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Film / 7 Zwerge

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From top to bottom: Speedy, Cloudy, Brumboss, Cookie, Bubi, Tschakko, Sunny

7 Zwerge - Männer allein im Wald (7 Dwarves - Men Alone in the Woods) is a 2004 German comedy based on the fairy tale Snow White.

The seven (human sized) dwarves, Brummboss, Tschakko note , Sunny, Cloudy, Speedy, Cookie, and Bubi note , live alone in the woods. All have been wronged by women in some way and resolve to never allow women into their woods. Meanwhile, the evil Queen is reluctantly informed by the Magic Mirror that she's no longer Fairest of Them All per se. She decides to capture Snow White and give her a bad hairstyle to restore her status. However, Snow White goes on the run and ends up taking refuge with the dwarves. Hilarity Ensues.

It later received a sequel, 7 Zwerge - Der Wald ist nicht genug (7 Dwarves - The Forest Is Not Enough), very loosely based on the fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin. Set a year later, Rumpelstiltskin shows up to eat Snow White's baby, unless she can guess his name. The now separated dwarves must regather and go on an adventure to discover Rumpelstiltskin's name, while avoiding his plots to kill or distract them.


Tropes common to both movies:

  • Brutal Honesty: Cloudy's speciality, often in the most inappropriate moments.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": The mirrors trademark style of speaking, often when trying to break the bad news gently.
    Magic Mirror: Well, there'd still be someone else ... like Snow White. And she's ... well, I don't wanna say fairer than you ... but she is.
  • Captain Ersatz: The White Helge is an Expy of Gandalf the White. When Brummboss asks for help with Snow White, he suggests throwing a ring in the fire. When told that they don't have a ring, he suggests throwing Snow White in the fire.
  • Catchphrase: Quite a few.
    • "I think he/she/it is nice!" for Sunny. Godzilla is nice, too.
    • "Knew it" for Cloudy, whenever the other dwarves fail to answer his question.
    • "Most people think so. Old misconception." The standard reply when someone states that they always imagined dwarves to be smaller. Or the evil one taller.
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    • "Well, hello, first off, I don't know, if you already knew, but..." and "You can [do X], but you don't have to." for the magic mirror, due to him being played by Rüdiger Hoffmann.
    • "I am the evil one known to all, with the name no one dares to call" for Rumpelstiltskin, of course. He does sometimes get tired of saying the whole sentence, though.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Bubi and, to an extent, Sunny.
  • Control Freak. Tschakko. Everyone listens to his command. Why? Because he says so.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Cloudy. He's not necessarily smarter than the rest of the lot, but that doesn't stop him from snarking at their stupidity.
    • The Mirror especially towards the Queen in the first movie. Though the dwarves stupidity also brings this side out in the second one.
  • The Ditz: Bubi, who is the most childish of them all (which certainly says something).
  • Dull Surprise: Cloudy looks absolutely unfazed by almost everything that's happening around him, which would give any normal person at least a "WTF?!"-expression.
  • Foil:
    • Cloudy and Sunny, obiously. The former being a frowning pessimist, the latter a full-blown Pollyanna.
    • In a way, the two Big Bad's of the movies also qualify. The Queen from the first movie ist extremely loud, boisterous, very obsessed with her looks and relies on her servants at first, before deciding to get her own hands dirty. Rumpelstiltskin is more composed (at least until the end),calculating, does everything by himself from the very beginning and is not exactly known for his beauty, nor does he seem to pay his outer appearance any mind.
  • Genki Guy: Sunny, even moreso in the sequel, to the point that he acutually manages to exhaust himself instead of everyone else.
  • Good Is Dumb: The dwarves, while being kind, brave and well-meaning, aren't exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer. This is because of their childish nature and being easily distracted. Cookie is the one with the most common sense.
  • Gratuitous English: Sunny, Cloudy, Cookie, and Speedy have English names. In the first movie, there's a banner saying "It's Party Time".
  • Grumpy Bear: Cloudy, if you haven't guessed by now.
  • Hammerspace: Tschakko is famous for producing huge objects out of nowhere. He usually carries a battering ram around, just in case they have to break down someone's door.
  • Hard Head: Most of the dwarves' games involve hitting each other on the head with wooden boards until they fall unconscious.
  • Ironic Name: Speedy is anything but.
  • It's All About Me: The most identifying character trait of both, the Queen and Spliss.
  • Jerkass: Spliss. It's a minor case, as the Big Bad around is usually worse than him. He is not really evil, as much as very, very selfish, especially in the second movie, where he starts the whole plot by selling Snow White's child to Rumpelstiltskin in exchange for flowing blond hair.
  • Karma Houdini: Spliss, twice. In the first movie, he was in on the Queen's plot, but didn't get any punishment, and he avoided it yet again in the second movie, despite being the one who sold Snow White's child to Rumpelstilskin. He does lose his blond hair,though, due to Rumpelstiltskin's Exact Words.
  • Magic Mirror: You can talk to him, but you don't have to.
  • No Indoor Voice: The Queen, who becomes a witch in the second movie is very loud. She is played by Nina Hagen, after all.
    The Queen: [to the Huntsman] So you didn't bring her to me, as your queen requested. HOW DARE YOU? HAVE YOU GONE MAD?! THIS IS A SCANDAL! MUTINY I SAY! NOW WHAT ABOUT THAT BLACK-HAIRED BITCH?!
  • Only Sane Man: Among the dwarves, it's Brumboss in the first movie and Cookie in the second. The mirror and the huntsman would also count. Cloudy often appears to be one, due to his deadpan nature, but he isn't much better than the rest of them. In a villainous sense, Rumpelstiltskin also counts, especially when compared to the Queen.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: These dwarfs are notable for lacking what is probably the most essential trait for defining a dwarf - they are all of normal human size. The Hand Wave used here is that dwarfs being exceptionally short is actually just a common misconception.
  • The Pollyanna: Sunny, the eternal optimist.
  • The Stoic: Cloudy, thanks to being the resident pessimist rarely changes his bored, grumpy expression.
  • Super Strength: Tschakko can hammer nails into wood with his bare hands. In the sequel, Ralfie catches a cannonball with no apparent discomfort and bends the bars of a jail cell with ease.

The first movie provides examples of:

  • Big Bad: The Queen. True to the fairytale, she wants to get rid of Snow White for being more beautiful than her, and she also deceived the king into thinking both, his wife and daughter had died, making him step down from the throne in order to rule as a queen herself.
  • Birthmark of Destiny: Brummboss proves that He's Snow White's father by revealing his birthmark.
  • Breaking Bad News Gently: The Magic Mirror is reluctant to tell the Queen that Snow White is still alive. He subverts it though, due to his By "No", I Mean "Yes" speaking style.
    Mirror: You are the fairest my Queen, ... although well, when one considers it globally, then...
    Queen: What? I'm the fairest of them all!
    Mirror: Yes, well, "of them all" is maybe... a bit exaggerated. Now if you exclude the dwarven lands,... then sure... But beyond the seven mountains by the seven dwarves... there is this Snow White and well...
  • Chekhov's Gag: See Something Else Also Rises. Initially, Brumboss's limp hat seems like a metaphor for erectile dysfunction but it's actually foreshadowing that he's Snow White's father.
  • Cue Card Pause: Happens while Speedy is reading from the book about mushrooms because he speaks slowly and pauses between sentences.
    Speedy: Especially delicious is the red fire mushroom.
    Bubi eats the mushroom
    Speedy: But only to deer. In humans, it produces a terrible burning sensation in your throat.
    Bubi hurriedly drinks some water
    Speedy: The intake of fluids only strengthens this effect.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Happens whenever someone mentions That Very Night (about 7 times throughout the movie).
  • Dumb Blonde: Inverted. Since the Queen is blonde while Snow White has black hair, she insists on everyone telling jokes about dumb black haired women. While she is certainly not the smartest person there is, people around her tend to be much dumber.
  • Fairest of Them All: The evil Queen's desire.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The hair curler is considered this by the characters.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: The dwarves. Subverted in that all of them except Brummboss immediately get over it upon seeing the beautiful Snow White.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Subverted. As per the fairy tale, the Huntsman is sent after Snow White. However, it turns out that he just hunts tree branches, though he's not above shooting people if they're annoying enough.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: The Magic Mirror, when he's warning Snow White.
    Magic Mirror: There is a certain person, I don't wanna drop any names, the Queen, and she is, well, I don't wanna say mad at you. But more like... furious.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Cloudy states that women are always in a bad mood and self-opinionated. Sunny argues that he can't generalize it, to which Cloudy replies that he certainly can. Women are self-opinionated, and that's final.
  • Larynx Dissonance: At one point, it appears that Snow White is singing, only for it be revealed that she's actually listening to Brumboss singing (in a young female voice).
  • Minion with an F in Evil: When the Queen asked Spliss to dispose of the baby Snow White, he interpreted it as placing her in an orphanage, rather than throwing her in the trash as intended. That said, he's far from a pleasant person.
  • Nap-Inducing Speak: The result of Speedy attempting to tell a joke.
  • Noodle Incident: The Great Fishing Expedition. Which involved Tschakko and nitroglycerin.
  • Power Walk: The dwarves getting ready to rescue Snow White, complete with slow motion and background music.
  • Right Behind Me: The Jester makes fun of the Queen to the guards, not realizing that she's right behind him.
  • Rightful King Returns: Brummboss returns to reclaim his crown.
  • Sarcastic Confession: When questioned by the castle guard, Brummboss announces that he's there to bring freedom back to the land, defeat the false Queen, and free Snow White. The guard assumes he's applying for Court Jester and lets him in.
  • Something Else Also Rises: The tips of the dwarves' hats all standup straight upon seeing Snow White except for Brumboss.
  • Tickle Torture: Employed against Bubi at the beginning to punish him for approaching Red Riding Hood.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: This is Tschakko's problem. Snow White cures him of it by hitting him repeatedly until he's forced to hit her back.

The sequel provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Rumpelstiltskin wasn't a shapeshifter in the original fairy tale (though he did have magic powers), nor was he as proactive in achieving his goal.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While not exactly a pleasant person in the original fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin wasn't quite as murderous as he is portrayed here, and nothing implied that he was going to eat the miller's daughter's child.
  • Big Bad: Rumpelstiltskin. True to the fairytale, he's after the queen's first born child, but a great deal more ruthless in his means to achieve that.
  • Bullet Catch: Ralfie catches a cannonball.
  • Call-Back: Sunny muses on how he imagined the Evil One to be much taller, to which said person responds that most people think so.
    Cloudy: Those old misconceptions .
  • Cardboard Prison: When the dwarves end up in jail, Ralfie effortlessly bends the metal bars to get them out.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The dwarves travel to the real world and end up in a Fairy Tale theme park with fictional versions of Snow White, Rumplestilskin, etc.
  • Distinguishing Mark: A running gag is that no one recognizes a description of Rumpelstiltskin until his mole is mentioned, at which point everyone instantly recognizes him.
  • Exact Words: Rumpelstiltskin promised Spliss full blond hair. He never specified how long it would last.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Hilariously so, at Rumpelstiltskin's expense. Thanks to a malfunctioning lighter, a rusty pendulum, and his inability to tell apart the broomcloset door from the exit door.
  • The Fair Folk: While it's not specifically stated, Rumpelstiltskin bears a lot of similarities to them, even more so than in the original fairy tale. Here, he is a shapeshifter, fond of making magic deals with people that will end up biting them, and in general enjoys messing with humans for his own amusement. He is more on the malevolent side, though.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Everything Pinocchio says is a wood related pun.
  • I am a Humanitarian: Rumpelstiltskin intends to eat the baby in this adaptation. He even attempts to discuss recipe ideas with said baby's mother.
  • Larynx Dissonance: Being a shapeshifter, Rumpelstiltskin can perfectly copy the voice of anyone without changing his appearance. He does so twice, once as Udo Lindenberg and once to imirate Snow White, much to the witch's chagrin.
  • Morphic Resonance: Rumpelstiltskin retains his prominent facial mole while shapeshifting. Strangely, no one is able to recognize him while shapeshifted, despite it being the Distinguishing Mark of his natural form.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The entire plot of the movie is based on the dwarves trying to find out Rumpelstiltskin's name. However, one them already knew it the whole time but got interrupted whenever he was about to mention it. It doesn't help that he's the Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To The Lord of the Rings; Rumpelstiltskin bears a few traits similar to Gollum.
    • The dwarves way back home leads them to platform 7 3/4. They have to get through the barrier ... with a mirror.
  • Skewed Priorities: Spliss is hesitant to trade the baby's portrait to Rumpelstiltskin (in exchange for blond hair), because it's supposed to be a birthday present for the boy. When the former clarifies he wants the child, not the picture, Spliss casually states that he can have the baby.
  • Spin the Bottle: The dwarven version apparently involves a person acting as the bottle and hitting the winner on the head.
  • Take That!: A mild one. Rumpelstiltskin apparently considers Udo Lindenberg to be his most inhumane embodiment.
  • Villain Ball: While otherwise rather competent, Rumpelstiltskin could have saved himself some trouble, had he not written down his name to the witch.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After being denied the child, Rumpelstiltskin turns green, steam comes out of his ears and yells "The devil told you that!". Thankfully though, he doesn't rip himself in half.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: Rumpelstiltskin is one in this version and makes great use of his ability.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: At the beginning, two kids report a fire to Speedy. He makes them promise to keep it going until he gets there because he hates it when he responds to a fire only to find that it already went out before he arrived. The kids agree, but before Speedy can get to the fire, he is recruited into the main plot, and the fire is never heard about again. One wonders how long they managed to keep it going.
  • Xanatos Speedchess: This time around, Rumpelstiltskin doesn't simply rely on his name being to exotic to be found out, but effectively takes precautions to make sure no one does, and intervenes a few times whenever the need arises. He legitimately would have won, had he not boasted about his name before he made the deal with Snow White.