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Animation / Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs

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But when the shoes come off...

Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs is a Korean CGI movie based on "Snow White" with a few twists: Snow White is a plus-sized princess, and magic red shoes cause her appearance to change, making her skinny, while the dwarves are actually a group of warriors who were cursed to become dwarfs whenever anyone looks at them.

Early in the movie, Snow White puts on red shoes and transforms into a skinnier, more conventionally attractive version of herself, and learns that if she takes the shoes off, she changes back. The dwarfs, meanwhile, are under a curse that can only be broken by the kiss of "the most beautiful woman in the land," who apparently is Snow White. The evil witch wants those red shoes back so she can have eternal youth. And Prince Average wants to improve his reputation by dating a beautiful woman - Snow White with the red shoes on!


Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs provides examples of:

  • Agent Peacock: Jack wears a foliating mask at night, holds his pinky up when he holds a cup, his clothes are the most posh of the group and he's quite cunning with his invisibility cloak.
  • An Aesop: Don't judge someone's character based on their looks alone.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The King's journal chronicles his life ever since his daughter's 18th birthday and his marriage to his second wife. The final entry covers how the King not only discovered Regina's true nature, but also sent Snow White away and hopes she can find the Fearless 7. And it concludes with the foreboding sentence "Apples, the most suspicious of fruits..."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Merlin suggests that Snow White return the shoes to Regina, Snow White asks him if he would have agreed to help her if she had approached him as her true overweight self. He doesn't answer.
    • Merlin gets another one from Himself. It helps him realize what a conceited jerk he's been.
    "Who do you like more, Snow White or Red Shoes?"
    "Easy, it's Red Shoes."
    "Now, which of us do you think Red Shoes likes more?"
    "Easy, it's me." *beat* It'"
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Deconstructed, and how! Snow White's father married a witch because he thought she was kind due to her beauty. The dwarfs attacked a fairy princess because they believed her to be an evil witch due to her green skin. The whole plot of the movie is about questioning that notion.
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  • Book Ends: The movie begins with Merlin electrifying the Fairy Princess before she curses him and the Fearless 7 to become little green dwarfs. In a post-credit scene, the Fairy Princess electrifies Prince Average and, in the process, curses him to be a little green dwarf.
  • Brick Joke: The fairy princess reappears at the end of the closing credits to turn Average into a green-skinned dwarf.
  • Brutal Honesty: Jack is very blunt.
  • Butt-Monkey: Merlin usually suffers the most when trying to impress/ keep up with Red Shoes.
  • Catchphrase: Merlin constantly tries to coin 'You just got Merlin'd ' after each win. Working with the group he says 'You just got dwarfed'.
  • Clingy Macguffin: As long as Snow White desires the beauty that the shoes grant her she can't take them off.
  • Curse: The dwarfs are cursed to be short green dwarfs whenever any other person sees them, but are their regular human selves when not being looked at. Regina's plant monsters seem to be an exception to this.
  • Curse Escape Clause: If the dwarfs are kissed by "the most beautiful woman in the land," their curse will be broken.
  • Disney Death: Merlin seemingly dies after pushing both himself and Regina off a cliff. He gets better when Snow White kisses him - which also breaks the curse, to boot.
  • Dope Slap: Arthur puckers up to Red Shoes, only to meet with a hard slap. His friends laugh but he's not deterred, later calling the red handprint as 'a display of affection/ the closest thing to a kiss anyone's had in a year'.
  • Eating Pet Food: Hans enjoys refine and experimental cooking but it seems his late-night snack choice is dog food.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: When a captive Merlin tries to reason that perhaps they can lend Regina the red shoes without harming Snow White, the Magic Mirror explains it's not that simple. Once they are worn by a host, they will grant said-host's desire and bond permanently. Merlin then points out that it's possible to remove the shoes, as Snow White did so in order to save him from drowning. This puzzles the Magic Mirror, who wonders why Snow White would want to save Merlin (a tiny green dwarf) more than she wanted to be beautiful. He deduces Merlin probably used a love spell on her, but Merlin figures out it means she genuinely loves him despite his appearance.
  • Exact Words: Averted hard, which is unusual for a curse. The curse says that the only way to break it is with a kiss from the most beautiful woman there is. However, what this really means is that the kiss must come from the person the cursed one believes is the most beautiful all the way down whatever they happen to look like. Even if they get a kiss from the woman who is actually the most physically beautiful in the world, it doesn't count.
  • Excalibur: Arthur prides himself in his strength and his inability to pull out the sword causes frequent humiliation. Rubbed in his face is how there is a shop in Golden Goose Avenue with miniature Excaliburs and a little girl pulls out a toy sword and laughs at him from behind the window.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: During a conversation with his alter ego about whether he likes Snow White's inner beauty, his alter ego is rather frustrated with how he's still obsessed with looks. So he asks him some questions to show him the error of his ways. Who does he like more, Snow White or Red Shoes? "Easy, Red Shoes." And which version of Merlin has she fallen in love with? Merlin is quick to crow it's his true, handsome form she loves. ...before it dawns on him that, no, she's come to love his dwarf self, and he just unwittingly blew off the only girl who ever loved him regardless of looks.
  • Fairest of Them All: Just like in the original Snow White story, the witch asks the mirror who the "fairest of them all" is.
  • Forced Transformation:
    • In the case of Snow White/"Red Shoes", it is a downplayed example. While she has been shown to take off the shoes the few times — taking them off to escape guards looking for her and later to save a drowning Merlin — she struggles to take them off every other time. Regina's Magic Mirror implies that the Red Shoes cling to her whenever her desire to look beautiful is stronger than everything else.
    • After the heroes accidentally attack the Fairy Princess mistaking her for a witch, she turns them all into dwarves.
    • Prince Average and his guards are changed into terrible tree monsters who hunt for Red Shoes. Later, it's revealed that the giant wooden rabbit is really the King under a spell, and the three wooden bear cubs were actually human children.
  • Foreshadowing: In the flashback, the King takes Snow White through a hidden passage to escape Regina. Later, the giant Rabbit takes Merlin down a well and through a familiar passage back into the castle. This is meant to clue us in that the Rabbit is really Snow White's missing father under a spell.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Among other things, Snow White's shoes change her appearance whenever she wears them and the "dwarfs" are cursed princes. During the credits Arthur comes across a Little Red Riding Hood that turns out to be a werewolf under the full moon.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Hans' weapon of choice is a wok pan with a handle that folds in so it can be used as a shield.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Triplets Pino, Noki and Kio are deft engineers who can construct both mecha with a functioning jetpack or a camera/copy machine
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Regina is not a nice person. In fact, she's been sacrificing her subjects for years.
  • Good Parents: In his diary, Snow's father reveals he loved his daughter and found her beautiful the way she was.
  • Graceful Loser: Averted by Jack who declares Arthur surrenders when the group is surrounded.
  • Grows on Trees: The evil witch queen Regina is cultivating a tree that grows apples that turn into shoes enchanted to make the wearer beautiful. Her goal is a pair that'll last forever, which just so happens to occur when Snow White comes across it.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: During a debate with his alter ego about how looks shouldn't matter, Merlin points out that as much as he likes Snow White, he's not shallow for not wanting to stay an "ugly" little dwarf for the rest of his life. The irony is not lost on his alter ego, who remarks "Kind of proving my point, Other me."
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Merlin and Arthur know and annoy one another the most of the group.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Snow White looks down at her red shoes, and gives herself the fake name Red Shoes.
  • Lovable Jock: Arthur is a mini Gaston but shows appreciation as a buddy to Red Shoes after she offers to pull out excalibur for him and keep it a secret. Also, he and Merlin bicker constantly but can rely on each other in a fight.
  • Lust Object: Red Shoes has men, and a few ladies, tripping over themselves by the sight of her.
  • Magic Mirror: Here depicted as framed in the branches of an evil tree that does Regina's bidding. He's also explicitly not all knowing, though he is capable of remote viewing.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Merlin is hopeful that Red Shoe's kiss has broken his curse, he looks up at the sky declaring to himself "It is such a good day to break a curse". Later, when he's about to save Snow White from her own curse by slaying Regina (even at his own expense), he bravely declares to himself "It's a good day to break a curse".
  • Mecha: The puppet Pino, Noki and Kio build one large enough for the three to work from the inside.
  • Mermaid Problem: Jack ends up falling in love with an inverted mermaid during the credits montage.
  • Missing Mom: According to the King's journal, Snow White's mother passed away some years ago before her 18th birthday.
  • Naïve Everygirl: Snow White/Red Shoes comes off this way but does know disrespect. She seems to choose the high-road and giving new people benefits of doubt.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Regina has a Disney Villain Death (electrocuted while falling), so her magic suddenly coming undone is how we know she's dead.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Excalibur has since become a tourist attraction where people try and fail to remove it with the exception of Snow White, the engraving on the stone the sword is embedded in saying that Only the Pure of Heart can do this. The dwarves get around this later by smashing the rock, a bit of the stone still stuck on the sword as Arthur uses it in their battle against the Magic Mirror.
  • Paper Talisman: Used in battle by Merlin, one of the dwarfs.
  • Prince Charmless: Prince Average. He has the look of a stereotypical prince, but is very shallow and self-centered.
  • Pragmatic Hero: The Fearless Seven/ dwarves aren't impressed by Arthur's plan of wooing Red Shoes with their support. He explains after his curse is broken he'll save their reputation and it'll help the rest of their situtations. The others agree, except for Merlin.
  • Prefers the True Form: The film implies that Snow White prefers her real, chubby appearance to the slim figure and conventional beauty she gains while wearing the magic red shoes. The first time she takes the shoes off and changes back, she sighs in relief. Only later does she start to prefer her Red Shoes form because it brings her more positive attention from other people, but in the end she happily changes back to her true form permanently. Meanwhile, in an inversion, when her kiss breaks her love interest Merlin's spell and changes him from a green dwarf back into a handsome prince, she admits that she doesn't care for conventional handsomeness and preferred his green dwarf form. But she still loves him anyway because his True Beauty Is on the Inside.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: Average's name is pronounced "Av-Ooh-Raj" (at least according to him).
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Arthur figures out Red Shoes must be a Princess because otherwise she wouldn't be so beautiful. While he's right about her being a Princess, she's got her beauty from wearing magic shoes.
  • Roommate Com: Arthur welcomes Red Shoes to their home/command post and mentions 'he has six roommates but his name is on the lease'. Jack adds 'I pay the rent', to Arthur's deflation.
  • Scenery Gorn: The Magic Mirror has an interesting tree/prehensile vine design here.
  • Sequel Hook: While Merlin's curse is broken and the credits imply that he and Snow White get married, this still leaves the six remaining heroes still cursed. While the credits sequence shows a few of them hitting it off with other girls (Arthur with Red Riding Hood, Hans with Sleeping Beauty and Jack with a fish girl), it doesn't show any of them undoing their curse.
  • Shout-Out: The dwarves were known as the Fearless Seven or F7, the most famous heroes of Fairy Tale Island, and each are based off classic European story characters:
    • Merlin (in the blue) and Arthur (in the orange with the delts) are based off the King Arthur Myths.
    • Jack (the blonde) has a cloak of invisibility like Jack and the Beanstalk.
    • Hans (in the green) fights with a large frying pan based off Hansel & Gretel.
    • The triplets in the hats are named Pino, Noki and Kio as in 'Pinocchio'.
    • Prince Average asks if Ariel is coming to his birthday party; his goons say she declines for waxing her legs. He then asks for Princess Leia but "she's a general now".
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The Fairy Princess only appears very briefly at the beginning and in the stinger, but it's because of her that the dwarves' subplot even occurs.
  • Smug Smiler: Merlin, as a cute human boy or goofy dwarf.
  • Something Only They Would Say: When Merlin is up against a tree behemoth, he remarks at one point that he's more "block-headed" than even Prince Average. The behemoth then turns around to roar "Av-Ooh-Raj!" Merlin is stunned to realize this thing is Prince Average himself, as only he would ever pronounce his name like that.
  • Steampunk: Pino, Noki and Kio build a huge puppet that works like a medieval robot.
  • Stout Strength: As Snow White struggles to pull the body of a bunny off of Arthur, she states she used to be able to bench 250. It's one of the things she doesn't like about the appearance the shoes impose on her, as she greatly misses her strength. She is forced to take off her shoes when she and Merlin are stuck by rocks in the river, or both will drown, revealing to him her true form.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: The witch nearly rhymes when talking to her magic mirror, but is off slightly, causing him to remark on her failed rhyme.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That:
    • One of the dwarfs, upon seeing the drawing of Snow's father, deduces Red Shoes took after her mother. Not wanting to admit how she really looks like without the magic shoes, Red Shoes plays along.
    • Not knowing about the destruction of Excalibur's stone, Merlin assumes Arthur finally managed to pull it from the stone. Arthur lies and says that's exactly what happened.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: When Snow White is harassed by some guards, she declares that she doesn't need anyone to save her, and then headbutts one of the guards. ...Except that the guard is wearing a helmet while she's using her bare head, so naturally, it hurts Snow White a little more than it did him.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Red Shoes comments on how the dwarves have the same names as the Fearless 7, one of them says it's indeed a coincidence and they're not the Fearless 7 under a curse that changes their looks.
  • Sweet Baker: Hans happily fries and decorates donuts for Red Shoes. He's hoping for a kiss but is the least abrasive of the seven.
  • Talk to the Fist: Red Shoes doesn't like Prince Average speaking rudely to her friends.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: The Fearless Seven or F7, Merlin, Arthur, Hans, Jack, Pino, Noki and Kio, are there to save Fairytale island from danger, especially Snow White/Red Shoes from Regina and her monsters.
  • Three-Point Landing: The giant puppet Pino, Noki, and Kio lands like this at one point. One of the triplets even calls it a ‘superhero landing’.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Merlin helps Snow White, not knowing she is her persona Red Shoes, and that act is the start of her truly liking the wizard-dwarf.
  • Transflormation: As Regina lived with the King his subjects gradually disappeared. It's eventually revealed that she has been transforming them into magic trees to bear her magic apples in her bid for the shoes that'll make her young and beautiful forever. The trees will wither after bearing fruit, and Regina forces Snow to undergo the transformation at the climax.
  • Transformation Trinket: The red shoes transform Snow White into a thinner version of herself.
  • Transforming Conforming: Whenever Snow White puts the red shoes on, she transforms into a thin, conventionally beautiful woman. With that, however, she loses all the great strength she has with her real, overweight body. She decides to keep them because nobody would help her finding her father with her real appearance (though she's not actually ugly), but has to take the shoes off whenever she needs to use force.
  • Vain Sorceress: The evil queen Regina, who seeks to make a pair of magic shoes that'll make her young and beautiful forever.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: While to himself, Merlin muses how he would've reacted if he had seen Snow White's true form sooner. In response, his alter-ego calls him out on how he still judges people based on looks.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Preparing for the climax Jack, Hans and the triplets confidentially prepare from home and then almost fall asleep waiting for Arthur to pull out Excalibur. Jack is exasperated and asks the triplet's puppet to 'please end this'. Later Arthur is seen holding Excalibur with some stone still attached.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Pretending he's penned down by a large rabbit, Arthur tries to get a kiss from a concerned Red Shoes. She's more focused on her dainty appearance removing her strength. She's also unimpressed after Jack and Hans reveal Arthur tries this on girls often.