Thursday, 12 February 2015
Dopey: "Fairytale: Story of the Seven Dwarves"
It's half-term, which means distributors have been casting round for anything harassed parents might squander £20-30 on in the hope of earning themselves a couple of hours' peace and quiet. The cheap and cheerless German digimation Fairytale: Story of the Seven Dwarves, like last year's equally worthless Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, is typical product, attempting the kind of bland retread through a known property that used to turn up as cut-price VHS spoilers in the week of a major Disney release. Its dwarves - two-sevenths of whom are suspiciously tall - bear cutesy-poo new names ("Cloudy", "Sunny", "Bobo", "Ralphie"), presumably in a bid to circumvent intellectual property laws; they're the cartoon equivalents of those Teenage Turtle Hero Warrior action figures sold on the less reputable market stalls.
As they plod through their thinly plotted quest to unite a prince and a princess, every drearily turned out musical number makes you long for the magic and craft Uncle Walt put into these things back when the industry considered these things special; the snarky po-mo touches - like having Red Riding Hood host her own TV show - aim for the knowing wit of the Shrek films, yet bottom out on the level of 2005's thoroughly enervating Hoodwinked!: the inevitable YouTube reference comes care of a rapping walrus and his afro-sporting sidekick. There's a bit with a dragon (named, in the script's sole flicker of wit, Bernie), as there has to be nowadays, but with Paddington, Big Hero 6 and Shaun the Sheep all still doing business, it's hard to see even exceptionally undemanding under-7s expressing a preference for anything this mercenary.
Fairytale: Story of the Seven Dwarves opens in cinemas nationwide tomorrow.