****/**** Image A Sound A Extras A-
story adaptation Ted Sears, Richard Creedon, Otto Englander, Dick Richard, Earl Hurd, Merrill De Maris, Dorothy Ann Blank, Webb Smith
supervising director David Hand
by Bill Chambers Walt Disney was shooting for the moon with 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, not just his first but the first animated feature. He of the Silly Symphony wanted it to have prestige, fostering an obsessive-compulsive streak within the studio that is curiously reflected in the film's epic preoccupation with orderliness, cleanliness, and labour. It has the air of manifesto when one considers that of the eight songs on the soundtrack, two, "Whistle While You Work" and "Heigh-ho," are about the satisfaction of work1, while a third, "Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum," is a set of bathing instructions subtitled "The Dwarfs' Washing Song." In her unrelenting fastidiousness, Snow White reeks of self-portraiture (armchair Freuds might speculate on Snow White's other qualities, such as her being so perfect as to drive the competition mad, as they apply to Disney, already an Ozymandian figure armed with multiple Academy awards by the time of production), and it's because of this that her predilection for housework doesn't feel like the typical chauvinism abundant in the Disney canon. When she scolds two squirrels for sweeping dirt under the carpet, it's difficult not to hear it as an ethos.