Sale 2465 | Lot 240
(WALT DISNEY STUDIOS.) SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. Ingeborg Willy's Scrapbook A lovingly and meticulously compiled scrapbook presumed to have been owned by Walt Disney Studios inker Ingeborg Willy, containing 20 original animation drawings featuring Snow White, the Dwarfs, and several woodland creatures. 18 of the drawings are graphite and colored pencil on paper, the remaining two are ink on celluloid. Sizes vary, most are clipped. This archive also features a treasure-trove of ephemera relating to the production, release, and reception of the 1937 film. Additional items in this lot include silver gelatin photographs of Marge Champion (née Belcher), a program and two used tickets dated December 24, 1937 for the film's premiere run at The Carthay Circle Theater, one frame of Moviola film, two Multiplane camera exposure sheets for unidentified projects, numerous contemporary reviews and articles about the film from various periodicals, photographs of Disney employs at work and at play, company Christmas cards, an invitation to "Walt's Field Day 1938," an issue of the studio-circulated Bulletin and sheet music for "Heigh-Ho."The most astonishing and revealing item in this lot is a single page of Director's notes titled 'Special Notes to EFX' thought to be in Walt Disney's hand.
Estimate $7,000 - 10,000
The handwritten note in this lot reveals a meticulous and critical eye, analyzing the logistical concerns and pathos of the film's finale. For example, item 3 on the note states 'Round glass – no petals on coffin.' This suggests that an earlier iteration of the scene neglected to consider the physical realities of objects falling and accumulating on a curved surface, thus likely obscured the slumbering Snow White. It is apparent that these oversights were resolved by the special effects team as one can bear witness today in the now iconic scene 'Love's First Kiss.'
The production of the film was a historic and unprecedented undertaking with a budget that ballooned to $1.5 million and a staff of over 700 employees working in rotating shifts. Meetings and story conferences were so vital to the film's continuity that stenographers' notes from those meetings recall an ardent and unwavering Disney committed to transforming the field of animation.
'…Seldom, if ever, had melodrama been subjected to the process of intensive refinement…. If we consider Snow White from an artistic viewpoint, what is of special interest is not the fact that Disney selected melodrama as a storytelling form – evidently it was a method he understood and felt was appropriate to the subject matter – but rather that he exposed it to this process of refinement. His overall approach was determined by his own predilections and by the taste of his prospective audience. What gave the film its impact was his obsessive drive for perfection'--'The Art of Walt Disney' Christopher Finch (Walt Disney Productions, 1973). The obsessive drive immortalized in these notes encompasses just 22 seconds of screen time. 80 years later, those few seconds remain among the most captivating and enchanting moments in cinematic history.
Records indicate that Willy was employed at Disney Studios from November 23, 1936 to November 26, 1941. In 2012 it was announced that a similar scrapbook owned by Ingeborg Willy was purchased by the Walt Disney Family Museum from The Robert Cowan Collection.