12/11/2008

14 Days 'til Christmas






Snow White was the first full length animated feature to be produced by Walt Disney, and the first American animated feature film in movie history. Walt Disney had to fight to get the film produced. Both his brother Roy Disney and his wife Lillian attempted to talk him out of it, and the Hollywood movie industry mockingly referred to the film as "Disney's Folly" while it was in production. He even had to mortgage his house to help finance the film's production, which eventually ran up a total cost of just over $1.5 million, a massive sum for a feature film in 1937. Disney's wife, Lillian, told him: "No one's ever gonna pay a dime to see a dwarf picture." Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater on December 21, 1937 to a wildly receptive audience, many of whom were the same naysayers who dubbed the film "Disney's Folly." The film received a standing ovation at its completion from a star-studded audience that included such celebrities as Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard, Shirley Temple, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Judy Garland, Ginger Rogers, Jack Benny, Fred MacMurray, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, Burns and Allen, Ed Sullivan, Milton Berle, John Barrymore, and Marlene Dietrich. Six days later, Walt Disney and his magical seven dwarfs appeared on the cover of Time magazine. The New York Times said "Thank you very much, Mr. Disney." RKO Radio Pictures put the film into general release on February 4, 1938, and it went on to become a major box-office success, making more money than any other motion picture in 1938. The film grossed $66,596,803 domestically when released, and has had a lifetime gross of $184,925,486. For a short time, Snow White was the highest-grossing film in American cinema history; it was ousted from that spot by Gone with the Wind in 1939. Adjusted for inflation, and incorporating subsequent releases, the film still registers one of the top ten American film moneymakers of all time.

2 comments:

The Hermit said...

Sometimes it just takes a man with a vision and some intestinal fortitude.

cube said...

Can you believe I've never seen it?