The progress the studio had made in less than a decade since Steamboat Willie is incredible – from monochrome rhythmic rubberyness to an animated feature so brilliantly realized it has rarely been matched in the decades since its launch. All of Disney’s experiments in those years came together and fell into place to create one intensely visually lush and exotic experience; Snow Whites world is the definitive fairy-tale landscape of idyllic meadows, dense forests thick with life, atmosphere, light, and shadow, with huge turreted castles tower overring all. Although children’s fairy-tale, the movie certainly had its dark moments, the sequences involving the evil Queen and her machinations and the forest at night are, like any proper fairy-tail, generally frightening. Like the many colors and shades of the forest itself, the movie contains the full emotional spectrum from light to dark, good to evil, merry to terrifying, Happy to Grumpy.

Despite his belief in animation features, Disney paid great attention to the concerns that long cartoons would not work because audiences would not be able to empathies with cartoon characters or care about there fait. For example, the chilling scene were the queens hunter takes Snow White to the forest to kill her to months to complete until Disney was satisfied that the necessary emotional impact was there. Other frightening moments in the forest were influenced by horror movies such as F.W. Murnau’s ‘Nosferatu’(1922) and James Whale’s Frankenstein films. British sensors considered some moments to be so frightening that they banded certain scenes for young audiences.

[Cavalier. 2001:118-119]        

According to Disney Animation its first full length animation was ‘Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs’. Both Walt Disney’s wife and brother Roy tried to put him off the idea with his wife Lillian saying “No one is going to spend a dime seeing a dwarf movie”.

What I got out of this passage was that it shows the real development of the Disney technique. From the black and white rhythmic animations of ‘Steamboat Willie’ to the absolute beautifully animated film of Snow White. In my option these are part of a special group of films such as Dumbo, Bambi and even Pinocchio. Which capture the fines hand drawn techniques of the gold age of animation to produce magical movies.

The thing about Snow White is that it is a children’s fairy tale but it is presented in a frightening and scary way, from the way the evil queen is portrayed in the movie to all the different personalities of the Seven Dwarfs means the animations is set on different levels. Even the way the background comes alive enhance the drama between the characters. Certainly these emotions, feelings and gasps of horror are geared up to both children and adults. It is because adults are sucked into this it was that which made the movie a success.

Disney gave a lot of though not only to the emotional aspects of the movie and to the length of the movie also applied subtle little tricks such turning down the hue and saturation of the colours.

Now a days we talk about movies being pitched on two levels which is very common concept today and here we have the first planned efforts to thrill both adults and children so much so that the British Board of Film Classification actually banned certain scenes.


Cavalier, S. (2011) The World History Of Animation. Available at: (Accessed: 31 January 2017).