Original Production Animation Drawing of The Prince from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937
Updated: May 28, 2018
Original production animation drawing of The Prince from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937, Walt Disney Studios; Red, green, and graphite pencils on peg hole paper; Numbered 18 in pencil lower right; Size - The Prince and Shadow: 8 1/2 x 7 1/2", Sheet 12 1/2 x 15 1/2"; Unframed.
Development on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs began in early 1934, and by June Walt Disney announced to The New York Times the production of his first feature, to be released under Walt Disney Productions. Before Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Disney studio had been primarily involved in the production of animated short subjects in the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. However, Disney hoped to expand his studio's prestige and revenues by moving into features, and he estimated that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs could be produced for a budget of $250,000 (this was ten times the budget of an average Silly Symphony).
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was to be the first full-length cel animated feature in motion picture history, and as such Walt Disney had to fight to get the film produced. Both his brother and business partner Roy Disney, as well as his wife Lillian attempted to talk him out of it. The Hollywood movie industry mockingly referred to the film, while is was in production, as "Disney's Folly." Disney ended up having to mortgage his house to help finance the film's production, which would eventually ran up to a total cost of $1,488,422.74; an absolutely massive sum for a feature film in 1937!
After a long and difficult four years, on January 13, 1938, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs made its New York premiere at Radio City Music Hall. The film ran for five weeks in a row, the first motion picture to do so, and it could have played longer if not for prior commitments of the venue. It was to be the theatres' most successful engagement in all of the 1930s. The film was loved by everyone and Disney, along with his animation team, had managed to make an animated film that the audience would believe! The crowd would be sad and cry when Snow White bit the apple and was placed in a glass casket; and they would laugh, smile, and be happy during the song and dance numbers with the Dwarfs.
The Prince was the first realistic human male that the animators at Walt Disney Studios ever attempted to bring to life. It was soon determined to be the most difficult character to create, so The Prince only appears in two relatively short segments. The rotoscoped scenes were acted out by Louis Hightower; and consisted of The Prince's first meeting with Snow White and the final kiss and the leading of Snow White away on his white horse. The Prince was voice by the American actor and singer Harry Stockwell, and animated by Milt Kahl.
From veteran Walt Dinsey animator Andreas Deja:
"As I said before, Milt Kahl despised an assignment like a Prince character. As a young animator on Snow White he animated complex scenes involving all the forest animals surrounding the title character. "But I also got stuck with the clean up job on the Prince" he stated in an interview. The fact is that Milt drew over tracings of photo stats and therefor is credited with animating the Prince as well."
This is a very large and highly detailed image of The Prince. He is full figure, eyes and mouth open, and rendered in red, green, and graphite pencils. He is holding his feathered hat in is left hand and his short sword in it's scabbard, is hanging from his waist. Original animation artwork of The Prince is very rare, and this would be a great addition to any animation art collection!
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