Was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Adolf Hitler’s favourite film? Why did Nazi leader love the Disney classic

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The Fuhrer was a film fanatic and one of his favourite movies was Disney’s first feature-length animation

Adolf Hitler is not best known for his love of cinema - his other attributes, such as his rampant anti-semitism and possible mania, have received much more attention in the history books, and rightly so.

But, with a live action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the works at Disney, it’s worth revisiting the legend that the 1937 classic was Hitler’s favourite film, or at least in his top 10.

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Granted, he didn’t have as much to choose from, there was no Pulp Fiction, Guardians of the Galaxy, or even Indiana Jones back in the 30s. But it is interesting that the world’s biggest nationalist was a huge fan of Hollywood movies.

It wasn’t just Hitler that loved Snow White - the film, which was Disney’s first ever feature-length animation, is the highest-grossing animated film of all time, when adjusted for inflation.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs launched the Disney movies franchise, revolutionised cinema, and somehow, made even Adolf Hitler smile. 

Adolf Hitler's favourite film was reportedly Snow White and the Seven DwarfsAdolf Hitler's favourite film was reportedly Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Adolf Hitler's favourite film was reportedly Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | Getty, Disney

Was Hitler’s favourite film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?

It’s become something of an urban legend that the great dictator’s favourite film was the whimsical fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but what’s really strange is that the myth is probably true.

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Hitler was a wannabe artist himself and loved the style of Walt Disney. Snow White was the first feature length Disney animated movie on its release in 1937, and it took the world by storm, although not to the extent that Hitler did two years later.

The themes of the film and its style which harkened back to a simple, pre-industrial time, chimed with Hitler’s love of the traditional folkloric life. The Fuhrer is believed to have thought that the film was one of the greatest films ever made.

Adolf Hitler watched Snow White with his personal photographer at least 20 timesAdolf Hitler watched Snow White with his personal photographer at least 20 times
Adolf Hitler watched Snow White with his personal photographer at least 20 times | Disney

The movie was an adaptation of a classic German fairytale published by The Brothers Grimm in the early 19th century. The Nazi’s propaganda ministry bought the film in 1938, but it was not shown publicly because of anti-American sentiment as the world approached a Second World War.

Hitler ignored the ban and had a print of the film delivered to his private cinema, where he held screenings for himself and his Nazi loyalists. Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler’s personal photographer, claimed that he watched the film with Hitler at least 20 times.

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Hitler became a film fanatic, as well as an actual fanatic, and sometimes watched several films a day up until the outbreak of the Second World War, when he found himself rather busy.

His other favourites included King Kong, Viva Villa! (about a Mexican revolutionary), and The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, based on the biography of a British soldier in the Indian Army.

Is the Snow White remake controversial?

The upcoming Snow White remake is already causing controversy online, despite the fact that it won’t be released for another six months. 

The controversy has nothing to do with Hitler though. Instead, Disney fans have got themselves out of shape because the remake will star mixed race actress Rachel Zegler as the titular princess.

Some are also frustrated that the seven dwarfs have been replaced by seven magical creatures, whilst the prince is also expected to take a backseat in the narrative this time around.

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