TheAmerican Film Institute (AFI) preserves the heritage of the motionpicture to validate the work of the artists as well as educate thenext generation of storytellers. It provides guidance in television,digital media and film sectors by starting initiatives that activelyengage the past, present and future and integrate all these aspectsin a motion picture and art. The discourse will discuss threecinematic techniques and elements in SnowWhite and the Seven Dwarfs, ananimation movie that features in the AFI top 10 list.
Releasedin 1938, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is an animation movie thatdepicts the characterization of snow white as an innocent characterwho is surrounded by seven dwarfs that assist her in her daily questof finding true love while fighting off evil forces. It is classifiedas an animation movie because the characterization of all thecharacters is in cartoon form, and, it was the first movie in colorand with sound, which played for a maximum of 83minutes. It’slisted as AFI’s top 10 because it was the first commerciallylaunched animation movie that integrated advanced motion and soundtechnology during the 1930s (Churchill& Morey, 1938).The theme of the movie is drama because it primarily entails a lovestory of a maiden who happens to be snow white who searches for her‘princeknight in shining armor’ butencounters evil forces working against her (Tidwell,2003).Luckily, with the help of the seven dwarfs she overcomes the villainand is re-united with her true love. Everything about this animationmovie indicates that it is a love story full of turns and twists inevery scene. The cinematography of the movie involved the use of agiant camera and the production of cartoons involved a series ofpictures of drawings and paintings on film papers supported bycelluloid in a single plane. Hence, the drawings were painted ontransparent sheets, which appeared on the screen. To perfect themotion picture, Walt Disney integrated the use of picture takingdevice, which would focus camera effects on the background as well asmanage every animation scene independently without causing conflictsof background and foreground images. It is evident from the moviethat the camera angles are mainly high angle because it looks down tothe dwarfs making them appear as small and vulnerable characters.Moreover, in making animation movies in Technicolor, the camera istilted in a manner to produce three exposures of recording red, greenand blue independently. The making of the movie was tedious becausecartoonist and animators were expected to draft drawings and picturesof all the cartoon characters on different film papers with eachpaper depicting a certain specific scene based on the animationscript (Tidwell,2003).
Oneof the most captivating design elements in the movie is itsinvolvement of songs, which entail solos, choruses, and duets thatare all completely harmonized to relay the main theme of the movie.All the eight songs integrated in the movie dramatize the uniquescenes in which the characters are involved. For example, in thescene where Snow White flees for her life in the forest she startssinging, ‘Witha Smile and a Song’and attracts the attention of wild animals (Inge,2004).In another example, Snow White sings “SomeDay My Prince Will Come”is another indication of the love affection she has for the princewith whom she wants to spend the rest of her life. In a dramatictwist, the dwarfs decide to sing ‘TheSilly Song’ toSnow White even though they know nothing about her or who is shenonetheless they sing that song to entertain and motivate her topursue her true love (Churchill& Morey, 1938).The customs and make-up of the characters depict a state ofsimplicity because for the dwarfs they are dressed in ancient attireswhile for the queen, the prince and snow white are dressed in elegantclothing that symbolizes a ruler ship status in the society. All thedesign elements in the movie are harmoniously integrated to convey amessage of despair when snow white’s dress gets town while runningfor her life through the forest. The customs, make-up and haircompliment the roles played each character. For instance, SnowWhite’s hair and make-up compliments her role and look as anelegant bachelorette who is tirelessly searching for love whilemaintaining her beauty. On the other hand, the hairstyle of all theseven dwarfs signifies the wisdom, foresight and insight that helpthem to escape most traps laid out by the evil queen (Inge,2004).The attires worn by each character coincides with the theme of themovie. For instance, the attire of the queen are black in color whichsignifies evil, doom and despair while those of snow white are brightwhich symbolize hope, love and happiness. Therefore, the colors andcustoms of all the animation characters are congruent with the theme(Childers, 1971).
Inconclusion, the movie, ‘SnowWhite and the Seven Dwarfs’still remains on AFI’s 10 top 10 because it integrated motionpicture technology with both sound and color to revolutionize themovie and the show business industries.
Churchill,F., & Morey, L. (1938). SnowWhite and the seven dwarfs.Golden Records.
Childers,P. R. (1971). Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. TheJournal of Experimental Educational,5-8.
Inge,M. T. (2004). Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: ArtAdaptation and Ideology. Journalof Popular Film and Television,32(3),132-142.
Tidwell,S. L. (2003). Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Children`sBook and Play Review, 23(5),38.