Disney’s 2 Canceled Snow White Movies Would Have Solved 3 Major Mysteries

Summary

  • Attempted sequels would have answered mysteries about Snow White, the dwarfs, and the Evil Queen.
  • Snow White’s prequel explored the dwarfs’ and the Evil Queen’s backstories but was never made.
  • Snow White’s canceled sequel short, Snow White Returns, showed her returning to the dwarfs’ home.



Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the movie that started Disney’s reign in the world of animation, and it almost expanded with two movies that would have solved three big mysteries about the main characters. In 1937, Walt Disney Pictures brought Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first cel-animated feature film and the first animated movie produced in the United States. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs quickly earned a place in animation history, and it set the example for subsequent Disney animated movies, particularly those starring female characters.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is based on the 1812 German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm and tells the story of the title character, a princess living with her evil stepmother, simply referred to as the Queen. After the Queen tries to kill her, Snow White runs into the forest and meets seven dwarfs who take her in and form a special friendship with her. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a huge success for Disney, and it almost expanded with a sequel short and a prequel, which would have solved three major mysteries about the world of Snow White.


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Snow White’s Prequel Explored The Dwarfs’ & The Evil Queen’s Backstories

Snow White’s prequel would have had some shocking reveals.

Over six decades after the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney started working on a computer-animated prequel through DisneyToon Studios. Titled The Seven Dwarfs, the project had Mike Disa as director and Evan Spiliotopoulos as screenwriter and went into development in 2005. According to Animated Views, Disa’s vision of The Seven Dwarfs was for it to be “Disney’s answer to The Lord of the Rings” and explore the history of the dwarfs and their culture as they went on an epic quest.


The Seven Dwarfs would have seen Dopey and Grumpy on a quest into the Old Forest, during which they would meet the other dwarfs.

The sequels produced by DisneyToons were criticized for lacking originality and recycling the story of the original movie, and with this in mind, Disa wanted to do something different with The Seven Dwarfs. Disa and Spiliotopoulos’ pitch for the Snow White prequel had Dopey and Grumpy going on a quest together into the Old Forest, and during this mission, they would meet the other dwarfs. The dwarfs would have been hunted by an evil wizard and counted on the help of Narcissa, who they loved just as they would go on to love Snow White many years later.


However, Narcissa would have shown signs of darkness, but the dwarfs believed she had a good heart as their quest led them to the ancient city of Dwarfenholme. The twist in the story would have been that the wizard was actually Narcissa’s father, and they had been using the dwarfs to get to access the Olden Dwarf’s ancient magical power. Narcissa would have double-crossed her father, imprisoning him inside a magical mirror, and after getting a hold of the dwarf’s magic, she would have turned on the dwarfs. Narcissa would have then taken the throne from Snow White’s father.

The skeleton seen in the Queen’s dungeon in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would have been the king’s.


The dwarfs would have then had to hide to protect themselves and their families, thus why, at the time of the events of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, they were living in a cabin in the middle of the forest. The Queen would have started her reign as the Evil Queen with her father forever encased in the Magic Mirror as her slave, and the skeleton seen in her dungeon in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would have been the king’s.

Snow White’s Canceled Sequel Short Saw Her Return To The Dwarfs’ Home

Sketches of Snow White’s sequel short can be found online.

Snow White Returns sketches

Snow White Returns
would have seen the Seven Dwarfs learning that Snow White was about to make her annual visit to their home.


Given the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it seems strange that Disney didn’t produce some sort of continuation, but at the same time, being the studio’s first full-length animated movie, it’s understandable there wasn’t a rush to expand Snow White’s world. However, Walt Disney himself considered making a sequel short titled Snow White Returns, which would have used some of the first movie’s deleted scenes, such as the famous soup-eating scene.

A featurette in the Diamond Edition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs details what the sequel short would have been like, and it would have solved the mystery of whether Snow White saw the dwarfs again or not. Snow White Returns would have seen the Seven Dwarfs learning that Snow White was about to make her annual visit to their home, and excited over this, they would have decided to make a bed for her. A couple of sketches of Snow White Returns can be found on the Diamond Edition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and online.


Why Snow White’s Prequel & Sequel Never Happened

Snow White hasn’t gotten any type of continuation.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ending Snow White and Prince leaving while dwarfs dance

Studio execs tried to turn The Seven Dwarfs into a story about how Dopey stopped talking after being emotionally scarred.

Although Disa’s pitch for The Seven Dwarfs was very well-received and the project started to be developed, the project was canceled after Disney purchased Pixar in 2006. Pixar’s creative director, John Lasseter, became the Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Feature Animation, renamed Walt Disney Animation Studios. Lasseter strongly disliked Disney’s direct-to-video sequels, and now that he was in charge, various projects in development at DisneyToons were canceled, among them The Seven Dwarfs, but that happened after Disa dropped out over creative differences and Lasseter was presented with a new, completely different pitch.


What drove Disa to quit was that studio execs tried to turn The Seven Dwarfs into a Dopey story explaining why he lost the ability to talk, telling Disa to come up with a story where Dopey was so emotionally scarred that he stopped talking. As for Snow White Returns, it was Walt Disney’s decision not to move forward with it, and the studio respected his wishes of not making continuations of “the one that started it all” following his death in 1966.

Although the prequel and sequel to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would have solved the mysteries of how the dwarfs met, why the Queen killed the king, and what Snow White’s relationship with the dwarfs was after the first movie, this Disney classic is better off without any type of continuations and expansions.

Sources: AnimatedViews, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Disney’s iconic first feature-length animation tells the story of Snow White, a young princess whose beauty is coveted by an evil queen. After she orders that Snow White should be killed, the girl escapes to the forest, where she meets seven dwarfs who take her in. However, the queen knows that Snow White survives, and hatches a deadly plan involving a poisoned apple.   

Director
David Hand , Perce Pearce , William Cottrell , Larry Morey , Wilfred Jackson , Ben Sharpsteen

Release Date
December 21, 1937

Runtime
83 Minutes