Australian Council on Children and the Media

Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs

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Not suitable under 5; parental guidance to 10 (themes and violence)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs
  • a review of Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 July 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to themes and violence.
Children aged 5–10 Parental guidance recommended due to themes and violence.
Children over the age of 10 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes and animated violence
Length 92 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

When Snow White’s father, the King, marries Regina (voice of Gina Gershon), a gorgeous woman reputed to be a witch, Snow White is sent away and slowly her father’s subjects begin to disappear. By the time she returns her father has also disappeared and Regina is desperately trying to recapture her youth and beauty through an apple tree that grows magical red shoes. Inadvertently donning a pair of the shoes, Snow White (voice of Chloe Grace Moretz) is instantly transformed from a strong, plain and plump young lady into a slim, curvy and ravishing beauty. Men fall all over themselves at the mere sight of her and cater to her every need but all Snow White wants is to find her father. Meanwhile, seven dashing young men have an unfortunate encounter with a fairy princess whom they saved but then attacked, thinking that she looked more like a witch than a princess. In return the fairy princess curses them, causing them to look like little, green dwarfs until such time as they can earn a kiss from the most beautiful princess of all. Defeated and discouraged, the dwarfs bide their time until Snow White literally flies into their lives. Wanting to keep her identity a secret she introduces herself as Red Shoes and enlists their help to find her father. Meanwhile the dwarfs are each hoping that she will kiss them and end their curse. While Red Shoes and the dwarfs search for her father, Regina searches for the mysterious beauty who has taken her shoes, pulling out every trick in the book to try and stop her no matter what the cost. While all the dwarfs became infatuated with Red Shoes at first sight, she begins to have feelings for Merlin (voice of Sam Clafin), the little green man who is always there to help and for whom she would gladly give her life. Ultimately, Merlin begins to understand that true beauty is not something you see with your eyes - it is something you see with your heart.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Evil curses; separation from a parent; the idea that ‘big’ is not beautiful and that youth and physical beauty are the most important characteristics of all.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • A magic tree tries to ensnare Red Shoes with its branches. The tendrils chase after her and try to entrap her wherever she goes.
  • One of the dwarfs smacks Red Shoes in the back of the head with a frying pan before he realises his mistake.
  • There are numerous fight scenes that involve the: hitting, stabbing, punching, slicing, crushing, blasting, exploding, electrocuting, throwing, smashing, and smacking of characters.
  • A prince and his army launch a cannon ball at the dwarfs’ house. Merlin tosses it back to them and the house collapses around them.
  • Merlin’s magic often includes blasting things with electricity.
  • Red Shoes slaps one dwarf across the face when he tries to kiss her without her permission.
  • Merlin is held by the magic mirror tree and stretched across the branches as though he is about to be tortured. Later he is held in front of Red Shoes who is forced to eat a poison apple in order to save his life.
  • Merlin sacrifices himself by holding onto Regina, plunging off a cliff and using his magic to create an explosion. He is brought back to the castle, barely alive, where Red Shoes’ tears help break the spell. Regina does not survive.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Disguised as Merlin, Regina then transforms into the cruel witch that she is. With her powers waning she looks even more haggard, menacing and repulsive than before. Her evil appearance may upset some very young viewers.
  • Regina transforms Red Shoes into a tree. Her hair becomes gnarled branches and her face is a frozen mask as Regina explains to Merlin how she will slowly die.
  • Regina gives a prince and her guards some poisoned apples to eat. They each transform into rock monsters that set out to try to capture or kill Red Shoes and the dwarfs. The transformation itself looks painful and the monsters are relentless, repeatedly attempting to destroy Red Shoes. Ultimately it is Merlin who is trapped and nearly dies but Red Shoes manages to save him at the last moment.
  • There is a large bunny with glowing eyes that chases Red Shoes and Merlin through a dark forest late one night. The scene is a little intense and may concern some very young viewers.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • The dwarfs all want Red Shoes to kiss them and try to create opportunities for this to happen.
  • Red Shoes and Merlin kiss on a couple of occasions.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Infrequent name calling such as: “Buffoons”, “Bumbling bits of kindling”, “Loser”, “Haggard old crone” and “Block head”.

In a nutshell

Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs is a twist on the classic tale of Snow White. Hailed as a family film and rated G it may, at first glance, appear to be a suitable for all ages but the unfortunate messages about basic values and body image necessitate an adult presence to help counteract and clarify some undesirable beliefs which younger children may unconsciously internalise.

The main messages from this movie are that appearances are the most important thing, that being old, large and physically unattractive are bad and that if you don’t conform to certain standards of beauty you are not worthwhile, others will be unable to see the good in you and may be reluctant to help you.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Selflessness
  • Honesty
  • Graciousness
  • Determination
  • The ability to see a person for who they are on the inside and not for how they look on the outside.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Making fun of someone because they are large or heavy.
  • Ridiculing someone because of their height or the colour of their skin.
  • Making assumptions about others based only on physical appearance.
  • Wanting to be with someone simply because of how they look, regardless of what they want or who they are.
  • Using others for your own personal gain or to make yourself look better.

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