© Universal Pictures International Germany GmbH

Der 7bte Zwerg
Germany 2014

Opening 25 Sep 2014

Directed by: Boris Aljinovic
Writing credits: Bernd Eilert, Harald Siepermann, Sven Unterwaldt Jr., Daniel Welbat, Douglas Welbat
Principal actors: Boris Aljinovic, Elvin Cameron, Nina Hagen, Norbert Heisterkamp, Mirco Nontschew

German comedian Otto Waalkes has done it again: stars in a third version of his extremely popular story about the seven dwarves – those pals of Snow White. In 2004 we enjoyed 7 Zwerge – Männer allein im Wald and then in 2006 the sequel 7 Zwerge – Der Wald ist nicht genug. Producer Douglas Welbat initiated this successful new version, which is different in that it is animated and in 3D. All of the actors who played the original dwarves returned to lend their voices to their animated selves. The most easily recognizable is Speedy or – in real life – Martin Schneider aka Maddin. Then there is Otto Waalkes as the youngest named Bubi, who cannot even tie his shoelaces. Other comedians and actors from the two original films appear in their original roles as Cooky, Sunny, Tschakko, Ralphy and Cloudy.

In this version, everyone, including Snow White, the seven dwarves, Red Riding Hood and other fairy tale characters, gather at the castle to celebrate Rose’s birthday. Not only will she turn 18, but a terrible curse, which would freeze the castle and all inhabitants for 100 years, will be invalidated at the stroke of midnight. Naturally, all goes wrong through evil manipulations of the wicked witch Dellamorta (Nina Hagen). The dwarves narrowly escape their own frozen fate and make their way to find Jack, the kitchen boy. Only he can give Rose the kiss of real love which would cancel out the curse. Unfortunately Dellamorta is a step ahead and has already, with the help of her faithful dragon Burner, kidnapped Jack and tied him up in her own castle, an isolated island abode. Walrus Herman and otter Sherman offer help; at least these two have a boat (and a song) and can transport the rescuers across the waters in hopes of finding Jack.

Adults and children will enjoy this film equally – something that not all animated films can claim. A German film, it will be appreciated by fans of the previous two films with the same topic and actors. However, English speakers will be happy to know that an English version was recorded in studios in Toronto. Obviously, it’s enjoyable even without pre-knowledge of the originals. The songs (Daniel Welbat) have musical format and help move the plot cheerfully along. My favorite character was Burner; after all, how many dragons do you know who can tap dance? (Becky Tan)

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