Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Signature Collection Blu-ray review

Feb 02, 2016- Permalink

Disney once again releases its classic 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full length animated colour feature. The audio and video presentations of this 2016 Signature Collection Blu-ray release are identical to the 2009 Diamond Edition. There’s some slight alteration to the extras with a few new ones but several that are missing. If you already have the Diamond Edition, you’ll have to decide whether this latest release is a must have. If you don’t have it, then you’ll have to decide which disc to add to your home entertainment library.

The original material was shot with the 1.37:1 Academy ratio also known as 4:3. Since we’ve all mostly moved to widescreen TV’s the presentation of this 1.34:1 1080p transfer would leave us with black bars down the sides of the screen. To get around that, you’re offered the option of watching the film in DisneyView, which places artwork from Toby Bluth in the areas where the black bars would be. The transfer was restored and remastered and looks great. The colour palette is bold, the black levels and contrast nice and deep, and the level of detail captures the artistry of this hand-drawn, hand-painted masterpiece. The digital transfer does not exhibit any noticeable banding or aliasing. Disney has given this historical film the love and attention it deserves.

On the audio side, we get an English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack, the original mono English soundtrack in Dolby Digital and French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Subtitles are available in English SDH, French and Spanish. Since they’re working from a mono original, Disney has used the low-frequency and surround tracks subtly, moving some aspects of the soundscape to create a slightly immersive experience. Dialogue is clear and the music and songs sound great. They treated the original sound work with respect and don’t do anything too gimmicky.

As noted the Signature Collection disc has some new extras, some old extras and is missing some material that was available on the Diamond edition.

Here are the new extras on this edition:

  • In Walt’s Words: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: An audio interview with Walt, with accompanying images, the inspirations, and process involved in making the film.
  • Iconography: Various individuals reflect on the iconic film and imagery and the film’s legacy and influence.
  • @DisneyAnimation: Designing Disney’s First Princess: Various animators discuss the character design and history of Disney’s first princess.
  • The Fairest Facts of Them All: 7 Things You May Not Know About Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Descendants star Sofia Carson shares interesting facts you may not know about the feature.
  • Snow White In Seventy Seconds: A hip-hop version of the story.
  • Alternate Sequence: The Prince Meets Snow White: A never-seen sequence of Snow White meeting the Prince for the forest time.
  • Disney’s First Feature: The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A longer version of the extra found on the Diamond Edition release.

Holdovers from the Diamond Edition:

  • Bringing Snow White to Life
  • Hyperion Studios Tour: The version on the Diamond edition is longer.
  • Decoding the Exposure Sheet
  • Snow White Returns
  • Story Meetings: The Dwarfs
  • Story Meetings: The Huntsman
  • Deleted Scene: Soup Eating Sequence
  • Deleted Scene: Bed Building Sequence
  • Animation Voice Talent
  • Audio Commentary: Commentary from Roy E. Disney and John Canemaker, and as well as some audio of Walt Disney.

As mentioned, some of the extras from the Diamond Edition are missing. If you’re interested in explorations of the departments that handle story, art direction, music and background painting you may want to explore the Diamond Edition. Don’t feel bad which version you choose, the money’s still going to Disney!