I'll be the first to admit, when I was sent the screener for Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs, I wasn't all that excited to review the movie. I remembered the marketing blow up surrounding the fat-shaming campaign from 2017 and had honestly kind of thought the movie died with the failed marketing campaign.
But upon further reading and seeing some of the people involved in the film, like animator Tony Bancroft and actor Chloë Grace Moretz, I knew the movie could not be as bad as that marketing campaign purported, so I took a chance on Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs, and I'm not mad about it.
Beauty Comes from Within
I know, I know. Tale as old as time, but with social media and beauty magazines everywhere, it's a great reminder for our youth that they, and only they, need to love themselves. Beauty is ALWAYS on the inside. Period. End of story. Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs could have stopped there but that would have been a really short movie.
Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs is really about teaching kids to be comfortable in their own skin.
It starts out a little rough, but hear me out.
Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs is a mash-up of Snow White, Cinderella, and a couple of other fairy tales. Snow White's stepmother (an evil witch) uses a pair of red shoes to maintain her youth and beauty. When Snow puts on the red shoes, she becomes “pretty” and shrinks a few sizes. Sigh.
Oh, and seven princes have attacked a fairy princess (a witch in disguise) who curses them. They become “ugly” dwarfs who then need true love’s kiss in order to return to their normal selves because that's what happens to break a curse in 99% of fairy tales.
Be Prepared for a Long Ride
Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs is nearly 2 hours long. That first hour is a bit rough, as you aren't really sure what direction that movie is going to take. In my opinion, it could have been shorter and still gotten its message across.
At first glance, it seems like we're doing the fat-shaming overweight/ugly combo. But there is a message here. I was a little concerned at the potential message and I watched Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs once through before I let my impressionable teen girls watch it (especially as a mother who once was a teen with an eating disorder).
Spoiler alert, you'll be pleasantly surprised when you realize that Snow White, who refers to herself as “Red Shoes” while wearing the shoes, doesn't even want to wear the shoes and only wears them when she needs to. She had no idea what they were going to do to her when she first put them on. She didn't like her new look when she first saw herself in that mirror.
Being Happy with Yourself and Being Comfortable In Your Own Skin
Throughout the movie, Snow White talks about how she is stronger, happier, and more herself without the red shoes. She grows to know the seven dwarfs/princes throughout the film, as well, especially Merlin. He frequently talks about how he is more handsome without the curse but she likes him just the way he is—his beauty is on the inside, and she recognizes that—she's happier as herself from the start.
Being comfortable in your own skin, as I said at the start, is the message of the movie, but it takes a bit to get there. Even the evil stepmother shows us the importance of being comfortable in your own skin—she so desperately wants those red shoes back from Snow White because the only thing she values is beauty on the outside. Same with Prince Average; he only wants to marry a beautiful princess because he is so shallow. That's all he values.
This truly is a movie that focuses on body positivity.
About Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs
I've had a few people ask me if Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs is Disney. It's not; it's a Lionsgate feature film. This outrageous fairy tale spoof starts as Snow White steals a pair of red shoes that transform her into a princess. Meanwhile, a witch’s curse turns seven brave princes into dwarfs, forcing them to seek out the princess, hoping for a kiss to break their spell. Together, they must face Snow White’s wicked stepmother—who will stop at nothing to get her precious shoes back—and, along the way, learn that true beauty lies within!