A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know The Seventh Dwarf is an animated musical fairy tale (produced in Germany and dubbed in English for its U.S. release) that mashes up elements from Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. there are a few scenes of violence between the villain and the heroes: Both a dragon and ice monsters try to injure the dwarfs and Jack, and witch Dellamorta freezes characters. One potentially upsetting moment that's played for laughs: A dragon is sad and even tries to kill himself when someone laughs at him. But as with most fairy tales, everything ends in a happily ever after, and themes include teamwork, bravery, and learning the difference between true friendship and those who are just using you. Expect a few insults, a bit of suggestive vamping from Snow White, and a kiss.
What's the story?
THE SEVENTH DWARF is a German animated musical dubbed in English for its U.S. release. The story is part Snow White and part Frozen, but more Sleeping Beauty: As a baby, Princess Rose is cursed by the witch Dellamorta (voiced by Nina Hagen) that if she pricks a finger before age 18, she'll plunge the entire kingdom into a 100-year sleep. But Rose (Peyton List) knows that she already has a true love whose kiss would awaken her -- "kitchen boy" Jack (James Frantowski) -- so she sends him to hide out with the dwarfs at the edge of the forest. Unfortunately for the kingdom, Jack meets Bobo (Joshua Graham) -- the titular seventh dwarf -- but doesn't make it to safety: Dellamorta's dragon, Burner (Norm MacDonald), takes Jack hostage. The night of Rose's 18th birthday ball (a red-carpet occasion that brings the likes of Snow White and Cinderella to the kingdom), Dellamorta reveals that she had changed the clocks ... right as Rose pricks her finger. Before the castle is engulfed in ice, the dwarfs escape and realize they must stop at nothing to find the one person who can lift the curse -- the dragon-held Jack.
Is it any good?
Although it's not nearly as memorable as a Disney/Pixar/Big Sky animated production, this dubbed foreign fairy tale mash-up is adventurous enough to entertain younger viewers. Bobo is tiny and babied by his fellow dwarfs, but he's also got a big heart and a willingness to throw himself into the fray to save Rose and the kingdom. It's easy to see younger kids rooting for him to save the day. Audiences will likely be split on German punk singer Nina Hagen's gravelly voiced Dellamorta. The performance (not to mention Hagen's Harvey Fierstein-esque rasp) is over the top but also appropriately evil sounding.
This is far from the kind of animated movie that will be a family-wide favorite for years, but for a 90-minute diversion, it's got enough action, music, and accessible plot to engage young kids -- but perhaps not their parents.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Seventh Dwarf's messages about friendship and bravery. How do the dwarfs prove themselves?
What parts of the movie were scary to you? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?
How does the movie compare to other animated fairy tales? Why do you think so many animated films are also musicals? Do you prefer movies where characters sing?
- In theaters: July 31, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: August 18, 2015
- Cast: Norm MacDonald, Peyton List, Nina Hagen
- Directors: Boris Aljinovic, Harald Siepermann
- Studio: Shout! Factory
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Princesses and fairies, Fairy tales
- Run time: 87 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: thematic elements and some suggestive material
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.