To say that the 1916 version of Snow White inspired the 1937 Disney version is an understatement, for the inspiration runs deep. So deeply, in fact, that it would not be inappropriate to say that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is an outright remake of the silent film. Similarities reach out further than the common source material, as there are some conventions in the silent film that echo two decades later.
However, this original version is considerably different in its own way. At the expense of dwarven sing-alongs, the story is more fully developed. A full half of the film passes before Snow White escapes the Queen's death plot in the shadows of the Dwarves' forest. In that time we are introduced to Snow White's true mother, the ugly stepmother Queen Brangomar turned beautiful by the witch Hex on the condition of receiving Snow White's still-beating heart, Prince Florimond the love interest, Snow White's gaggle of handmaidens, Berthold the huntsman and his family. As you may glean simply by the fact that these characters have names, we enter more richly into the world of Snow White than in other versions.
We also have here a version that is truer to the Brothers Grimm version than later renditions. That has pluses and minuses, however. The incomparable romance of the young woman's sexual awakening with love's first kiss was the invention of that boy from Marceline. The Grimms were far more practical.
But don't take my word on it. Watch the complete silent film version of Snow White for yourself...