TV Review: Disney’s ‘The 7D’

Disney Jr The 7D TV Review

Disney has been adept at mining its animated properties with preschool-oriented spinoffs (see “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” and to an extent “Sofia the First”), and in terms of mining, well, the Seven Dwarfs would seem to be a natural. Yet Disney XD’s latest excursion into the vaults, “The 7D,” is an ill-considered mess — a series that seeks to approximate the madcap antics of Cartoon Network, with none of the charm associated with the source material. Parents might be comfortable with the brand, but if they try watching with their moppets they’ll be itching to heigh-ho out of there.

Oddly constructed, the series puts the 7D (the term “Dwarfs” is never used) at the beck and call of irritating Queen Delightful (voiced by Leigh-Allyn Baker), who summons them, Batman-like, to assist her with even the most minor problems that might assail the village of Jollywood.

Although they still hang out at their jewel mine together — not that there’s anything wrong with that — in the episode previewed (consisting of two 11-minute shorts within each half-hour) they drop everything to help her thwart the witch-and-warlock couple determined to unseat her, Hildy (Kelly Osbourne) and Grim (Jess Harnell) Gloom.

Looking different than the dwarfs assisting Snow White that Disneyphiles have come to know, the little men have the same names, but their personalities feel fuzzy. Sure, Grumpy (Maurice LaMarche) is always cranky, and Happy (Kevin Michael Richardson) cheerfully sings lively tunes, but the others almost blend together, except Sleepy, who (duh) sleeps through most everything.

The episodes are loud and hectic, which goes with the territory, but the animation design isn’t particularly interesting. The half-baked plots, moreover, fall into a sort of No Kid’s Land in terms of age groups. (The series will premiere on Disney XD, the boy-oriented cable network, and play on Disney Channel and Disney Jr. later in the year.)

Disney has been fairly unabashed about using Disney Jr. as a platform to stoke enthusiasm for its classic properties among new generations — thus keeping the merchandising train chugging — but has also historically been understandably protective of those venerable titles. (Disclosure: My wife works for an unaffiliated unit of the company.)

While it might help send some plush toys off the shelves, “The 7D” is, in that respect, pretty one-dimensional — a show that goes for the gold, perhaps, but hardly qualifies as a gem.

TV Review: Disney's 'The 7D'

(Series; Disney XD, Mon. July 7, 10 a.m.)

Production

Produced by Disney Television Animation.

Crew

Executive producer, Tom Ruegger; co-executive producer, Tom Warburton; directors, Alfred Gimeno, Jeff Gordon, Charles Visser; story editor, Sherri Stoner; music/songwriter, Parry Gripp. 30 MIN.

Cast

Voices: Kelly Osbourne, Jess Harnell, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Bill Farmer, Maurice LaMarche, Kevin Michael Richardson, Dee Bradley Baker, Scott Menville, Stephen Stanton, Billy West, Paul Rugg

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  1. Doug nelson says:

    My 4 year old loves it and my 9 year old enjoys it as well. I find it way more enjoyable than many other kids shows.

  2. Kirsty Renz says:

    Read the review of the 7D and the comments following it and can’t believe what I was reading. 7D is a great spin of a classic cartoon giving kids a great viewing experience without any hidden meanings and without any of the mind numbing content which a lot of the stuff on TV has in it nowadays. The reviews seem to be very adult centred, have you asked your children if they like it at the end of the day it’s about them. It is very much a feel good cartoon. Our children love it and look forward to seeing all of them. I’d much rather they watched 7D than a lot of other stuff which has inappropriate language and behaviour with hidden agenda and meaning as I’ve said before.
    Personally can’t wait for more to be aired!

  3. Debi Livengood says:

    I have to turn off the TV when 7D comes on. It’s totally inappropriate for the audience. It’s a whole village of idiots that give bad messages and is not cute or funny-AT ALL.

  4. Tina says:

    7D on disney jr??!?! It is NOT appropriate for my 2 year old to watch at all! Putting it right before Mickey Mouse clubhouse is ridiculous! I’m about to switch to another toddler tv channel.

  5. I just watched one clip and it was enough for me to not watch any more from this. Everything else Disney has done with their classic characters still has the same character designs, when even just looking at a picture of the characters I was already very confused because they look nothing like their classic counterparts

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