“Hey dwarves, hey dwarves, hey dwarves ho, hey dwarves, hey dwarves, hey dwarves go.”
The Seventh Dwarf is the story of Bobo (Joshua Graham), the titular character who must go on a quest to save young kitchen boy Jack (James Frantowski), who in turn is going to save Princess Rose (Peyton List) and the entire kingdom of Fantabularaza. Essentially The Seventh Dwarf is a musical retelling of Sleeping Beauty with a couple differences in the story. The main difference is that Sleeping Beauty aka Princess Rose has known about her curse for her entire life and despite the danger she falls in love with Jack whom she sends away in order to ensure that should the curse be enacted he will be able to come back and save the entire kingdom. The other difference is that the evil witch Dellamorta (Katja Bruegger), who curses Princess Rose, takes a page out of the Maleficent handbook (the live-action Disney movie not the villain from the Disney cartoon) in terms of her motivation for cursing the young baby. So if you enjoy fairy tales, Sleeping Beauty in particular, and re-tellings of fairy tales, then The Seventh Dwarf may find a home with you.
Visually speaking the film reminds me a lot of the Shrek series of films, especially in the character designs and manipulations. The video is a 1080p High Definition 1.85:1 transfer and is very well done for the most part. I especially enjoyed the way the lava is animated. The palette doesn’t demonstrate a lot of range in terms of hues and saturation, everything is a pretty even keel throughout but that’s not to say it’s not appealing because it is. There are no glitches to speak of so you’ll enjoy it. You may have issues with the audio. Not because of technical difficulties with the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track but rather because the musical elements don’t always feel necessary to the story. From a technical standpoint everything sounds crisp and clear even if there isn’t a very dense soundscape.
In terms of special features we have DVD and digital copies of the film, character profiles, and a couple of featurettes with interviews with Norm MacDonald (who plays Burner the dragon) and Peyton List. There are sing-along music videos for a couple of those musical numbers I mentioned, a 3D version of the film, and downloadable royal invitations you can print out at home round out the list.
If you’re looking for a harmless fairy tale for your kids The Seventh Dwarf (Blu-ray) will definitely fill the bill though you should be warned it doesn’t exactly break new ground. In fact you should probably be prepared for your children to ask why the dwarves aren’t named the names you expect them to be named, Bobo being the prime example. So perhaps The Seventh Dwarf can serve as a launching pad for that long-awaited discussion you want to have regarding copyright and trademark infringement with your little ones. Overall it’s inoffensive and does carry with it the positive messages of: knowing when to ask for help, relying on friends to help you, and doing nice things for other people without expecting anything in return.