Growing up, Adriana Caselotti didn't know a life without music.
The enchanted little girl and her big sister were educated in an Italian convent, while her famous mother performed opera. When the family moved to Los Angeles years later, her father established himself as a very prominent voice teacher.
One day, in 1934, Adriana's father received a call from a Disney casting director, who was looking for a little girl's singing voice for a "small project."
Reluctantly, her father allowed her to audition.
When Adriana arrived at the Disney studio, she coyly lied to the casting director, telling him she was much younger. Nobody questioned the bright-eyed brunette. And when she opened her mouth to sing, she wasn't nervous one bit.
But her nerves might have been rattled if she knew that Walt Disney was sitting in his office, listening to the auditions. He wanted to hear the singers, rather than see them. When Adriana's highly trained, high-pitched trills filled the speaker system, he immediately sought out his producers. "That's our Snow White," he told them.
She had absolutely no idea that she was going to be part of history.
You see, Walt Disney was creating the very first full-length animated feature film cartoon. And not just that, but also the very first Disney Princess.
Adriana went on to spend long, exhausting days in the studio, recording numerous songs and dialogue. She thought it was a little silly they wanted this much audio for a small cartoon, but as a polite, respectful employee, she never questioned them.
In the end, she received $970 (today, around $15,000) for her hard work. She was ecstatic.
When the film was finished and being publicized around the world, Adriana felt a little hurt she had been kept in the dark. She wasn't even invited to the film's premiere! Harry Stockwell, who played the voice of the prince, suggested they sneak into the premiere. So, they did. Hiding up in a balcony, Adriana couldn't believe her eyes when she saw all her favorite movie stars, such as Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland, give her animated persona a standing ovation.
Several months later, when Adriana's identity was exposed, media around the world wanted to feature the beautiful songstress. But, Walt Disney forbid it. He said he didn't want the illusion of Snow White to be spoiled.
Since she was under a Disney contract, Walt went even further to prohibit Adriana from appearing in any films or plays. He essentially destroyed her career, before it could even blossom. All to protect his princess.
Although she was devastated, Adriana did nothing but smile. She was naturally optimistic and could never remain sad for very long. She was always happy, all the time. Just like Snow White.
Eventually, many years later, Walt relented and allowed Adriana to do promotions for Disney. As an adult, she dressed up as Snow White all over the world, performing at radio stations, children's hospitals, and schools. She adored every minute of it.
Even as an elderly woman, whenever Adriana would see someone sad or depressed, she would start singing, "I'm Wishing" and immediately cheer them up.
Unfortunately, in 1997, Adriana died of lung cancer. She left behind no children and several broken marriages.
But her legacy lives on forever, captured in a magical fairytale that always promises a happy ending, even when the real world is falling apart.