This day in Disney History, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Premiered.
On December 21, 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Premiered. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the world’s first full-length animated feature and the first in the Disney Animated Canon. It was also the first one in English, the first one in Technicolor, and the first one ever made in the United States. It was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Productions, premiered on December 21, 1937, and was originally released to theaters by RKO Radio Pictures on February 8, 1938. The film is an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, in which an evil queen attempts to have her stepdaughter Snow White murdered so she could be the fairiest in the land, but the girl escapes and is given shelter by seven dwarfs in their cottage in a forest.
It is generally considered to be Walt Disney’s most significant achievement, his first-ever animated feature. Snow White was the first major animated feature made in the United States, the most successful motion picture released in 1938, and, adjusted for inflation, is the tenth highest-grossing film of all time. This historical moment in motion picture history changed the medium of animation. Before 1937, there was no such thing as an animated feature. The only animated films back then were short cartoons. Walt Disney had been contemplating venturing into the feature-film format since the early 1930s, toying with the idea of a feature, considering Babes in Toyland (Disney was unable to do this because it was earmarked for Laurel and Hardy by RKO), Rip Van Winkle, or a an animation/live-action adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. It is thought that Walt Disney first felt that an audience could sit through a feature-length cartoon when he and Roy Disney went to receive an award from the League of Nations in Paris in 1935 for the creation of Mickey Mouse, where a theater featured a program of six consecutive Disney shorts. Disney later wrote that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was an inevitable and necessary step forward in order for the studio to advance.