"Once upon a time in midwinter, when the snowflakes were falling like feathers from heaven, a queen sat sewing at her window, which had a frame of black ebony wood. As she sewed she looked up at the snow and pricked her finger with her needle. Three drops of blood fell into the snow. The red on the white looked so beautiful that she thought to herself, "If only I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood in this frame." Soon afterward she had a little daughter who was as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as ebony wood, and therefore they called her Little Snow-White"
This is the beginning of the 19th-century German fairy tale "Snow White" published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm -The Brothers Grimm - in 1812 in the first edition of their collection Grimms' Fairy Tales. Over the next forty-five years the Brothers Grimm published a total of seven editions of the fairy tales, and their reputation steadily grew. By the turn of the century, the Tales of the Brothers Grimm had become the second best-selling book in Germany, behind only the Bible.
The final, 1857 edition of the "Snow White" has a great deal in common with the most famous retelling, Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves(1938) . It was the first feature-length animated film that Walt Disney created. And it was the first animated feature to be produced in English and in Technicolor.
Originally the movie was budgeted at $250,000, but after production ran over it ballooned to $1.5 million. Disney put his future on the line, borrowing most of the $1.5 million that he used to make the film. 19-year-old Adriana Caselotti voiced Snow White. Walt wanted to keep Snow White's voice special, so he held Adriana to a very strict contract and she was never allowed to perform on stage or film again.
Charlie Chaplin, who attended the Hollywood premiere, told the Los Angeles Times that the film “even surpassed our high expectations. In Dwarf Dopey, Disney has created one of the greatest comedians of all time.”
Snow White was the highest grossing film ever for exactly one year, and the profits from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs allowed Walt to build Disney Studios in Burbank.
This year the beloved Disney classic Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a spectacular display in one of New York’s most prestigious store windows.
The department store Saks Fifth Avenue is featuring animated windows re-telling the classic fairy tale. One of the most famous luxury retailers in the world, Saks Fifth Avenue has long been the destination for fashion-conscious men and women. The flagship store at 611 Fifth Avenue at 50th Street opened in 1924 and has served the stylish for over three-quarters of a century.
For the first time in 94 years, all of its 14 windows are animated, bringing the tale to life. Each window depicts a different scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, beautifully translating the iconic story into real-life delights. Vignettes include Snow White dancing among woodland creatures, the seven dwarfs “heigh-ho!”-ing home from a day’s work in the diamond caves, and the Wicked Queen’s mischievous trickery with the infamous red apple. Also new to the windows, this year is a 3-D layering technique which incorporates original artwork from the film into the backdrops for each display.
The 49th and 50th street windows feature several custom-made ball gowns for "a 21st-century Snow White." The windows will be on display at the flagship store in Manhattan until January 2.
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