Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Premieres

December 21, 1937 – Walt Disney released his first full length animated film – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  It’s gone on to be among the top ten grossing films, but it took a mammoth effort – 570 artists just for starters – and a mammoth risk.  Would adults sit still for an animated feature?

Based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a classic tale of good and evil, so there’s plenty of suspense to draw viewers of all ages in.  But it’s a cartoon, too.  And the adults embraced it along with the kids.

Back in the 1970s, Snow White was the first film I ever saw in the theater.  At least, that’s the way my mom tells it.  Ever notice many of your childhood stories depend on the retelling by adults?  They tell it so often, you repeat it, and are certain it’s true.  Though I’d like to doubt the one where I climbed the kitchen cabinets to open a can of frosting and somehow dumped it out on my little brother’s head.  Surely I would’ve eaten some first.

Still, Walt Disney’s retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is so clever, we want it to be true.  Good triumphs.  True love prevails.  Evil is vanquished.

The initial showing of Snow White gave people something to smile and laugh about in the time of WWI and WWII.  Perhaps we can celebrate the 75th anniversary of this classic, and have something more to smile and laugh about in this time of both sorrow and joy.

— Kim

Kim is Store Manager of our Half Price Books store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Top Three Things I Learned from Shel Silverstein’s Every Thing On It

When I picked up Every Thing On It last fall, I expected the poems and illustrations so uniquely Shel Silverstein to remind me of being a kid again – silly, awkward, dreamy.  And they did.  But they did more.  Several of his poems connected to my adult life – the questions, the pressures, the state of our world.

“Years From Now,” starts the collection.  “Although I cannot see your face / As you flip these poems awhile/ Somewhere from some far-off place / I hear you laughing – and I smile.”

If the answer to the big question, “What is the meaning of life?” is to leave behind a legacy you can be proud of, Shel Silverstein’s legacy of laughter, dreaming and thinking certainly fit the bill.

“Yesees and Noees” really stuck in my mind, too.  “…So the Yesees all died of much too much / And the Noees all died of fright / But somehow I think the Thinkforyourselfees / All came out all right.”  What a straightforward way to point out the solution to surviving pressures.

As for the state of our world, we are often so afraid to be seen as different because differences get punished.  But in “Masks”, Shel Silverstein reveals to us, “She had blue skin / And so did he. He kept it hid / And so did she.  They searched for blue / Their whole life through / Then passed right by – And never knew.”

Just as The Giving Tree was considered both children’s and adult literature, Every Thing On It can be, too.

Thank you, Shel Silverstein.

What’s the best thing you’ve learned from a Shel Silverstein poem or book? – Kim

Kim is Store Manager at Cedar Rapids HPB in Marion, IA.