Snow-White (Dave Fleischer, 1933)

MMC! keeps our creepy October rolling with Dave Fleischer’s spook-errific animation classic, Snow-White (1933). This Betty Boop masterpiece was animated almost single-handed by Roland Crandall over six months, his reward for loyal service to Fleischer Studios. The short features an array of creepy gags and set-pieces, the highlight of which is the Mystery Cave portion where a rotoscoped Cab Calloway performs “St. James Infirmary Blues” as a ghostly Koko the Clown. I first saw Snow-White in a class on the Disney Company where the very knowledgeable professor cited the rotoscoped appearance of Cab Calloway as an introduction of realism into the film, something I never understood given the very fantastic animation applied to the phantom Koko transforms into and the almost unnatural, counter-intuitive physics of Calloway’s glides and moonwalks. Snow-White has been preserved by the National Film Registry and can be found on Blu-ray in Volume 4 of Olive Films’ Betty Boop: The Essential Collections.

3 thoughts on “Snow-White (Dave Fleischer, 1933)

  1. floodmouse October 22, 2017 / 8:03 pm

    Yes, I never thought I would see the word “realism” in the same sentence with “Dave Fleischer” (unless there was a “not” attached to it somewhere).

    • spinenumbered October 23, 2017 / 1:53 pm

      Agreed. My prof had no time for my suggestion that a dancing Cab Calloway was perhaps the least realistic person to rotoscope.

  2. Robin Crandall July 7, 2020 / 11:22 am

    Hi. My name is Robin Crandall. I am a descendant of Roland and Reed Crandall’s (Comic Book artist). I have been researching my ancestry. My father (who died before I could meet him as an adult due to my parents divorcing) was an educator but had artistic ability as well. His name was Robert. I have an Art Degree. Apparently I’m from a long line of artistic Crandalls with first names beginning with “R”. Thank you for making this available.

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