Familiar characters in a far away, enchanted land get together to stop an evil Queen who is taking over the realm. Sounds familiar? No. There’s all your favourites. The Seven Dwarves are there as the title suggests, a massive dragon that helps the group out, Cinderella, Snow White, Jack (as in Mr. Beanstalk) even Puss in Boots turns up. Yes, I know what you’re thinking… it’s a lot like All the Presidents Men.
But if I can be serious for a moment Fairytale: Story of the Seven Dwarves, or to give it’s original title Der 7bte Zwerg, is a hodge-podge of fantasy characters that the majority of folk will have seen done to death all ready in the Shrek franchise. Other than a red carpet gag, which was already done covered in Shrek 2, the characters stay pretty faithful to their roles. There’s not much in the way of playing around with genre convention going on here. Also the villainous Dellamorta’s wicked plan to make the inhabitants of wherever they fall asleep for some reason means that the whole place becomes Frozen. I’m not sure what the creators were going for there.
A German production re-dubbed for english speaking markets vocally there’s not much going on beyond the standard voice artists doing cutsey, slow-witted and heroic. The woman who voices Dellamorta seems downright confused what accent she has. It’s as if Earth Kitt and Ute Lemper met in a bar and chatted so long over a whiskey and cigarette that they emerged some hours later as one being. The songs are simple and luckily for parents they will probably not stick in the brain too long. I’ve just done a quick check having watched it yesterday and thankfully they’re all gone.
Before I sound too much of a grinch, Fairytale, will likely be just the trick for it’s intended audiences – small children. The big, blocky characters designs with huge manga eyes plus the constant slapstick humour should be enough to enthral young-un’s for an hour or so. The jokes aimed at the older audiences consist of Matrix and Jurassic Park spoofs and hip-hop humour that would have been out of place at the turn of the millenium. Every now and then there’s a spark of impressive animation but for the most part it looks slow and cheap, the type of thing that can easily be seen on CBeebie’s these days.
Fairytale: Story of the Seven Dwarves is very much a children’s film not a family endeavour. If you’re little one watches it you may be in the for a world of irritating dwarves, bland songs and non-existent humour. But as long as the children are happy ey?
Fairytale: Story of the Seven Dwarves is available on DVD from March 16th via Signature Entertainment.
Watch a clip of the dwarves arming up as they sally forth to kill a demented queen (when you put it like that this film should have been awesome.