Walt Disney’s 25 million reasons to re-release Snow White

Here’s a quick, easily digestible business lesson, brought to you by Walt Disney. It was 1952, and a recent visit by Walt to a local hospital had inspired one of the young patients to subsequently send him an inquisitive letter. The child, Blaine, simply wanted to know why Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – originally unveiled to an adoring public early-1938 – was, yet again, being re-released that year.

The following letter was Walt’s answer.

Transcript follows.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

May 14, 1952.

Dear Blaine –

Through the kindness of Dr. Barnard, I have received your note and will try to answer your questions.

SNOW WHITE was completed in 1937 and at that time it took us three years to make the picture, which cost $1,700,000.00 to produce.

Since SNOW WHITE was first released in 1937-38, we found from statistics that over 25,000,000 children had been born since it was first shown and that these children were now of an age where they would appreciate seeing SNOW WHITE. So that is the reason it was re-issued this year and all indications are that this re-issue will be very successful.

We are now finishing PETER PAN and I am sure this is a picture you will be interested in seeing.

Just to show you how costs have increased since we made SNOW WHITE, PAN will cost over $3,000,000.00 to produce, but I feel it is going to be a very good picture and it should return this investment to us.

Many thanks for your interest in our work and I hope I have the opportunity of seeing you again.


(Signed, ‘Walt Disney’)

Blaine Warner
c/o Harold D. Barnard, M.D.,
9730 Wilshire Blvd., Rm. 216,
Beverly Hills, Calif.