The day after our trip to Tanglewood, we decided to go to the Norman Rockwell Museum. It was showing “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic,” which had opened on June 8 and would be available through October 27, 2013.
The exhibition “features more than 200 works of art including conceptual drawings, early character studies, detailed story sketches, and animation drawings. Also featured are delicate thumbnail layout watercolors, meticulously rendered pencil layouts, rare watercolor backgrounds, colorful cels, and vintage posters all illustrating how Walt Disney advanced the creation of an entirely new art form.
“The exhibition is organized by sequence through the progression of the movie, featuring some never-before-seen works of art.” Among the most interesting were the deleted scenes such as the soup-eating segment, which had a song attached to it, the bed building scene, and a fantasy sequence of Snow White dancing in the stars. These were fine scenes but detracted from the narrative. Dopey had a long piece when Snow “died” which also was scrapped.
It was fun looking at Marge Champion modeling for the dancing scene with Dopey and Sneezy and drawing water from a well. The exhibit, which can usually only be seen at the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco came to Massachusetts because of the historic friendship and respect between Rockwell and Disney.
One cannot overstate the importance of Snow White. “It was prophesied that nobody would sit through a cartoon an hour and a half long,” Disney said. “But we had decided there was only one way we could successfully do Snow White—and that was to go for broke—shoot the works. There could be no compromise on money, talent, or time.” He also suggested that it was not aimed at children, and that, indeed, children under the age of seven or eight ought NOT see it; instead, it was targeted at the childlike part of the adult heart.
Did I mention that when we went, it was FREE? It was part of Free Fun Fridays of cultural venues. “Highland Street is giving out a total of $650,000 in grants to open up 60 venues across the state for one Friday,” 10 in the Boston area, but the rest across the state of Massachusetts.