May 10, 2011

How Walt Disney cartoons were made in the 1930s

Day 130 of Vintage 365


In this age of children's movies that are often comprised entirely of computer generated images, where nothing is beyond visual conception - so long as a team of graphic designers (artists, by all accounts) can turn pixels into images and create masterful stories - it can be all too easy to forget about the incredible degree of manpower that went into producing early animated films.

Today's clip peaks into the fascinating universe of the hundreds of individuals who came together to work on Walt Disney's first full length animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

From the fellows who crated all the wonderfully spot on sounds that helped bring this movie to life (such as glass breaking) to the many (to quote the narrator of this clip) "pretty girls" who inked the nearly countless cellulous frames it took to put together this landmark film, this video allows us to peer into a field that was utterly cutting edge in its day.

Though I don't consider Snow White to be amongst my absolute favourite Walt Disney movies, I certainly don't dislike it, and for as long as I've known that it hailed from 1937, I've held it in high regard. One must afford this motion picture further respect as well when you stop and ponder the fact that it was the first full-length cel-animated movie of all time.

Production for this delightful fairy tale - adapted from a classic German Brothers Grimms's children's story - began in early 1934 (mere years after speech had been introduced into films), though Walt Disney himself had to fight tooth and nail to get it put into production, encountering resistance to the idea from many people (including his very own brother and wife, Lillian!).

When, three years later, the film was completed, I would venture to guess most people (especially after they watched it) were quite ready to change their tune (and perhaps whistle while they worked, too Smile).

There is an deeply rooted elegance and sense of ageless happiness at play in this superbly beautifully illustrated film. It’s set against an attention-grabbing score (created by renowned Disney composer Frank Churchill) and laden with (what we now consider today to be) some of the most iconic Disney characters of all time, which come together to let the viewer know this historically significant movie was destined to be a masterpiece.

Set aside a few minutes when you have the time and peer into the intriguing behind-the-scenes view of how Walt Disney cartoons were made in the 1930s. It's an experience animated movie fans of all ages are bound to appreciate and enjoy.


  1. I love those older Disney movies. They had such sweetness to them. Thanks for the fascinating post...............Denise

  2. Love it. My son runs a cartoon review page - mama brags - so his home is full of Disney and the like. Thanks for sharing the clip.