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Walt Disney presents The Story of The Seven Dwarfs and Their Diamond Mine is a 1966 Disneyland Records LP based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It was later released as a Disney Read-Along book and LP in 1967.
Like the RCA records, Disneyland Records’ The Seven Dwarfs and Their Diamond Mine was released in plenty of time to tie into a theatrical re-release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, this time for the 30th anniversary in 1967.
In some ways, the newer album improves on the earlier records by staying a little more true to the characters (Dopey does not talk, Sneezy is a Billy Gilbert type voice) and has a little more intriguing story line. In this “universe,” the Evil Queen is gone, maybe “re-purposed” to a position that is “a better fit.” The Dwarfs have not seen Snow White in two years and life has pretty much gone back to normal.
Then strange noises and mysterious notes start occurring, causing some discomfort and even a little fear among the Dwarfs. It becomes like a scavenger hunt, and while a little padded, the story leads to a grand ball thrown just for the Dwarfs by their friend Snow White.
Stopping to make logical sense of the story is sure to boggle the mind. Snow White had a construction crew tear through the mines just to build a ballroom? Was it up to code? And how could such a nice Princess allow the Dwarfs to be “Punk’d?” Seems a little out of character for her to scare them like that—especially after waiting two years to see them and instead send personal assistants to deliver gifts. But then, do we really know what Snow White is like when she isn’t marked for death by a narcissistic psychopath?
The 1966 recording, bearing the brunt of higher costs and tighter budgets, has a far less lavish production quality than the 1952 ones. Back then, children’s records were charting on the playlists. By the mid-60s, every children’s label was cutting back on all but a few titles. This album, though nicely presented, has very little music except the two songs, which are played by a tiny combo. Small bits of music from the Snow White sound track, as well as Camarata’s own Snow White album, make short appearances.
What it does have going for it is an ingratiating narration by Robie Lester, now a fixture at Disneyland Records as the “Story Reader” on the Read-Along sets. She reads the book version in a very different way than she narrates the album. Because she is leading children through the pages, she has a more methodical, even halting style (this varied on her read-alongs). On the LP, Lester plays a maternal role, doing the voices not so much as an actor than as a grownup trying to get smiles out of little kids before their eyes close for sleep.
When The Seven Dwarfs and Their Diamond Mine record was released, there was no idea at all that there would be a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction at Walt Disney World (though the Snow White’s Adventures attractions includes a romp through the mine as well). What the record and the new attraction have in common are the two “lost” songs: “You’re Never Too Old to Be Young” and “Music in Your Soup.” Both are part of a Snow White song medley heard on the queue line leading to the attraction. In the film, “Soup” was to come after “The Washing Song” and “Never Too Old” was to be in the party scene. On the record, “Never Too Old” is part of a different party and “Soup” has a completely different context: apparently the Dwarfs now eat it for breakfast!
“A Soupçon of the Soup Song”
Heard near the start of the album, Robie Lester sets up the re-purposed context of “Music in Your Soup.” It’s sung by Thurl Ravenscroft (Tony the Tiger/ Mean One, Mr. Grinch/Grim Grinning Ghosts) Ravenscroft, Bill Lee (The Sound of Music/South Pacific/Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear!) and Bill Kanady, a highly sought-after Chicago and Hollywood studio vocalist, choral singer and member of The Jack Halloran Singers.
- Executive Producer: Jimmy Johnson. Producer/Musical Director: Camarata.
- Running Times: 25 minutes (LP) / 10 minutes (Read-Along).
- Performers: Robie Lester (Narrator, Seven Dwarfs, Snow White); Bill Lee, Thurl Ravenscroft and Bill Kanady (Singing Voices of the Seven Dwarfs).
- Songs: “Music in Your Soup” and “You’re Never Too Old To Be Young” by Larry Morey and Frank Churchill.
- Music Excerpts: “Heigh-Ho,” “One Song.”