Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1939) was the first feature-length cartoon. According to many, it remains the greatest.
That's hindsight for you. At the time Walt Disney was considered crazy for going deep into debt to make the picture, which was derided as "Disney's Folly" by naysayers who maintained that the human eye and brain couldn't accommodate 90 uninterrupted minutes of animation.
Kansas City audiences can discover just how wrong they were when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs screens on Sunday, December 9, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., as part of the Movies That Matter film series.
Today about the only way in which the film seems dated is in its depiction of Snow White herself, who is awfully placid when compared to today's assertive cartoon heroines.
But in every other regard - narrative, the characterizations of the dwarfs, the scary elements, the astonishing atmospheric effects, the careful balance of humor and terror - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfsremains a triumph of popular entertainment.
Introductory and closing remarks are provided by Robert W. Butler, for more than 40 years film critic of The Kansas City Star and now a member of the Library's public affairs staff.
Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.
Other titles in the series:
January 6: The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
January 13: My Darling Clementine (1946)
January 27: Bringing Up Baby (1938)
February 10: All About Eve (1950)
February 25: Dr. Strangelove (1964)
March 10: The Circus (1928)
March 24: Rear Window (1954)
April 7: Wings of Desire (1987)
April 21: Singin' in the Rain (1952)
May 5: Sunset Boulevard (1950)
May 19: Metropolis (1927)