Snow Whites' eyes, blue to brown, why?

Ross Hack

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 24, 2001
Dear whoever can answer this question or put me in contact with an official response:

I was recently in a retail store in the Czech Republic and saw the video of Snow White playing on a television for the customers. I was with a friend who was visiting from The States. He told me that the new redigitilized version of Snow White has been altered a little. After he said, "take a look at her eyes", I did. They changed her eyes from blue to brown. I want to simply ask, "Why"?

Can anyone tell me truthfully or know who I would ask through email officially. I'm a university student and I'm doing research on this. I'm very interested in this and I'm determined to find out, "Why?".

Thank you for any help you can give,
ROSS
 

meeko_33785

<font color=teal>Surrounded by characters<br><font
Joined
Oct 20, 2000
I truthfully cannot recall Snow White's eyes ever being blue, except for in some merchendise. In a whole, he brown eyes match better with her darker hair, whereas Cinderella and Aurora have blonde hair and blue eyes. If you really want to find out for sure, you would always write to Dave Smith, the keeper of the Disney archives, who has a colulm for answering questions like that in the Disney Magazine.
 


  • Ross Hack

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2001
    I see that the official Disney site shows her eyes as brown, but my question is if her eyes were orignially blue. I'm very suprised that no one knows for sure the color of the eyes of the origial Snow White, one of the most popular Disney characters of all time. After the weekend I still haven't gotten one confident reply of a knowable answer.
     

    All Aboard

    Por favor mantengan se alejado de las puertas
    Joined
    Oct 21, 1999
    After the weekend I still haven't gotten one confident reply of a knowable answer.
    Geez Ross, seems you are taking us to the woodshed over this issue.

    I'll see what I can do about "confident", I'll leave "knowable" to somebody else.

    As to the "original"; I'm sure that you know that Snow White was not created by Walt Disney. Like Sleeping Beauty, Snow White was one of the classic fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm.

    Snow White (in her Disney incarnation) has brown eyes. They've never changed since her 1937 release.

    I'm not sure what color old Jacob and Wilhelm intended for her eyes, but I imagine there is some original artwork to go along with their tale. Perhaps you could drum some up with a hearty internet search.
     

    Sarangel

    <font color=red><font color=navy>Rumor has it ...<
    Joined
    Jan 18, 2000
    After he said, "take a look at her eyes", I did. They changed her eyes from blue to brown.
    What evidence can you cite that indicates her eyes were originally blue? Frankly, I can't recall either way, but it seems like a silly thing to change...

    Sarangel
     

    JeffJewell

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 5, 2000
    ...that this "research" has nothing to do with a change in the movie and a lot to do with Bulletin Board posts?

    "Rorschach," indeed.

    Jeff
     
  • tima 1

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 25, 2009
    In 1954, at age seven, I saw the original film version of Disney's 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'. Snow White's eyecolor in the movie was BLUE, I repeat, BLUE. PERIOD. END OF STORY. This is a memory that has stayed with me all of my life because up until I saw the movie, I had disliked the fact that I had the unusual combination of black hair and blue eyes. After seeing the movie, I became proud over my sharing the same coloring as the film's central heroine. It was later on, sometime in the late 1970s to early 1980s when Disney changed Snow White's eye color from blue to brown. This was probably done for marketing purposes, which, in my judgement, were questionable at best.
     

    doconeill

    Fastpass Jedi Master
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2007
    Nothing like a newbie poster digging up a 7 year old thread...

    So I was curious. I did a number of searches, and the only reference to Snow White changing eye color I could find is THIS THREAD. I would expect more of an uproar given the way people think of "revisionism" on movies (Greedo shot first!).

    Now, in the original Grimm tale, I believe it is explicitly stated that her eyes were blue.

    So I got to thinking, where could I find what should be an untouched image of Snow White from Disney that would pre-date the supposed change? Then I remembered a post on another forum about a claimed rejection letter from 1938 on Snow White stationary. I have no idea if the the letter is authentic - it looks well preserved and seems to be real. You can find the image here.

    This does appear to in fact be the stationary used at the time.

    So I threw the hires version into an image program I used, and blew it up, looking at the pixels of the eyes.

    There is nothing there to indicate that the eyes were ever meant to be blue. The RGB values indicate a brown to grey color.

    Now this isn't meant to be any sort of proof - but it a data point that does seem to indicate that the eyes were not blue originally.
     
  • Disney Brat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2006
    Every time I recall seeing Snow White, her eyes have been brown. But today my daugher brought home a book from school called (Walt Disney Productions presents) Snow White Helps the Seven Dwarfs, its copyright date is 1980, and Snow White indeed does have Blue eyes in that book! The only reason that it stuck out to me is because of this thread...so I thought I would add what I had seen.
     

    SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    I can say for sure that Snow White's eyes have always been brown in the Disney movie. (I can't speak for the 1980 book where an illustrator apparently changed the color to blue).

    I have a book titled Disney Animation: the Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson, printed in 1981. There are 3 color pictures of Snow White in it where you can see her eyes. In all the pictures, her eyes are brown.

    I have another book titled Disney's Art of Animation by Bob Thomas, dated 1991. It has one chapter on Snow White, with 6 color pictures where you can see her eyes. All show brown eyes.

    The book that shows for absolute sure that her eyes were brown is a 194 page book just about Snow White published in 1994. The title of the book is Walt Disney's Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs: An Art in Its Making. The whole book is in color, with many pictures of the original cels and production artwork from the movie. In every picture where you can see an eye color, her eyes are brown (kind of an amber color, not real dark brown).
    This is a picture from the 1994 book of one of the pictures of an original cel from the movie.

    I have seen an original Snow White cel in person and it does match this picture.
     

    SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    The book that shows for absolute sure that her eyes were brown is a 194 page book just about Snow White published in 1994. The title of the book is Walt Disney's Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs: An Art in Its Making. The whole book is in color, with many pictures of the original cels and production artwork from the movie. In every picture where you can see an eye color, her eyes are brown (kind of an amber color, not real dark brown).
    This is a picture from the 1994 book of one of the pictures of an original cel from the movie.

    I have seen an original Snow White cel in person and it does match this picture.
    an explanation of what a 'cel' is in case some don't know - it is the original artwork that the film was photographed from. Individual hand painted pages of celluloid were photographed one by one in front of a backround to make the movie.
    So, the cels are not just artwork of the time; they were the artwork of the movie.

    Here's a picture of an original cel from the same scene from the auction site that sold it at auction:


    And another cel picture from a US Library of Congress exhibit:


    And, this picture of a cel was from the 70th anniversary of Snow White's creation.
     

    andy hickes

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2012
    When I last went to see Snow White in the theater, maybe 10 years ago,
    I was shocked at the saturation. It was beautiful but the blacks were definitely blacker and all the other colors defintely more saturated than I remembered possible. I work in
    digital color (my website rendering.net) so I recognized it quickly and know how easily it can be done. I never read anywhere that it had been "changed" in any way except
    "restored". The color of the eyes I cannot comment but changing them and changing them back again is easy digitally. Concerning saturation the original cells were acetate painted (I assume with gouache paint) on the reverse side. These were laid over stationery backgrounds that had been painted in watercolor. Watercolor is not be as saturated as gouache painted on reverse acetate. See attached cell photos vs restored frames. Looking at some of the recent frames it is obvious all the colors-watercolor and gouache-have been saturated when it was "restored".
    I looked at the time for any mention of saturation enhancement knowing how easily it could have been done, but it was totally absent from any public copy I could find. I think it was an "improvement" kept quiet not to open a can of worms. And I thought the change was strikingly beautiful. I do not think it is what original movie goers saw though. I can understand concerns about lost subtleties.

    unfortunately I don't know how to submit attachments to show comparison.
    Look at previous post of actual cells and compare to Amazon's product description for
    blue ray version.
     

    doconeill

    Fastpass Jedi Master
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2007
    Well, gang, let's defrost poor Walt's head and ask him ourselves!!!!!
    For a 10 year old thread where all the available evidence says they've always been brown?

    Let's let him rest...if someone wants an official Disney answer, submit it to the Ask Dave (Smith) column in the D23 newsletter...
     

    Jaxxcorb

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 10, 2013
    It's funny that I would be searching this same question! I just had my first child this year, which has obviously directed my attention to the old classic Disney movies I so fondly remember. Strolling through the toy aisles it struck me funny that snow whites eyes were brown! I had always remembered them blue. People are usually attracted to similar looking people, and Snow White was the Disney character I had associated with because of hair and eye color.
    After reading through these posts, it appears that most of the evidence points to brown eyes being correct however I still have a feeling that they must have been blue at some point for me to have these memories.
    It's obviously not a big deal what her eye color is but when your memory is showing you something different from reality...it make you wonder.
     

    DPCummerbund

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 4, 2012
    Wow, a twelve year old thread - I didn't know that DIS threads that old could still be revived! Most websites archive threads after a few years & they're considered "closed", but clearly that is not the case with the DIS.

    I'd like to point out that the OP, who was a college student when this was first posted, is now middle aged!
     





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