The Definitive History of Disney’s “Snow White” is Coming!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Since posting our 2012 animation book preview, I’ve updated the list with additional titles, and one of those books deserves its own post. It’s being released this winter in honor of the 75th anniversary of Disney’s first feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The title of the book is The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and the author is the esteemed J. B. Kaufman, whose earlier books South of the Border With Disney and Walt in Wonderland: The Silent Films of Walt Disney (with Russell Merritt) are highly valued for their original research and thoroughness.

In Kaufman’s able hands, this book has easily moved to the top of the heap as one of my most-anticipated animation books of 2012. The book will be published by the Walt Disney Family Foundation Press, and it will be accompanied by an exhibition of Snow White artwork at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, currently scheduled to open in November.


  • Scarabim

    I really enjoyed J. B. Kaufman’s narration on the Pinocchio DVD (along with Eric Goldberg’s and Leonard Maltin’s). He is a knowledgeable and classy Disney historian and I will definitely be picking up his book.

  • http://www.forthebirdsblog.blogspot.com Michael J. Ruocco

    J.B. Kaufman’s books are amazing! I’m looking forward to picking up a copy later this year.

    For a while I thought he was working on a Pinocchio book. I wonder if he’s still working on that. Maybe he put it on the back burner for a while so he could focus on the Snow White book in time for the anniversary?

  • http://whataboutthad.com Thad

    J.B. mentioned he was working on this when I met him after the publication of “South of the Border”, and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since. He was truly excited about doing a book on his “desert island” pick, so if his previous works are any indication, this will be another must-buy. Perhaps other studios will wake up and realize the potential of such lusciously illustrated and intensely-researched tomes, but don’t hold your breath.

  • http://www.kicreativestudio.blogspot.com Ki Innis

    The definitive history, eh? Wonder if the book will mention the debauchery tinged hotel closing party that the animation staff had and embarrassed Walt. Heh. (Reference Didier Ghez’s Walt’s People for anyone that doesn’t know.)

  • Pieter

    This just made my day! The definitive history…Does that mean we will finally get to know why Snow White kisses only 6 dwarfs at the end of the film? That has always been some kind of a brain-teaser for me.

  • Anthony

    I thank you for the heads up!
    My wallet doesn’t

  • Future CEO

    when i was young i thought Walt Disney wrote all these stories off the top of his head. Am like how did this guy make up all these amazing fairy tales. Then i realized he took it from other authors and made it his own. gonna be a good book

  • Bud

    “Pinocchio might be Walt Disney’s greatest film. But without a doubt, Snow White was Walt’s greatest achievement.”

    T. Hee

  • Grumpy

    Well will it tell how one of Walt’s employees came to him with an idea making two one our films. The next day Walt fired him and told his crew he had an idea to make a feature film. God I can’t remember that employees name. That ex employees kids were forbidden from watching anything Disney as long as they lived under his roof, God I wish I could remember that mans name. Well will this be in this definitive book?

    • http://www.MouseTracksOnline.com/blog Greg Ehrbar

      Leif Erickson? Lee De Forest? Henry Livingston, Jr.? Francis Bacon?

      • Jeff Kurtti

        I’m sure it will be, because obviously all the facts are right there.

  • http://www.vintagedisneymemorabilia.blogspot.com David L.

    My understanding is that Steve Ison will be involved with the Snow White art exhibit at the Museum. Steve had one of the best collections of Snow White art before he sold it back to the Walt Disney Company.

  • http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/splog/ Michael Sporn

    I always felt that Mike Barrier’s HOLLYWOOD CARTOONS was as definitive as could be written on SNOW WHITE. I look forward to JB Kaufman’s book. He’s a brilliant writer and historian, and I’m sure the picture selection will be extraordinary.

  • E. Nygma

    I always wished disney would go back and release “Art of” books for all of their classic animated movies. I would Love to get art books for Cinderella, Peter Pan, Dalmatians, Sleeping Beauty, and Alice in Wonderland. Maybe this will be the start? I’m getting this!

  • Mark Sonntag

    This and Amid’s Ward Kimball book will be high on the list. Oh boy I need another set of shelves.

  • Bill

    It’s a shame they didn’t have performance capture back then. According to Andy Serkis last night, the animators just don’t have the ability to portray emotion the way he can using today’s technology.

    • David Breneman

      They did have performance capture. Rotoscoping. But you still had to know how to draw to use it.

  • http://filmic-light.blogspot.com/ Robert from Snow White Sanctum

    Really looking forward to this one.