Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho

In the 1937 Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which occupation did the dwarfs have?

And the answer: miners.

Adapted from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, the story follows Snow White, who is given shelter by a group of dwarfs. The dwarfs are diamond miners who sing the song "Heigh-Ho," as they travel to and from work.

Photo credit: PRNewsFoto/Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment/AP Images. 

While Disney and fairytale lovers alike tend to know that the origins of Snow White lie in the 1812 publication by the Brothers Grimm, Grimm's Fairy Tales, the history of Snow White's seven small companions is a little more obscure. In fact, the seven dwarfs weren't even named in the 1812 folk tales. It would be another 100 years after the Brothers Grimm story that the characters earned their names, in a 1912 Broadway production that is said to have inspired Walt Disney to follow suit. In the 1912 production, the dwarfs' names were Blіck, Flіck, Glіck, Snіck, Plіck, Whіck, and Quee. Thankfully, Disney changed their names to suit their personalities in the 1937 animated film (Quee? Really?).

There are many theories about the symbolism of these lovable little creatures. One theory claims that each dwarf is meant to represent different aspects of the self, that Happy embraces the world in a joyful state of mind and emotions, while Sneezy repels or expels the world's unhealthy influences. Another theory argues that the inclusion of seven dwarfs is a reference to the "divine" natural working order. Spiritually and secularly, there are Seven Natural Wonders of the World and Seven Seas to Sail, so intention aside, the number of dwarfs resonates with many in this way.

Watch these little miners Heigh-Ho their way to work below (rhyme intended).


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