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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

ISBN 9781844574759
Publication Date September 2012
Formats Paperback 
Publisher British Film Institute
Series BFI Film Classics

In 1937, when Walt Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the film
became an immediate, international sensation. Years earlier, when Disney
decided to produce Snow White, his first animated feature-length film, even he
couldn't have imagined the hundreds of artists required, the cost involved, or
the necessary technological innovations. But all of this effort resulted in a film
experience like no other. Fans marvelled at the lush colour palette, the
seemingly three-dimensional space, the operatic dependence on songs to tell
the story, and the compelling characterisations.

Snow White appealed to low and highbrow alike, from the teenagers who
invented 'The Dopey Dance' to many of the great museums of the US, which
proudly collected celluloid images from the film. Disney's Technicolor cartoon
bridged apparent gaps between city and town, between age groups, between
classes. Critics celebrated it as an instant classic.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs now stands as one of the most important of all
Hollywood films, and its influence on movies – by Orson Welles, Michael Powell,
and many others – extends to the present day. Based on extensive research in
materials from the period of the film's production and distribution, Eric
Smoodin's study presents a careful history of the events that led up to Snow
White, the trajectory of Disney's career that made this extraordinary project a
logical next step, the reception of the film in the US and around the world, and
its impact on so many aspects of contemporary culture.

This special edition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is published to celebrate
the 20th anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series.

ERIC SMOODIN is Professor of American Studies and Cinema and
Technocultural Studies, University of California, Davis. His most recent books
are Regarding Frank Capra: Audience, Celebrity, and American Film Studies,
(2004) and Looking Past the Screen: Case Studies in American Film
History and Method
(co-edited with Jon Lewis, 2007).

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'...gives us the essential background...' - Total Film
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