Review by Camden Ferrell
In today’s new climate, entertaining young children and families has been a big concern for many. This year has offered many family films to satiate this need for entertainment and distraction. The new movie, Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs, aims to be the next big movie for families staying at home. Unfortunately, this fairy-tale parody is devoid of character and joy, and it has some potentially harmful moments for young audiences.
In this movie, the story of Snow White gets a modern parody. Snow White steals a pair of red shoes that transform her into a beautiful princess while her stepmother is actively seeking the shoes. All of this happens while seven princes are turned into ugly dwarves and must receive Snow White’s kiss to break the spell. This is a silly premise that should be fairly mindless and entertaining, but the movie doesn’t use this premise to create a fun narrative.
Directed by Sung-ho Kong, this movie lacks the imagination for which these animated adventures are known. It lacks personality, and even the moments of action and humor feel bland and uninspired. There is the occasionally silly moment that may elicit a chuckle, but it would be an exaggeration to say its an enjoyable and energetic film.
The cast, consisting of actors like Chloë Grace Moretz and Sam Claflin, fail to bring life to this muddled mess of a fairy tale. Their performances aren’t objectionably bad, but this movie is another strong case (along with the likes of Scoob!) against casting non-voice acting celebrities for these animated roles. In theory, a highly skilled voice actor could have possibly injected some personality in the movie, but unfortunately, the movie doesn’t benefit much from its cast whatsoever.
One of the more surprising aspects of the movie is how subtly fatphobic it can come off. It initially seems to equate beauty with physical size and figure, and this is an incredibly harmful message to give children. A lot of the struggles of the characters come from their own insecurity about their appearances, and it’s questionable to show these traits as being undesirable. While the movie does briefly course-correct in its final half, it doesn’t excuse its initial implications.
Full of uninspired and meandering moments, this is a movie that won’t do much to entertain young children much less the parents with whom they will probably watch this film. It features a tepid script, bland action, and a mediocre cast that can’t save the film.
Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs is now available on VOD.