Why It Took Disney 13 Years To Make Another Princess Movie After Snow White | Pretty Reel

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a commercial and critical success for Disney, which makes it seem odd that it took Disney thirteen years to make another Princess movie. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1937, as Disney’s first animated feature, and it grossed $8 million internationally against its $1.5 million budget. With inflation taken into account, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is still in the top 10 highest-grossing traditional animated films.

In the years between Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Disney’s next Princess film, Cinderella in 1950, Disney produced other forms of animation. Beloved titles such as Pinocchio and Bambi were released between the first two Disney Princess movies alongside Mickey Mouse stories, such as Fantasia which also hit theaters. However, although successful now, all of these films were box office flops and their success today is due to re-releases and home video sales.

Even though the Disney Princess movies were hugely successful, Disney took so long to make Cinderella after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs due to the impact of World War II on Disney Studios. The United States entered the war in 1941 and the interests of the public did not seem to depend on the Princess films. The book Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara explains how U.S. Army troops commandeered part of Disney’s Burbank Studios during the war, and everyone at the studio, including the animators, joined the war effort. They have used their skills to create military training films, educational shorts, and even military badges. Donald Duck was a common feature of these propaganda films, with shorts such as Donald Gets Drafted in 1942 and Commando Duck in 1944. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs may have been popular pre-war, but the mood of the American people didn’t leave much space for fanciful princess stories. This meant that Disney waited until after World War II to think about how to bring the princess back into the lives of the public.

How Cinderella Saved Disney

Cinderella entered active development in 1948 as an adaptation of Charles Perrault’s French fairy tale of the same name. By this point, Disney Studios was $4 million in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy after enduring animated flops during the war, which had been reinforced by the film’s disconnection from the European market. Cinderella was a big risk for Disney, but the studios desperately needed another hit like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara, host Frank Thomas noted:

“All the things Walt had tried for seven years hadn’t really been topped for one reason or another, he had to go back to something as foolproof as possible: Something like Snow White, a pretty young girl in difficulty. , a fairy tale and a popular tale. »

Cinderella fit the standards perfectly and was a huge hit for Disney. Cinderella was critically and commercially successful, and it was Disney’s most successful animated feature since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, showing that their risk had paid off. Cinderella was so successful that the film’s castle served as the basis for Walt Disney Pictures’ production logo, appearing at the start of each of its films. An actual version of the castle has also been built at several Disney parks. Cinderella may have taken thirteen years to come to fruition after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but after Disney Studios’ struggle throughout the war, it was worth it because it saved Disney, its princesses and its many villains of the collapse.

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Why It Took Disney 13 Years To Make Another Princess Movie After Snow White | Pretty Reel

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