Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937):
Before his very first feature, film, Walt Disney was primarily involved with the animation of Mickey Mouse and his friends and the Silly Symphonies series. By attempting to do a full-length feature, Disney had hoped to expand both the prestige and revenue of his animation studio. While fighting to have it produced, both his brother and wife tried to convince him not to go through with it. It didn’t help that Hollywood was dismissing his efforts and called it “Disney’s Folly” during production. But still, he pushed on anyway. Walt initially estimated a $250,000 budget for Snow White in 1934, which was ten times the budget of the average Silly Symphony short produced at the time. By the time production ended, the total cost of the film was close to $1.5 million, which was massive at the time. It was so expensive that Disney had to mortgage his house to help production and needed a loan of $250,000 midway through. Was the film worth the high production costs?
Evidentially, the answer was yes. It was a simple feature that somehow managed to appeal to adults and children alike through its animation style, score, songs, setting, and story. The plot is as follows: The vain and wicked Queen Grimhilde asks her Magic Mirror on a daily basis who the fairest one of all is. Usually, the answer is the Queen herself but one day the answer is her stepdaughter Snow White. Due to the Queen’s jealousy, the young princess Snow White is forced to act as a scullery maid and dress in rags. Wishing for her true love, she catches the attention of Prince Florian and later the Evil Queen who orders a bounty for the death of her stepdaughter. She is urged to run away into the woods where she comes across a cottage that she later finds out belongs to seven magic Dwarves. They let her stay, and for the first time, Snow White feels like she is part of a family. When Grimhilde finds out she is still alive, she makes it her duty to find and kill her herself, setting in motion a chain of events that involves a poison apple and the chance for Snow White to find her love’s first kiss.
It premiered in December 1937 at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles. When it ended, Walt Disney earned massive applause from the audience, proving the naysayers wrong. In January 1938, it opened in New York and Miami before being placed into general release on February 4. When it finished its initial theatrical run, it earned over $7.8 million at the box office worldwide, making it the top grossing film ever at the time. At the 1939 Academy Awards, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs won Walt Disney an honorary Academy Award as presented by Shirley Temple, featuring a full-size Oscar statuette and seven miniature ones. It received universal acclaim at the time, with particular praise for the animation of the human characters and the performances of Adriana Caselotti as Snow White and Lucille La Verne as the Evil Queen Grimhilde. It was not the first color sound cartoon nor the first animated feature film but it was the first full-length cel-animated feature and certainly the first animate film to be successful. With the success of Snow White, Walt Disney soon looked to find other fairy tales to adapt into animated films.
A/N: All the other films in the Disney and Pixar Animated Canon are randomized but I felt like I couldn't randomize Snow White out of being the first Disney film because I cannot imagine almost any other film having the same impact Snow White did. But starting from the next entry onward, all the titles are randomized. As far as the film TTL goes, it's mostly the same except that the dancing in the clouds sequence is kept in, all three assassination methods from the original story are considered before the Queen selects the apple, and the Prince has a somewhat more active role towards the end. Look for the next update soon.