And You Thought It Would Fail: Many people did. Those who worked with Disney, including his brother and wife, tried to talk him out of making the film, believing it would just end up being a complete flop. However, it became a huge hit when it was first released and is regarded as one of the greatest animated movies of all time.
"Music In Your Soup" was to be sung by the dwarfs during dinner, and "You're Never Too Old to Be Young" was replaced by "The Silly Song". There were even more songs written for the film that never made it as far.
Sneezy originally had a verse during "The Silly Song". It was cut for time constraints.
Doing It for the Art: One of the main reasons Disney created this film, in addition to the potential cash flow, was his hope that it would raise animation to a higher art form. The film took four years to make and was not only a massive effort that required the studio to expand to over 1,000 artists, but there was no guarantee of financial success—the studio almost went bankrupt just from trying to get the film made, and it was only finished because Disney managed to get a large bank loan from showing a rough cut of the film. The short cartoons basically became a training ground for the monstrous amount of work and effects techniques needed to get the film done—the animators even had to take a few hours of mandatory, unpaid art classes after work each day in order to keep their jobs. Whole segments of the film had to be reanimated because the animators skills were so rapidly increasing. Disney was even doing color tests for scenes as late as four months into production. But it all paid off with what was (at the time) the highest grossing film of all time and one of the most influential movies ever made.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: Lucille LaVerne as The Queen. If you look at one of her pictures, she looks nicer and friendlier and definitely less intimidating than the evil witch.
Money, Dear Boy: A big reason why Disney made this feature was that the Short Film product they made only brought in a set amount of revenue from their distributor regardless of how much audience interest in it. With features however, Disney's company could haul in much more if it proved a hit.
Old Shame: In recordings of Walt Disney commenting on the film, he said that after so many people seemed to dislike his films afterwards because none seemed to be as good as Snow White in their opinion, he grew to hate Snow White for a while. Though he eventually came back to loving his masterpiece.
Pigeonholed Voice Actor: Adriana Caselotti serves her sole feature film role as Snow White's uncredited voice actress, as part of her contract with Disney stated that she was never allowed to play another role again note there are exactly two other roles she played—as an uncredited voice speaking one line in The Wizard of Oz, and a very brief bit player part in It's a Wonderful Life or make public appearances to preserve the illusion of Snow White as a real character. Fortunately, she absolutely loved the role and openly embraced the reputation the film gave her later in life, which earned her the honor of a Disney Legend. Her own house was designed after the Dwarfs cottage and was filled with memorabilia from the film, and she even had an answering machine that responded to callers in-character!
There were originally intended to be scenes with the Prince imprisoned by the Queen in a dungeon and making a daring escape, which was dropped because the animators were not yet experienced enough to handle the extra work of making a believable human character, what with Snow White and the Queen already taxing their skills. Some of these ideas were eventually used in Sleeping Beauty.
Some of the scenes with the Dwarfs were also cut, mostly to tighten up the story. Best known of these was the "Music in Your Soup" song, which was eventually shown on the Disneyland program in pencil test form. There's also a missing scene where the Dwarves build a bed for Snow White, which turned up in a children's book.
Sneezy had a line in "The Silly Song" which was recorded but cut due to time constraints.
All three of the Queen's assassination attempts (poison comb, bodice suffocation and the poison apple) were originally going to be included, but eventually they streamlined it to just the apple instead. The bodice was cut first, and the comb appears in the title card at the beginning. Because of this, a lot of people who grew up with the Disney version of Snow White think the Grimm's Fairy Tale version just had the apple attempt as the Queen's next plan to take out Snow White after the huntsman chickened out and tried to pass off a pig heart as Snow White's.
A proposed fate for the queen was shown in an Italian comic where she returned to the castle in hag form to ask the mirror who was the fairest in the land now. However, the Huntsman had already rallied a party to burn down the castle in order to put an end to her infernal majesty's reign. After receiving her answer from the mirror, she was burned alivewith the mirror just watching her suffer.
Alternate names and personalities were considered for the dwarfs, among them Wheezy, Awful and Jumpy. More information can be found here.
Dopey was originally going to have a voice, but he was made into the group's Silent Bob when an actor to provide the voice wasn't able to be found.
Deanna Durbin auditioned for the voice of Snow White, but was not chosen because Walt Disney felt her voice was too mature.
Dopey almost made an appearance in Fantasia as the Sorcerer's Apprentice.
At one time, Disney Toon Studios was exploring the idea of turning the Seven Dwarfs into a boy-friendly franchise much like Disney Fairies is for girls. An epic Lord of the Rings-inspired adventure that would explore how they came together as well as the origins of the Magic Mirror and Evil Queen was proposed, along with a Darker and Edgier video game prequel by Obsidian Entertainment about the Dwarfs' ancestors. This project ended up getting trimmed down in scope to a more comedic affair that would have revealed Dopey's muteness being the result of childhood trauma watching his mother die, but nobody had the nerve to present this idea to John Lasseter and he cancelled a further meddled version immediately.
A Snow White II was planned in 2002. It was about the evil Queen's sister Noriss learning from her magical crystal ball that the only way to make Snow White and her family leave the castle would be to kidnap her friends the dwarfs. She goes to the mine asking the little men to help her find her way home, then pulls out 7 bags to kidnap each one of them. Only Dopey escapes from her claws by hiding behind rocks. Snow White, the Prince, and their 13-year-old daughter Rose would've had to come to the rescue of the dwarfs with the help of Dopey.
"Snow White Returns" which was a proposed sequel short to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It would have incorporated deleted material from the film such as the famous Soup-Eating Scene and a sequence of the Dwarfs building a bed for Snow White. The unmade short is detailed on the Diamond Edition release of Snow White.
The Masterpiece Collection version starts with the 1991 green F.B.I. warning screens, and then plays an introduction from Roy E. Disney, who bills the film as "Walt Disney's Timeless Classic" (he also plugs the next Disney film Pocahontas and clamshells of the Masterpiece Collection prints of Dumbo and Alice in Wonderland are barely visible in his office; the earliest printings came that spring when the Classics line was still in full operation, indicating the plans to retire it). After the Roy intro comes one of two logos (either the 1986 Sorcerer Mickey Walt Disney Home Video logo if the tape was printed prior to August and the resignation of studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, or the primary Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection logo with Tinker Bell if it was printed after), then the 1990 Walt Disney Pictures logo, then the film's opening credits.
The Platinum Edition VHS has the navy-blue/purple F.B.I. warning screens, the 2001 Walt Disney Home Entertainment logo (this is one of its first appearances), a slideshow saying to stay tuned after the movie, a Cinderella's/Sleeping Beauty's Castle Feature Presentation screen, the navy-blue/purple film format screen, the Lucasfilm THX logo, the 1990 Walt Disney Pictures logo, the film, an interview with then-CEO Michael Eisner, then a Barbra Streisand music video of "Someday My Prince Will Come". The DVD was one of the first, if not the first, DVDs to have the Tinker Bell Disney DVD logo, which would be used for the next 13 years.