Saturday, April 14, 2012


This is a Fred Moore staging sketch, showing Sneezy (I think) interacting with Snow White.
Here we see Fred's version of the girl, more cartoony than the final model, which of course is much more realistic. It makes you wonder if the animators could have gotten the same emotional range out for the character, using a design like this one.
Come to think of it, this Snow White drawing could very well be a caricature of an employee at the studio. In any case, Fred Moore drew the leading lady very much like one of his famous "Freddy Girls".

Fred set the look for all of the dwarfs and animated many scenes with them, as a group and in single close ups. 
His tour de force character is Dopey, who along with the other six, underwent quite a graphic change, as he developed.
Just compare the early model sheet, already beautifully drawn and full of character, with the finalized design. What an astonishing improvement in appeal.

Dopey turned out to be a real "scene stealer" in Walt Disney's first animated feature.


  1. I like reading the notes on the final model sheet of Dopey. Andreas, do you know if these are Fred Moore's actual notes to himself and his assistants abut the character's design?

    1. I really don't know Fred's handwriting well enough to confirm that
      these are his notes.
      Usually though the artist who did the model drawings also provided the notes.

  2. There is an innocent adorable quality to the revised character design, that as an outsider, you happily accept his "dopiness."
    Thanks Andreas for all the posts!

  3. What a huge difference! Astounding.

  4. my favorite change are the eyes. going to a regular eye and a pupil gives him a different feel.Someone get a note to Fred to watch the size of that finger...(wink.)

  5. I loved these drawings and notes on Dopey. Of the seven, his character was always the most unforgettable - his baggy clothes, big ears, adorable smile... :D

  6. Man, I was just watching this movie a couple of weeks back and was astounded by the sheer beauty of an animated film released in '37. Animation painted on cels just kills the digital coloring, with all of its synthetic highlighting and shadows. Ugh, if only modern films were still cel painted.

  7. To this day, I love the scene with Dopey and the soap. It makes we wish the soup scene was kept in (Poor Ward. He worked so hard on it.) so that the joke would have its proper payoff.

  8. It's always amazing to see the concepts transition to the final.