“He asked if my father knew a little girl who could speak as a child would and yet could sing many high notes in whatever it was they were going to do. When I heard this I said, ‘Papa, how about me?’ and started singing a lot of trills. Papa said, ‘Oh, get off the phone for heaven’s sake, Adriana, I’m speaking to someone about business.’ So I said, ‘I know you are, but please let me try out; maybe I can do the part.’ And the man at the other end said, ‘Send her down, you never can tell even if we don’t have her do the lead, she might lust be able to do some little part.’’ The part, she discovered, was for a 14-year old and- in an attempt to improve her chances- Adriana knocked a couple of years off her age and told Churchill, when he asked how old she was, that she was just seventeen.
Churchill handed Adriana a song in manuscript: "Little girl,” he said “I’m going to go to the piano and play it for you a couple of times and then, perhaps you could try singing it.” But, before he could reach the piano, Adriana, who could sight-read music, was already singing Someday My Prince Will Come…“My God!” shouted Churchill, “The kid can read music!” And, for him at least, there was no question about who should be Snow White. The decision, however, rested with Walt Disney and after Adriana had left, Churchill went to get the verdict. “That’s our girl!” Disney told him, “That’s our Snow White!” Notwithstanding which, Disney decided to audition more voices and no fewer than 148 other hopefuls were tried. Among those who didn’t get the part was Deanna Durbin, who was only 13 but who had a voice of such maturity Walt asked why a 30-year old was being auditioned. It was a whole year before Adriana was recalled and put under contract: "Goodness,” she laughs, “I might have died in that time!”
She recorded the songs not with an orchestra, but with piano accompaniment and Snow White’s dialogue had to be delivered cold, without any of the other voices present- not even the Prince of her dreams! As she performed before the microphone, the animators photographed and made sketches of her to help with realizing the character. The action for Snow White was modeled by Marge Belcher (later to achieve fame as one half of the dance partnership of Marge and Gower Champion), but many of Snow White’s gestures, particularly when she was singing, were those of Adriana…Since, at the time, there were no laws about how many hours a child could work, Adriana spent long days on the Disney sound stage, for which she was paid $20 a day. Over the period in which the film was made she earned just $970.