Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Critics Consensus

With its involving story and characters, vibrant art, and memorable songs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs set the animation standard for decades to come.



Total Count: 49


Audience Score

User Ratings: 470,141
User image

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Videos

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Photos

Movie Info

It was called "Disney's Folly." Who on earth would want to sit still for 90 minutes to watch an animated cartoon? And why pick a well-worn Grimm's Fairy Tale that every schoolkid knows? But Walt Disney seemed to thrive on projects which a lesser man might have written off as "stupid" or "impossible". Investing three years, $1,500,000, and the combined talents of 570 artists into Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney produced a film that was not only acknowledged a classic from the outset, but also earned 8,500,000 depression-era dollars in gross rentals. Bypassing early temptations to transform the heroine Snow White into a plump Betty Boop type or a woebegone ZaSu Pitts lookalike, the Disney staffers wisely made radical differentiations between the "straight" and "funny" characters in the story. Thus, Snow White and Prince Charming moved and were drawn realistically, while the Seven Dwarfs were rendered in the rounded, caricatured manner of Disney's short-subject characters. In this way, the serious elements of the story could be propelled forward in a believable enough manner to grab the adult viewers, while the dwarfs provided enough comic and musical hijinks to keep the kids happy. It is a tribute to the genius of the Disney formula that the dramatic and comic elements were strong enough to please both demographic groups. Like any showman, Disney knew the value of genuine horror in maintaining audience interest: accordingly, the Wicked Queen, whose jealousy of Snow White's beauty motivates the story, is a thoroughly fearsome creature even before she transforms herself into an ancient crone. Best of all, Snow White clicks in the three areas in which Disney had always proven superiority over his rivals: Solid story values (any sequence that threatened to slow down the plotline was ruthlessly jettisoned, no matter how much time and money had been spent), vivid etched characterizations (it would have been easier to have all the Dwarfs walk, talk and act alike: thank heaven that Disney never opted for "easy"), and instantly memorable songs (Frank Churchill, Leigh Harline, Paul J. Smith and the entire studio music department was Oscar-nominated for such standards-to-be as "Whistle While You Work" and "Some Day My Prince Will Come").

Watch it now


News & Interviews for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Critic Reviews for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (1)

  • The film is as charming as it is novel in conception and execution and it is so bound to appeal as strongly to grown-ups as to youngsters.

    Apr 7, 2015 | Full Review…
  • To say of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that it is among the genuine artistic achievements of this country takes no great daring.

    Feb 15, 2011 | Full Review…
  • So perfect is the illusion, so tender the romance and fantasy, so emotional are certain portions when the acting of the characters strikes a depth comparable to the sincerity of human players, that the film approaches real greatness.

    Jun 28, 2007 | Full Review…
  • You've probably seen it 15 times by now, so why not make it 16?

    Jun 28, 2007 | Full Review…
  • ...the animation itself is top-notch, and in a number of darker sequences (Snow White's terrified entry into the forest, for example), Disney's adoption of Expressionist visual devices makes for genuinely powerful drama.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It is a classic, as important cinematically as The Birth of a Nation or the birth of Mickey Mouse.

    May 20, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

  • Jul 20, 2016
    Not my favorite Disney film but it's funny in places but got too serious and dark very quick and ruined it for me.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 28, 2016
    Is it perfect? No. The main character is somewhat boring and there are too many deus ex machinas to count. But the film is a landmark in everything else and remains of the finest achievements in film history thanks to classic music, detailed animation and a fantastic supporting cast.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 04, 2012
    "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is starting to show signs of age, but it's still just as sweet and innocent as ever. Colorful animation, memorable songs and funny characters make it a cinematic classic and a childhood favorite.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Oct 15, 2012
    Putting aside the racist suggestion that one needs to be the fairess of all, Snow White is a fabulous artistic achievement particularly for the period. It is a level of animation that Disney lorded over the Looney Tunes crowd for years.
    John B Super Reviewer

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Quotes

News & Features