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The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Hardcover – October 16, 2012

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The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs + Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Art and Creation of Walt Disney's Classic Animated Film + Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is one of the true landmarks of film history. JB Kaufman's book The Fairest One of All is by far the most complete telling yet of the making of this spectacular film, which paved the way for a medium and industry that has been healthy and vibrant for 75 years. Filled with phenomenal stories, details, and artwork, this book is a treasure equal to that of the movie itself. If you love Snow White, Disney, or animation, this book is a must-have." (John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios)

"It’s fair to call this the definitive study of Walt Disney’s landmark animated feature, not only because Kaufman, a meticulous film historian, has dug deeper (and longer) than anyone else into that history, but because he’s made connections few others have pursued: the origins of the fairy tale, the impact that the 1916 silent feature had on Walt Disney (even locating a photo of it star, Marguerite Clark, visiting Walt in the 1940s), the genesis of each sequence in the picture, the merchandising it generated, its continuing success in theatrical reissues, and the reuse of the Dwarfs in a handful of wartime short subjects." (Leonard Maltin, film critic and historian)

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the one that started it all, setting such a high bar that animated films today still struggle to match its creative and technical artistry. As this thoroughly researched book reveals, its success was no accident. No detail was too small to escape the scrutiny of Walt Disney and his staff. J.B. Kaufman provides a jackpot of information and stories about the amazing people who made this pioneering film." (Pete Docter, Academy Award-winning Director of Up and Monsters, Inc.)

"A tour de force of historical research and insightful writing about the making of one of the greatest films ever! The text of author J.B. Kaufman's gorgeously illustrated book is comprehensive, scholarly, and entertaining, filled with myriad details about Snow White, from folk tale to film and beyond." (John Canemaker, Academy Award-winning Director of The Moon and the Son)

About the Author

J.B. Kaufman is a film historian and a leading expert on Disney animation and the cinema of the era. He has authored three previous books on Disney, and gives talks and presentations on the subject. Diane Disney Miller is Walt's daughter and the head of the Walt Disney Family Foundation. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Walt Disney Family Foundation Press (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616284382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616284381
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.3 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.B. Kaufman is an author and film historian who has published and lectured extensively on Disney animation, American silent film history, and related topics. His books include "Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic", "The Fairest One of All", and "South of the Border with Disney"; he is also coauthor, with Russell Merritt, of "Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series" and the award-winning "Walt in Wonderland: The Silent Films of Walt Disney". Kaufman has also presented programs at festivals including the TCM Classic Film Festival; the San Francisco Silent Film Festival; and Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, the distinguished annual silent-film festival in Pordenone, Italy, where he contributed to "The Griffith Project" and other retrospectives.

Photo: Rob McHenry

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric S. Richard on November 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received this stunner as a birthday present. Wow! I have been collecting books on the making of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" since 1987 and this is by far the best! It is elegant, from the cover to the end papers, to the tons of artwork and other photos included. Kaufman is a fantastic writer. His writing never feels forced or too flowery. The text flows smoothly throughout the comprehensive story. The book begins with the origins of the tale and continues to the present day. I was hoping for a list of credits and was overwhelmed when I saw credits for each section of the film! This is not only a lovely tribute to Walt Disney, his staff, and film making in general, it is also a gift to the film's legion of fans from generation to generation. It serves not only as the definitive history of the classic, but as an encyclopedia, an archive, an art book, and a thorough look back at a magical time in Hollywood. If you are a Disney fan, a Snow White fan, a fairy tale fan, a movie buff, or an avid reader, you can't go wrong here. Proudly display this in your library. I will treasure it forever.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thad Komorowski on February 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I met J.B. Kaufman in 2009 at the Buffalo International Film Festival, where he was a special guest promoting his newly released South of the Border. From meeting him personally and reading his work, he strikes me as someone with an earnest appreciation of the medium's history and one of the few able to communicate it through his writing. He told me that while he enjoyed learning everything he did and found South a rewarding experience, he was far more thrilled to start working on his new book about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

We should all share his enthusiasm. The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is possibly the most welcome of all Disney Editions in recent years. With access to seemingly endless documentation, Kaufman was able to create a much-needed work: the go-to-book for the most written about and lauded animated feature.

Snow White was not one of my favorite Disney features growing up. Its clunkiness and overlong nature were too obvious, and I was swayed by the later features' slicker surfaces and broader comedy. Upon revisiting it several times on actual film, what resonated with me considerably more than the best acting scenes by Bill Tytla and Fred Moore was how convincingly the artists portrayed mood throughout the picture, specifically pure horror. All but a scant few pictures in this genre defy the classification of camp, but for a period of time Disney was able to get under people's skins and emotions like few other filmmakers.

There is a lingering problem in the text though, which I also noticed in South of the Border. Kaufman seems to be holding back, balancing positivity and negativity far too evenly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By WCrandall on November 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Absolutely the most comprehensive book about the making of this land mark film.
This book is huge, not to mention heavy! There's plenty of original art.
Everything is notated and the book even dis spells some Snow White rumors that
even the Disney studio had passed on as fact. A very impressive book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By michaela santiago on January 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was really heavy and beautiful. Great coffee table book. I bought it as a christmas gift and my friend loved it. She's a huge snow white fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary A. Ragusa on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Snow White is 75! Had this autographed by the author in San Francisco at the Walt Disney Family Museum. The story behind the art work for the film is great and the art work included is great! It's an historical feature length animation that we love...
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By V on March 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once again J.B. Kaufman has given us a great definitive book on a Disney film. This time it's on Snow White. There have been a few books on the making of Snow White over the years, but this one is the most detailed and most comprehensive books ever. Kaufman goes above and beyond with detailing Walt Disneys interest in the story, the development of the film itself, the premiere, and it's lasting legacy. Of course there are plenty of production illustrations throughout.
An interesting section talks about how Walt wanted the color to be achieved. I this section are three frames that came from an original 1937 nitrate print, which shows that the cottage interiors were depicted as having a warm color temperature, unlike the DVD transfer today that seems to have taken that away. Walt wanted to avoid a "poster like" palette when making Snow White and the video releases have betrayed this intent. This is just one of the many interesting parts in this definitive book on Snow White.
Like all of Kaufman's books on Disney, there is a section in the back which includes the copyright information, release information, detailed production and technical credits. The educational wartime shorts featuring the dwarfs are also mentioned.

This book and it's companion piece is a must have for any Disney connoisseur.

Here's hoping for a book of this kind about Pinocchio.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nick May on January 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book details the making of Snow White from conception to reception. All of the main characters are given comprehensive coverage, as are the various scenes from the film. Highly recommended.
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