Welcome to Jim Hill Media - Entertainment News : Theme Parks Movies Television

Toon Tuesday: Will "The 7D" 's radically redesigned Dwarfs make Disneyana fans Happy or Grumpy?

Jim Hill

Jim's musings on the history of and rumors about movies, TV shows, books and theme parks including Disneyland, Walt Disney World. Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Toon Tuesday: Will "The 7D" 's radically redesigned Dwarfs make Disneyana fans Happy or Grumpy?

Rate This
  • Comments 20

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" ...

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

... 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 ...

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

... and Goofy characters who live in the Cartoon Wasteland in that Disney Epic Mickey video game.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

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 generally entertaining.

But that said, I wonder how many Disney traditionalists are (at first, anyway) going to squawk once they see how the Seven Dwarfs ...

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

... have been reimagined for Disney Junior's new animated series, "The 7D" ?

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

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 team.

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 Dwarfs characters.

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?

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Your thoughts?



Blog - Post Feedback Form
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Post
  • 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.

Page 2 of 2 (20 items) 12