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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs © Disney  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the first feature-length animated film in the history signed by Walt Disney , its start was begun in 1934 and was completed in 1937. The first screening of the film took place 21 Dec. at the Carthay Cicle Theater in Los Angeles and obtained an extraordinary success. In fact, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a real breakthrough movie, not only because it continues to be a masterpiece of unsurpassed size, but also because it set a standard by which all cartoons are judged. Disney - already known and appreciated for having invented the mythical character of Mickey Mouse - matured his plan to return from a vacation in Paris, where in some film his short films were projected one after another, without interruption. So it was that the producer had a brilliant idea: he understood that the animated cartoon could be the future of cinema, then a Time in America, mobilized its human energy, professional and economic, to achieve this new big bet (judged at that time "the folly of Walt"). The choice of animated Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was influenced by the vision of the silent film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", played by Marguerite Clark. In fact the work to emerge once the problem of how to do to entertain an audience unaccustomed to hold half an hour and a brightly colored cartoon. Therefore it seemed necessary that Snow White was provided with a profile-realistic caricature-not able to send a strong power of identification and participation in the events narrated and according to Walt, the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm had all the requirements for what could be achieved with success: the witch bad, the sweet girl, prince charming, the story of love, the sympathy of the dwarves, and so on.
Snow White with the birds of the forest  © Disney  Snow White is a beautiful and delicate girl (says the Magic Mirror, "her mouth is pink, ebony hair, is white as snow ..."), that the queen's stepmother, jealous, forced to do the drudge. One day the mirror, questioning, reveals to the woman who, though dressed in rags White continues to be much more beautiful: "Beautiful, beautiful you are, my queen. But in world there is a girl dressed only in rags, poor thing! But alas, is far more beautiful .... "Blinded by anger and envy, the cold stepmother plans the death of the maiden, called a faithful servant, ordering him to bring Snow White into the woods to kill her. As proof of death, asks him to hand over the heart of the young man in a casket. The hunter, seeing the girl so sweet and innocent, can not carry out the thankless task, so he puts to flight the girl and for not to arouse the vengeance of the queen kills a boar and bears the heart of the animal, posing for that of the princess. Meanwhile, Snow White and full of desperate terror into the forest, which, because of the darkness and the projection of his feelings of fear and anguish, is alive with monsters and hostile creatures. At the end of his strength the girl falls asleep, but when he wakes up he will find comfort and protection in animals of the forest, with which it will enter immediately in tune with his temperament, quiet, almost mistico.Questi the lead in a small house, which at first seems uninhabited , is so dirty and shabby. Therefore, strong support of her new friends, rolls up her sleeves and put in order the pretty house (which she believed to be inhabited by children abandoned by parents) and cooking a delicious soup. At sunset she falls asleep in three of the seven beds, on which are carved funny names... Meanwhile, the dwarfs are returning from the mines, and seeing the lights lit of the house are believe the thieves entered, so arm themselves with courage and sticks, but rather with they surprise discovering a wonderful girl! Meanwhile, the noise and confusion awaken Snow White, who immediately captivate the benevolence and hospitality with its sweetness, but also guessing the name of each: Doc is a pundit a little 'confused, as well as the group's leader, is Bashful shy and secretly in love with Snow White, Sneezy is a funny guy who suffers from hay fever, but Sleepy is a sleeper but has found very useful, Dopey has a beaming smile that conquers all, then there are Grumpy, grumpy, and misogynist and Happy very nice, even if it communicates only with gestures as dumb. After eating the dinner prepared by Snow White, the funny little men entertain the maiden with songs, dances and upbeat music and moved by the story told by the girl, decide to take care of her and protect it from the clutches of the evil stepmother.

Snow White enters the house of the seven dwarfs © Disney  In return, the girl would look after the house and filling it of her charm. Unfortunately, very early in the Queen discovers that Snow White is not dead, and living serene in the woods, guest of the dwarves. Then, overcome by a visceral hatred, she goes in the castle dungeons, where she exerts its power as an alchemist to create a fruit: an apple looking so beautiful and inviting as to be irresistible. But an apple so poisonous that a single bite would have condemned the lovely princess to the eternal sleep from which you could have awakened only by the kiss of true love. So in the guise of an old queen went into the woods, pretending to have reached its destination and asks for a sip of water to the girl who, despite the recommendations of the dwarves, she lets go. The old, feigning gratitude, the fruit gives Snow White the apple and arguing that has the power to grant wishes, convinces her to give her a bite. A no will the arrival of the dwarves, who warned of the imminent danger from the animals of the forest, they throw themselves in pursuit of the witch. When pressed she will try to crush the dwarves with a large stone, but the wrath of the lightning will fall into a precipice. The dwarves grieve trying to resuscitate the girl, but in vain. So, not having the courage to bury her, they build a coffin of crystal and diamond, where the pretty recline covered with flowers. Spend the days and the dwarfs and animals weeping the beautiful Snow White, Prince, heard the sweet girl, went into the woods and seeing her so beautiful can not resist the urge to kiss her. She, at the touch of his lips, he wakes from sleep even more beautiful and sweet. This will allow the pretty princess riding on a beautiful white horse, before giving the final farewell to the dwarves and the forest, will go along with Prince Charming at the castle, where they will live happily for a long time.

the Seven Dwarfs © Disney  Animating the tale of the Grimm brothers, involved in difficulties technical terms-narrative . A major problem was to make the human motion more fluid and realistic as possible. In doing so we experimented with the technique of Multiplane (ie the multi-storey, to give the effect of three-dimensionality) and the Rotoscope technique (which involves photographing the movements performed by live actors and actresses, as the pantomime, which are then traced by the designers). The same techniques were perfected in a few short films made by Walt Disney in '34, in the style of "Silly Sinphony" (cartoon humor and entertainment, with animals as protagonists mostly, but also caricatures of human figures), among them I remember "the Old Mill" (where the technique is used Multiplane) and "the goddess of Spring" (which is developed by human movement Roboscope). But Snow White, while integrating the "Silly Sinphony" (examples of this are the animals of the same forest and the dwarves), surpasses them, as it gets finished and animation capabilities built up in the expression and beauty. In fact, previous images of cartoon were stretched, squashed and mechanical, with the movements of Snow White's hand are dynamic and incredibly realistic. The characters are alive, as having a life of its own, independent, convey pathos, feeling, are able to move us. The story is told through scenes and sequences fluid, which seem to dance along an ever more compelling, from beginning to end. Even the image of Snow White emphasizes the progressive detachment from female caricatures then in vogue in the wake of Betty Boop, although it retains some very significant (the sweetness, the spontaneous femininity, as the unwitting innocent sensuality of these factors, which contribute to make it so compelling). Even the queen undergoes a profound transformation: it is beautiful, if cold and impenetrable, it is a concentrate of greed and wickedness, highlighted looking horrible. Also on the animation, Disney used the precious collaboration of some of the best Snow White receives the poisoned apple, from the witch © Disney  European illustrators of clear line, which enriches the purely European feature (this is evident from the manner in which they are drawn to the forest, the trees, the cottage of the dwarfs etc..). The thin voice, sweet, almost otherworldly Snow White belongs to Adriana Caselotti (then eighteen years old and comes from a family of opera singers), while the grace of Snow White has been reproduced on the model's movements Marjorie Belcher (ballet dancer). The nice dwarfs, however did not represent a problem in technical terms, since the cartoons have already appeared, with which you could indulge. These in fact responsible for the size of humor, fun, gags and a lot of tenderness. They evoke a sense of identification, is considered individually (who among us does not feel a bit 'Bashful, or Happy, or Grumpy?), Which as far as the well deeper they have for the beautiful Snow White, or for their pain in believed to be dead, as well as experiencing the joy of waking up to this woman. Some sequences (for example, when the dwarfs eat soup in joy, or the construction of the bed for Snow White), although very beautiful and fun, were cut because not functional for the story.
Snow White and the Prince © Disney  Initially it was estimated that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would have required a cost of $ 600,000, but expenses went up to $ 1,700,000. In addition, the staff who worked on the project had to follow specialized courses and study on the movement. With the profits from the film Walt Disney was able to zoom in on his studies.
As I said earlier, in watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, along with the excellence of design and animation you can see the happy blend of realism and emotion, infused in the environment and animals, as well as in human characters. In fact the animals are immediately in tune with the children and try to help in various ways, and when it is in danger, they run like mad towards the mine to warn the dwarves. The same Snow White and her Prince Charming express their intense love through a song inspired by the heart. Finally I should mention that White and the Seven Dwarfs, as told by Walt Disney, there is not the didactic and pedagogic intent of the original version, but moralistic teachings accompany us throughout the course of this fascinating and exciting fantasy voyage and narrative.

By Helga Corpino
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