Monday, November 19, 2007

Snow White 70th Anniversary Event

Today’s post is about the “Snow White” 70th Anniversary Event held over the weekend at DCA. I figured it was time for a break from the House of the Future, and what better topic than that of the gal who saved the studio in 1937 and put Disney on the map with the big boys? The panel discussion was fantastic; to have Roy Disney, Alice Davis, and Marge Champion in the same room was amazing. Before the discussion, artist Noah was on hand, airbrushing a painting of the Evil Queen, the Magic Mirror, and Snow White (who was only visible under black light).

It was great to hear from Roy & Marge (Glen in the middle); Roy spoke of Walt’s amazing storytelling abilities, and reminisced how when he was a little boy, recovering from the chicken pox, Walt came to his room and told him the full story of “Pinocchio,” which was being made at the studio at that time. Roy said he spent at least 20-30 minutes, weaving the tale as only Walt could. Roy also said how disappointed he was when he saw the film, because Walt’s version, told to him in his bedroom was much more exciting!

Marge gave a few lively stories, and was probably the most fun of the bunch to hear from. No publicity was given of her role in the film when it was released; Disney wanted to downplay the “tracing” or rotoscoping that was involved with the production. So, behind the scenes, beginning with her audition in 1935 at the age of 13, Marge danced (Walt wanted a dancer, not necessarily an actress) and emoted while the cameras captured her movements for the animators.

When asked about the premiere, she remembered being put up in the balcony, while Shirley Temple was down below, front and center. “She didn’t even have anything to do with the film!” “Damn Shirley!” commented moderator Don Hahn to audience chuckles.

Disney legend Alice Davis was also there, sitting in the front row. She took the mike a few times and told how “Snow White” was her husband Marc’s favorite Disney film. She also gave credit to Frank Churchill’s music, which was totally ignored the entire evening until Alice gave her kudos.

If you happen to be at the park, I highly recommend the exhibit that is at DCA’s Art of Animation Building; many very cool sketches and cels, detailing the production of “Snow White.”

The movie was shown up on the big screen, with John Lasseter doing the intro. I must say that even 70 years later, the sound and picture still pack a wallop!

In this day and age of digital and high tech, it may be difficult to comprehend how revolutionary this full-length feature animation movie was in its day, but it definitely was a phenomenon. Merchandise was insane; bowls, sheet music, and figurines to name just a few. Many thanks to Mike Ellis for sharing his collection.

And although I do not like to think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving, the castle sure does look purty!

Hopefully you enjoyed my coverage of Snow; back to regular biz tomorrow. See more Snow White 70th Anniversary Event photos on my regular website.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Living legends night! Sounds like a fun event. I would love to see Snow White on the big screen; I bet a lot of people in the audience had never seen it like that!

There is an “Art of Animation” in DCA? Oh boy, I need to get over my “issues” with DCA and go check it out!

Neato night shot of the Castle, I wasn’t so sure about how the effects would work at night. I see they work great, I like all the cool blues and icicle effects!

Thanks for the Snow with report, those of us who couldn’t go at least get a nice look at the event.

Anonymous said...

Love that marquee in the first photo. I am really like your site. It is a great historical reference to Disney's past.