Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This just in from Robert Lughai (who runs the great blog Filmic Light: A Snow White Sanctum) via Jim Korkis:

[I am currently doing research for a post on the December 26, 1938 Lux Radio Theater presentation of Snow White.

In particular, I am trying to confirm the actual voice actors who reprised their roles from the film. While I'm able to identify a number of them from the audio recording, others are just different enough that it's difficult to be sure.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find much info. Most of the material I've found so far states that "many" of the actors returned, but just who is not specified.

Would you have info on this performance that Walt Disney appeared in? And specifically, do you know if the main characters were played by the original actors?]

Jim answers:

[What a great question!

Here is the information I have in my files. I don't know if I would say "many" of the original voice actors returned. I would probably say "some". I can't guarantee it is a hundred percent correct but I haven't seen any other refutation of this information:

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (12-26-38). Starring Thelma Hubbard (Snow White), James Eagles (Prince), Roy Atwell (Doc), Billy Gilbert (Sneezy), Rolfe Sedan (Happy), Jack Smart (Bashful), Lou Merrill (Sleepy), Moroni Olsen (Mirror), Stuart Buchanan (Grumpy/Huntsman), Paula Winslowe (Queen) and Gloria Gordon (Witch). Of course, there is no voice for Dopey.

Folks like Lou Merrill who did Sleepy were "utility performers" filling in a variety of odd little side voices for a show. He did a lot of this work for LUX RADIO THEATER in the early years.

Thelma Hubbard (1909-1978) later married and became Thelma Boardman which is why on the voices credits for the Disney animated film BAMBI you can find both Thelma Hubbard and Thelma Boardman listed as supplying the voice for the character of Mrs. Quail (as well as two or three other small incidental characters).

I wish I knew more about Thelma who I would call "The Forgotten Snow White". Why was she brought in to do Snow White's voice rather than Adrianna Caselotti who did it in the movie? I assume it is because Thelma had more experience on radio and more experience doing Snow White's voice. For one thing, she did the Spanish dub of Snow White's voice for the original theatrical release. For another, on the MICKEY MOUSE THEATER OF THE AIR radio show earlier in 1938, she not only supplied the voice of Minnie Mouse (and would do the voice for a handful of theatrical shorts in the early Forties) but also did Snow White (in English) for two of the shows.]

Can anyone else help?


Gdgourou said...

This type of information is very astonishing... On one side, this very old radio presentation on the other lot of "files" keep by some Disney fans...

David said...

Could it be possibly because Caselotti was suing the Disney Company over the unauthorized use of her voice?

Caselotti and Harry Stockwell, the voice of the Prince, launched legal action against Disney shortly after the film opened. I recall it may have been over the use of their voices outside of the film, (for example, on the RCA children's record).

I'll try and go through my newspaper clippings this weekend, because I know there was press coverage regarding this at the time.

Alexander Rannie said...

Jim Korkis's always terrific research covers the bases for the /Snow White/ show and I thought I'd offer the following as a small supplement for anyone interested in further information about "Lux Presents."

While working on a CD-ROM encyclopedia of Disney characters in 1993 (never released), I had to track down performer information for the Lux /Snow White/ show and, at that time, the Disney Archives did not have a cast list for the show. Research led me to Connie Billips, one of the authors of a soon-to-be-released book about Lux Radio Theatre (more info below), and she kindly provided me with the information I was looking for (which I subsequently passed along to the Disney Archives).

Though Ms. Billips's book is out-of-print, copies can still be found through online sources such as Amazon.com and BookFinder.com. And local libraries can usually arrange an inter-library loan (if they don't already have a copy) using WorldCat.org as a good starting point.

Here is the book citation:

Billips, Connie J. and Arthur Pierce, Lux Presents Hollywood: A Show-By-Show History of the Lux Radio Theatre and the Lux Video Theatre, 1934-1957 (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 1995). ISBN-10: 089950938X