How Walt Disney Cartoons Are Made: 1939 Documentary Gives an Inside Look

in Animation, Art, Film | April 3rd, 2011

Walt Disney’s 1937 production, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, broke new ground on a number of fronts. It was 1) the first cel-animated feature film ever produced; 2.) the first animated film made in color – technicolor actually; and 3.) Disney’s first animated film, one of many commercial and artistic hits to come. (Catch a quick clip here.)

Two years later, Disney produced an in-house documentary, How Walt Disney Cartoons Are Made, that walks you through the stages of Snow White‘s development – the writing of the first story lines, the drafting of the animation sequences, the hand painting of 250,000 celluloid frames (done by “pretty girls,” as they say) and beyond. Back in the day, American filmgoers watched this footage in the cinema, the trailer before the main feature film.

Meanwhile, you can also watch online Paramount’s 1939 answer to Disney’s big hit – Gulliver’s Travels, another cel-animated Technicolor feature film directed by Dave Fleischer, who later brought us an animated version of Superman (1941).

Related Content:

Donald Duck Wants You to Pay Your Taxes (1943)

Disney’s Oscar-Winning Adventures in Music

Donald Duck Discovers Glenn Beck: A Remix

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Comments (6)

  1. Vin Divan says . . .
    April 4, 2011 / 4:47 pm

    I just published a short article about Walt’s incredible endeavor to train and develop his artists to create feature animation. Read it here

  2. brunofm says . . .
    April 5, 2011 / 7:33 pm

    Good Stuff :)

  3. Alana Burns says . . .
    August 2, 2012 / 4:30 pm


  4. Alana Burns says . . .
    August 2, 2012 / 4:31 pm

    Hi! How are you? I love this website!

  5. Alana Burns says . . .
    August 2, 2012 / 4:32 pm

    Do you happen to have a movie called Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?

  6. A. Man says . . .
    January 6, 2014 / 1:36 am

    i know how they are made, they shit in a box and film that for a few hours and say it’s a movie

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