Princes who have been turned into Dwarfs seek the red shoes of a lady in order to break the spell, although it will not be easy. A parody with a twist.– Anonymous, IMDB
Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs is a 2019 South Korean animated film produced by Locus Corporation and Sidus Animation Studios. Among it’s cast are Chloe Grace Moretz as Snow White/Red Shoes, Sam Clafin as Merlin, and Gina Gershon as the Evil Stepmother. A marketing campaign for the film produced a great deal of backlash for unintentionally fat shaming Snow White.
Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below…)
This movie got a ton of bad press for an early marketing campaign, which was unfortunately worded in a way to suggest that Snow White as her normal plus-sized self, is “no longer beautiful”. It’s a shame because the final film actually has the opposite message.
The entire movie is based round the idea of our assumptions of beauty. The Fearless 7 were transformed because they assumed that the ugly fairy princess was a witch. When they see wanted posters for Red Shoes (Put up by the evil Stepmother), they immediately trust Red Shoes’ assertion that she’s innocent explicitly because she’s beautiful. The Stepmother, who is actually an evil witch, is able to gain power by using magic to make herself look beautiful. The film is all about demonstrating how beauty does not equal good.
Personally I think Red Shoes is the best thing about the movie. She’s very secure in her own self image, best illustrated in the scene where she first sees her transformed self in the mirror. You think at first she’s going to find herself beautiful, but instead he says “I look so… different”. Her normal self is what she’s happy with.
Red Shoes is also very socially aware, she very quickly catches onto how people are treating her differently when she’s conventionally beautiful and after a while begrudgingly uses it to her advantage to help her father. At one moment she point blank asks Merlin, her love interest, if he would’ve agreed to help her had he seen her real self. It’s a really though provoking scene, both Merlin and the audience are confronted with their unconscious biases about beauty.
In spite of that early marketing campaign, Red Shoes seems to be gaining some good attention. Though it seemed as thought he film might not get a North American release, the film was finally given a Region 1 release date for September of 2020. I’d definitely recommend this film as a genuinely good movie.
If you’d like to hear my thoughts in more depth, feel free to check out the Bad Princess Movie Podcast, where myself and my cohost give more thoughts on Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs!