Site design and maintenance: Kenneth Sundberg
Latest Update: March 29, 2010

Scariest Tribute to Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

A Doomed
Love Triangle

The planning for Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs began in 1934. Contrary to the often-repeated legend Walt Disney did not create the entire story of his Snow White movie during the evening when he initially told about the project to his animators. The movie's story adaptation was credited to Ted Sears, Otto Englander, Earl Hurd, Merrill De Maris, Dorothy Ann Blank, Richard Creedon, Dick Rickard and Webb Smith, but also the supervising director David Hand and sequence directors Perce Pearce, Larry Morey, William Cottrell, Wilfred Jackson and Ben Sharpsteen contributed to the story development.

As a passionate storyteller, Walt Disney wanted to improve Grimm's telling of "Snow White" by making the Prince's role much larger. In the original fairytale (and in its many versions) the prince pops up only in the end of the story and awakes Snow White by accident. Since Walt and his story team had already decided to use the kiss from "Sleeping Beauty" to revive the poisoned Snow White, they knew that such a True Love's Kiss should be explained by making the princess and the prince meet earlier in the movie.

After some brainstorming Disney's version of Prince Charming was taking shape as a bit mischievous rascal from the neighboring land. Tales about the beautiful young princess would have brought the adventurous Prince to the Evil Queen's castle where he, almost purposely, would have defied the domination of the wicked woman by meeting and recognizing a beautiful scullery maid as Snow White. Especially the legendary official comic book version adapted by Merrill de Maris (first published in 1937) portrays the Prince more in this original lively format than in his rather restrained appearance in the final 1937 movie. Furthermore, the 1937 comic book and the "Complete Story of Walt Disney's Snow White" (first published in 1937, newly published in 1987) include the psychologically justified fantasy world of Snow White more prominently than in the final movie (in which things appear less explained). The character of Snow White would not have been painted just as a naive teenage girl but a fatherless and motherless victim of abuse who is somewhat lost in her vivid fantasy world - and who really needs someone to save her from the Evil Queen's dominion. While most Disney's Snow White storybooks include the "Wishing Well" sequence as in the movie, the 1937 comic book version presents a wonderful alternate version of Snow White meeting the Prince while playing with "Prince Buckethead" - whom the princess has made from mops, rags and a bucket. (More about this comic book on page 5).

The 1934 story team concocted a highly dramatic subplot for the movie. Having seen the dashing Prince with Snow White, the Evil Queen - the jealous stepmother - naturally wants the young man to herself. But the Prince, of course, is in love with Snow White and he boldly refuses the Queen's marriage proposal. So the young man is dragged down to the castle's deepest dungeon where he has to suffer abuse and torture in order to change his mind. Another reason for the Prince's capture is, of course, that he will not interfere with the Queen's plan to get rid of Snow White. Eventually, when the Queen finds out that Snow White is still alive, the torture of the Prince leads to a cruel attempt to drown him while the disguised Queen heads for the Dwarfs' cottage to kill Snow White with a poisoned apple.

But alas, this truly provocative love triangle was doomed from the beginning. As the movie's production grew more and more ambitious during the next two years, Walt and his team had to reduce the Prince's role to minimum because of the "problems" in animating him. More truthfully, all effort was put on animating Snow White and her stepmother properly - at the expense of a sacrificed Prince. It is somewhat ironical that through extensive rotoscoping the Prince in his final 1937 form (modelled after Louis Hightower by the animator Grim Natwick) became, and still is, one of the most realistically convincing animated male characters in Disney's Classics. (A more thorough analysis on the Prince's character can be found on KenNetti's Disney Hunks Database). However, since the subplot would have resulted in much darker movie with some deep psychological studies of human nature, Walt may have wanted to scrap the Evil Queen's obsession for the young Prince to achieve a more family-friendly movie.

In addition to the romantic love story of Snow White and the Prince, the subplot would have given more depth to the Evil Queen's character. Her Infernal Majesty would have been painted as a truly manipulative and perverted psychopath, who - among other things - didn't hesitate to murder Snow White's father, the King, just to get the throne to herself (as revealed in the "Complete Story of Walt Disney's Snow White"). In this context it is easy to realize that the Queen's marriage proposal to the captured Prince may have actually been an attempt to get even more power - getting another kingdom for her to rule. The grisly skeletal remains inside the deep dungeons of the Queen's castle would have also hinted to the same direction. Still hanging in their chains, these skeletons seem obvious trophies for the Evil Queen, while simultaneously suggesting that in the past she has tried to conquer many men by subjugating them, but with poor results of finding a perfect mate for herself - someone to be the King of her dominion.

One may speculate that maybe the Evil Queen's loyal Huntsman - a kind of submissive character in the final 1937 movie - could have been one of the few men who have survived from the Queen's dungeons. The "Complete Story of Walt Disney's Snow White" contains a highly emotional segment where the Huntsman ponders that if he disobeys the Queen's command by not killing Snow White, the wicked woman will feed him to her black panthers (who guard the secret niche where the Magic Mirror hangs) "- or shrink me magically to the size of a walnut. Aye, and what will become of my poor children? And my wife...?" In the abandoned subplot the Huntsman was dragged into the dungeons when the Queen found out that the man had betrayed her by saving Snow White's life. At this point, the dungeons started to be quite crowded...


Continue to the Next Page

KenNetti Presents
T H E - F A I R E S T

Scariest Tribute to Disney's Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs

Research, analyse, text,
and image processing by
Kenneth Sundberg

Very special thanks to
Charles Routh

All original artwork © Disney

P r i n c i p a l
information & image sources

Richard Holliss & Brian Sibley:
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs & the
Making of the Classic Film (Hyperion, 1987/1994)
The Complete Story of Walt Disney's Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs (Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
New York, Times Mirror Books, 1987)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - The Collector's
Edition 2-Disc DVD (Disney DVD, 2001)
Katherine & Richard Greene: The Man Behind
the Magic - The Story of Walt Disney (1991,
Viking Penguin / Penguin Books USA Inc.)
Ollie Johnston & Frank Thomas:
The Disney Villain (Hyperion, 1993)
Christopher Finch: The Art of Walt Disney
(Harry N. Abrams, Inc. New York, 1983)
Neil Sinyard: The Best of Disney (Portland House,
Twin Books Corp, 1988)
David Tietyen: The Musical World of Walt Disney
(Hal Leonard Publishing Corp, 1990)
The 1937 Snow White comic book (published in
Finland by Sanoma Osakeyhtiö in 1973, in the
Finnish "Aku Ankka" (Donald Duck) magazine)

Golden Stamp Book (1957) - Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs (published in Finland
in 1970 by Sanoma Osakeyhtiö)
Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains (Hachette,
1973, "Bibliotheque Rose" -series)
La Ronde des Héroines - Mes Histoires
Enchantées (Hachette, 2001)
Die Filme von Walt Disney - Die Zauberwelt des
Zeichentricks (Cinema / Kino Verlag GmbH, 1987-88)
The "Aku Ankka" (Donald Duck) magazine
(published in Finland by Sanoma Osakeyhtiö
and Helsinki Media Company Oy)
How To Draw Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
(1992, Walter Foster Publishing, Inc. /
Joshua Morris Publishing, Inc.)
"Minä Mikki Hiiri" (Io, Topolino) 1970-1981
(published in Finland by Sanoma Osakeyhtiö)
Comics Scene magazine # 8 (year unknown)
Mickey Mouse Movie Stories (Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
New York, Times Mirror Company, 1988)

The "Aku Ankan Taskukirja" pocketbooks

(published in Finland by Sanoma Osakeyhtiö)
The "Roope-Setä" (Uncle Scrooge) pocketbook # 124
(12/1989, published in Finland by Sanoma Osakeyhtiö)
David Koenig: Mouse Under Glass - Secrets of Disney
Animation and Theme Parks (Bonaventure
Press, 1997, 2001)
Tim Hollis & Greg Ehrbar: Mouse Tracks
- The Story of Walt Disney Records
(2006, The University Press of Mississippi)
Paul Sassienie: The Comic Book
(Chartwell Books Inc, 1994)
The StoryboarD magazine (various issues)
The archives of Charlie Routh
The "Golden Books" (published by Western
Publishing Company, Inc.)
"Tammen Kultaiset Kirjat"
(published in Finland
by Kustannusosakeyhtiö Tammi)

Kenneth Sundberg's extensive research on
countless Snow White publications
(not specified here individually) and other
comic books, storybooks and magazines

(not specified here individually)

T h e -T r i b u t e -I n d e x

Front Page
The Fairest ...and the Scariest of Them All
Introduction to KenNetti's "Scariest Tribute"
The Scariest Tribute Main Index

Page 2
A Doomed Love Triangle
The Original 1934 Prince Charming
The Prince, the Princess ...and the Queen
Death of the Dramatic Subplot

Page 3
Dark Secrets of the Dungeon
The Prince Is Captured
Taunted by the Queen,
Tortured by the Wicked Witch

Skeletons in a Dark Ride

Page 4
The Rescue of the Prince
A Cruel Drowning Attempt
Miranda and the Doves to the Rescue
An Alternate Witch Demise

Page 5
An Epic Love Story
Snow White's Dream Sequence
Spell of the Magic Wishing Apple
The Happy Ending

Page 6
The 1937 Merrill de Maris Comic Book
The Legendary Official Comic Book Version
A Less-Scary Captured Prince Subplot
The "Scariest Tribute" Image Gallery

Page 7
"Disney Dungeons" - Part I
So you think Disney means only
sunshine and happiness?
Take a look at
some of the most shocking scenes of
capture, bondage, abuse and torture
from the authentic Disney cartoons,
comics and movies.

Page 8
"Disney Dungeons" - Part II
Featuring Prince Phillip

Page 9
"Disney Dungeons" - Part III
Featuring Aladdin


The Tribute to Disneyland's Original "Spook Ride"

The Scary Adventures Front Page

The Home for All Things Scary and Beautiful
The Snow White Database Front Page


KenNetti is a totally non-commercial website by Kenneth Sundberg to pay tribute and to honour the work of talented people behind some of the most wonderful things found on this planet. All the material is gathered here only to inform, to promote things that need to be noticed, and to entertain people all over the world. KenNetti and Kenneth Sundberg are not affiliated to any of the companies, theme parks, movies, people, ghosts or other things appearing on this site. No rights of reproduction have been granted to KenNetti or Kenneth Sundberg, except where indicated. If You feel that some image or material whatsoever should not appear on this site, please CONTACT Kenneth Sundberg so that we can quickly resolve the problem.