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History of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

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Read Snow White Themed Posts on the SurLaLune Blog

Kay Vandergrift's Snow White

Snow, Glass, Apples: the story of Snow White by Terri Windling

Snow White Stories collected by D. L. Ashliman


I often receive e-mails asking me to name the seven dwarfs. The seven dwarfs are only named in the Disney film of the story, not in the traditional tales I provide on this site. However, if you want the name of Disney's seven dwarfs, they are:


The limited edition DVD and video are available on Amazon:

Disney's  Snow White

Although the most famous version of the tale today is Disney's classic animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has existed in many versions in the centuries preceding Disney. The Grimms collected the tale from two sisters--Jeannette and Amalie Hassenpflug--who lived in the town of Cassel. The tale was well known before the Grimms collection however and appeared with little variation from Ireland to Asia Minor to Central Africa (Opies 175).

Except for one Portuguese tale which appeared in Brazil, the tale did not apparently travel verbally to the Americas. The earliest literary versions of the tale can be found in Giambattista Basile's Il Pentamerone, especially the tale traditionally titled "The Young Slave." A link to the tale is available on the Tales Similar to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs page. Both Stith Thompson and the Opies believe that Basile's literary version influenced the versions which followed (Thompson 124).

Disney based his film on the Grimm's version of the tale. Disney actually resurrected some of the more gruesome aspects of the tale which had been edited out in previous versions intended for children, especially the queen's demand that Snow White's heart be delivered to her as proof of the child's death.

For a more detailed analysis and study of this tale, please visit Kay Vandergrift's Snow White page. The site offers many variations of the tale as well as thoughtful criticisms.

Snow White and the Huntsman Blu-RayMirror Mirror 2012 DVD

In 2011-12, Snow White had a mini-renaissance thanks to her popularity in Hollywood, including movie releases of Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror, Mirror as well as Snow White as a main character in the breakout hit television series, Once Upon a Time.

Once Upon a Time Season 1


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Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White Tales From Around the World

Snow White illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

Jarrell's Snow White

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Joan Aiken

Barrett's Snow White

Heins' Snow White


©Heidi Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales
Page created 1/1999; Last updated 9/12/12