Snow White exhibit opens at Disney Family Museum


It's a classic, the first feature-length animated film ever made, painstakingly. It is an icon, named the number one animated film by the American FiIm institute and yet back in the 1930s, Walt Disney created it at great risk to his career.

"A huge gamble and in fact, at one time, he had to mortgage his house to continue to produce the film," museum curator Lella Smith says.

"He really believed a feature-length animated film had an audience, an audience would accept it," daughter Diane Disney Miller recalls.

Of course, he was right. The groundbreaking film was seen by 20 million people in just the first three months of its release. Now, fans have an opportunity to explore and study its creativity. Many works in the exhibition have never been seen before. It's in a new gallery at the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio which used to be a gym.

In 1939, Walt Disney was given an honorary Academy Award, an Oscar and seven little Oscars. Disney says he didn't make the film for children. He made it for adults, for the child in every adult. And, that's why it has lasted. "It has everything. It has innocence, menace, comedy, characters, great characters... And as dad said, it's the perfect story," Diane says.

"Perhaps nobody but Walt Disney himself could have imagined the synergistic global enterprise that would arise from the creative spark ignited by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," Smith says.

The exhibit runs through next April.

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