Home > 100 Greatest Scores, Reviews > SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS – Frank Churchill, Leigh Harline, and Paul J. Smith

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS – Frank Churchill, Leigh Harline, and Paul J. Smith

November 2, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

snowwhiteandthesevendwarfs100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

We honor Walt Disney as a visionary, and this film was a seminal event in the history of Hollywood film making. Indeed, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is rightfully considered to be Disney’s most significant and enduring achievement – the first animated feature film made in the United States. Notable was the fact that it was the most successful film release of 1938, and that it broke ground by being the world’s first soundtrack album. Frank Churchill, Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith shared composer duties in writing the film’s score, while Churchill and Larry Morey shared songwriting duties, with Churchill providing the music and Morey the lyrics. A total of twenty-five songs were written for the film, but in the end only five were ultimately used in the final picture. It should be noted that Leigh Harline took over the song writing from Churchill and composed in their style, but only Churchill and Morey are credited in copyright and biographical sources as songwriters.

Walt Disney was insistent that the quality of the musical score match the visual splendor of his animation. He also insisted that the songs be singable, have memorable lyrics, and bear melodies that would resonate with the public for years to come. It suffices to say that this composer teams succeed on all counts and created a superb masterwork of film score art. The melodies are beautiful and the five songs, timeless; “I’m Wishing/One Song,” “Whistle While You Work,” “Heigh Ho,” “The Yodeling Song,” and lastly, the iconic and supremely romantic “Some Day My Prince Will Come”, which has passed into legend. The synergy of animation, story-telling, songs and instrumental musical score elevated Disney’s film to the sublime and from my perspective was integral in establishing that animated films could provide both quality and profits. After the popular debut of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, animation film art gained public acceptance. It was clear, that there would be no going back; feature film Animation was here to stay. Within two years Disney followed up with the heart-warming Pinocchio, which earned an Academy Award, and then the parade of success continued with the resplendent Fantasia, Dumbo in 1941, and Bambi in 1942.

This is a wonderful masterpiece of a soundtrack, which like Steiner’s King Kong serves as a significant milestone in the history of film score art. I highly recommend it. For those of you unfamiliar with the music, I have included a Youtube link for you to experience the wondrous “Overture”.


Buy the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs soundtrack from the Movie Music UK Store

Track Listing:

  • Overture (2:12)
  • Magic Mirror (1:25)
  • I’m Wishing/One Song (performed by Adriana Casselotti and Harry Stockwell) (3:07)
  • Queen Theme (0:45)
  • Far Into the Forest (2:27)
  • Animal Friends/With A Smile and A Song (performed by Adriana Caselotti) (4:24)
  • Just Like A Doll’s House (2:46)
  • Whistle While You Work (performed by Adriana Caselotti) (3:24)
  • Heigh-Ho (performed by The Dwarf Chorus) (2:47)
  • Let’s See What’s Upstairs (1:17)
  • There’s Trouble A-Brewin’ (4:21)
  • It’s A Girl (4:27)
  • Hooray! She Stays (2:49)
  • Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum (The Dwarfs’ Washing Song) (performed by The Dwarf Chorus) (4:26)
  • I’ve Been Tricked (4:05)
  • The Dwarfs’ Yodel Song (The Silly Song) (performed by The Dwarf Chorus) (4:35)
  • Some Day My Prince Will Come (performed by Adriana Caselotti) (1:54)
  • Pleasant Dreams (2:29)
  • A Special Sort of Death (2:02)
  • Why Grumpy, You Do Care (2:08)
  • Makin’ Pies (3:04)
  • Have A Bite (1:28)
  • Chorale for Snow White (1:06)
  • Love’s First Kiss (Finale) (4:12)
  • Music In Your Soup (performed by The Dwarf Chorus) (2:35)
  • You’re Never Too Old To Be Young (performed by The Dwarf Chorus) (3:20)

Running Time: 73 minutes 57 seconds

Walt Disney Records (1937/2006)

Music composed by Frank Churchill, Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith. Conducted by Frank Churchill. Lyrics by Larry Morey. Orchestrations by Freeman High. Album produced by Randy Thornton.

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