December 21, 2037

Welcome to The Life and Times of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with excerpts of my book. It is a great pleasure for me to finally share with the public, however limited it may be at this early stage, my work of over twenty-five years. 
        This project began in 1987, entirely on my own (and with no financial aid at any time), on the 50th anniversary of the film. At that time, a book for juvenile readers appeared which, to my mind, did not nearly qualify as a definitive work on the subject, something that I felt was sorely needed. So I embarked on my own journey of discovery. Unfortunately, since I am not a professional writer or historian, it was tough going from the beginning. The studio was not interested in my proposal and so, for the next several years (until summer of 2001) my only source of information was published material and the scores of interviews (eventually numbering close to one hundred) which I personally conducted either in person or via telephone (and from which I also made the transcripts which form the bulk of the present work). This latter source, however, soon proved to be invaluable. Much of this information, in fact, might have been lost had I not - by innate persistence - literally resurrected it from the still-keen minds of those who generously and enthusiastically gave their time (all either worked on the film or were close friends or spouses of those who did; several had never previously been interviewed). And this treasure trove was not only limited to facts and anecdotes: a thunderstruck David Johnson was shown original rough as well as finished animation drawings from the film that not only were rarely, if ever, seen by anyone else, but in one case totally unique:  it provided visual proof and the answer to a long-standing mystery: what exactly did the early animation of the heroine look like?  Virtually all of these amazing individuals were well past seventy, most in their eighties, while two were in their late nineties, yet most with amazingly-total recall. Nearly all are no longer with us. Eventually, through the intercession of Bob Broughton, Roy Disney took an interest in the project and through his then-assistant Howard Green, I was allowed not only full access to the studio archives, but the Animation Research Library (where I spent four eight-hour days carefully studying every exposure sheet from the film - something I believe has never been done either before or since). The information in many cases confirmed and augmented the interviewed sources and together gave me a unique vantage point from which I was able to view the details of the making of this masterpiece in a way no other individual has done.
      But there was something more I wanted to do: as I began interviewing these people, I realized their own story was, in many cases, so interesting that who they were became for me as important as what they did. Therefore, the era itself and their lives became the backdrop for the story of the making of the movie. This, I believe, is what makes my book  different from all others. 
One may well ask why this material is still unpublished in the book form that it was intended. Due to misunderstandings with certain Disney-connected individuals (I take some responsibility for this: I am not the most diplomatic person in the world) my project, unfortunately, was ultimately rejected. It is my hope that through this current venue perhaps enough enthusiasm will be generated to bring this book to a public I still believe will welcome it while experiencing the joy I intended them to feel in reading it: the end product of a relentless desire to share the love shown to me by so many people who believed, as I do, in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Walt Disney's Revolutionary Triumph.  

1 comment: