Peeks: First Impressions of Disney’s "The 7D"

It looks like Disney beloved short people, the Seven Dwarfs, will be the next set of classic Disney characters to receive their own show.

“Accessing a classic fairytale and finding new ways to bring it to audiences, Disney Television Animation has begun production on the new animated series The 7D, a comedic take on the world of Seven Dwarfs, this time in a contemporary storybook world designed for viewers age 2-7 and their families. The series is slated to debut in 2014 on Disney Junior channels and programming blocks around the world.

The executive producer is Emmy Award-winning Tom Ruegger (“Animaniacs”). Alfred Gimeno (“Tiny Toon Adventures”) is the director and Sherri Stoner (“Pinky and the Brain”) is the story editor. The characters are designed by Noah Z. Jones (“Fish Hooks”).”

SYNOPSIS: The 7D takes place in the whimsical world of Jollywood (Jollywood? Does this mean we’ll be seeing people in tights dancing around in big, splashy musical numbers??), where quirky Queen Delightful relies on the 7D – Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy and Doc – to keep the kingdom in order. Standing in their way are two laughably evil villains, Grim and Hildy Gloom, who plot to take over the kingdom by stealing the magical jewels in the 7D’s mine. With seven very distinct personalities, the 7D always manage to save the day and send Grim and Hildy running back to their evil lair to try another day.

That sounds like fun and all, but there’s one little curiosity surrounding this show: namely, the Dwarfs’ designs. For some reason, the Mouse House has opted to redesign the mythical Vertically Challenged Folk for this series. What was wrong with these designs, I don’t know:

The-Seven-Dwarfs-classic-disney-6344378-1024-768
…But it is what it is. Who can fathom the minds of network executives?
******************************************************
First, these early promotional designs were submitted:
And the reaction was unanimous:

I mean, really who thought those designs were a good idea? I mean, Dopey is actually TALL. Just…no! And Sneezy looks like a clown! Why’s he so tiny?? I didn’t even realize that he was supposed to be Sneezy until doing a little process of elimination: I first thought he was supposed to be Dopey, but then I saw Stretch with the Harpo Marx look and put 2 and 2 together.

I know 5-year-olds in kindergarten who can do better with their crayons. In fact, I’ve puked up better designs after an evening bender. So after the tarring and feathering, the artists staggered back to the drawing board and came up with these designs instead:

Much better. I still didn’t think there was anything wrong with the original movie designs, but this is a vast improvement over those craptactular first designs. These are much more colorful and vibrant, and the characters are much more distinct. Dopey is still sporting the Harpo Marx look, but now he retains the classic Dopey look as well. I particularly like those little mechanical arms emerging from Doc’s hat; that says to me that the producers may be going for a kind of “wacky inventor” shtick with Doc, which would please me, as I like loony scientists. Happy kind of looks like Santa Claus, fitting, and I like the polka dots on his and Dopey’s hats.
One minor observation, though: is it just me, or does Bashful now look like Dumb Donald from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids?
“Uhhhhhh…..yeah……I don’t see it.”

 

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4 Comments

  1. Yeah, those new designs are definitely an improvement over the previous ones. At least now, I can tell which Dwarf is supposed to be which. The only reason I can see as to why Disney didn't go with the movie designs is perhaps because the style of humor in “7D” may be very fast paced and frantic, and the simpler character designs might be easier to animate. Of course, that's only a guess.

    One question, though: Why is Grumpy wearing a flower pot on his head?

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  2. I'm getting a Gravity Falls vibe from those designs.

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  3. Just a quick update: “The 7D” will now be an all-ages show rather than a preschool show (presumably to give the show more mass appeal, and will premiere on all 3 Disney channels this summer. The voice cast will include:

    •Bill Farmer as Doc
    •Maurice LaMarche as Grumpy
    •Kevin Michael Richardson as Happy
    •Dee Bradley Baker as Dopey
    •Scott Menville as Sneezy
    •Stephen Stanton as Sleepy
    •Billy West as Bashful
    •Paul Rugg (“Animaniacs”) as Lord Starchbottom
    •Kelly Osborne and Jess Harnell as Hildy and Grim Gloom

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  4. Recently Disney XD has been showing brief animated clips of 7D, and yeah, the art and animation style of this show looks A LOT like Gravity Falls, not that that's a bad thing.

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