirror’s face appears! The Evil Queen asks, “Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” I feel like you shouldn’t ask questions you really don’t want to know the answer to, Evil Queen.
The mirror sees a lovely maid who is fairer than the Evil Queen, who of course is Snow White. See, I know this story.
The way the Evil Queen says “Snow White” is scary. Jealousy is real.
It’s Snow White! She is just so adorable. And her voice is so sweet.
She’s wishing in a well. Those doves are loving it.
LOOK WHO IT IS. The Prince! He hears Snow White! The Prince’s meggings are phenomenal.
Snow White is singing into the well when the Prince pops up OUT OF NOWHERE and yell-sings,“Today!” We are all startled, including Snow White.
Then he’s like, “Hello,” like he didn’t just jump into Snow White’s song/wishing moment. He means well though.
Snow White runs up to her balcony and now the Prince is singing a beautiful song.
Uh, oh. The Evil Queen peeks out of the window! She is not happy. This moment is perfectly re-created at Disneyland in a window above Snow White’s Scary Adventures!
Snow White sends a dove down to the Prince. The dove lands on the Prince and blushes.
Back to the Evil Queen. She tells the Huntsman to take Snow White to pick wildflowers. That’s nice.
Oh wait, she wants him to kill Snow White while she’s picking the wildflowers. The Huntsman does not want to do this. Of course.
The Evil Queen threatens the Huntsman. She is so scary. She asks the Huntsman to bring back Snow White’s heart. Even more scary.
Snow White is singing and picking flowers. She has her iconic dress on!
Oh, a little bird is crying and Snow White helps him.
Huntsman looking around. He tells Snow White to run! She runs!
Oh no, it’s the scary tree part! These woods are fierce! There are faces in the trees! And their branches are arms! Now I remember why I didn’t finish this movie as a kid. I couldn’t get past the trees. I’ll never get past the trees.
Moving forward. This is so scary. I’m curled up in a ball. Poor Snow White is crying!
The scary trees have stopped. There are cute bunnies, and deer, and forest animals! I immediately feel better. So does Snow White.
Snow White startles the animals and feels bad. She asks them what they do when things go wrong. Some cute birds sing.
Snow White sings “With a Smile and a Song.” All of the animals love it! I love it.
Snow White really feels quite happy now. She’s so optimistic and I love that.
Snow White asks the animals to take her to a place she can stay. They do. She is excellent at communicating with animals.
The cottage! I know who lives there!
There are a lot of animals around these woods. Much better than the scary trees.
Snow White politely knocks. No one answers, so she goes inside. No one answers again, so she keeps on walking further into the house. Love it.
Wait, why did she just scream?
Oh, cause the chairs are so cute. I thought something was wrong, and so did the animals. We’re all fine now.
There’s seven of everything! I can’t wait to meet the dwarfs!
Ew, everything is so dusty. I literally just sneezed after I saw that.
So many dishes. Why don’t the dwarfs do dishes?
Snow White feels bad that the cottage is so gross. She’s about to make this cottage shine.
With a song.
“Whistle While You Work” happens! Going to sing this next time I have to clean my house.
Those animals are super helpful.
Look at this crazy faucet:
That is. So. Much. Dust. Where are all the spiders if there are so many cobwebs?
A spider just showed up right after I typed that. Walt Disney at his best, knowing the answers to all of our questions before we even ask them.
Look at all the cute clothes! The deer is wearing them and now everyone is cleaning them. Where can I get these forest animals for my chores?
That was delightful.
Oh, we are in the mines!!!!!!! It’s so shiny! The dwarfs!!! They are singing!
HAHA Grumpy is SO grumpy. He’s kind of my favorite. I had a Grumpy plush on my desk growing up. I digress.
Dopey wiggles his ears!
It’s 5 p.m.. Doc sings, “Heigh-ho!” and I am so excited. Marching in place to this song with the dwarfs.
Back to Snow White. The cottage is clean and now she’s going to look around upstairs. I would do the same.
Look at the adorable beds! We learn the names of all the dwarfs.
Everyone is tired. I yawn with the animals. Snow White falls asleep.
The animals hear the dwarfs returning to the cottage. Snow White does not. The animals scurry adorably back into the woods!
The dwarfs notice smoke coming from the their cottage’s chimney.
Grumpy talks about how the corns on his feet hurt. Perfection.
The dwarfs sneak into the cottage.
Someone has some really squeaky shoes.
The dwarfs notice that everything is really clean. Grumpy is not having it.
They find some stew brewing and Grumpy is not having that either.
Sneezy can’t help that he sneezes and I feel for him.
These guys are the worst at keeping quiet when they are trying to sneak up on someone.
The birds make a noise upstairs so the dwarfs decide to check it out.
They make Dopey go first. Poor Dopey. I feel like this happens to him a lot.
Let’s take a moment to observe this awesome door:
Snow White stirs and scares Dopey. Dopey tells everyone it’s a monster. I feel like he’s causing unnecessary alarm.
They all sneak up on Snow White! She’s still sleeping. They see her and realize it’s not a monster. It’s a girl!
AWWWW they think she’s beautiful! Except Grumpy. He thinks she’s full of wicked wiles.
Snow White wakes up! She makes no apologies for breaking into their house.
She asks them, “How do you do?” And Grumpy says, “How do you do, what?” Grumpy still not having it.
The dwarfs introduce themselves and it’s adorable.
Snow White does a great Grumpy impression. Respect.
Doc is having trouble saying what he means. Grumpy is not helping.
Snow White tells the dwarfs about the Evil Queen. Everyone wants to help her except, shockingly, Grumpy.
Snow White says the Evil Queen will never find her here. That’s probably not going to hold true.
Snow White wins the dwarfs over by cooking them food. I am hungry now.
Grumpy is grumpier than I ever imagined.
Snow White teaches the dwarfs about the importance of washing their hands. Well ahead of her time.
Snow White is running this cottage like a champion.
Snow White makes all of the dwarfs wash up. They use each other’s beards as towels. Genius.
They all struggle to get Grumpy to wash. So far this is the longest scene in the movie, I think. They finally succeed. They put bows in Grumpy’s hair. He’s still Grumpy.
Back to the Evil Queen! It’s been awhile since we’ve seen her! She’s holding that box with the heart.
She asks the magic mirror who is fairest of them all and the mirror tells her exactly where Snow White is. Uh oh.
The Evil Queen finds out that the Huntsman tricked her. She is really angry.
She goes down to a scary dungeon! She may be evil, but her books are well organized:
She chooses to take on a peddler’s disguise with an old hag’s cackle. Some wind starts blowing out of nowhere. Thunder! This is intense.
She may be evil, but her nails are on point:
She drinks the poison and things are swirling. The transformation to old hag is happening! She says, “look, my hands!” to no one in particular.
THERE SHE IS AS THE OLD HAG!! So creepy!!
Now she’s making a poisoned apple for a “sleeping death.” I know all about this part. This does not bode well.
Back to a party at the cottage with Snow White and the Dwarfs. Lots of great yodeling.
Everyone is having the time of their lives. I’m dancing around as I watch.
The dwarfs are skilled musicians. Impressive.
Snow White tells a story. Bashful wants it to be a love story. How cute.
Snow White tells them all about meeting the Prince. She sings “Someday My Prince Will Come.”
I am leaning in to this song.
This sums up how I feel when listening:
Then there’s Grumpy:
It’s 11 o’clock at night! Snow White goes to bed. The dwarfs let her sleep upstairs.
As soon as Snow White leaves, the dwarfs fight over a pillow.
There is a long scene of the dwarfs sleeping and I find myself lulled into the scene and forget where I am for a second. That’s good filmmaking right there.
Back to the Evil Queen disguised as an old hag. She makes that poisoned apple. It looks disgusting!
Oh now it looks perfect! Trickery!
The crow does NOT want a bite of that apple, even when offered.
I’m really concerned about the lengths that the Evil Queen will go to to be the fairest in the land. Wonder what happened to her in her past to make her like this.
She finds out that the victim of the sleeping death can only be revived by love’s first kiss. Huh, I always thought it was true love’s kiss. I’m learning so much.
The Evil Queen disguised as a hag is NOT worried that Snow White will be revived by love’s first kiss.
She cackles a lot.
She takes a boat to the woods. Why are the evil trees not coming out like they did when Snow White was first in the woods? Maybe the evil trees work for the Evil Queen. Adding that to the list of Disney questions to ask Drew.
The dwarfs go off to work! They all love Snow White!
Grumpy reveals he cares about Snow White by telling her to be careful. She kisses him on the forehead and we see him smile for the first time. This is monumental. Grumpy tries to play it cool but he can’t.
The Evil Queen/hag cannot stop cackling to herself as she travels through the woods. Ew vultures! This does not bode well.
Snow White is singing.
The Evil Queen/hag scares Snow White in the window of the cottage. Snow White should not admit that she’s there alone. She seems to trust the hag.
The vultures are there. Look at the vultures, Snow White! This lady is not to be trusted!
I hope Snow White doesn’t eat that apple.
Ahhh the birds save the day.
Ugh the Evil Queen is back to trying to get Snow White to eat the apple. Snow White allows her inside the cottage.
All of the birds and other animals are so stressed! They run and fly! Where are they running?
They are going to find the dwarfs! Good birds, good!
Back to the cottage. The Evil Queen/hag says the apple is a “wishing apple.” Don’t believe it, Snow White. Don’t believe a word she says.
I’ll say it again, I hope Snow White doesn’t eat that apple.
Back to the dwarfs. Grumpy leads the way back to Snow White. Not so grumpy after all, are we Grumpy?
No! Snow White, don’t eat the apple!!
Run Grumpy and all! Run!
Snow White makes an adorable wish! Don’t eat the apple!
SHE ATE THE APPLE.
She immediately feels strange. She falls!
The Evil Queen cackles and is so excited that she’ll now be the fairest one of them all. That is so rude and a whole lot of evil plotting just to be the fairest.
The Evil Queen runs through the woods. The seven dwarfs chase her!
This is intense! It’s raining and thundering all of the sudden! The Evil Queen is trapped! The vultures are back!
She tries to throw this rock on the dwarfs! No!
She trips! She falls off the cliff! Goodbye, Evil Queen/hag.
Oh no. We are back at the cottage and Snow White is sleeping, only the dwarfs don’t know it. I’m definitely sobbing with them.
Poor sweet Snow White!
The dwarfs fashion a glass case for Snow White to sleep in and keep watch over her. Really sobbing now. Lots of tears. Didn’t think this movie would make me cry, but it’s got me.
The Prince is searching for the girl who sleeps in the glass case! We hear him sing. I’m crying more.
There he is! The Prince! He kisses Snow White! I knew this part of the story but it’s so great to see it! Everyone is so sad because Snow White is still sleeping.
She. Wakes. Up.
She is not at all surprised that the Prince is there. Neither am I. Of course he’s there.
Snow White says goodbye to the seven dwarfs. Wonder how long it will take for their cottage to go back into disarray after she leaves.
Snow White rides off into the sunset with the Prince and the music is intense.
And we finish back at the storybook.
Wow. I already knew the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs just from being around Disney my whole life, but it was truly another experience to see every second of the film. It’s amazing that even after all this time, the story holds true and the characters are just as lovable. I have learned the following: that you should watch out for evil hags trying to give you an apple, that you should always make a wish when you pass by a wishing well, and that even the grumpiest of people can have a heart of gold. Put this on the long, long list of reasons why I love Disney.
The lyrics and music to “With a Smile and a Song,” “Heigh-ho,” “Whistle While You Work,” and “Some Day My Prince Will Come” were written by Frank Churchill, Larry Morey, Paul J. Smith, and Leigh Harline.