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SNOW WHITE and the SEVEN DWARFS – The Walt Disney Signature Collection (Review)

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When it comes to Disney reissues, the era of high-definition and digital formats has accelerated, and perhaps begun to eliminate the famed “from the vaults” emergence from moratorium (and return to it) that signified much of the VHS era. Like so many other Disney fans, there’s certain movies that we’ve purchased time and time again, either upgrading formats or simply seeking out a new edition. When it comes to 1937’s SNOW WHITE and the SEVEN DWARFS, there’s no more appropriate film to kick-off a new collection, as it’s truly Walt Disney’s first masterpiece – the one that started a legacy that continues this year with the release of ZOOTOPIA, the 55th animated feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Snow White was the first, and after owning it on VHS and later both Platinum (DVD) and Diamond Edition (Blu-ray + DVD) sets, we now own The Walt Disney Signature Collection release, a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack that also ushers-in its first-ever Digital HD appearance.

I’d actually reviewed the Diamond Edition back in 2009 in a feature for another site (lost to the internet goblins), and visually what we have is the same restored version of the film, complete with DisneyView – my preferred way to watch these older films, as they were from the pre-widescreen days of 1:33:1. Instead of presenting the HD version with black bars to the right and left, DisneyView fills the space with paintings – same as last time. The big draw here is that with Digital HD, SNOW WHITE is finally available everywhere – on nearly any device, thanks to Disney Movies Anywhere, and services such as Vudu.

Over the years, there have been numerous bonus features created for SNOW WHITE, and what we have on the Signature Edition is almost a “Best-of” culled from previous releases, paired with some brand-new features created just for this 2016 release…

In Walt’s Words: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Utilizing archival recordings and photos, Walt Disney discusses the film. This is the kind of stuff that I love to see, and having visited Walt Disney Studios myself, Walt’s voice is inspiring – and to some extent, pleasantly haunting.

Iconography – This short featurette explores the lasting influence of the film in all facets of popular culture over the years.

@DisneyAnimation: Designing Disney’s First Princess – I think the official number right now is that there’s 11 “official” Disney Princesses, 13 if you count Anna and Elsa from FROZEN, and 14 if you include STAR WARS’ Princess Leia. Peel back the decades, and Snow White was number one. Here we get a look at how her style and simple color palette are still influencing Disney animators, artists, and fans today.

The Fairest Facts of Them All: 7 Facts You May Now Know About Snow White – It’s completely appropriate that Disney Channel star Sofia Carson was brought in to give a quick rundown on some Snow White trivia… because, after all – Sofia’s starmaking role came as the daughter of the Evil Queen in Disney’s DESCENDANTS last year. Since our oldest daughter, Addie, is an Evie fan (right down to the boots from Kohl’s), this is a welcome feature to have.

Snow White in Seventy Seconds – Literally, a rap-along telling of the film.

Alternate Sequence: The Prince Meets Snow White – Even in the days before this stuff was being banked for bonus features… material was kept in the vaults, just in case. Here we see a never–before-seen story board sequence where the Prince meets Snow White.

And, while there’s plenty more packed-in here, I still like the previously-released making-of that’s included – something that all new generations of SNOW WHITE fans will want to see.

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