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‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’: Music and Worry

Meeting Snow White at Disneyland's 25th anniversary

(This article contains affiliate links. If you order something using these links, it doesn’t cost you more, and I get a small advertising fee.) In 1937, Walt Disney released “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” The first animated feature was often known as Disney’s Folly. People said no one would sit through such a long cartoon. Some said people’s eyes would bleed if they watched that much animated film in one sitting. When it premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater, it was an instant hit. Celebrities cried. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” became the highest grossing movie of all-time until “Gone with the Wind” knocked it off the top spot in 1939.

Snow White wasn’t just the first feature-length animated film; it also released the first movie soundtrack released commercially. Formerly, movie music would be recorded by Three 78-records held six songs, and all of them ended up ranking in the top ten in Feb. 1938 according to Wikipedia. Thus, the film pioneered both films and soundtracks.

In several Disney animated features there are songs that express the same overall theme. “With a Smile and a Song” is Snow White’s version of “I’ve Got No Strings,” “The Bare Necessities,” “Why Should I Worry,” and “Hakuna Matata.” The songs talk about either ignoring or getting rid of your worries.

Frank Churchhill and Larry Moresy wrote “With a Smile and a Song.” Adriana Caselotti voiced Snow White. The Lyrics are as follows:

With a smile and a song
Life is just a bright sunny day
Your cares fade away
And your heart is young

With a smile and a song
All the world seems to waken anew
Rejoicing with you
As the song is sung

There’s no use in grumbling
When the raindrops come tumbling
Remember, you’re the one
Who can fill the world with sunshine

When you smile and you sing
Everything is in tune and it’s spring
And life flows along
With a smile and a song

In creativity terms, getting rid of your worries is important to allow you to come up with ideas. If you’re anxious about how the ideas will be received, or you’re worried about failing, your creativity is likely to plummet.

The innovation of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” didn’t stop with the film and soundtrack. Walt Disney took the earnings and built a state-of-the-art animation studio. This allowed the company to make more films, with “Pinocchio” next on the list, and ultimately, to build Disneyland. For more essays on the Disney Company, check out my book “Penguinate! The Disney Company.” For more on creativity and the history of Disneyland, check out “Disneyland Is Creativity” and “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”

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