The Original Snow White or Cinema-to-graphics

The project looks into the interrelations between, on the one hand, Snow White as fairy-tale figure brought to life in (animation-)film and, on the other, the dehumanizing effects of the demands of industrialization, discipline, efficiency, and control that dominate the film industry in the same period.

The project studies motion pictures that combine live action with cartoon figures and animation effects, questions the notion of 'the original' in a story constructed through a series of adaptations and oral lore, and links it to the gradual replacement of people by machinery in the film industry.

Exemplary for this evolution are the filmed motion studies that served as frame-by-frame model for the character of Snow White in Disney's animated feature film that was released in 1937. Incidentally, the young girl who improvised the movements that ended up modeling the cartoon figure is Marjorie Belcher, daughter of ballet master Ernest Belcher (whom I study in Screen Dance).

Marguerite ClarkMarguerite Clark Snow White, J.S.Dawley, 1916 Virginia DavisVirginia Davis Alice's Wonderland, Disney, 1923 Betty BoopBetty Boop Snow-White, Fleischer, 1933 Marge BelcherMarge Belcher motion study Disney 1934-36