Seventy-two years ago today, Walt Disney received a special Academy Award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. On February 23, 1939, a precious little girl named Shirley Temple presented Walt with the award consisting of one full-size Oscar and seven smaller Oscars on a specially-built wooden pedestal. The Academy recognized Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment.
This weekend, I watched that endearing film in 3D on my new 3D television. I was thinking to myself that, although he obviously didn’t create the film in 3D, he did use Technicolor for the first time to create a full-length color, talking animated movie. I am always in awe of the creative genius of Walt Disney. He could see things so clearly – things that were not even there yet.
Walt had a vision of what he wanted to create and there was no stopping him. He was so sure of his idea that he even paid to send all of his animators back to art school so they could learn to draw the life-like characters. Against everyone’s advice, including his brother, Roy, and his wife, Lillian, Walt bet everything on his dream of this full-length feature film. He even had to mortgage his home in order to get more financing. Production ended up costing 1.5 million dollars, and that was back in the 1930s. After the December, 1937 premier of Snow White, all the “Hollywood brass” stood up and gave the film a standing ovation. It was then released to the general public on February 4, 1938 and, as we all know, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the most successful film of 1938!
Walt Disney has received more Oscar nominations than anyone else; receiving a total of 64 nominations during his career, the last of which he won in 1969 (3 years after his death). He still holds the record for Most Oscar Nominations in the Guinness Book of World Records.
After Shirley Temple presented the award, she said, “Isn’t it bright and shiny? Aren’t you proud of it Mr. Disney?” Walt replied, “I’m so proud I think I’ll bust.” We are all very proud of his accomplishments and we are also thankful to him for all the joy he has brought to us and to our families. Congratulations once again, Mr. Disney!
- Guide to WDW: Snow White’s Scary Adventures (chipandco.com)