At the 11th Academy Awards Ceremony held on February 23, 1939, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, Shirley Temple presented Walt Disney with a special award of a full-sized Oscar statuette with seven miniature Oscar statuettes descending in a row for his “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937).
At the time, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the top-grossing film of all time and had become so hugely popular and critically lauded that the Academy felt the film deserved some recognition. Shirley Temple, the top child star of the time, was chosen to make the presentation of the Honorary Academy Award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ “significant screen innovation, which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon”.
Upon unveiling the Oscar Statuettes Shirley Temple said, “Isn’t it bright and shiny?…. Aren’t you proud Mr. Disney?”. To which Walt Disney replied, “I’m so proud I think I’ll bust.”
“When I first met Walt Disney, I remember him being a little shy, but pleasant. I was very pleased to be the one to present him with his unique Academy Award for Snow White. To me Walt will always be a king of a very special magic kingdom of imagination.” – Shirley Temple would say later in life.