I have always loved “making of” specials, art books, and related materials for animated works. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – The Art and Creation of Walt Disney’s Classic Animated Film, by J.B. Kaufman, is one of the best I have ever read. It was published in conjunction with an exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, an exhibit I wish I had been able to see. This book is a pretty close second to that, however.
This beautiful hardcover collection contains sketches, cel reproductions, concept art, notes, and commentary about the evolution of what we know as the final film version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The chapters walk you through the film, scene by scene, so you can see at least some of the process the illustrators, character designers, and animators went through to crystallize their ideas.
Did you know that some versions of Snow White had her as a redhead? Or a blonde? With long hair? Did you know that the critical scene introducing Snow White was one of the last scenes filmed because Disney wanted to make sure his animators were up to the task before they worked on it? Do you remember the two live scenes in the film? The storybook at the beginning and at the end were filmed live, with illuminated pages showing the summary of the opening and ending scenes.
With the chapters about the dwarfs’ cottage, I really liked the owl motifs used everywhere from chair backs to the edges of the log staircase steps. The cottage is very homey and comfortable, and shows off the dwarfs’ prowess at their crafts.
Taking a couple hours to go through this book and really explore it is a true treat for anyone who is an aficionado of Disney animation or animation history. Almost every page contains color and black and white images, and many of the images could be framed art. One of my favorite chapters in the book shares expressionist concept art created for Snow White’s fleeing into the woods. Not all of it was used in the film, but I found it interesting to see the variety of ideas the animators proposed.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – The Art and Creation of Walt Disney’s Classic Animated Film is a great addition to the library of any discerning collector or artist. I highly recommend this high-quality book!
Release Date: October 16, 2012 (USA)
ISBNs: 1616284374 (9781616284374)
Publisher: Walt Disney Family Foundation Press