Treasures: ‘Snow White’ Book is a Collectible Copy

A title page gives some information, but not enough to evaluate the value of the book.

A title page gives some information, but not enough to evaluate the value of the book.

Dear Helaine and Joe:

I have acquired this book that I find interesting. It has a dark blue hard cover and is titled “Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Making of the Classic Film.” The book has 88 pages and is in excellent condition — the pictures look as if the book has never been opened. Hope you can tell me if it is a collector’s item or worth anything.

Your help is much appreciated,

C.H.

Dear C.H.:

To collectors of Disneyana, the name “Snow White” is magic in many more ways than one. Items associated with the Disney movie are quite collectible and we have noted that an original, rare vertical animation cell from the “Snow White” movie depicting the old hag dipping the apple into the cauldron containing poison sold within the last few years for $120,000 at auction.

The Disney film is generally joyous with singing dwarfs and a happy ending involving a handsome prince, but this rather sanitized story was based on a fairy tale first published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. It was titled “Schneewittchen.”

This somewhat darker version of the Snow White legend, which can be found in the folklore of several different countries, had the evil stepmother/queen try to kill Snow White three times — once with a silky bodice that the wicked queen laced so tight that Snow White fainted as if dead, the second time with a poisoned comb and the third with the well-known apple.

Prior to its release in 1937, the Disney movie almost bankrupted the company, and they had trouble finding the voice for Snow White. Some famous actresses auditioned for the part, but none pleased Walt Disney. In frustration, a Disney assistant called music teacher Guido Caselotti to complain there were no girls with singing voices in Hollywood.

Eavesdropping (or so the story implies) on an extension phone, Adriana Caselotti, Guido’s 20-year-old daughter, began singing in a girlish voice. The father was outraged (reportedly), but the Disney person loved it, got the young woman an audition and she became the voice of Snow White that is now known around the world.

But what about the Snow White books? The first edition of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” adapted from Grimm’s Fairy Tales and signed by Walt Disney (possibly a secretarial signature) and others connected with the animated movie, retails for about $3,000. C.H. failed to send us information about the publication of this particular book and it took us a few minutes to find that it was published in 1994 to commemorate the video release of the classic movie.

Its authors are Richard Hollis and Brian Sibley, and it does indeed have dark blue covers with the printed title and an oval representation of the first Disney princess and the first animated character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The book looks like it is a great deal of fun with all the photographs and information, but it is not yet monetarily valuable to any great degree.

In fact, collectible copies can be purchased on Amazon for between $10 and $28.50.

Read the full article online at the Lompoc Record.


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