[Blu-Ray Review] Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

This week will see the launch of The Walt Disney Signature Collection of Blu-Ray titles, presumably focusing on the line of films personally overseen by Walt Disney. For a series of releases primarily focused on Walt Disney, the series of Blu-Ray kicks off with Walt’s first and arguably one of his crowning achievements, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Aside from being a true masterpiece in the golden age of Hollywood, this movie remains a delight seventy-nine years later. Considered the most important accomplishment in animation history, this movie forever revolutionized the way animation would be created to this day. With all that in mind, Disney certainly has a lot to work off in making this new release a worthy one for the die-hard fans. Unfortunately though, Disney Home Entertainment doesn’t seem to take the advantage to release new high quality features, but instead just recycles the same bonus features from previous iterations.

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The Film and Quality Treatment:

As usual it’s always nice to see classic movies get the Blu-Ray treatment, especially a film like Snow White that was far before the days of HD quality pictures, but the film was just previously released in Blu-Ray form in 2009, so it’s not much of an upgrade to fans at this point. Still, the quality treatment looks gorgeous, and the detail it shows off makes this movie look more beautiful than it was already famous for.

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 Blu-Ray Bonus Features

As expected, there are a sizable amount of bonus features brought over from previous releases, which is great to have along with the newly released features, but most of them are far and few. Some of the new great features are Iconography, which is about the cultural iconic impact that Snow White has had since 1937. Some familiar faces that are interviewed include Disney visual artist Brittany Lee, and Leslie Kay of Disneybound.
A decent feature along with @DisneyAnimation: Designing Disney’s First Princess, is about the decisions that were involved in the look of Snow White, and the animation process following those decisions. If you thought you were safe from Disney Channel pop-star shoo-ins on a Walt-centric release, you’ll be disappointed by the The Fairest Facts of Them All hosted by Sofia Carson (who I’ve never heard of until now) and Snow White in 70 Seconds which is led by tween rapper named Baby Kaely and is quite possibly the most dreadful nonsense Disney has shoehorned into their releases.

Moving ahead, there’s a mix of new releases and some older reused ones. There are  a few decent features like the Hyperion Studio Tour, which is a great half-hour virtual tour led by Andrew Stanton (we love that guy!) which gives a really great look at what the Hyperion Studios lot (a.k.a Walt Disney Pictures) was like back when Snow White was in production.

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There’s Decoding the Exposure Sheet, which is a neat little feature brought over from the 2009 release and features Don Hahn explaining a bit about the role exposure sheets played in the animation process. Alongside that, there is an Audio Commentary by John Canekenmeir, and Snow White Returns, the potential sequel Disney was working on at the time. There’s also Deleted Scenes and Alternate Sequences that round up the borrowed features, and lastly a recently rediscovered Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short called Hungry Hobos. It’s incredibly bizarre and ridiculous, but it’s neat to see a weird lost piece of Disney history to recover and be included on such a release.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is meant to kick off this Walt Disney Signature Collection of Blu-Rays, but where they had the chance to truly share some great features spotlighting the work of Walt Disney himself, it’s pretty much a rehashing of the 2009 Snow White Blu-Ray. There’s nothing that makes this release particularly worth purchasing for fans that have already owned previous releases of this film or for fans of Walt Disney who were expecting new features centering of Walt’s work. As far as this new Signature Collection goes, it’s an extremely weak way to launch the series that holds so much potential, and is more just a way to cash in on Walt’s name. I’m hoping future releases under this banner will provide more to fans.

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