At the beginning of the story, a queen sits sewing at an open window during a winter snowfall when she pricks her finger with her needle, causing three drops of red blood to drip onto the freshly fallen white snow on the black windowsill. Then, she says to herself, "How I wish that I had a daughter that had skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood and hair as black as ebony." Sometime later, the queen dies giving birth to a baby daughter who becomes Snow White. (However, in the 1812 version of the tale, the queen does not die but later behaves the same way the step-mother does in later versions of the tale, including the 1854 iteration.) A year later, Snow White's father, the king, marries again. His new wife is very beautiful, but a vain and wicked woman who practices witchcraft. The new queen possesses a magic mirror, which she asks every morning, "Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?" The mirror always tells the queen that she is the fairest. The queen is always pleased with that response because the magic mirror never lies. But when Snow White is seven years old, her fairness surpasses that of her stepmother. When the queen again asks her mirror the same question, it tells her that Snow White is the fairest.
It had first been thought that the dwarfs would be the main focus of the story, and many sequences were written for the seven characters. However, at a certain point, it was decided that the main thrust of the story was provided by the relationship between the Queen and Snow White. For this reason, several sequences featuring the dwarfs were cut from the film. The first, which was animated in its entirety before being cut, showed Doc and Grumpy arguing about whether Snow White should stay with them. Another, also completely animated, would have shown the dwarfs eating soup noisily and messily; Snow White unsuccessfully attempts to teach them how to eat 'like gentlemen'. A partially-animated sequence involved the dwarfs holding a "lodge meeting" in which they try to think of a gift for Snow White; this was to be followed by the elaborate 'bed-building sequence', in which the dwarfs and the forest animals construct and carve a bed for the princess. This was also cut, as it was thought to slow down the movement of the story. The soup-eating and bed-building sequences were animated by Ward Kimball, who was sufficiently discouraged by their removal to consider leaving the studio; Disney, however, persuaded him to stay by promoting Kimball to supervising animator of Jiminy Cricket in his next feature Pinocchio (1940). 2b1af7f3a8