Hidden meanings of “Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs”

Posted: September 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

The animated film was released in 1937 amidst a storm of controversy. Critics came down heavy on Walt Disney, claiming he was out of his mind to make an animated full length feature film. Prior to the 1937 release, animated films were shorts, lasting up to five minutes; e.g., Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse and other cartoons.

The production was dubbed “Disney’s Folly” by the critics. Because of the lavish budget and the high risk-taking in making a full-length movie in the new genre, it was claimed the Walt Disney Production Company would go belly-up.

Roy Disney, Walt’s bro, was among the nay-sayers. He wanted bro Walt to stick to the money-making shorts like Mickey Mouse and Elmer Fudd.

Walt Disney, the motion picture pioneer and visionary ignored the nay-sayers.

“Walt kept hiring more artists, hundreds of them, and going back to the bank for more money. To realize his vision, new technology was developed (a giant multiplane camera to add layers of perspective) an in-house art school was established, live dancers, and dwarfs were filmed and copied, chemists mixed 1,500 custom paint colors, and teams of animators worked around the clock for months. One of the artists said, ‘Disney had only one rule—whatever we did had to be better than anybody else could do it, even if we had to animate it nine times.’

“The result tapped into something universal and Snow White became the first international blockbuster of the sound era.”

–Dean Sluyter, Cinema Nirvana.

Enlightenment via a cartoon film? Personal growth via a cartoon-ish movie?

Sure, why not?

The seven dwarfs symbolize different aspects of our self. “Happy” embraces the world in a joyful state of mind and emotions. “Sneezy” repels or expels anything unhealthy that comes from the world. “Bashful” helps us return to our private space, giving us respite.”Grumpy” is the part of us that resists the light. This aspect of the self whines and complains. “Doc” leads the procession. Doc is the lantern of the intellect and keeps us in touch with reality. “Sleepy” is the turn-the- power-off mechanism within us. Sleepy enables us to take a break from chaos. “Dopey” represents the ‘silent fool’ within; it’s our naïve, innocent nature that is blissfully ignorant of the perils swirling around us.
`Snow White symbolizes our purity and innocence. She beautifies the landscape of our mind, thoughts and emotions. She reflects our inner radiance.

The Queen—the antagonist in the story—represents our inner demons that is the untamed ego. It is the false self.
Courtesy, Dean Sluyter, “CINEMA NIRVANA—enlightenment lessons from the movies,” Three Rivers Press, New York, 2005.

  1. Hey, Richard-thanks for the story and insights. I just learned not to be afraid to do new things. Thanks. Petra

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s