Exhibition

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic

  • Date

    Nov 15, 2012 – Apr 14, 2013
  • Location

    Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall

The Walt Disney Family Museum is pleased to present the special exhibition Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic, celebrating the 75th anniversary of Walt Disney’s first feature-length animated film.

On view from November 15, 2012 to April 14, 2013, the exhibition celebrates Walt Disney’s vision and the artistry of his dedicated staff, illustrating how they shaped and defined an entirely new American art form through the creation of this groundbreaking film. Guided by the vision of a master storyteller, 32 animators, 1032 assistants, 107 inbetweeners, 10 layout artists, 25 background artists, 65 special effects animators and 158 inkers and painters and countless production staff came together to create the masterpiece. The exhibition is organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum and guest curated by Lella Smith, Creative Director of The Walt Disney Company's Animation Research Library.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic features more than 200 works of art including conceptual drawings, early character studies, detailed story sketches, and animation drawings. Also featured are delicate thumbnail layout watercolors, meticulously rendered pencil layouts, rare watercolor backgrounds, colorful cels, and vintage posters all illustrating how Walt Disney advanced the creation of an entirely new art form. 

The Walt Disney Studios released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Hollywood’s Carthay Circle Theater on December 21, 1937. As the first full-length, animated feature film, Walt Disney’s groundbreaking masterpiece drew worldwide acclaim, winning the Grand Biennale Art Trophy from the Venice Film Festival and special awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. The film also received an honorary custom-made Oscar® which consisted of one standard Oscar® statuette alongside seven miniature statuettes (representing each of the Dwarfs).

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs continues to garner accolades and awards. In 1989, it was among the first 25 featured films to be preserved in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, and in 2008, it was named the Greatest Animated Film of All Time by the American Film Institute. The film also marked a pivotal milestone in animation. Calling upon the experience they gained from creating the early Disney animated shorts and the award-winning Silly Symphonies, Walt Disney and his artists defined the artistic foundation that would shape all their other animated feature films to follow.


The Walt Disney Family Museum will be hosting a series of public programs, events, and activities related to this special exhibition. Please check our calendar page for details and tickets.