Dopey is the youngest of the seven dwarfs in Disney's 1937 animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Eddie Collins performed live-action reference and provided any vocal work needed for the character. Although he never says a word, Dopey's vocal effects were provided by Collins and Jimmy MacDonald in the film. Happy says he can't talk because he has never tried, so Dopey is a silent type.
Dopey is often the butt of the other dwarfs' jokes and his silly, playful actions often annoy the pompous Doc and the short-tempered Grumpy. He is not dumb, but merely acts like a toddler or a dog. Though he occasionally whimpers, laughs or hiccups, he does not talk. Dopey is the most popular of the seven dwarfs among audiences, but definitely not amongst the dwarfs.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
In the 1937 film, Dopey is a short and slender dwarf. Unlike his foster brothers, he has no beard and is completely bald. He has pale skin, baby blue eyes, giant ears, thick black eyebrows, and a small pink cherry nose. He dons a loose olive drab turtleneck tunic with a couple of gold buttons vertically on his chest and sienna patches on his elbows stitched in black thread, a black belt with gold rectangular outlined buckle, blue leggings, a pair of sienna medieval-style shoes, and a purple stocking cap. He is also mute, according to Happy, telling Snow White that he doesn't talk and never tries.
In the 2014 Disney XD television series, he is a short and slender dwarf. He carries white skin, a pink cherry nose, wavy brown hair, matching eyebrows, cream freckles, pink ear innards, and white eyes with very small black pupils. He sports a teal turtleneck with a flower on his left chest consisting of 5 red pedals around its yellow center, purple pants, a pair of crimson shoes, and a long red stocking cap with multi-colored polka dots on it and a brown pom-pom on its tip.
Behind the scenes
In the very early stages of pre-production for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dopey was simply called 'The Seventh'. An armature of each dwarf was constructed as reference for the animators. Perce Pierce, one of the storymen working on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, was particularly active in creating the characters of the dwarfs. Dopey's personality and role were finalized quite late in the process. After someone suggested that Dopey should move like burlesque comedian Eddie Collins, Collins himself was filmed performing actions for Dopey. This helped to define the character's personality.
Though designing the dwarfs was relatively easy, animating them proved to be difficult, as the animators, already finding human figures difficult to animate, now had to animate "ill-formed" human figures. Vladimir Tytla noted that the dwarfs should walk with a swing to their hips, and Fred Moore commented that the dwarfs had to move a little more quickly to keep up with the human characters.
In order to establish Dopey's character during the march home in Heigh Ho, George Stalling noted traits specific to the character, to be taken into account in the animation: An armature of each dwarf was constructed as reference for the animators.
Working at the Mine
Dopey is first introduced, along with his six companions, at the Dwarfs' Mine. His job is to sweep up the diamonds thrown away by Doc. At one point, Dopey pretends that two diamonds are his eyes, much to Doc's disapproval. Dopey is the last dwarf to leave the mine, and walks at the back of the line as they sing Heigh Ho on the way home, attempting to keep in step but failing.
Finding Snow White
When the seven dwarfs reach their cottage, they think that some creature has taken up residence in their house. They sneak into the cottage and search the room. They quickly note that the cottage has been cleaned considerably. At one point, Dopey and Happy see something cooking on the fire. Happy is about to try it when Grumpy stops him, suspecting that it is "witch's brew". They decide that whatever is in the cottage is upstairs, and Doc declares that one of them must go upstairs to chase it out of the house. Dopey is elected, and Doc, his hand shaking, gives Dopey the candle. Dopey is so terrified upon entering the bedroom that, when he hears a noise coming from the beds, he screams and rushes downstairs. The other dwarfs think that a monster is after them and rush outside, locking the door behind them. Dopey falls into the kitchen and emerges from the cottage covered in pots and pans. The other dwarfs, waiting in the trees outside, think Dopey is the monster and ambush him, beating away all the kitchenware. When they realise that it is only Dopey, they decide that they must get rid of the monster once and for all, and enter the bedroom. They are about to strike whatever is sleeping in their beds when they realise that it is the princess, Snow White. Grumpy begins to complain, and Doc attempts to silence him, but Snow White is woken up. She manages to match the name at the foot of each bed to the correct dwarf, identifying Dopey sixth.
In the Cottage
Eventually it is agreed that Snow White will clean and cook for the dwarfs if she is allowed to stay. She prepares soup for them, but demands that they wash first. The dwarfs reluctantly march outside; first, Dopey goes in the wrong direction; then, he bumps into the door. Eventually he goes to the trough. Here, the dwarfs, led by Doc, wash themselves, when Sneezy dips his finger in the water, he blubbers shocking Dopey and the other dwarfs except Grumpy, while singing Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum (The Dwarfs' Washing Song). Grumpy refuses to wash, but the other dwarfs, led by Doc, manage to drag him to the water and wash him thoroughly. As they are doing this, Dopey attempts to get the soap; it keeps slipping out of his hands, and eventually he swallows it by mistake.
Later that evening, after supper, the seven dwarfs entertain Snow White with The Silly Song; to begin with, Dopey plays the drums, and then later tries to gets on top of Sneezy's shoulders, almost causing him to sneeze, Dopey prevents this and they both go to dance with the princess, Dopey bows to Snow White and nearly loses his balance, but Sneezy drags him back up by his rear end and both maintain their composure. At the song's apex, Sneezy starts jittering and just before he sneezes Dopey, being a good friend puts his finger in front of his own nose but to no avail. Dopey is burst up onto one of the rafters. The dwarfs listen to Snow White sing Some Day My Prince Will Come, which sends every dwarf, except the stubborn Grumpy, into a dream-like state. Doc declares that Snow White will sleep in the bedroom upstairs, and the dwarfs must sleep downstairs. Dopey leans his head on a single feather to sleep, while Sneezy uses his bum as a pillow. During the night, Dopey starts kicking his legs, but a few jabs from Sneezy on the bottom makes him settle.
The next morning, as each dwarf leaves, he is kissed by Snow White. When it is Dopey's turn he is blown back inside by one of Sneezy's sneezes but this doesn't stop he runs back out to get kissed, he eagerly darts around the back and through the house to receive another. While the dwarfs head to the mine, the Queen, as the Witch, makes her way to the cottage, knowing that only Snow White will be at home. Upon her arrival at the cottage, the animals sense danger and, after attempting to drive her away, rush to the mine to fetch the dwarfs. When they discover that the Queen has found Snow White, the dwarfs rush home to find that the Witch has succeeded in poisoning the princess and is about to leave. The dwarfs chase the Witch into the mountains, and she reaches a cliff. She attempts to crush the dwarfs with a boulder, but a flash of lightning causes her to fall from the cliff and be crushed by the boulder herself.
The seven dwarfs mourn Snow White's death; Dopey is seen sobbing on his oldest foster brother's shoulder. The dwarfs find her to be so beautiful, even in death, that they fashion a coffin from glass and place her inside. The Prince arrives, and the dwarfs part so that he can approach Snow White. He kisses her, breaking the spell of the Sleeping Death, and the dwarfs cheer. Before Snow White leaves with the Prince, she kisses each dwarf on the forehead (Dopey, who was 6th, tried to receive a kiss Snow White on the lips like that morning).
In the 1943 educational short, Dopey and the dwarfs are enlisted in helping rid their forest and cottage home of deadly mosquitoes that can spread the harmful disease malaria. Throughout the animated short, the dwarfs give examples of the precautions necessary to keep people safe from the spreading crises and ensure safety.
Dopey's role in the 1979 stage musical adaptation is mostly the same as it was in the movie. A notable exception, though, is that at the very end, when Snow White is leaving with the Prince, Dopey walks up to her and, to the surprise of everyone, speaks to her, saying "G-g-goodbye, Snow White."
In the animated series, Dopey is a major character, though he usually makes minor appearances in the background. Like the film, he's a pantomime character and mostly communicates through whistling. He also serves as Doc's science assistant and lab rat.
Another noble aspect to this incarnation of Dopey's character is his love of animals. He's shown to be fluent in several animal languages and has a habit of adopting animals, as seen in the episode The 8th D, where Dopey adopted a baby elephant and disguised it as a dwarf in an attempt to keep him in the cottage. However, he eventually comes to terms with the rules of keeping wild animals where they belong, and sets his newfound companion free.
Dopey also appears to enjoy teasing Grumpy to a degree, as seen in "The Littlest Giants" (where Dopey ate Grumpy's meals as a running gag) and in "The Delightful Diamond Mystery" (where Dopey was seen mimicking Grumpy during the epilogue).
In The Mouse Factory, Dopey made recurring appearances in the live-action wrap-around skits alongside the other costumed characters and celebrity guests.
Dopey makes a brief cameo in the animated short, Runaway Brain, seen in a Mortal Kombat, video game parody battling the Witch.
Dopey makes several appearances in the animated television series House of Mouse. In Clarabelle's Big Secret, Dopey locked the rest of the dwarfs out of their van as he had the keys. In Mickey's Magical Christmas, Dopey was overjoyed to see that he had a huge cake to eat near the end of the film.
Dopey is a minor character the ABC television series, Once Upon a Time; portrayed by Jeffrey Kaiser. So far, Dopey has made only a few cameos.
Dopey appears along with the other Dwarfs in the series, where their first appearance was in a glass podium with Snow White during the first game's Dive to the Heart. Unlike the Beast's servants, they are depicted as awake, meaning either their homeworld was not devoured by the Heartless, or that the Dwarfs were able to get to safety before hand.
Prior to the events of Kingdom Hearts, the Dwarfs' appearances in Birth by Sleep reveals their lives working in the mines for jewels until the arrival of the Keyblade wielders in their world. The Dwarfs encounter the first of these warriors, Ventus, although Dopey shows the least hostility towards the newcomer than the other dwarfs. After returning to their cottage, the dwarfs meet Snow White for the first time and take her in after she claimed she was attacked by an Unversed. Unfortunately, Snow White falls into a deep slumber after taking a bite from the Queen's poisoned apple, and the Dwarfs place her in a glass coffin to mourn her. However, thanks to assistance from Aqua and the Prince, Snow White is able to awaken, and the Dwarfs celebrate.
Dopey was featured in Snow White's world shown helping the heroine save the forest. He was the first dwarf to be greeted in the game, and was shown to be locked out of the grounds leading to the dwarfs' cottage due to dark magic created by creatures known as the imps. With the help of the heroine, Dopey is able to pass and be leads her to Snow White, believing she'll be able to assist the friends in saving the forest.
Later on, Dopey leads her to the mines, where the dwarfs are having difficulties in working together, though they're able to pull through due to the heroine's guidance. She's also forced to help guide Dopey numerous times as his bumbling ways prevents him from completing tasks swiftly and efficiently, much to Doc's frustration.
Dopey has been known to make appearances at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland and the Disney Cruise Line ships with Snow White at his side, mainly because he is the most popular of the dwarfs.
An animatronic Dopey is featured working in the mines alongside the other dwarfs in Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. He was also, notably, seen riding the attraction for promotional material before the opening.
Dopey also appears as animatronics, performing The Silly Song, in the dark ride attraction, as well as in a few other scenes with the rest of the dwarfs, reenacting scenes from the film.
Dopey appears in the bubble sequence with the other dwarfs with the instrumental version of Heigh Ho. Dopey later appears at the end of the show riding Steamboat Willie and in Disneyland the Mark Twain Riverboat.
Dopey joins his foster dwarf brothers in the nighttime parade.
He performed The Silly Song with the other dwarfs and Snow White in the former attraction as an audio animatronic.
Despite being conceived late in production, Dopey proved to be the most endearing of the dwarfs. Dopey's appeal proved the success of silent characters in feature films, and prompted the studio to make Gideon from Pinocchio silent. At one point, Dopey was even considered for the title role in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" in Fantasia before Mickey Mouse was chosen. However, many of Dopey's traits remain, including the long, floppy sleeves and playful attitude.
- Although Dopey has a very childlike appearance and mentality, his low-pitched vocal effects suggest that he is in fact an adult.
- In "7 Wise Dwarfs," a Disney-produced cartoon promoting the purchase of war bonds, it is revealed that each dwarf receives a share of the jewels dug from their mine. Dopey keeps all of the rejected jewels as his share.
- Walt Disney was often asked to make a cartoon series starring Dopey.
- Dopey was originally going to be the Sorcerer's Apprentice in Fantasia.
- Dopey is the only dwarf not to have a beard.
- Dopey is also the only dwarf not to have any dialogue.
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