Back in 2016 a trailer for "Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs" made its rounds on the Internet. The trailer, which featured an English language cast, baffled animation fans with its bizarre premise of an apparently svelte princess who transforms into an overweight slob when she takes off her magical red shoes. Reception toward the film turned explicitly hostile with its 2017 marketing campaign and Cannes which was criticized for promoting body image issues.
Now, after a long and troubled production history, "Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs" is finally making its domestic release. The movie's timing is surprisingly fortuitous. The lower prestige animation market in South Korea is normally dominated by Japanese films, but anti-Japanese tensions are high due to the current trade war, allowing "Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs" a decent chance in that market.
However, "Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs" is unlikely to win back its monstrous twenty million dollar production budget. Writer/director Hong Sung-ho has long struggled to get the movie made, having written the original script way back in 2007. The project finally started to move forward when legendary Disney animator Jin Kim joined the project, having decided he would rather build an internationally renowned industry back home than continue to work for Disney.
"Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs" marks the most intense investment ever made in an individual film by Jin Kim, as he was responsible for a large number of character designs - the eight title characters as well as their eight alternate forms, among other characters. The story of "Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs" is an elaborate pastiche of fairy tale movies, which uses elements from Red Shoes, Snow White, and The Frog Prince, but remixed with a Korean aesthetic.
"Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs" will release domestically in Korean theaters on July 25th. Rights to the film have been sold to a large number of international territories, but it is as of yet unknown what scale these releases will have.
Written by William Schwartz
"Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs" is directed by Hong Sung-ho, and features Ahn So-yi, Shin Yong-woo, Jeon Jin-ah, Kwon Seong-hyeok, Jeong Jae-heon, Choi Han. Release date in Korea: 2019/07/25.
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's News] Virally Mocked "Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs" Finally Receives Domestic Korean Release"
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