Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs is a film directed by Hong Sung Ho. The film was played by Ahn So Yi (dubber Snow White), Shin Yong-woo (dubber Merlin), Jeon Jin-ah (dubber Regina), Kwon Seong-hyeok, (dubber Arthur).
Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs, This film tells the story of a young girl named Snow White who one day finds a pair of magical shoes. The shoes were able to turn Snow White into a more beautiful princess in a fairy tale.
On the other hand, seven handsome princes had been cursed to become dwarves because of their arrogance. The curse will disappear if the seven dwarves are kissed by the most beautiful princess from all over the country. The dwarves need extra effort to find the princess. Because the daughter who can remove the curse has a fat body and is not so beautiful.
The princess will only turn beautiful when she wears a pair of magic shoes that have disappeared. Now whoever finds these shoes will get a kiss from the princess and be free from the curse. At first glance, Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs seem a harmless parody of the fairy tales of Snow White and the other Princesses.
However, in terms of story, Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs is actually more like Beauty and The Beast because it discusses a character who is sentenced to be a ‘terrible’ creature as a result of being too physical and already judgmental about people’s outward appearances. However, once we remember that this animation was made by Locus Animation, a studio from South Korea, you know, a country known for its “culture”; we know this film parody is on another level.
The seven dwarves in this film are not petite miners who are summoned based on the emotions they display. In this Fairytale they are not walking emojis. But the seven princes who eradicate evil. They’re superheroes. Their view is like a K-Pop boyband. Lively, cool, and handsome. They also have a group name: Fearless Seven.
And they really boasted of their good-looking, especially Merlin. As a result of Merlin’s wrong attacking the Fairy Princess (“Looks like a witch!”) They were all cursed to become contet dwarves. The antidote for the curse was a kiss from a beautiful girl. The problem is; Which cute girl wants to kiss them with a shape that’s not cool like that. At least that was what Merlin thought who seemed to miss her true form the most.
They then meet Snow White – take your imagination away from Disney Snow White, because here Snow White is a kind girl with a fat body. This girl is on the run for stealing the magic shoe belonging to her stepmother who is an evil witch. The shoes turned Snow White’s appearance into a thin – tall – slim fin. Snow White, who wanted to find her father, chose to remain disguised, she named her model-style self Red Shoes,
simply because Merlin and her friends are only passionate about helping girls with such looks. So start the adventure – full of magic and fantasy creatures – two parties who are both not in real bodies with the fruit of the lesson “inner beauty is much more important than physical appearance” ready to be picked.
I’ll help out anything that sounds like Chloe Grace Moretz’s One of the films that did well and respectfully raised the message of beauty-it-comes-from-within and did not want to be defeated by society’s beauty standards was Imperfect: Career, Love & Scales (2019). Imperfect actually tries to appear balanced with the lover of the main character, it’s just that the character is a little too ideal. Still, ‘just’ departs from the girl’s point of view on these beauty issues. When we chatter about standards of beauty, it is usually girls that we burden to accept and appreciate who they are. Girls, don’t overdo it so you can get thin, it will hurt. Girls don’t use make up too much, it’s not good for the skin.
Girl don’t this, girl don’t that. It doesn’t have to be this way, it doesn’t have to be that way. You are beautiful as you are. We rarely explore from the other side. That the supply exists because there is a demand. The rest of the world does show partiality towards what has been agreed to be ‘beautiful’. ‘The rest of the world’ is of course boys. And they are the ones who are the focus of this film.
What about the efforts of guys who always put their version of beauty first. It was the guy who made the version, authorized it, and served it as a guide. So through this film, it’s the men’s turn to recognize the real beauty, what it is. Merlin, our main character, was very afraid at first. Never mind girls or other people, he just looks down on himself because it is totally opposite to his original ‘cool appearance’. In the beginning there will be lots of condescending lines coming out of the mouths of Merlin and his friends.
They make bodi-shaming a joke. When meeting Red Shoes who asked for help, the Dwarves objectified the girl. They did not sincerely help him, nor did they sincerely welcome him. But looking for opportunities to attract hearts, for the sake of a kiss that will lift their curse. We see Merlin and her friends kind of racing to get a Red Shoes kiss. To them, the girl is not a friend, but something to win over, and a tool to get their perfect body.
That’s why this film received a lot of backlash when it was first promoted to the public and at the 2017 festival. The characters are called heroes but chlorinate body-shaming. Whereas the story prepares the lesson for this character at the end, and that’s how film is; a journey for a person to become a better self. With this concept, this film fulfills its function. Merlin realized his mistake in treating every creature.
But still, the problem of this film lies in us having difficulty keeping up with the main character, because we know better than him. From the beginning we don’t study with him, but we know that he was wrong. And seeing his attitude can indeed be a turn off for the audience. We are not made to care enough to want him to be better. The reason we find it hard to see him as the “poor guy who was wrong all his life” is that Merlin and his friends are not well digging. We don’t really know who they are, what is the background that underlies why they are so narcissistic and seen from the physical alone.
In fact, even though there are seven of them, three of them have the exact same shape and are not distinctive – the triplet likes machines, practically the three characters are actually the same character; their names are Pinocchio divided by three. We only know of their group as heroes, who happen to be all gorgeous.
Snow White was described as being a little more “respectable”, she wasn’t shown looking to be pretty. When he realized he was different because of the influence of his shoes, for Snow White, yes it was a dream, but he saw it more as an opportunity. He seemed familiar and familiar; he felt more comfortable as Red Shoes because he knew exactly that was the only way he could be helped by others. But even Snow White cannot fully idolize because even though he is the trigger for Merlin’s learning about judging people, he is also a part of the problem.
You see, actually a film could make the real her come for help and Merlin bond with Snow White as is from the start – learning for Merlin will be the same, but films make this girl ‘beautiful’ first because that perception is built and used as a framework for the idea. film. That “beautiful is slender and slender – ugly is fat and short” was chosen as a frame and implanted to make the lessons work.
The standard of beauty actually comes from the thought that there is something better than yourself, so that it becomes a goal for change. Fat people want to feel thin, and thin people want their bodies to contain a little. We are never satisfied with ourselves. This is actually the main idea of the film, which is why the two characters are made to deal with the witchcraft and the original form of each.
Because whatever our shape, skin color, and all kinds of things, Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs , what matters is our character and attitude. Everyone will look attractive from the way they radiate to their surroundings, no matter if they are physically flawed or what. Even a cute person can be really cute if not arrogant with his prowess. It is a matter of accepting yourself for who you are.
The film’s story framework resonates deeply with South Korean society, which is an open secret that has a penchant for plastic surgery for external appearances. The country has a homogeneous view of what is beautiful and what is not, all of which are rooted in social class. White is considered beautiful because dark skin is identified with work that is directly in the sun. It is similar in the film, that the princesses of kings and princes have light skin while the dwarves and fairies have green, or darker skin.
There’s even one Merlin line that emphasizes green is a low-class color. So, Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarf clearly parodies South Korean society itself; who always ‘talk’ about one-dimensional beauty trends, vying to be that way by changing themselves. So we can understand that the film’s message about external appearance is not important, it will feel very strong for audiences from the original country of the film.
That’s why it’s also natural, if Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs was intended by the director as a family spectacle. Because planting beautiful / handsome and the pressure to be beautiful / handsome starts from their family rooms. The film also talks about masculinity which is helped by understanding and accepting women which can also be stronger Although in fact the humor and fun of this film is not really suitable for children. At the very least, the children watching this must be with parents who can explain the narrow views of the characters in the story and bring out the lessons they will get.
That is, when parents are prepared for many scenes and dialogues that can be uncomfortable to watch with children. It’s more or less the same as seeing scenes of seducing girls in comedy films like Dono and so on. Some of the parodies are also clever, like when a character plays around by mentioning the Disney Princess traits he wants to invite to a birthday party.
But some are ridiculous and mean, for example, like a magic tree bearing apples which then turn the apples into shoes. Shoes grow on trees, in the fairy tales there should be even more magical things that can be used for films that tell about magical shoes. And because this is a film from a country that has quite a hit with pop songs, Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs we will find several scenes that include the songs. It’s just that this insertion always seems out of place; tau-tau characters sing as transitions between scenes. I don’t know what the original was, but the songs in this film, which has been dubbed in English, are not catchy at all.
Carrying a message that emphasizes the importance of beauty from the heart, this film is present as a challenge to a society that is full of social prejudice related to standards of physical beauty. This time it is men and society who are told to try to open their hearts to what is beautiful and not. For girls, this film is exactly like a piece from Alessia Cara’s song, “You don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart”.
Towards the learning and awareness moment of the main character, the story of this film, unfortunately, can be very disturbing. The under-explored main character makes it difficult for us to care, giving the impression that this film is very degrading and supports body-shaming. I like the concept, I understand the purpose of the film, but indeed the storytelling could have been done better – maybe more subtly so that it is less offensive and gives the audience room to enter and understand the flawed main character.