Top Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Seven Dwarfs

by | Jun 26, 2017 | Lists and Trivia

  1. Even though the original version of Snow White was published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, it would be another 100 years before they were named. In the original fairy tale (number 53 in the Grimm’s Fairy Tales collection, originally titled Sneewittchen in German), the dwarfs were unnamed.
  2. The first time the dwarfs were given names was in the 1912 Broadway play, produced by Winthrop Ames. And what were those names? Blick, Flick, Glick, Snick, Plick, Whick, and Quee.
  3. Even as Walt Disney and his team of storywriters worked on the script for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it took quite a while to settle on the final names for the dwarfs. Potential names included Jumpy, Deafy, Dizzey, Hickey, Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Nifty, Sniffy, Swift, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, Tubby, Shorty, and Burpy. Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sleepy, and Happy were the first to be named. Sneezy was next, and it was another month before the team finally settled on Dopey as the name of the final dwarf.
  4. Even though he was the last dwarf to be named, Dopey proved to be the most popular. This was partly due to his distinctive appearance (he was the only dwarf without a beard), but also because of his bumbling and endearing demeanor. Dopey was also the only dwarf not to speak, though his few vocal effects were provided by legendary voice actor Mel Blanc, best known as the voice of Bugs Bunny.
  5. Doc is the leader of the seven dwarfs and was voiced by Roy Atwell. Walt Disney commented that Doc’s flustered personality should be such that he never knew quite where he was without one of his fellow dwarfs reminding him.
  6. If Dopey is the most popular dwarf, Grumpy is certainly a close second. Originally voiced by Pinto Colvig (the original voice of Goofy), Grumpy had a soft spot for Snow White, though he vehemently denied it. However, it was Grumpy that lead the dwarfs on the quest to rescue Snow White. Doc and Grumpy were actually the focus of a scene that was fully animated yet cut from the final film. In the scene, the two dwarfs get into a fight over a gooseberry pie that Snow White promised to make for them. Even though Grumpy seemed to be winning, he eventually acquiesced and agreed to let Snow White prepare the pie.
  7. Happy was voiced by Otis Harlan (who also performed the role of Mr. Mole in Bambi). Happy was originally going to be a comically tragic character, but quickly evolved into the cheerful, bubbly dwarf that we know today. He has a great love for food and is the chubbiest of the dwarfs. (He showcased his fondness for food in the deleted musical sequence where the dwarfs noisily slurped up their bowls of soup.)
  8. Bashful’s voice was performed by Scotty Mattraw (who also had small roles in Babes in Toyland and The Grapes of Wrath). He is the most romantic of the dwarfs, and even has a small crush on Snow White herself. When Snow White offered to share a story with the dwarfs, it was Bashful who suggested that it be a love story.
  9. Sleepy was voiced by the legendary Sterling Holloway, perhaps best known to Disney fans as the voice of Winnie the Pooh. Even though Sleepy is constantly on the verge of dozing off, he’s actually the most observant of all the dwarfs. A running gag throughout the film had Sleepy being constantly pestered by a fly, an example of the type of “gag” that Walt Disney felt was critical in giving the dwarfs their individual personalities. When animating Sleepy, care was taken to ensure that one eye was always larger than the other to make Sleepy appear exhausted.
  10. Sneezy was voiced by Billy Gilbert, a popular comedic actor (originally discovered by Stan Laurel), well known for his hilarious sneeze routines. Walt Disney knew he would be perfect for the role, and later cast Gilbert as Willie the Giant in Mickey and the Beanstalk. Perhaps the friendliest of the dwarfs, he often joins Dopey in his playful antics. (It’s Sneezy that’s hiding under the coat, with Dopey on his shoulders, in the memorable dance scene with Snow White inside the cottage.)