Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the world's first full-length animated feature, premiered on Dec. 21, 1937 to critical acclaim at the Carthay Circle Theater in California.
Based upon the German version of Snow White first published in 1812 by the Brothers Grimm, it featured the magic mirror, poisoned apple, glass coffin, and the seven dwarves. (The dwarves first received names in a 1912 Broadway play Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and were then given different names in Disney's version.)
Before Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Disney studio had been primarily involved in short Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony cartoons. Disney hoped to expand his studio's prestige and revenues by moving into full-length features.
Disney had to fight to get Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs produced, and the Hollywood movie industry referred to it as "Disney's Folly." He even had to mortgage his house to help finance the film's production, which eventually cost $1,488,422.74, a huge amount for a moving picture in 1937.