The 7th Dwarf (2014)


aka Fairytale: Story of the Seven Dwarves
(Der 7bte Zwerg)

Germany. 2014.


Director – Boris Aljinovic & Harald Siepermann, Screenplay – Harald Siepermann, Daniel Welbat & Douglas Welbat, Based on Characters Created by Bernd Eilert & Otto Waalkes, Producer – Douglas Welbat, Music – Stephen Gade & Daniel Welbat, Songs – Daniel Welbat, Animation Director – Jan Stoltz, Animation – Ambient Entertainment GmbH & Co. KG, Trixter & Scopas Medien. Production Company – 7 Dwarves Animation Company/CinEmendo GmbH/Erfttal Film/Fernsehproduktion GmbH & Co. KG/CC Medienproduktions/Verwaltungs GmbH/TransWaal Film GmbH & Co. KG/Film & Entertainment VIP Medienfonds 2 GmbH & Co. KG/Film & Entertainment VIP Medienfonds 4B GmbH & Co. KG/Rialto Film GmbH/MMC Independent GmbH/Universal Pictures Production GmbH/Europool GmbH.)


In the kingdom of Fantabularassa, a curse has been placed on the Princess Rose by the witch Dallamorte that she will prick her finger before her eighteenth birthday whereupon she and the whole kingdom will fall into a deep sleep until she is woken by the kiss of true love. As she nears her eighteenth birthday, Rose sends the kitchen boy Jack, whom she loves, away with orders for him to find a way to deliver her from the curse. From her tarot cards, she has read that he needs to find the Seven Dwarves. Jack finds the Dwarves but is captured by Dellamorte. The Dwarves are tricked into carrying Dellamorte’s magic mirror to Rose’s birthday celebrations. Dellamorte emerges from it and proceeds to prick Rose’s finger whereupon the whole kingdom is frozen. The only ones unaffected, the Seven Dwarves set out on a mission to rescue Jack and find a way of undoing the curse.

The 7th Dwarf comes along a decade too late. The fairytale parody or mash-up where various character exist in a shared universe with usually comic results was at its height in the mid-2000s after the success of Shrek (2001) and sequels. There were several other animated films in a similar vein with the likes of Hoodwinked! (2005), Happily N’Ever After (2006) and Tangled (2010), all of which produced sequels, as well as live-action variants like Ella Enchanted (2004) and Enchanted (2007).

Most of these films are silly efforts aimed at the single digit age ranges. Following in their footsteps, The 7th Dwarf feels like it has arrived late to the party. It merely repeats what all of the other films have done while offering very little that is new and original. Furthermore, it feels pinned in by the approach taken by these other films. One part wants to be a knockabout animated adventure with the Seven Dwarves from Snow White that takes itself with a relative degree of seriousness; another part – principally the ball scene – seems to be trying to be a fairytale parody and includes cameos of characters from other fairytales and a suspension of disbelief-rupturing approach that turns the ball into a star-studded gala premiere with Snow White arriving in a horse-drawn limo and tv shows with interviewers using tin cans as microphones.

The rest of the film is lightweight and formulaic, driven by easy laughs and gags. There are good many slapstick clonks with the dwarves and a variety of comic relief supporting characters, the most dubious of which is a seal and walrus duo who are portrayed as racially-dubious rapper caricatures outfitted with Afros and bling. The most bizarre character is that of the dragon Bernie who wants to become a tap dancer, attempts to throw itself off a cliff with a block of stone tied around its neck at one point and gives the dwarf Bobo lessons on tying his shoelaces. There are a variety of bland songs throughout. The quality of animation is strictly average.

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