4K Blu-Ray Review: Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” Gets New Restoration for Disney100 Celebration

Because the previous restoration was done so poorly, when Cinderella came to 4K Ultra-HD earlier this year, it was a must-own for any diehard animation fan. But overall, Disney has had a good track record for lovingly restoring their animated classics. The one that started it all, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, has been released on Blu-Ray several times since 2009, and all previous releases used a great-looking HD transfer. So when it was announced that Snow White would be the next Walt Disney-era animated classic to get the 4K treatment, I was wondering how much better it could possibly look. Now that it’s here, I have my answer.



Kindhearted Snow White is an orphaned princess who works in the palace for her vein stepmother, the Evil Queen. When the Magic Mirror reveals that Snow White has grown more beautiful than the Evil Queen, she sends her Huntsman to kill the princess. But when her life is spared, she runs into the woods, where she is given shelter by a group of seven little men, who protect her. But when the Evil Queen discovers that Snow White still lives, she will stop at nothing to finish the job to reclaim her bragging rights as fairest in the land.

In a release randed as part of the Disney100 celebration, the historical significance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs can’t be denied. Without it, all of the classics that have come since probably wouldn’t have happened. And despite being the first, the film still stands as one of the best. And now, it looks (marginally) better than it has before on home video.


Disney recently shared an image comparing the new restoration to the “original,” the source of which wasn’t specified. For my screenshot comparisons, I used the 2009 restoration alongside the new 2023 restoration, both sourced from Blu-Ray discs. 15 years of technological advancements have made it worth taking another pass over this classic, which thankfully also retains much of its film qualities. Grain is present, never scrubbed clean, which will appeal to film purists.

With overscan no longer an issue, the film’s opening titles are no longer window-boxed. The new restoration gains a slight boost in clarity, but the biggest noticeable difference is in the color spectrum.

Saturation feels slightly increased in the 2023 version. I’ve read multiple stories about how, in 1937, Walt Disney was nervous that audiences would experience eye strain while watching an hour of Technicolor animated material. For this reason, the colors in the film weren’t bright by design. In motion, this restoration doesn’t feel brightened at all. But certainly, in comparison to the previous release, it’s hard to ignore that it is brighter.

This “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” release includes 3 formats – 4K Ultra-HD, Blu-Ray, and Digital. All three formats use this same restoration.


The primary audio mix on both the 4K and Blu-Ray discs is a 5.1 HDMA-MA mix, which, to my ears, appears to be the same one as the previous releases. Originally mixed in mono, this surround mix yields a richer sound than that version but is by no means an immersive mix. The 4K disc also includes a 2.0 descriptive audio track, plus Spanish, French, German, and Italian in 5.1, and Japanese in 7.1 (the only language to have the added channels). The included Blu-Ray disc drops the German, Italian, and Japanese dubs but includes the restored mono mix

Bonus Features

Blu-Ray Disc

  • In Walt's Words: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (4:22) – For the first time ever, hear Walt himself talk about Snow White.
  • Iconography (7:16) – Explore how this film influences pop culture, art, and fashion.
  • @DisneyAnimation: Designing Disney's First Princess (5:16) – Modern-day Disney artists discuss the design of Snow White and how it influenced the look of some of your favorite Disney characters.
  • The Fairest Facts of Them All: 7 Facts You May Now Know About Snow White (4:37) – Disney Channel star Sofia Carson reveals seven intriguing facts about Snow White.
  • Snow White in Seventy Seconds (1:12) – Rap along with this hip reimagining of the story.
  • Alternate Sequence: The Prince Meets Snow White (3:39) – A never–before–seen storyboard sequence where the Prince meets Snow White.
  • Disney's First Feature: The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (33:15) – Dig deeper into the fascinating story of Walt Disney's first full-length animated movie, through interviews with film historians, archival footage, and firsthand accounts of its creation, including music, visual and character development, and much more.
  • Bringing Snow White To Life (11:25) – The Nine Old Men were Walt Disney's legendary core group of animators. But who came before them? Meet the celebrated Disney animators who taught the Nine Old Men their craft and brought Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the screen.
  • Hyperion Studios Tour (33:36) – Experience what life was like in the early days of the Walt Disney Studios on Hyperion, as recounted in archival audio recordings by the men and women who worked there
  • Decoding The Exposure Sheet (6:49) – Don Hahn translates the information buried in an exposure sheet from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • Snow White Returns (8:46) – Don Hahn shares a rare find from Disney's Animation Research Library: Story sketches for a proposed sequel to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • Story Meetings: The Dwarfs (5:51) – Hear a re-creation of artists' comments on the design and personalities of the dwarfs, taken from original transcripts of the story meetings and introduced by John Musker.
  • Story Meetings: The Huntsman (3:55) – The development of Snow White's encounter with the Huntsman and her flight through the forest is brought to life through discussions from original story meeting transcripts. With an introduction by Ron Clements.
  • Deleted Scene: Soup Eating Sequence (4:06) – Snow White tries to teach the dwarfs some table manners, but Dopey has a little trouble with his spoon.
  • Deleted Scene: Bed Building Sequence (6:28) – The dwarfs – with the help of Snow White's forest friends – make a beautiful bed for the princess.
  • Animation Voice Talent (6:20) – Discover the talented actors whose distinctive voices and outstanding performances helped bring Snow White's characters to life.
  • Audio Commentary (1:23:10) – Play movie with commentary by Roy E. Disney and historian John Canemaker and recordings by Walt Disney

Digital Exclusive

  • Walt Disney Short: Hungry Hobos (5:23) – After hopping a freight train loaded with livestock, Oswald and his pal Pete hatch a plan for a delicious meal. But when a policeman discovers them on the train, they're forced to switch gears to make their escape. Featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Packaging & Design

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs comes to 4K in a standard black Blu-Ray case with disc holders on both sides of the interior. Only the 4K disc has artwork, depicting the witch offering its holder an apple (the Blu-Ray disc gets disc art in the Best Buy exclusive SteelBook version). The only insert is a flier with a digital copy code, redeemable through Movies Anywhere and eligible for points through Disney Movie Insiders. The menu on both discs reuses the one from the 2016 Walt Disney Signature Collection release, featuring brush strokes on a canvas that reveal scenes from the film. There aren’t any trailers.

Final Thoughts

As a lifelong collector of Disney animated films, I’m overjoyed to see Disney continue to restore their classics with the best technology available. If you’re a collector, or if Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is among your favorite films, the film has never looked better at home than it does here. However, the difference between the 2009 and 2023 restorations isn’t substantial, and with no new bonus features in this release, those content with the version that already sits on their shelves aren’t given much of an incentive to buy it again.

Purchase Options

(Please note this article contains affiliate links. Your purchase will support LaughingPlace by providing us a small commission, but will not affect your pricing or user experience. Thank you.)

Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).