Tolkien Has More Skin In The Dwarf Game Than I Do

Tolkien didn’t like the goofball dwarfs either. The Tolkien Companion notes that he found Snow White lovely, but otherwise wasn’t pleased with the dwarves. To both Tolkien and Lewis, it seemed, Disney’s dwarves were a gross simplification of a concept they held as precious. “I think it grated on them that he was commercializing something that they considered almost sacrosanct,” says Trish Lambert, a Tolkien scholar and author of the essay, Snow White and Bilbo Baggins: Divergences and Convergences Between Disney and Tolkien. “Here you have a brash, American entrepreneur who had the audacity to go in and make money off of fairy tales.”

Consider the context here: Tolkien’s book The Hobbit was first released in the U.K. in September of 1937, just a couple of months before Snow White hit theaters in the U.S. Both works highlighted a gaggle of dwarves as major supporting characters, but they could hardly have been more different. Disney’s dwarfs were jolly, goofy miners (hey, Dopey), rooted in the stories of the Brothers Grimm; Tolkien’s dwarves were a grim, mythical race (although not wholly without whimsy), born from Nordic myth. “Isn’t it interesting that Tolkien and Disney, almost concurrently, came up with dwarves that are not evil?” notes Lambert. “I researched, is there any possibility that there was a connection? And there’s not.”
— Atlas Obscura

Read the whole interesting piece here.