Disney Cancels ‘Snow White’ Film Despite Major Progress

in Disney, Entertainment

Snow White looking scared

Credit: Disney

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) has become an all-time classic and one of the most beloved Disney films ever.

This timeless classic tells the enchanting story of Snow White, a beautiful princess who is forced into exile by her wicked stepmother, the Queen. Seeking refuge in a cottage in the forest, she befriends seven endearing dwarfs, and together they embark on a magical adventure. The film’s release was a groundbreaking moment in the animation industry, setting the stage for Disney’s future successes and the evolution of animated storytelling.

Evil Queen as an Old Crone giving Snow White the poisoned apple
Credit: Disney

One of the film’s most enduring qualities is its memorable characters. Snow White is the epitome of kindness and innocence, while the seven dwarfs – Grumpy, Sleepy, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey, and Doc – each have distinct and lovable personalities. The villainous Queen, who transforms herself into a hag, remains one of Disney’s most iconic antagonists, with her eerie mirror and infamous line, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” This film’s characters, both good and evil, continue to captivate audiences of all ages.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs also boasts a memorable and timeless soundtrack. Songs like “Heigh-Ho” and “Someday My Prince Will Come” have become classics, easily recognizable even decades after the film’s release. These melodies, paired with the stunning hand-drawn animation, contributed to the movie’s overall charm and emotional impact.

As Disney is planning to release a live-action version of the film starring Rachel Zegler as Snow White and Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen, the company has faced intense backlash. Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time that the franchise has had to reconsider its plans.

Rachel Zegler, The Hunger Games
Credit: Rachel Zegler, via Twitter

According to reports from CBR, in the early 2000s, Disneytoon Studios, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, considered developing a prequel to the iconic animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). During this period, Disney was exploring various sequels, prequels, and spin-offs of their beloved classics, as evident in films like The Lion King 1 1/2 (2004) and Mulan II (2004). Given the historic significance of the original Snow White in Disney’s legacy, it seemed fitting to extend the story. In this case, the plan was to utilize computer-generated animation to shift the focus from Snow White to the lovable Dwarfs. The original concept aimed to delve into the backstory of how the Dwarfs came together and their encounter with a formidable adversary trapped within the magic mirror, effectively setting the stage for the events in the original movie.

Director Mike Disa and writer Evan Spiliotopoulos were tasked with expanding this concept, with the ambitious goal of creating Disney’s answer to the epic fantasy of The Lord of the Rings series, which was gaining immense popularity at the time thanks to Peter Jackson’s movies. Dopey and Grumpy emerged as the central characters, embarking on a journey to the mysterious “Old Lands” where they crossed paths with a young girl named Narcissa.

Snow White dancing with the seven dwarfs
Credit: Disney

Despite her eerie aura, the Dwarfs developed a caring bond with her. However, it was revealed that Narcissa’s father was the evil wizard tormenting the Dwarfs. Furthermore, she ultimately became the Evil Queen in Snow White, using her dark powers to betray the Seven Dwarfs and imprison her father in the magic mirror. In a poignant moment, Dopey made a heroic sacrifice to allow the others to escape, though he was later revived before they returned to their village.

The narrative direction of this prequel project took a considerably darker and more complex tone compared to the fairy tale romance of the original film. Plans were even laid out for sequels that would continue the story after the events of Snow White, generating considerable excitement within Disney. However, the project faced challenges when a much darker plot point emerged, explaining why Dopey never spoke.

Snow White and Dopey
Credit: Disney

This development involved the young Dwarf falling silent after witnessing the tragic death of his mother. This harrowing idea did not sit well with Director Mike Disa, who eventually departed from the project. Ultimately, when a revised version of the film was presented to Disney’s creative office, led by John Lasseter, it was regrettably canceled outright. While a few proof-of-concept videos later surfaced online, the prequel project remained unrealized, leaving fans to wonder about the untold adventures of the Seven Dwarfs.

What do you think of this scrapped Snow White? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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