Snow White

Snow White

Who Is Snow White?

The Snow White story is one that most people today know by heart. Thanks to the Snow White Disney movie, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” as well as the numerous other Snow White adaptations of the original Brothers Grimm tale, references to her journey are a major part of everyday conversation.

For those of you who don’t know, however, the Snow White story that is most often referenced is generally the Disney version. As in most fairytales, the Snow White story involves a queen. The Snow White queen, who most refer to as simply “the evil queen,” is Snow White’s stepmother and the most vain (and most beautiful) woman in the kingdom. The evil queen eventually becomes jealous of her stepdaughter’s growing beauty. Because of this jealousy, the evil queen calls for Snow White’s death and sends a huntsman to do the deed, but the princess escapes into the woods where she finds refuge with the seven dwarfs. Eventually, the evil queen finds Snow White and, disguised as an old hag, offers her an apple that is secretly cursed. After biting into the cursed apple, Snow White falls into a deathlike slumber, which only true love’s kiss can end. Out of grief, the seven dwarfs and the local woodland creatures all gang together to end the evil queen. Luckily for Snow White, this world has a nearby Prince Charming who wakes the slumbering princess and they run off into the sunset together.

DID YOU KOW?

The Snow White princess story is one that is, at its core, about good versus evil and about teaching young story lovers valuable life lessons.

Interesting Facts

Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the first feature-length Disney movie.

It stands as the first feature-length Disney movie, the first feature-length animated Disney movie, and the first Disney princess movie, which has given “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” importance in the history of the Disney brand.

The seven dwarfs may be divine.

It is speculated by historians that the reason for there being seven dwarfs, as opposed to six or eight, is that seven is generally regarded as a divine number. The Seven Deadly Sins, the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and the Seven Seas are all also references to this spiritually powerful number.

The Disney princess Snow White is the youngest of all the Disney princesses.

At 14 years old, Snow White is the youngest Disney princess, beating out Jasmine, who is presumed to be 15, for the title.

The Snow White story we know was originally a German fairy tale.

The Snow White Disney movie, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” and all following adaptations are inspired by the German fairy tale, entitled “Sneewittchen,” written by the Brothers Grimm who are also the authors of other famous tales such as “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella.”

The iconic names of the seven dwarfs were not always a part of the story.

In the 1812 Grimm version of the tale, the seven dwarfs did not have individual names at all. It wasn’t until 1912, when the Snow White story became a Broadway production, that the seven dwarfs each got their own name. However, those names were not Grumpy, Sneezy, Bashful, Happy, Sleepy, Doc, and Dopey but rather Blick, Flick, Glick, Snick, Plick, Whick, and Quee.

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is the world’s highest-grossing animated film ever.

The film received $8 million on its initial release, which accounting for inflation, would be nearly $200 million today. In total, including inflation, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” grossed $1.977 billion, beating out 2019’s “The Lion King” remake, which only grossed $1.65 billion.

A town in Germany claims to be the birthplace of the real-world Snow White.

Some people are convinced that the story of Snow White is based on the story of the real-life Countess Margaretha von Waldeck. The people of Margaretha’s home village, Bergfreiheit, were so convinced of this that they created an attraction named after the German title of the fairy tale (“Sneewittchen”) called Schneewittchenhaus Bergfreiheit.

Real woodland animals were kept in the studio during the creation of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

As he wanted Snow White’s woodland friends to be as realistic as possible, Walt Disney kept live animals in the studio as references for his animators.

Walt Disney received unique and never-repeated Oscars for the film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Both its critical acclaim and box-office success gave “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” an invitation into the Oscars conversation. However, its existence as an animated film and one seen as geared only toward children meant that it was out of the running for Best Picture altogether. Instead, the film received recognition the year after its release in the form of eight separate Oscar statues: one regular statuette and seven smaller statues for the seven dwarfs.

Early Years

It is true that the Snow White story is one of the better-known fairy tales in the world. However, not everyone knows all the interesting facts about Snow White and the history of her creation and rise into popular culture.

DID YOU KNOW?

Most people point to the Brothers Grimm version as the first depiction of the Snow White princess.

There are many theories as to what stories inspired the Brothers Grimm. Some say the Snow White princess can be found in old European folk stories of the area in Germany where the Brothers Grimm were from. Others even say she was inspired by the life of a true royal, Countess Margaretha von Waldeck, whose story included many coincidental similarities to that of Princess Snow White, including a poisoning in her youth, a tricky relationship with her stepmother, Katharina of Hatzfeld, and child miners from the town she grew up in being called “poor dwarfs.” Still, other people believe that Snow White was inspired by a different real-life noblewoman, Catharina Freifräulein von Erthal, who also had a stepmother who supposedly didn’t like her. However, even more coincidentally, von Erthal allegedly gave this stepmother a magic mirror that talked.

In 1912, the Snow White story became a Broadway play, which did so well that it later was made into a silent film in 1916 simply titled “Snow White.” It was seeing this film that inspired a young Walt Disney to later turn the story into the animated movie we all know and love.

The Snow White Disney film was released in 1937 to immediate and unbelievable public and critical success. As the first feature-length animated Disney film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” launched the Disney brand into the kind of success that had yet to be seen in Hollywood at the time.

What Is Snow White Known For?

The Snow White story and in turn the Snow White princess are so well-known that nearly everyone in the world knows this story and who she is. But why is that? What makes Snow White so well-known?

Well, the theme and life lesson of Snow White is one that is so essential that people can relate to it even so many years later. Both the original Brothers Grimm tale and the Disney adaptation of the Snow White story leave the evil queen in horrible situations due to her horrible character traits and treatment of Snow White. The original end of the evil queen’s story leaves her dancing to death in red hot slippers, and the less gruesome Disney version has her accidentally falling off a cliff and being crushed to death by the boulder she meant to use to harm the seven dwarfs. A simple “good versus evil” and “don’t be vain” works so well as the baseline for the story that people can relate to it even 200 years after its first publication.

Moreover, the success of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” cannot be overstated, and neither can its role in creating the monolith that is the Disney brand in today’s day and age. Because of this success, producers, directors, and creatives everywhere have been trying to mimic this success for themselves by retelling Snow White’s story over and over again.

DID YOU KNOW?

There are at least 23 full-length Snow White movies.

Moreover, the iconic Disney princess Snow White will return to the big screen 200 years after her first appearance. In October 2016, Walt Disney Studios announced that they will be remaking their first animated film into a live-action adaptation.

FAQs

Why is she named Snow White?

Snow White’s name is based on the description that Snow White’s mother gave of her when she was very young.

What two women may have been the real-life Snow White?

Both Margaretha von Waldeck and Catharina Freifräulein von Erthal could have been the real-life inspiration for the Snow White princess.

When was the Disney animated version of Snow White released?

Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was released in 1937.

How many full-length Snow White movie adaptations are there?

There are about 23 Snow White movies.

How did the evil queen originally die?

In the Brothers Grimm version of Snow White, the evil queen dies by endlessly dancing in red hot slippers.

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