It's something that The Walt Disney Company is rather good
at. Taking characters that audiences already know and love and reinventing
them. Giving them a bold new look. Just
in the past 15 years or so, we've seen Julie Taymor take Mufasa & Simba
from "The Lion King" ...
Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc. All rights reserved
... and then reimagine these animated characters in ways
that they could be played onstage in an acclaimed Broadway musical.
Photo by Joan Marcus. Copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
Likewise we've seen the Mad Hatter go from a light &
silly character in Disney's animated
version of "Alice In Wonderland" ...
... to a genuinely tragic figure in Disney's 2010
live-action blockbuster, "Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland."
Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in "Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland."Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc. All rights reserved
And don't even get me started on what Warren Spector and his
crew at Junction Point Studios did to the poor Donald Duck ...
... and Goofy characters who live in the Cartoon Wasteland in
that Disney Epic Mickey
To their credit, Disneyana fans have basically been pretty
flexible when it comes to seeing much-beloved characters from their childhood radically
reinvented. They don't seem to have a problem with a character being
reintroduced with a bold new look just so long as the finished product that
this reimagined character is now appearing in is well-written and
But that said, I wonder how many Disney traditionalists are (at
first, anyway) going to squawk once they see how the Seven Dwarfs ...
... have been reimagined for Disney Junior's new animated series,
"The 7D" ?
Now while it is true that -- in this new animated series
(Which is due to debut on Disney Junior sometime in 2014) -- that Bashful, Sleepy,
Sneezy, Happy ...
(L to R) Bashful, Sleepy, Dopey and Happy. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
... Grumpy, Doc and Dopey don't look quite as they did in
that feature-length version of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" that
Walt Disney Productions released back in 1937.
(L to R) Grumpy, Doc and Sneezy. Copyright Disney
Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
But in much the same way that it's not wise to judge a book
by its cover, it's also not smart to prejudge a new animated series by a single
piece of concept art. A far wiser way to get a handle on what this new Disney
Junior show might possibly be like would be to review this program's production
And as it turns out, "The 7D" has an absolutely
stellar behind-the-scenes crew. Tom
Ruegger, the Emmy Award-winner behind "Animaniacs" is serving as
executive producer on this new Disney Junior series. Alfred Gimeno of "Tiny Toon Adventures" fame has been hired to be this show's director while
Disney Television Animation recruited industry vet Sherri Stoner to come be
this new animated series' story editor.
Meanwhile Mouse House executives lured Noah Z. Jones from his "Fish Hooks" duties so that
he could come up with a comedic yet contemporary take on Disney's classic Seven
Copyright 1995 Warner Bros. All rights reserved
As for the basic premise of "The 7D," this new
animated series (which is designed for viewers 2-7 and their families) is kind
of a prequel to Disney's 1937 full-length animated features. In that -- long
before Doc and the other dwarfs gave Snow White shelter and then tried to
protect her from the Evil Queen -- The 7D live in the whimsical world of
Jollywood. Where Queen Delightful is constantly turning to the Seven Dwarfs for
help whenever she has trouble keeping her kingdom in order.
Of course, one of the main reasons that Jollywood is always
in such a jumble is that this TV series' main villains -- Grim and Hildy Gloom
-- are constantly looking for brand-new ways to break into the Seven Dwarfs'
mine. Which is where Grim & Hildy believe there are magical jewels hidden
away which will give these two laughably evil villains the ability to take
over that kingdom.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
Anyway ... That's the over-arching storyline for this new
Disney Junior series. Which -- much like "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" and
"Jake and the Never Land Pirates" -- hopes to recruit Mom and Dad to come
watch this TV show with their child and then experience the magic, music and
heartfelt stories & characters that only The Walt Disney Company can
deliver (not to mention incorporating specific learning and development themes that
are deliberately designed to appeal to kids age 2-7).
But based on what you've seen and/or read so far, does the
very idea of Disney Junior debuting a "7D" animated TV series in 2014
make you Happy or Grumpy?
If Disney insists on messing around with their classics, I would prefer that they keep it as separate from the original as possible, so, therefore, I approve the redesigns! Much better than the way they butchered "Peter Pan" with "Jake and the Neverland Pirates"...
THANK YOU Brian G!!!
That is the BIGGEST problem with most Disney fans. Is they don't have kids and they have NO idea what kids what.
When I saw the title with the artwork, I was a little upset, but when I found out this was for Disney Jr, I was not worried at all.
Sometimes they misfire like the Winnie the Pooh reboot, which wasn't horrible, but it didn't work the way they had hoped. BUT I think it DID reintroduce the characters to a new audience.
This is horrible...why can't we just have the original dwarves !! Dopey is my favorite Disney character and I will not be watching this !!
I've liked a lot of what Tom Ruegger has done in the past.
The designs look like amateurish garbage. When I showed them to my little nephew, he said "What are those?" When I told him that they're the Seven Dwarfs, he said "They are NOT!!!" He refused to believe me, whatever I said. Kids are ruthlessly logical. They DEMAND that things make sense.
This latest travesty just shows how clueless the chumps running Disney righr now are. What a clumsy, pathetic attempt to make a classic seem "relevant". I hope the show dies quickly.