According to what I've read, Walt Disney was the unwitting incentive behind getting the film started. Louis B. Mayer was determined to come up with something that would equal the success of Disney's runaway smash, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which had become the most successful film of all time in a matter of months.
I've not read much else. It's the closest thing I know of that can compete with Walt's early films.
It was innovative, fun, simple and fanciful. I honestly believe Walt could have done it better, and I'm not even sure how.