Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs (Dwarves? Dwarfs? I’m not too sure) is one of those modern day fairy tale movies you really really REALLY want to love… but end up missing the mark completely.
With a rocky introduction to the public with some… very questionable… marketing, this film does its best to come back from that PR disaster to communicate the importance of “inner beauty” – yet somehow it’s still sorta offensive? How bizarre is it that these filmmakers view male “ugliness” as being short, green, li’l ogre things, whereas all a female has to do to be “undesirable” is to be overweight? Is this really the message we want to drill into the minds of young children?
It felt like the writers took parts of several well-known fairy tales (and some modern “jokes”) and mushed it all together to create an inconsistent story that was predictable yet also confusing at the same time? Do the other dwarfs find love and break the curse? What really happened to Prince Average and his party? Are apples really the most suspicious fruit? Why is “Red Shoes” considered a normal name?
I know this movie is meant for children and that they will probably only notice how cute the little tree bears are (seriously, super cute), but for the poor parents chaperoning this school holiday trip to the movies BRACE YOURSELVES – there’s a lot of plot being thrown around. At one point I think they were trying to make this story into a musical of some sort but the songs were NOT bops and I’ve already forgotten them (unlike “Let it Go” which was stuck in my head for MONTHS after watching Frozen).
I did reallyyy enjoy Patrick Warbuton as the magic mirror. This guy. Just. Gets it. I think it was a wasted opportunity giving him only a few lines as he somehow managed to make dull dialogue enjoyable. Regina also gave off mad Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove vibes (which also features Patrick Warbuton) so that was sorta FUN! Prince Average was also a big mood but I was expecting him to become more of a main villain. His storyline just dropped off the face of the earth once Regina was done with him.
Now that I think of it, Regina also went missing from the plot too, then came back at the end like she wasn’t MIA for a good 30 mins. Which, again, goes back to the too many story lines thing. I think what they were trying to do was what the Shrek has already flawlessly achieved – merging fairy tale creatures/story lines into the same universe as Starbucks.
In the end, the key message I got from this film was that the best way to get help from seven princes trapped in dwarf bodies, is to slap on a pair of magical heels that make you super skinny, desirable and worthy of their attention. If you want your kids to see a movie that properly represents the concept of unconditional love/inner beauty, Shrek is probably the better way to go. Would still be keen to see some sort of spinoff story about the Fearless Seven – I think that would be badass.
– Gabrielle Eggels