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23 Snow White Facts

Snow White looks pretty sprightly for a septuagenarian: On Sunday, the girl who kicked off the whole Disney Princess craze turned 77. The movie premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater in L.A. on December 21, 1937, a star-studded affair that brought out Hollywood’s brightest stars. Though she’s been around for nearly eight decades, Snow White still has her secrets. Here are a few of them.

1. Though we now know the film was a massive success, at the time, no one thought it would succeed. Disney took out multiple loans to finance the movie, even mortgaging his own house for it. Believing that it would ruin Walt financially, insiders referred to Snow White as “Disney’s Folly.”

2. In fact, even Walt’s wife, Lillian, thought the movie would completely bomb.

3. At one point during production, Walt decided that for everyone to understand his precise vision for the film, he would have to physically show them. He gathered the artists on an empty soundstage and spent hours acting out the entire script.

4. To give Snow White her famously rosy cheeks, the women in the Ink and Paint department applied real blush to the cels. One woman was especially talented at Snow White’s makeup application and was recruited to do it specifically for all of the close-ups.

5. In order to ensure that all of Snow White’s animal friends were captured just right, Disney kept a variety of live animals at the studio for the animators to reference.

6. Dopey was originally slated to be a chatterbox, but producers couldn’t find a voice that was quite suitable for the bald dwarf. Rather than outfit him with vocals they thought were wrong, Dopey went silent instead.

7. The Evil Queen (Queen Grimhilde, according to some sources) and the old hag/witch was voiced by the same actress: Lucille LaVerne. She managed to get a completely different sound for the hag’s voice by removing her false teeth.

8. According to Bill Cottrell, a Disney employee during the Snow White era, La Verne nailed her audition on the first try. “You could have recorded it and used the first reading she gave,” he said. “She concluded with a blood-chilling, maniacal laugh that rang all through the sound stage.”

9. To achieve the Magic Mirror’s hollow-sounding voice, voice actor Moroni Olsen wore a frame covered with drum heads over his head.

10. To skirt around the issue of how old Snow White was supposed to be, Walt instructed his animators to make Snow White appear “old enough to marry.”

11. Animators believed that Walt had wonderfully expressive eyebrows, which he apparently used to great effect in story meetings. Except for Happy, all of the dwarfs have eyebrows modeled after Walt’s.

12. The movie was actually such a success that Walt used the profits from it to purchase 51 acres of land in Burbank to build studios—facilities that are still used to this day.

13. Attendees of the Carthay Circle premiere included Cary Grant, Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, George Burns, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, and Ginger Rogers.

14. The next day, Chaplin told the Los Angeles Times that Dopey was “one of the greatest comedians of all time.”

15. Chaplin wasn’t the only fan. Academy President Frank Capra came up with the idea of giving Disney a special Honorary Academy Award for “significant screen innovation.” The award was one regular-sized Oscar and seven tiny ones. Here’s Shirley Temple presenting it to him:

16. Several songs were written for the movie that didn’t make it into the final cut. “Music in Your Soup” is just one of them, and although it was ultimately scrapped, you can see the rough version of it here:

If you like what you hear, you’re in luck: After being hidden away in the Disney archives for decades, “Music in Your Soup” is now featured on the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs soundtrack.

17. Speaking of which, in 1944, Snow White became the first film to ever release a soundtrack.

18. Rejected dwarf names names included Scrappy, Hoppy, Awful, Weepy, Gloomy, Snoopy, Silly, Gabby, Blabby, Flabby, Dizzy, and Biggy-Wiggy.

19. Snow White Returns? Yep, it almost happened. While not much was known about the overall plot, it was going to make use of some scrapped scenes from the original movie—including the “Music In Your Soup” scene.

20. Here’s proof that no one was immune to Snow White’s charms: Hitler considered himself a big fan. There has even been speculation that he did some sketches of the dwarfs—and indeed, Hitler was an aspiring artist before he became the most infamous dictator in history.

21. Prince Charming is only onscreen for a little more than two minutes total. He was originally supposed to have a larger role, but because artists found him difficult to realistically animate, Charming got cut.

22. Snow White continues to be one of the most innocent characters in animated history. Funnily enough, artist Grim Natwick was hired to animate her based on his previous experience animating one of the most provocative cartoon characters: Betty Boop.

23. Adriana Caselotti (above) was paid $970 for her work voicing Snow White. Walt Disney had her under a strict contract that forbade most acting work afterward, so Caselotti went into opera instead. She also continued to provide the voice of Snow White for various occasions for the rest of her life, even recording "I'm Wishing" for the wishing well at Disneyland at the age of 75.

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16 Geeky Coasters to Keep Your Coffee Table Safe
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Avoid unsightly ring stains on your coffee table with this delightful selection of coasters:

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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Use these on a black table to recreate the retro video game.

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Rock on: These fancy agate coasters will look solid resting under your glass.

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These glowing coasters are perfect for chemists, Breaking Bad fans, and anyone who forgot to pay their electric bill.

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Build your own coaster with this LEGO-esque design.

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Star Trek ship coasters
Amazon

This ceramic set celebrates all the best ships from Star Trek.

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Just make sure you don’t accidentally send your glass into a different time period when you set it down.

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Bonanza

Cover your counter space with the cute face of Rilakkuma.

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All the houses are present in this set of wood coasters.

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Just because it’s the end of the world doesn’t mean all manners go out the door: Never forget to use a coaster!

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This set comes with 10 coasters, each with a slice of brain specimen. When you’re not using them, you can stack them together to create a full brain.

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Getting totally wigged by the idea of a stained table? All your favorite characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer can give you an assist.

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Studio Ghibli Stone Tile Coasters
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These coasters feature scenes from the classics My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle.

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15 Educational Facts About Old School
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Old School starred Luke Wilson as Mitch Martin, an attorney who—after catching his girlfriend cheating, and through some real estate and bitter dean-related circumstances—becomes the leader of a not-quite-official college fraternity. Along with his fellow thirtysomething friends Bernard (Vince Vaughn) and newlywed Frank (Will Ferrell), they end up having to fight for their right to maintain their status as a party-loving frat on campus.

The film, which was released 15 years ago today, marked Vaughn’s return to major comedies and Ferrell’s first major starring role after seven years on Saturday Night Live. Here are some facts about the movie for everyone, but particularly for my boy, Blue.

1. THE IDEA ORIGINATED WITH AN AD GUY.

Writer-director Todd Phillips was talking to a friend of his from the advertising industry named Court Crandall one day. Crandall had seen and enjoyed Phillips's movie Frat House (1998) and told his director buddy, “You know what would be funny is a movie about older guys who start a fraternity of their own.” After being told by Phillips to write it, he presented Phillips with a “loose version” of the finished product.

2. SOME OF THE FRAT SHENANIGANS WERE REAL.

While Crandall received the story credit for Old School, Phillips and Scot Armstrong received the credit for writing the script. Armstrong put his own college fraternity experiences into the script. “We were in Peoria, Illinois, so it was up to us to entertain ourselves," Armstrong shared in the movie's official production notes. "A lot of ideas for Old School came from things that really happened. When it was cold, everyone would go stir crazy and it inspired some moments of brilliance. Of course, my definition of ‘brilliance' might be different from other people's.”

3. IVAN REITMAN HELPED OUT.

Ivan Reitman, director of Stripes and Ghostbusters, was an executive producer on the film. Phillips and Armstrong wrote and rewrote every day for two months at Reitman’s house, an experience Phillips described as comedy writing “boot camp.”

4. THE STUDIO DIDN’T WANT VINCE VAUGHN.

Vince Vaughn in 'Old School' (2003)
DreamWorks

It didn’t seem to make a difference to DreamWorks that Phillips and Armstrong had written the role of Bernard with Vince Vaughn in mind—the studio didn't want him. After his breakout success in Swingers, Vaughn had taken roles in dramas like the 1998 remake of Psycho. “So when Todd Phillips wanted me for Old School, the studio didn’t want me,” Vaughn told Variety in 2015. “They didn’t think I could do comedy! They said, ‘He’s a dramatic actor from smaller films.’ Todd really had to push for me.”

5. RECYCLED SHOTS OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY WERE USED.

The film was mainly shot on the Westwood campus of UCLA. The aerial shots of the fictitious Harrison University, however, were of Harvard; they had been shot for Road Trip (2000).

6. VINCE VAUGHN FANS MIGHT RECOGNIZE THE CHURCH.

In the film, Frank gets married at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, California. Vaughn and Owen Wilson were in that same church two years later for Wedding Crashers (2005).

7. WILL FERRELL SCARED MEMBERS OF A 24-HOUR GYM.

Frank’s streaking scene was shot on a city street. As Ferrell remembered it, one of the storefronts was a 24-hour gym with Stairmasters and treadmills in the window. “I was rehearsing in a robe, and all these people are in the gym, watching me. I asked one of the production assistants, ‘Shouldn’t we tell them I’m going to be naked?’ Sure enough, I dropped my robe and there were shrieks of pure horror. After the first take, nobody was at the window anymore. I took that as a sign of approval.”

8. FERRELL REALLY WAS NAKED.

Ferrell justified it by saying it showed his character falling off the wagon. “The fact that it made sense was the reason I was really into doing it, and why I was able to commit on that level," Ferrell told the BBC. "If it was just for the sake of doing a crazy shot, then I don't think it makes sense.” Still, Ferrell needed some liquid courage, and was intimidated by the presence of Snoop Dogg.

9. ROB CORDDRY WAS NOT NAKED, BUT HE STILL HAD TO SIGN AWAY HIS NUDITY RIGHTS.

Old School marked the first major film role for Rob Corddry, who at the time was best known as a correspondent for The Daily Show. He had a jewel bag around his private parts for his nude scene, but his butt made it into the final cut. He had to sign a nudity clause, which gave the film the right to use his naked image “in any part of the universe, in any form, even that which is not devised.”

10. SNOOP DOGG AGREED TO CAMEO SO HE COULD PLAY HUGGY BEAR IN STARSKY & HUTCH.

Phillips admitted to essentially bribing the hip-hop artist/actor, using Snoop Dogg’s desire to play the street informant in the modern movie adaptation of the classic TV show (which Phillips was also directing) to his advantage. “So when I went to him I said, 'I want you to do Huggy Bear,' he was really excited. And I said, 'Oh yeah, also will you do this little thing for me in Old School a little cameo?' So he kind of had to do it I think."

11. SNOOP WANTED TO HANG OUT WITH VINCE VAUGHN ON SET, BUT NOT LUKE WILSON.

Snoop Dogg in 'Old School' (2003)
Richard Foreman, Dreamworks

Vaughn and his friends accepted an invitation to hang out in Snoop Dogg’s trailer to play video games on the last day of shooting. Vaughn recalled seeing Luke Wilson later watching the news alone in his trailer; he had not been informed of the get-together.

12. WILSON WAS TEASED BY HIS CO-STARS.

Vaughn, Wilson, and Ferrell dubbed themselves “The Wolfpack”—years before Phillips directed The Hangover—because they would always make fun of each other. A particularly stinging exchange had Ferrell refer to Legally Blonde (which Wilson had starred in) as Legally Bland. Wilson said it didn’t make him feel great. Wilson retorted by telling Ferrell that "the transition from TV to the movies isn't a very easy one, so you might just want to keep one foot back in TV just in case this whole movie thing falls through!"

13. TERRY O’QUINN SCARED HIS SONS INTO THINKING THEY WERE TRIPPING.

Terry O’Quinn (who went on to play John Locke on Lost the following year) agreed to play Goldberg, uncredited, in what was a two-day job for him. He neglected to inform his sons he was in the movie, and when they saw it, one of them called their father. “I got a call from my sons one night, and they said, ‘What were you doing in Old School? We didn’t even know you were in it!’ They said, ‘We’re sitting there, and the first time we see you, it’s, like, in a reflection in a window. And when we saw it, and we both thought we were, like, tripping or something!’”

14. THE EARMUFFS WERE IMPROVISED.

Before filming, Vaughn worked with Ferrell to figure out their characters' backstories and how they knew each other; he credited that with helping him figure out who Bernard was, which led to several ad-libbed moments. “The earmuff scene where he swears in front of the kids, and then I tell the kid to earmuff, that all is off the cuff. But that stuff is a lot easier to do when you know who you are and your circumstances, and who your characters are,” Vaughn explained.

15. FERRELL AND VAUGHN DIDN’T LOVE A SCRIPT FOR A SEQUEL.

Armstrong had written Old School Dos in 2006, which saw the frat going to Spring Break. Ferrell said that he and Vaughn read the script but felt like they would just be “kind of doing the same thing again.” Wilson, on the other hand, was excited over the new script.

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