Disney Redesigns The Seven Dwarfs For “7D”

Have you ever wondered what Disney’s Seven Dwarfs would look like if the characters were designed by an artist who had no fundamental understanding of drawing, color theory or appeal? Wonder no more. The designs above, which look more like an animation student’s first pass in a character design class than functional designs for a TV series, will be used in a new Disney TV production called 7D, that will premiere on Disney Junior in 2014.

A bunch of Tiny Toons and Animaniacs alumni are involved: Tom Ruegger exec produces, Alfred Gimeno directs and Sherri Stoner story edits. Fish Hooks creator Noah Z. Jones designed the characters. He’s made it impossible to differentiate between the dwarfs, but I can only assume that turning them into generic icons was a directive from above.

According to Deadline:

Described as a comedic take on the world of Seven Dwarfs in a contemporary storybook world, 7D takes place in Jollywood where Queen Delightful relies on the 7D – Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy and Doc – to keep the kingdom in order. Standing in their way are two laughably evil villains, Grim and Hildy Gloom, who plot to take over the kingdom by stealing the magical jewels in the 7D’s mine.

Man, what I wouldn’t give for a couple of solid, well-constructed drawings just about now….

Aah…that’s better.


  • http://ryanrosendal.blogspot.com Ryan

    I don’t know, I’ve got to kind of admire the sheer brass balls it takes to redesign such iconic characters. Whatever kind of decision it is, it’s certainly not a “safe” one, and those decisions are the ones that always fascinate me.

    Also, I don’t have any problem identifying any of the dwarfs.

    • akira

      brass balls? who is taking a risk here?… people are doing this PURELY for money

      brass balls is what Walt did when he made the Snow White feature, risking his entire studio and future for something that others said was certainly going to fail

      • http://ryanrosendal.blogspot.com Ryan

        It’d be a lot easier and safer just to reuse the original seven dwarfs designs. Getting someone with as distinctive art style as Noah Z. Jones to redesign them is a risk. As this comment section and others around the internet have show, Noah has a “love it or hate it” style, and that raises the question, “Is this going to connect with the intended audience?” Disney’s betting it will, but who knows?

        My two cents, of course.

    • Ryoku

      Theres a fine line between doing something “gutsy” and “careless”.

    • Ryoku

      I admire people that have the brass “balls” to criticism newly made things, and bear the insults that come in.

      It takes more guts to do that than pointlessly de-construct old timeless character designs that look days of work and practice to get down, and then turn them into cheap UPA knock-offs.

  • Chris

    I don’t know that they look as bad as the article makes them out to be. It’s definitely a radical departure from what I would consider typical Disney character design. To me they look to be drawing inspiration from the adventure time / regular show / chowder school of character design. Personally I love all those shows and think they have a really fun design style, so I don’t really have any problem with Disney wanting to experiment in the same field.

    I will agree with Ryan though, it sure is a bold move to decide to use such iconic characters for an experiment in style.

  • The Gee

    Aw, c’mon. You know it could have been Seven Dwarves in Space.

    Some sort of Votron riff where they join their Dwarf ships to make a giant dwarf robot.

    So, it could’ve been worse.

    (though, I guess something like that is always possible.)

    • Funkybat

      “Seven Dwarves in Outer Space” sounds *so* 1970s Hanna-Barbera or Filmation…

      • Giovanni Jones

        No, no, Filmation had the Dwarfelles in “Happily Ever After” and the Seven Friendly Giants in “Snow White’s Christmas.” Good times.

    • Ryoku

      I’ll take them in space over in “Regular Time” ville.

  • http://classiccartoonreviews.blogspot.com/ Nicholas John Pozega

    There is absolutely no comparison between those beautifully composed, fluid drawings of Bill Tytla’s Grumpy and Fred Moore’s Sneezy, and those stilted, cluttered, mechanically drawn excuses for “characters” posted at the top, who look like they were made for an amateur Newgrounds flash movie, let alone a commercial animated project.

    This…this is just embarrassing. Amid, to say this is college student level design is an insult to even those guys. I’ve seen plenty of college student animation with better design choices than, well, THIS.

    Heck, I can draw and animate better designs that those, and I don’t even have a tenth of the skill of my Moore, let alone Tytla.

    • http://4eyedanimation.com JoeCorrao

      I liked them

  • PT

    You would of complained if they tried to do it more traditionally

    • Funkybat

      I’m actually glad they went in a completely different direction visually if they’re going to do a project like this. Taking classic Disney characters and simplifying their character design slightly and putting them into new situations can come out very good (DuckTales, Rescue Rangers, Tale Spin, A Goofy Movie) or not so good (Goof Troop, 101 Dalmatians series, Timon & Pumbaa series.) If they completely divorce the “7D” dwarves from the “real” dwarves visually and stylistically, it will stand or fall as a distinct entity.

      Us animation geeks can debate til we’re blue in the face the merits of this kind of re-use, but the fact remains this kind of thing is hardly new for Disney or animation in general. I’m not exactly excited to see the seven dwarves “re-imagined” but I’m not ready to declare this show an animated abortion along the lines of “Loonatics Unleashed” or something.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    From left to right:

    Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy, Grumpy, Doc & Dopey.

    What do I win?? :-D

  • Andy

    Amid,

    Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean you should be a total [expletive removed] and insult the designer. Grow up already.

    • Ryoku

      Yes, its immature to be opinionated in a field that you’re a big fan off.

      Interesting logic that is.

  • http://www.noahzjones.com Noah Z. Jones

    Hello Amid!

    While I value that everyone has their opinion, I would like to point out that you are not the intended audience for this particular project. Disney Junior is designed for kids 2-7 and I have relied on my years of experience illustrating award-winning children’s books to create a cast of characters that appeal to a young audience.

    Along with a wide-range of esteemed artists and designers I was approached by Disney to reimagine the seven dwarfs. A daunting task as an artist, but an inspiring challenge. My take on it wasn’t to play it safe. I wanted to do something completely different from the original designs, partially out of respect for the movie that is the cornerstone of the entire Disney empire.

    My dwarfs were chosen and championed by the executives at Disney Junior and given the thumbs up by John Lasseter.

    I am tremendously proud of my work on the 7d. I know that Tom Ruegger is throwing himself headfirst into making it a fun and funny show for kids.

    I certainly do not and will not apologize for any creative decisions I have made or dwarfs I have drawn.

    Regards,
    -Noah Z. Jones

    • http://www.amidamidi.com amid

      Thanks for writing, Noah. My issue is not with the fact that they’ve been reimagined — I could care less that they look different. My only issue was the lack of aesthetic merit in the artwork. These designs might be passable for your run-of-the-mill preschool series, but when you’re resurrecting classic animation characters, they do not hold up to the professional standards befitting the Disney company’s artistic legacy.

      • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

        Anything that does not meet your standards of aesthetic merit can only be a good thing, surely.

      • Michael Sheehan

        “My only issue was the lack of aesthetic merit in the artwork.”

        Amid, you do realize how utterly and completely subjective (not to mention arrogant, abrasive and rude) this appraisal is? I must say I suspect you do not.

        I simply don’t understand why you find it necessary to so often offer snide, personal, borderline ad hominem attacks.

        As for your critiques of such work, the tone of your remarks usually suggests you fancy yourself an infallible authority, rendering judgment from on high, and speaking for the animation community as a whole as you do so; whereas Jerry’s remarks are generally offered in a palpable spirit of goodwill, tempered with the realization that he is speaking from, and for, his own personal perspective and tastes.

        As are we all, no matter how hard we try, when we address matters artistic. I appreciate your passion but I find your attacks — that’s what they are — on artists whose work is not to your liking most unkind, disturbing, and painful to read. You don’t speak for me, sir.

        Incidentally, it must be said that the Dwarves are not simply “classic animation characters.” They are classic fairy tale characters who have been interpreted over the years in many, many ways — generally not to my taste, I’m afraid — only most successfully, and enduringly, by Walt Disney.

        Thus I find your qualification that these designs would be fine for any old toddler TV show, just not a show based on classic animation characters, rings hollow indeed. I find the notion that these designs somehow besmirch “the Disney company’s artistic legacy” truly a ridiculous statement.

        As for the work itself. I find these designs no less charming or whimsical than, for example, “Wow, Wow, Wubbzy!” They’re simple, silly, and fun to look at, and I have no doubt they will go down a storm with the training-pants set.

      • The Gee

        For what it is worth, I’ll probably never see this nor do I really care that it is being made.

        To me, it is kind of funny that they are using the characters this way and are aiming it at preschoolers.

        As re-imagining characters goes, it is better to make them very different than to try to take something very familiar and plop them into an awkward scenario. That would probably be bad for the creative end of it and for whatever audience they want to grab.

        So, this probably works well enough. As the kids grow up they’ll get a chance to see the first versions and more. Right now, even if they watched “Snow White” they probably aren’t taking in as much as they will when they watch it later in life anyway.

        As for the Disney company’s artistic legacy: that is best upheld (or sullied) on the big screen, isn’t it?

      • TimeForTimer

        WOW! Well said Michael. Thanks your articulating my thoughts exactly.

      • axolotl

        Not enough clearly-delineated asscrack.

      • http://www.terrybiddle.com TBiddy

        I don’t know if I’ve ever witnessed anything so rude, and disrespectful on a creative blog before. I don’t think a person who truly understands the creative process would behave in such a way.

        I think some reflection is in order here, because if you’re not embarrassed by this blog post and the subsequent responses placed in the comments section: YOU SHOULD BE.

        It really just makes me sad to see the relative ease it seems we’re willing to tear a fellow human being down.

    • Michael Sheehan

      Noah, I think these luke cute and fun. They remind me of Wow Wow Wubbzy designs, a fun, simple, fast-moving show my little boy loved when he was in the wheelhouse for that sort of thing. Best of luck, and as Brendan Behan said, “[word I can't put in here] the begrudgers.”

    • Scarabim

      Yeah, it’s nice you like them. But since they utterly lack the warmth, charm and lovableness of the originals, I wish Disney had given those things different names. Looks like the suits at Disney are taking the “Walt” out of everything, doesn’t it?

    • Scarabim

      John Lasseter okayed those designs?

      Well, I guess that explains “Cars 2″.

      • ZigZag

        It certainly does explain “Cars 2″…and “Cars”…and “Up”…and “Wall•E”…and “Ratatouille”…and all of the shorts that have come out of Pixar in the last 5-6 years. Pixar has lost it’s touch. (Fingers crossed with “Brave”).

        That said, the above designs stand on their own merit. Simply the fact that they made it through the Disney approval process is a notch up.

    • http://www.moviecappa.blogspot.com Mike Caracappa

      RE: Michael Sheenan:
      You know, Michael, this is Amid and Jerry’s blog. Amid has every right to say how he feels, and if you haven’t figured out by now how Amid conducts himself and expresses his opinions maybe you should find yourself another animation blog. I don’t always agree with Amid on his opinions, but Jerry and Amid offer that nice balance. I wouldn’t want it to be all Jerry all the time or all Amid either. And quite frankly I think Amid is right in calling this out. I don’t even understand the whole basis for these redesigns. Looking at these new designs no kid ages 2-7 is going to understand the connection that this has anything to do with the 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Why does it even matter? Why not even take the designs and just come up with an original concept? Personally, I think these designs are lame, and I sure wouldn’t want to introduce my kids to the seven dwarfs this way. I admire Amid’s viewpoints because he doesn’t care what anybody else thinks. And in this case I think he’s right. It’s not snide, or arrogant, abrasive, or rude, he’s just being honest, which is why I come back to this blog. I would never want to deny him that right. You don’t speak for the rest of us either, Michael, so leave the guy alone or find a safe animation blog where no one bothers to speak up about anything.

      • Michael Sheehan

        If Amid has an issue with the designs that’s one thing. Certainly, he is entitled to his opinions and I would never suggest otherwise. But I seriously doubt a personally insulting comment like “an artist who had no fundamental understanding of drawing, color theory or appeal” would even past muster in CB’s own comment threads. If you can’t see how that remark rates as snide, arrogant, abrasive and/or rude, I can’t help you. (As it happens, it’s also untrue.)

        It’s quite possible to offer strong, even unpopular opinions without resorting to these kinds of personal attacks — one’s case is all the stronger for their absence. If Amid offered his opinion without the ad hominem attack, I probably would not have found his post offensive in the least, however strongly I may have disagreed with it.

        As for the blogosphere, in general: let’s be honest with our opinions, by all means. But is it too much to ask that we also be civil? And when we aren’t, is it unreasonable for any of us to be called on that? At a minimum, could we do without the personal insults? In this case, Amid did not seem to have any idea who the artist was, until Noah responded in the comments (with admirable restraint, I might add). Yet, Amid had no hesitation in categorically dismissing the artist’s skills, education, his very livelihood. I think that’s just wrong. Some may disagree, but they won’t be getting any dinner party invites from me.

        Finally, since I am able to read and write and wash myself, I am also well aware that this is Jerry and Amid’s blog and hosts their opinions, just as I am well aware that moderated comments are allowed — meaning they welcome dicussion of those opinions. “If you don’t like what they say, go somewhere else” is thus a completely inappropriate response, by any measure.

        And I make no claim to speak for anyone but myself. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

      • Kevin Martinez

        What, Mike C., are you just Amid’s unsolicited lapdog or something? You don’t think he can’t defend his own arguments and needs you to show up and lash out at others on his behalf?

        Criticism’s fine. I like criticism. I imagine there’s some happy medium between the original 1937 Dwarfs and this. But do we really need to dogpile on an undeserving artist in a misguided and rapacious feeding frenzy?

    • Ryoku

      “Disney Junior is designed for kids 2-7″

      You forgot to put a “blind” in there.

    • Snagglepuss

      Noah, I think they look brilliant. Good luck.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCartoonTycoon?feature=mhee DMax

    Coming from an animation student, I don’t see a problem with the designs. They are fun and work for the show. It’s a preschool TV animated show! Why so mean spirited?

    • chipper

      A kids’ show made to appeal to kids?! What is this world coming to.

  • James Fox

    This is leaving me mixed signals
    I mean it’s nice that Tom Rugger is still doing cartoons after the Feds killed Road Rovers via The Children’s Act of 1990 and WB killed Hysteria but it’s the guy who made Fish Hooks and Almost Naked Animals designed the characters.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      We’re certainly not the age group for something like this anyway. It’s certainly a generational thing we simply can’t grasp.

      • http://los-utopicos.blogspot.mx/ allari

        These are not even close to the heart and intelligence of the classic Sesame Street animated segments, and those were aimed at the same age group.

  • david

    These are hilarious drawings! ESPECIALLY FOR A PRESCHOOL SHOW!

  • Richard

    AAAAHHH!!! WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO THEM!!!

    But since the “Animaniacs” guys are on it, I’ll give it a shot.

  • anonymous

    I think these designs are hilarious. They obviously don’t want to walk the same path as the original disney film and this is a preschool tv show after all.Kudos to them for something fun and different

    • Keith

      EXACTLY! They aren’t quite my cup of tea, but I think they look fun, and I can differentiate most of them easily enough. Dopey=Harpo, Sleepy=PJs, Happy=big grin, Doc=glasses, Grumpy=grumpy, Sneezy=shirt covering mouth, Bashful=hat covering half his face. More personality will come out in the show itself, but I think the image shown conveys them well enough. Doc’s appearance & pose there don’t convey the ‘self-appointed leader’ aspect that the little doll of Doc, with his upraised pointing hand, did in that TV segment about Snow White where he introduces all the dwarves, but his ‘nerdy’ attire gives him the know-it-all part of Doc’s personality very well.

      It’s the right kind of style for this kind of show. The designs of the dwarves in the film could’ve been used, sure, perhaps streamlined, whatever. But it wouldn’t fit a preschool show very well. It wouldn’t be very fun, either. And if they weren’t significantly streamlined, they’d be BEGGING for awful animation from the overseas studio that’ll handle the bulk of the work, which would be a far greater crime against the ‘legacy’ than taking the same Disney names/personalities for the dwarves and applying them to 7 other dwarves in a non-Snow-White magical world.

  • Nathan Strum

    Waiting to see how Amid would draw them… if he drew.

  • chipper

    Why does the queen have to rely on them?

    I didn’t know the jewels were magic.

  • Val

    I think they suit what they were made for… Sure, they aren’t as iconic as the other ones, but I don’t think that’s what the creators of the show were going for.
    While I’m not the biggest fan of this sort of style (as a previous commenter mentioned, there are a handful of shows out now that look similar) I don’t think it’s fair to dig into the artist so much…

    • Funkybat

      I agree. Looking at the character designs, I can say that I vastly prefer “classic” 2D drawing with strong volume and structure, following the traditional feature animation approach. But it is clear that the characters are purposely designed to be graphic and simple.

      To say that whatever artist drew them doesn’t know what they’re doing just because they went with a simplistic approach is unfair and just plain mean. Saying that designs like this are no better than a mediocre Flash toon is like saying Bill Watterson couldn’t draw any better than your average comic strip artist because some of the panels in Calvin & Hobbes looked kind of spare and simple. Sometimes criticisms like this may hold true, but I doubt Disney would hire anyone who didn’t have the chops to design the kinds of characters some of us prefer, if they were hired to do so. These designs met the needs of the particular project.

      • http://los-utopicos.blogspot.mx/ allari

        They usually mention Schulz, not Watterson and anybody with a notion of art would say tell you his brushstrokes are anything but simple.
        Come to think of it why didn’t they get Watterson to work in animation? Or get Johhny Ryan if they were looking for something rubber-hosey?

  • Thomas

    I know a group of homeless folks in the city who actually look like this!

    Great designs Noah!

    • Jacques Laird

      So Disney figured a way to make a few bucks off the homeless. No one can maximize profits like The Mouse.

  • http://whataboutthad.com Thad

    Going out on a limb but having no knowledge of this project outside of this picture, and not really giving a shit, I think I can identify at least five of the seven positively…

    L to R: Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy, Grumpy, Doc, Dopey

    Not exactly difficult. I’m sure my one year-old cousin could tell them apart in an instant.

    The real issues are: 1) are you guys who honestly can’t tell the difference between the dwarfs really not smarter than a pre-schooler and 2) why are you seriously assessing the design of a pre-schooler show? Is Seth MacFarlane out of town this week? Lame.

  • Alissa

    They’re downright adorable just standing there, not to sure of them moving about though.

  • Nik

    The designs look nice enough but they honestly look like greeting card art.

    I can only figure out who a couple of the dwarfs are (if they are truly based on DIsney’s dwarfs and are not entirely new dwarf character concepts). If these are really supposed to be Disney’s dwarfs, I don’t think the designs are very successful.

  • TimeForTimer

    My question is this: Why do people automatically ASSume that because Disney is producing this that it HAS to resemble or have anything to do with the original 1939 feature film? Why can’t it stand alone on it’s own without comparing it to a film that’s treasured by generations? Let’s be honest, if Disney decided to produce a series about the 7 Dwarfs, and used the original designs, altering them for today’s sub-standard Flash-driven production values, you people would be bitching and moaning about that too. I’m not going to base any opinion on one drawing, which as a stand alone piece of art, divorced from the original is nowhere near as bad as people are making it out to be.

  • http://weirdurl.com Zekey

    Cute. Curious how they will move in-show.

  • Jen Garza

    I think they look fantastic. They are intended for children and for that reason they are very appealing. Only those who are comparing these designs to the classic feature length drawings of the original Snow White seem to be upset about this. As terrific as the appeal may be for classic designs to make a regular television appearance- it’s just not realistic. These were designed to be easy for very young kids to recognize, quick to animate, and eye catching to entertain.

    Also, every time I seem to visit this site I always see a negative comment by a writer directed towards art/animation students. Very encouraging, Cartoon Brew. Stay classy.

  • Mr-Famicom

    Tom Ruegger is just doing this just to get a pay check, and besides, most of the Timy Toons and Animaniacs alumni are in Japan through Telecom Animation Film (TMS).

    And if you what to know what they have bin working on, theres Justice League Doom (which they outsourced to Kyoto Animation (They were way ahead of schedule on Hyouka and neaded to do something to past the time), Ajia-Do and Magic Bus for the Key Animation, and Animation-Do, Mizo Planing (in South Korea) and Flying Dragon (in China) for assistance and in-between animation, plus there were only a few in house Telecom staff members were working on it (as for key animation, I can only spot out Kenji Hachizaki and Yoshinobu Michihata and Keiko Oyamada as the animation supervisor (listed assistant director hear), but for the storyboard artists, theres Toshihiko Masuda (under the name Toshihiku Masuda on hear, also that he was also the chief director on said Ruegger shows), Kazuhide Tomonaga, Yuichiro Yano (also the DTV’s head animation director listed as supervisor director hear) and Hisao Yokobori, the animation directors hear (well, the ones I can spot out anyway) are Koichi Suenaga (listed hear as Kouichi Sunaga) and Hiroaki Noguchi, Not much was done at Telecom as when Warners give them Doom as there main focus was on Buta (a short directed by Kazuhide Tomonaga).

    They were also were doing (at said time) Blood Seal~Eternal Mermaid~ (through Nobuo Tomizawa), Superman vs The Elite (also from Nobuo Tomizawa, which I will get into in a bit) and Moyashimon Returns (through Yuichiro Yano, and it will air on TV this year).

    As for Superman vs The Elite being only a few months apart from Doom, from what I have read, Elite went into production right after Telecom shipped back Green Lantern First Flight to Warners, however, Telecom only got 5.6 Million dollars (at the time, Now it’s a little over 6 million dollars, also Warners did get more profit) out of it 78 million dollar production budget (US DVD sales only, they did make more money counting Blu-Ray (3.8 million in the US alone) downloads and the rest of North America) off of First Flight out of it’s first month alone, and needed to make up all of the money that they lost on it; Telecom shelved Elite after it’s pre production was complete in October of 2009 to do LilPri to make up all of the money that Telecom lost on First Flight and did not go back on Elite until the first 26 episodes of LilPri were done with, and Telecom Only did the 2th half of the DTV movie (Telecom only did a few scenes of the first half, like in the Tensai Bakabon/Dokonjo Gaeru/Hajime Ningen Gyatoruz like opening after the intro, the main DTV movie it self looks like a cross of Lupin III (The Hat is a Blatant Expy of Jigen Daisuke, just with out the beard, longer hair and replacing the smoking with drinking, also another member of the Elite was waring a jacket just like Lupin’s, just longer and Black rather then Green/Red/Pink) and Cyber Six, this was because of the art director Hiroshi Nitta and character designer Yoshio Chatani leading this area) cuting what Warners give them in less them half and outsourcing most of the first half (Warners give them 80 million dollars and Telecom only spent 38.6 million dollars to put the rest on First Flight’s Debt), in the end, the film take around 3 years to do because of this.

    So if you what a good show from the main alumni of Tiny Toons and Animaniacs, just wait until Moyashimon Returns airs on TV later this year.

    As for this itself, I can care less about it, No John Lasseter (as he cant touch the TV units) means I/you do not bother with it, and to end this on a plus; I cant wait for Brave and Wreck-It Ralph (mostly the later), other then that…

    Yea.

    • Mike Russo

      Are you…are you PC Famicom who used to post on Toon Zone?

      • Chris Sobieniak

        I see we got a live one on our hands!

    • Haruna

      Just as I thought it’s Japan’s fault.

      • Mr-Famicom

        1. Yes, I’m Am Pc-Famicom64 (and yes, I did get much better over the years), I also posted on TV Tropes under the same name as of hear (“Mr-Famicom” just with out the line) and did most of TMS’s TV Tropes page (I also started the Spectrum (of Batman:TAS fame) and Shin-Ei Doga pages there) there until one of their mods baned me for no reason (and I was going by their rules if you must asks).

        2. Japan has nothing to do with 7D; When I always wish Tom Ruegger and ect. the best, and I do not mind at all what Noah Z. Jones is doing with the dwarfs, I as for my self can care less about this.

        And 3. I have bin reading what you guys have bin saying about this, and I really need to say this, abouts gorgeous animation, if you what that, go watch AKIRA and anything from Studio Ghibli, and for TV Animation, just watch anything from Telecom’s (when done in house, as Japanese studios tend to outsource alot, but Telecom dose do more work in house then most other studios in Japan) Spectrum’s and Carbuncle Cartoons’s work if you what gorgeous TV animation; and saying that TV animation has to be flat and lifeless, go watch The Legend of Korra (and this is coming out of someone who is not that fond of Avatar), that show is still being made and has truck loads of construction and detail and is a (US made but South Korean Ditched) TV show that is being made as of now, and Japan even with it smaller budgets is still making shows with truck loads of construction and (most of the time) detail; If Japan is still making shows with detail and construction? why cant we? we have bigger budgets then Japan (300,000 dollars compare to Japan’s 123,000 dollars) and all I still see is flat lifelessness, please learn for Korra and understand why we need construction and detail in cartoons again.

        Also, This is about 7D, please stay on topic about this; Thank you for understanding.

    • h park

      Wow, someone’s reading the credit. That is so otaku.

      I’m confused about the post because of bad spellings and poor grammar.

      Let me get this straight. Telecom got $6 million budget and Warner Bros made $80 million in profit.

  • Josh

    Wow. It would be one thing to post this as you did, trashing someone’s work on what is theoretically an objective news site. It would embarrassing and shameful for you, but not any more than any of your other posts. But to trash someone’s work and then NAME them is low.

    • Jorge Garrido

      Since when is a blog an objective news site?

  • Dino

    “He’s made it impossible to differentiate between the dwarfs…”

    C’mon. Whatever you don’t like about these designs, saying that they’re mutually indistinguishable is just untrue. If you want to write an intelligent critique (and maybe you don’t), statements like this don’t help your case.

  • http://pvose.blogspot.com Philip Vose

    i think opinions are a good thing. and though I don’t necessarily agree completely with yours Amid, i’m glad you have the power to make such strong ones and create such an uproar of controversy. you are a smart cookie.

    of course i wouldn’t have the audacity to tell you how to phrase certain things that you have to say, but i personally would be careful on making comments about someones artistic ability, knowledge, and merit.

    NOAH Z. JONES RULES!!! having had the blessing to work with this wonderful dude (that’s right Noah you are wonderful) he has nothing but the audience in mind, and in this case a very young audience. he goes about it in the most respectful way he can while considering all levels of the animation process from story to design to animation. i find it very respectful to not try and reanimate the designs of the classic dwarves for a T.V series because God knows how horrific that footage would look…drawn completely off model with crappy Flash squash and stretch. Freddie Moore would shit himself.

    i don’t see these design being any less animatable than the Flintstones or School House Rock. and for the age group, i find Noah’s twist on the characters as equally appealing if not more. Noah’s got a heart of gold, a cartoon spirit, and grand art skills that i feel most definitely qualifies him to work in animation.

    maybe repost this show when it aires, you’ve watched it in context, and then perhaps you’ll have a different opinion?

  • hotdogface

    I can’t help but think that these look a lot like the sort of noodly-arms, awkwardly semi-flat “badly drawn ‘on purpose’” style that’s all over Cartoon Network these days. I personally don’t like the style, but I doubt anybody would object if they weren’t presented as the seven dwarfs.

    In other words, it seems like the opposite of Amid’s reasoning– you don’t like them they’re Disney’s Dwarfs(TM) rather than because they’re particularly bad designs.

  • http://www.paulbadilla.blogspot.com Paul Badilla

    This is when truth is stranger than fiction. I can’t really believe that this is not a joke, those pictures are horrible, there can’t be any kind of comparison with Tytla or Fred Moore. Even I find it incredibly difficult to recognize your personality with these stupid designs. I hope this project a failure.
    Sorry for my english if there’s some mistakes.

    • http://los-utopicos.blogspot.mx/ allari

      I agree, this tendency to replace actual cartoons with this “graphic” stuff. And doesn’t help aspiring animators and cartoonists abroad where people are rerally trying to raise the bar.

  • Tina K.

    As an illustrator, a storyboard artist, and a mom of the 2-7 target audience (does that pass for credentials?), I think they are charming and hilarious and wonderful. I LIKE that they are a complete break from traditional Disney style.
    And as a fan of Cartoon Brew, I’m pretty surprised by such a mean-spirited post.

  • Dave Smith

    You’re cruel and hypocritical, Amid.
    John K can’t design a character with any silhoutte value anymore because there are just too many wrinkles and warts… YET… your praise is undying!
    Pixar only uses a color palette found in a PAAS easter egg dye kit and allegiance forever.
    However… I like all that stuff because I KNOW that this is ALL honest work… and so is this!

    By the way, all your soap boxing with racism and sexism in the past does not match up to your new opinion on racist cartoons in the earlier post this week.

    • akira

      i disagree about John K, please link us to one of John K’s drawings that you’re describing…

      I guess Amid is the guy that people here love to hate. I hope he’s enjoying the fact that he’s getting under all of these insecure animators’ skins. Keep sharing your opinions and obvious respect for the artistry and history of animation.

  • dddrum

    Lighten up, o contentious ones. :) It’s children’s cartoons, and to quote one of the industry’s giants:

    “KA-HA-HYULLK! *KOFF!KOFF!!*” – Krusty

    I like ‘em! But I take issue with their identities. Clearly the skinny one with the jug ears is Dopey. Which means the weensy one on the wi- right is Sneezy… and I love the idea of this little, unassuming guy drawing back and just levelling the landscape with a 8.0 megachoo sneeze. That kind of zany I’d watch!

    In any case, it looks great for the wee ones! Good jorb, Mr. Jones!

    • Scarabim

      Why are people defending those lame designs by saying ” hey, they’re for pre-schoolers!” Thank god Walt had more respect for kids than that.

      And as for those designs, and the designs for that fish show, they’re the kind of scribbly pseudo-edgy eyesores that employ a fuzzy-brained technique in an effort to cover up a lack of drawing skill. I will say that they do make kids think, though – mainly, it makes them think, “I can draw better than THAT!”

    • Keith

      Huh… the one on the right feels more like Dopey given he looks like Harpo Marx, the ‘silent’ one. But your rationale works, too. He could be fairly quiet, and then burst out with mega-sneezes, while the one with his mouth covered could be the silent Dopey.

      Interesting take on it!

  • http://bencanfield.com Ben Canfield

    “Damn, Amid, you’re such a dick”

    “Hey guys – let’s be a dick to Amid to show him how big of a dick he is.”

  • http://oye-studios.daportfolio.com Seni Oyewole

    They look more like gnomes from an old BBC toddlers’ show than dwarves and, honestly, that’s what I like about it.
    Not EVERY animated show is required to have top-notch quality like Batman: TAS or Animaniacs, y’know.

  • Scarabim

    This is a worse desecration than what Warner Bros. did to Bugs and co. in “The Loonatics”.

    • http://ryanrosendal.blogspot.com Ryan

      I can assure you there is nothing worse than trying to make something “hipper and edgier.”

      “Loonatics” will always be the worst.

  • http://frecklesfun.blogspot.com Freckles

    I would only fault the art direction (not the artist) in this if Disney was trying to remake Snow White the movie. This is a re-imagining that has an entirely different focus and tone of the original movie. What existed and was give to us as an art community by the masters will live forever and is in no way less valuable by this current iteration. Further I would never fault ANY working artist for completing an assignment deemed successful by their director. These character designs were commissioned and as all working artists know, just because we are artists does not mean we don’t have a job to do. I have never walked off a job because I don’t believe in it’s “vision”. It’s called professionalism. Regardless of my opinion of the actual character designs I am always quick to applaud any person in the world who can make a living and support themselves in the arts. It is not easy. More power to you.

  • Yaz

    Ok. Well, I think the designs are cute. It’s not the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs movie- but isn’t that obvious?

    Disney doesn’t have the monopoly on fairy tales. Just because they made one set of iconic designs in the past for a feature film, doesn’t mean they can’t make another set of dwarves for another kind of story/CHILDREN’S SERIES.

    Just… being kind of harsh you guys.

  • Barney Miller

    Why do people keep using the “intended age group” as an excuse for these designs. Whether you like them or hate them, there shouldn’t be an age limit for good design. The most timeless, memorable design spans all ages.

    • tredlow

      I agree. Even though I have no problems with the design above, I don’t like the whole “It’s a preschool show” argument that keeps popping out. Especially when you consider the fact that shows aimed towards adults are usually the ones that are animated poorly. I mean, I like those shows, but they’re not exactly Classic Disney, are they?

      • Francisco

        I used to think the same, until my son was born and tried to make him watch any disney short from the golden era, or Chuck jones looney toons, or anything I liked by that matter. He never paid atention to the TV until he saw Dora the explorer. Easy, readable, colorful, SLOW, and simple shapes are great for the pre-3yrs, well for my kid anyways.

      • Funkybat

        I don’t think preschool stuff needs to be super simple, I fell in love with Looney Tunes and Woody Woodpecker before I set foot in school. If course, I also loved Hong Kong Phooey and Speed Racer, so I guess I liked a little of everything.

        The “it’s for preschoolers” argument is moot to me not because of any visual limitations small children may or may not have, but because stuff in this style is just as likely to show up on Cartoon Network or Nick, or even Adult Swim. It’s in vogue right now, the same way more “modernist” flat stuff like Dexter’s Lab and Powerpuff Girls was 10-15 years ago. Flatter 2D designs seem to have been in vogue one way or another ever since then, this “squiggly hipster” look is just the current iteration. To each their own…

      • tredlow

        @Francisco
        It might be more to do with writing than aesthetics. Early cartoons aren’t as geared towards children as kids cartoons are today. Though you might have a point that simple shapes and slower motions can be more appealing to younger children.

      • Kevin Martinez

        I can fight anecdotes and anecdotes. I actually got my three-year-old nephew to sit still for a Betty Boop cartoon (in, gasp, black and white). He enjoyed it as much as he would something on Nick Jr.

      • Francisco

        @Kevin I´m jealous, but my son has made his choice already. Can´t wait to sit with him and watch the classics.

        @tredlow you´re probably right about the writing, but I was surprised that he didn´t enjoyed the silly simphonys.

        And excuse my english!

    • Ryoku

      Good points there, lets not forget that sometimes parents would like to watch TV with their kids.

  • Vic

    Without wading into the hashed over discussion on these particular designs, I will say it would be a nice thing if Disney TV animation had SOMETHING in the works that respected and reflected the hand drawn craftsmanship that the company was built on, given that features isn’t really in that business anymore.

    What they are currently producing may be popular, but nothing about their look is as memorable as classic Disney. So how about one show that at a glance someone could pick out of a Nick/Cartoon Network/Disney line up?

    • Keith

      Vic, you’re forgetting: TV animation is more ‘business’ than ‘art’. It’s all about the bottom line. Even tho Disney has oodles of money, and could easily create some beautiful show to be animated in the US via Flash, Toonboom, or even on paper if they wanted to…but they won’t. It doesn’t fit their usual TV animation production pipeline/business model. And even expecting something of the caliber of Disney feature from TV animation’s usual model (overseas studios) wouldn’t work for a TV series, because it’d require the BEST overseas studios, and probably longer-than-normal schedules, which would put it too far outta their normal budgets. I’d rather they go with something like this, that actually stands a chance of being animated WELL by whatever overseas studios they use, than something more akin to a Disney Feature that winds up looking like a Disney Afternoon show (I loved a lot of those shows, but it was always pretty obvious that Aladdin: The Series or Tarzan: The Series weren’t quite up to the original films’ quality)

  • http://www.jasontammemagi.com Jason Tammemagi

    Gorgeous. These look fun and adorable. Preschoolers will love them. Well done to Noah, Disney Junior and all involved. And there’s a lesson buried here for anyone in preschool, one I’ve made before but seems particularly relevant here – your audience does not comprise of the adults who frequent the likes of Cartoonbrew. Your audience is made up of young children and young children think differently and have different needs and wants when it comes to TV. Noah clearly knows this and has done a fantastic job here.

    And Elliot Cowen’s comment really nails it.

  • tredlow

    I have to disagree with some things said in this article. From the picture above, I wouldn’t say differentiating each dwarf is impossible. They all have different silhouettes, giving each of them a distinct body shape.

    Also, this is not a redesign, it’s a reimagining. Aside from the dwarves’ names and personalities, there doesn’t seem to be any connection between this version and the classic Disney version. So, unless they’re saying that this is a sequel or something, I wouldn’t be upset about it.

    Heck, I might even check it out.

  • http://www.bobharper.net Bob Harper

    These designs are definitely more functional for TV animation than the original. Kids will dig them as much as the characters from Adventure Time. They’re silly and cartoony, which is not normal for preschool shows. As an animator, I’d have more fun playing with the expressions of these characters than Dora The Explorer.

  • http://www.dohtem.com/bugs Greg Method

    I like how the phrase “a bunch of Tiny Toons and Animaniacs alumni are involved” is being used as apparently a cautionary bit of information, as if people who worked on those shouldn’t be allowed to develop television animation…you know, people like Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and John Kricfalusi.

    • Kevin Martinez

      Yeah, wasn’t Bruce Timm brought up as a paragon of creator-driven cartoons when My Little Pony’s ox was being gored? He cut his tooth on Tiny Toons.

      • optimist

        No he didn’t. He “cut his teeth”, if anywhere, on Beany & Cecil, but he was already an amazing artist even then. He wasn’t made by Tiny Toons. And he pitched, designed and sold his original take on an utterly different sort of thing(his take on Batman)as fast as he possibly could, no looking back.

    • Funkybat

      The “bunch of Tiny Toons & Animaniacs alumni” comment seemed out of place in that negative rant. To me, alumni of those shows being involved would be a selling point, not a cautionary warning.

    • http://www.cartoonbrew.com/author/amid amid

      What I meant by writing “a bunch of Tiny Toons and Animaniacs alumni are involved” was that a bunch of Tiny Toons and Animaniacs alumni are involved.

      • Snagglepuss

        :/

  • Billy bob M

    Hey Amid, lets redesign the character and try something new. Amid replies ” Grrooss ”

    Ok. Then lets keep them looking like the ones in the feature film ” Grroossss ”

    Mmm. How can I make you happy Amid? Would you like ice cream? Amid replies: Yeaaaah !!!

    Would you like chocolate ice cream? Amid replies ” Grooosss ”
    How about strawberry ? Amid replies ” Grooosss ”

    EVERYBODY LOVES AMID tonight at 8pm on the CW !!!

  • Karl Hungus

    Oh look! Its the seven dwarfs done by a graphic designer that thinks he can draw.

    Apparently if you throw enough money at a mediocre children’s book illustrator he’ll think that he knows what designs work best for functional television animation. And if he got it wrong… that’s someone else’s problem.
    Or a whole studio of artists’ problem

    People, these are terrible designs. My eyes hurt when I look at them.

    • Karl Hungus’s boyfriend

      Oh stop reading the message boards and come back to bed.

  • http://www.animaboutique.fi Eliza Jappinen

    Amid, that was unfair. Design style should not be mixed with the idea of how well one can draw. If you are good, you can draw lots of styles, and if you design you pick a style that conveys a message on top of the story you are trying to weave. What I see here is character design, and until I see the whole thing, I could not judge on visuals alone weather it is masterfully executed to fit the shows pacing, and over all ambiance.

    What’s worse about your comment is that you are actually limiting artistic freedom, by suggesting one style is superior to another.

  • Kristjan Birnir

    I have yet see document that says that Disney sat down and decided to write the story “Snow White”. Since Snow White and the Darves are not original carachters like Mickey, Oswald, Donald and Goofy I have no problem with this.

    • tredlow

      Actually, the original Snow White story didn’t have “Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy and Doc.” As the dwarves’ names and personalities. That was all Disney.

      • Scarabim

        People often say about the Disney fairy tales “Well, Walt and company didn’t CREATE those!” No, but they added characters, themes, narrative, fresh ideas and music that made those tales memorable. That’s why the Disney versions are often – note that I say “often” as opposed to “always” – superior to the originals.

        As for those appalling “re-imaginings” up there, the animators and character designers behind the original Disney version of “Snow White” worked like hell to come up with the names, personalities and designs of the original seven dwarfs. To see their work so dismissed, disrespected and undervalued by their own company is something of a tragedy.

      • Bruno

        The only dismissed, disrespected and undervalued work I’m seeing around here is Noah Z. Jones’s.
        I don’t see how a new and totally different approach to these characters would offend the original ones. It’s not like they are being erased!

  • http://bowendesign.com Ben Bowen

    As an animation board artist of 11 years, with experience working on shows for Disney, Nick, Aardman and all sorts, I find Amid’s comments absolutely reprehensible. Particularly when talking with the artist in question.

    Whilst it generally boils down to aesthetic taste in what your opinions might be about the artwork, there are better ways in airing your opinion rather than acting like a petulant grade-school snob. This blog would do better to respect animation in all its styles and forms, not to vent mean-spirited viewpoints and aspersions willy-nilly. And I don’t mean that this should negate the authors opinion – you can not like something without being crass about it.

    A real shame, as previously I thought Cartoon Brew was a nice aspect of a wider community.

    • http://www.amidamidi.com amid

      Ben – It has nothing to do with my personal aesthetic tastes, and everything to do with maintaining a professional standard. When Disney works with its ‘legacy’ characters, they should be accountable for maintaining a certain standard of quality. These drawings do not reflect the level of craft that the Disney company was built upon, and are imitative of other studio’s work in the cheapest ways possible.

      I feel bad for Noah, too. The blame lies much higher up the ladder than Noah, who was simply doing his job, but he’s the credited designer, and front-line talent will always bear the brunt of film/TV criticism, not the management who made the decision to hire them in the first place.

      • http://whataboutthad.com Thad

        Not a very convincing position, Amid. There have been official, hideous drawings of the Disney ‘legacy’ characters going back to the 1930s. The criticism of “these are token noodle-limbed designs” is valid on its own without the false sense of self-righteousness. All studios need to be held accountable for artistic standards, not just Disney.

        You are absolutely right that this awfulness is all corporate-sanctioned though. “Fish Hooks” has some of the most brilliant people I, and I’m sure you, know working on it and you’d never be able to tell. What other explanation can there be? Welcome back to the 80s.

      • tredlow

        Actually, I think it’s better that the dwarves are drawn differently. I mean, reading the show’s main premise, do you really want this show to be fully associated with the original legacy characters?

        Do you really want a Snow White sequel with “Queen Delightful” and “Magic Jewels”? If that’s the show they want to make, then it’s better to separate it from the original Disney version.

        If there’s anything to complain about this, it’s that it’s not different enough than the original version. They can keep the dwarves, but they should change their personalities.

      • Jens

        Honestly I don’t think you know what you are talking about. Things evolve you know.

        Which studios work do they imitate exactly, can you give some examples?

      • OtherDan

        I’d say it’s Adventure Time meets Fat Albert and collides with preschool. From what I’m seeing these days, everyone is infusing rubber hose back into their characters thanks to the appeal or popularity of Adventure Time. So, I think you’re real beef is with P Ward Amid. Either they were going to adapt the dwarfs in CG like they did Mickey & Co in Mickeys Clubhouse, or they’d simplify and modernize as they did with the new Looney Tunes, or they’d ‘reimagine’ the characters. I don’t think you can make the argument that these characters should live up in any way to the dwarfs from Snow White. Because, they’re clearly different dwarfs-maybe with matching personalities.

      • http://bowendesign.com Ben Bowen

        I’m sorry, Amid, that doesn’t cut the mustard and you’re really being called out by a lot of animation guys on the wire for this.

        There’s a difference between being critical and being rude. That line was crossed, I’m afraid.

  • http://www.daryl-rhystaylor.co.uk DarylT

    Won’t it be confusing to kids to have two completely different looking sets of characters that share the same names?

    • Jacques Laird

      Only if they see the 1937 feature.

      • Kevin Martinez

        …which they most likely will, since it will be released and rereleased until the end of time.

  • http://www.segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    Amid,
    Walt Disney probably had the same reaction when he first saw Ward Kimball’s designs for his Adventures in Music cartoons.

    • Jacques Laird

      Or when Walt got a look at Tom Oreb’s 1950s redesign of Mickey for a bunch of TV commercials.

    • optimist

      I really, really doubt that.

      • http://whataboutthad.com Thad

        Is there any validity to the anecdote of Walt telling Ward after TOOT, WHISTLE, PLUNK AND BOOM won the Oscar, “Listen, I’m proud of this, but no more of that UPA crap” ?

      • Steve Segal

        to optimist:
        When I met Kimball I asked him about the genesis of TOOT, WHISTLE, PLUNK AND BOOM and he told me that he had to sneak it through production because Disney didn’t like flat design. Then he added that Walt was more than happy to accept the Oscar for it. Kimball made sure it was far enough into production before Disney found out about it because Kimball knew he was too practical to shut it down at that point. But you may be right, I found it difficult to believe Disney would be unaware of the first 3D cartoon and the first wide screen cartoon. But it’s well documented that Disney didn’t really like the UPA style.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    Well, I don’t know. I kinda think they should have changed the name of the dwarfs too. Other than that I don’t really love the designs but I don’t totally hate them either. I think the tall one-whoever he is- is the funniest one.

    I guess times have changed and now there are too many different ‘targets’, I am not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. In the old days a Disney cartoon would be for any target from little kids to old guys that happened to like animation, fairy tales or comedy. There was not such thing as cartoons designed for pre-schoolers, I guess they just assume they would like the same things other member of the audience like, and most of the time they did.

    Now there is this belief that they would enjoy more this naive, simple style that kinda looks like a kid had drawn it (which doesn’t have to be too bad if it keeps some artistic skills in its style or animation). And most of the time they do. So I don’t really know anything about kids tastes, whether they have changed or they just don’t have any other thing to choose.

    I prefer to think about these as different characters instead of reimagination of the classic dwarfs. And I’ll have to wait to see them in motion to judge whether it’s a good or a bad show. I’m kinda happy that Tom Ruegger is in it, anyway.

    I have to say I’m not a big fan of this “naive” style, anyway. Even in Adventure Time, which I admit it’s a good show and has fantastic animation, I’m not the biggest fan of the drawing style, but then again maybe I’m not the main target of it.

    Also it shouldn’t be impossible to redesign/adapt the characters in a style closer to Disney animation and making a good job, I’m thinking about some of the black and white Disney advertisements you have posted in this blog sometimes, though I kinda see why this style is easier to work with.

  • http://ambartist.blogspot.co.uk/ Arshad Mirza Baig

    I thank Cartoon Brew for taking an honest stance on this depravity! How dare they redesign such beautiful bastions of animation. Let us not forget that it is because of Snow White and the risks Walt taken that animation is regarded as a serious form of storytelling- few would invest in what they called ‘Disney’s folly’ he even put his house on the line to get the film out and thus build the legacy that is Hollywood animation today and this is how they honour his legacy with crude and base child scrawl. It appears the people at Disney have no idea or understanding of what art and style is as the one time influencer of the industry is now rushing about like an insecure child as it looses it’s mantle and is aimlessly apeing the aesthetics of other studios in a bid to get back at the top. integrity means nothing as they have hit a new all time low by taking a stab at the film that put them where they was. I am appalled, disgusted and outraged by this act. I do not single out the artist rather the imbeciles who proposed this concept on the back of the recent snow white live action films. but it is frustrating as an artist my self who has grown up loving Disney and been influenced by them to suddenly see how they reject real ability and embrace inability. I Used to spend countless hours in a cold sweat fearing to send my folio into to the studio thinking I wasn’t good enough…now I shan’t bother sending it in because It appears they have no desire to utilise people who can actually draw… Yes that is a dig at the artist – but sorry if one is Incharge of a piece of work with such a history then one has to expect reaction of all sorts. For me this is like removing the mona Lisa from the louvre and replacing it with a Schoolboys interpretation. some times I have to tell my self to stop caring about what Disney do they are nothing remotely like the company they was 10 -20 years ago….I am so sorry Walt – some of us do remember what you did…

    • Aly

      In the end, each studio is a business. As it’s fairly common for artists to move from studio to studio for work, pitching projects, etc, it’s not surprising there may not be a ‘house style’ any longer.

      Being a business also means the designs often serve the needs (and the budget) of the production.

      While I cannot comment on the design choices made other than to say I find them appealing, I can’t imagine trying to recreate the volume and sensitivity to movement of the original designs through animation done overseas. (Nor the acting. TV just doesn’t have the time.)

      People complain if a company rehashes the same thing over and over a gain, and it seems they also complain if they try something different..sheesh, can’t win! I hope for the sake of additional work in the industry, the project is successful. :)

    • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

      Nice to see you have maintained the same level headed perspective on matters since I saw you last, Arshad…

  • http://animationinventory.blogspot.com/ teodor

    my first comment is: not again cubical production design.

  • Steve M.

    I hate Noah Z. Jones with an absolute passion, but these actually don’t look so terrible, atleast compared to his other work.

    • Keith Zoo

      I wasn’t going to let myself comment on this whole mess, but that Sir, was an awful comment. You “hate Noah Z. Jones with an absolute passion”? Really? Do you know him? Let’s keep this focused on the artwork, not a personal attack on someone.

      • Steve M.

        I wasn’t planning on attacking, I was just throwing it out there.

      • Emily T.

        Steve M. If you’re going to ” throw it out there,” let me do the same. You’re a douche.

        Im not attacking, just thought I’d throw it out there.

  • Mark H

    Think it’s called “Modern North American Crapification” … also known as “Digital 2D Animation”.

  • Al

    I see no problem with these designs and I’m quite surprised Disney would try such a different and distinct approach. Mostly I’m glad they’re not 3D. 7D in 3D? Ugh. Personally I can’t wait to see how they move.

  • Joel

    You know, sometimes this Character Design Elitism really gets on my nerves… Why is everything that isn’t constructed the Preston Blair Way worth nothing? I think the characters are funny and could be animated very entertaining. I love the old Disney guys too and think their stuff is great but it isn’t like the only way to draw. I’m more for diversity in animation so i welcome the cheeky design style Disney is trying out here.

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    They look alright to me. In fact they are quite charming in their way.

    I suspect that these designs appear as a result of all them feckin hipsters and the ‘it’s supposed to look bad’ revolution that has been pervasive for far too long. i don’t mean to say these are not well drawn because I think they certainly are very appealing. I would say these are examples of the simple style done well.

    I’ll never watch it mind you, bloody cartoons are for kids aren’t they?

  • tony

    As my grand-grandma use to say: “Criticism is easy, but art is difficult”. How wise…

    • optimist

      So no one can or should have a critical view or opinion, ever? Or only if it’s a positive one? Or only if they make “difficult” art themselves?

      If it’s out there, it’s out there. The fact is that everything’s fair game. This is a lineup for a commercial series for a corporate behemoth.

      And frankly, criticism isn’t always easy, either.

      • Ryoku

        Its tricky to give insightful criticism, you have to know whats what and have the guts to bare the criticism of your criticism.

  • merlin jones

    “Top dwarfs with dwarfs? Why try?” — Walt Disney

  • http://betterkeepmoving.com Zac

    Man, this article is ripe with cynicism..

    ..Nevermind that you’re trying to align the designs for a likely low budget, limited animation TV show to a flag-ship feature-length animation production. I mean, I’m not a fan of these designs either, they are lame, and I have no problem with you criticizing them. Harshly even. I just think it’s a silly to compare it to anything else besides what’s on TV right now.

  • Bruno

    I really like the new design, it is fun and very appealing to kids. And I strongly disagree with the idea that a more stylized or simple design is inferior to a traditional animation approach.
    And c’mon, it’s not like they are going George Lucas and editing the original movie and inserting new dwarfs in it!
    The new design won’t destroy or erase what the classic one represent. They are different things, the classic dwarfs will remain intact, and the new ones are going to be a great sucess as well, in my opinion.

    • Mike

      Oh God, don’t give them ideas.

  • http://brandonjamesscott.com Brandon James Scott

    I’m not going to judge this on one image – add to that the fact that I heavily buy into John K.’s no ‘bastardization’ of classic characters. Add that even more the empire that is Disney and the absolute BIG DEAL of re-imagining a classic like the seven dwarfs would be to the company… There’s a whole lot of reasons why the show is might look this drastically different. Whatever the case, I’ll keep my opinion on this show to myself (there’s enough floating around here anyway).

    That said, I do want to address the ‘It’s a preschool show’ crap being thrown around. Sorry – that’s just the absolute worst attitude you can have. I ran into my own share of struggles making my show and pushing the aesthetics to places many people weren’t comfortable with, ‘because it’s just a preschool series’.

    I’d imagine most of us posting here work in this business… well I hope those that share that opinion don’t ever work on any preschool shows.

    No exceptions, make the best work you can. Things can be more or less appropriate or successful for different age groups, but they should always awesome. Yes, even preschool.

    • http://cjartportfolio.blogspot.com/ CJ

      I presume this didn’t go through the first time because it was somehow against rules, so I’ve edited my message to try again.

      Brandon, it’s funny that you mention John K because a lot of his shorts have been anything but appealing as of late. as you’ve said, “No exceptions, make the best work you can.” John would do good to follow your advice and his own.

      Now back to the actual point being debated. You do realize that art is subjective right? The constant evolution of such, the viewpoints, it’s obvious that just because you think it’s mediocre doesn’t mean it absolutely is.

      I will be the first to say that no, these designs aren’t the most amazing things ever, nor are they the most horrid. In my opinion, “it’s a preschool show” isn’t an excuse for bad design, but it’s also not as though toddlers who are learning how to walk and pee are sitting there judging the design aesthetics of the cartoon they are watching, are they? I remember John K ragged a lot of shows like Franklin and Wubzzy, both of which were high selling shows to their demographics. So even if the designs were bland in certain eyes, they obviously did their jobs. Teaching kids through animation and make life lessons and learning fun.

      I work in the business of sorts (at least as an illustrator) and I can tell you that I do find it frustrating to see Highlights designs get across the board. I’ve pushed some very Avant-garde ideas considering some of the media and clients I’ve had to work for and despite the variety of options, I was almost always forced to do something that was cookie-cutter Disney or anime in design. But the products sold and they worked. I don’t personally like what I had to do, but there’s only so much pushing you can do.

      Granted it’s obvious Noah has more freedom than most people would for a preschool show (as evident by his designs) so it would be interesting what his other design ideas were if there were any. Not bad design, but could be better in my opinion. And I don’t mean that as an absolute!

      • http://brandonjamesscott.com Brandon James Scott

        (first – let’s be clear, I wasn’t commenting on these designs. Truthfully they don’t bother me the way they do others like Amid. And it’s only one still so I can’t say much. If I looked at an early still of Adventure Time or Superjail I’d probably think less of those shows, but they end up being beautifully designed for what they are in the final package – My comments are only on this lame attitude in this thread of treating a preschool audience differently than others.)

        Of other successful shows, you say, ‘Did their jobs’. But is that how high we want to set the bar?

        Point is – Yes, little kids are soaking everything up. They aren’t judging the way we do. So… You can sit your kid in front of bad stories and bad designs and they’ll grow up and probably love it. Or you can sit your kid in front of good designs and good stories and they’ll grow up and love that instead. As a parent, you’d care. And as artists working on these projects, we should care even more!

        Basically, let’s treat the audience with respect. This goes past design too, into writing, timing, ect. How many preschool shows have characters saying, “Hello! (pause). I have an apple (pause). I like apples! (pause). Do you like apples? (pause). I’m going to eat this apple!” I mean Christ… kids aren’t that dumb.

        This is way off track from the original content of this post. But thanks for the discussion, anyway.

  • http://www.vitaminsteve.com Steve Flack

    Any chance of a Jerry Beck-only feed for my Google Reader, so I can just ignore all of Amid’s posts? It would really be a much more pleasant, positive option.

  • http://www.juanhuarte.blogspot.com juan

    what the fuck man? those drawings are just fine and very appealing!

  • akira

    amid sure knows how to get a discussion going!

    what really matters is if it’s any good.. i’m guessing that it won’t attempt to be anything LIKE snow white, more like spongebob meets adventuretime.

    anyways, compared to the Snow White feature, 95% of the animated product of walt disney studios is pure crap so why should this be any different. it can’t be worse than what they did to Peter Pan, can it?

    by the way, i saw the motion picture academy outdoor screening of Snow White last week, and they showed it with those annoying side borders… (boy, i thought the academy had more class than that!)

  • http://tlsaz.tumblr.com Tom

    Interesting choice to write this article from the perspective of Grumpy, Amid, I like it! Can’t wait to hear what Sneezy has to say about it.

  • James

    The designs are okay. A bit on the cheap and bland side, but what does anyone expect from a limited budget preschool program? At least the premise sounds simply fun instead of shoe horning forced edu-tainment that was always a drag when I was in kindergarten watching similar programming. I don’t think comparing the art in this show to a theatrical-budgeted feature is fair.

    The title, “7D” seems to have the lingering odor of desperate sweat, though. Are they trying to rope in the cool tots or something?

  • Ryoku

    Hmm, I don’t think that its fair to assume that these are “re-designs”, they seem more like completely new characters for a new show, hence I will try to judge them in a more “fair” manner by not associating Snow White with them.

    Firstly, Snow White was a high budget movie that was a big gamble, something that would actually takes some guts. “7D” looks like the average run of the mill kids show, something that requires more simpler designs.

    Second, these designs themselves are crude and they’re done in the usual pseudo 1950′s illustration design thats still popular. They look fine on paper, but in movement they tend to not look so good be it flash or hand-drawn.

    Third, with all do respect these designs are no better than the likes of The Regular Show, Adventure Time, and the Mis-Adventures of Flapjack. Simple and easy to animate yet careless with no attention to detail or construction.

  • http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/splog/ Michael Sporn

    I love the Tytla Grumpy you’ve taken from my site, but where did you get the image of Sneezy? The rough by Fred Moore is also excellent.

  • Joel

    Honestly, I’m kinda psyched for this show. Tom Ruegger, Alfred Gimeno, and Sherri Stoner onboard totally did it for me and the designs don’t look terrible. They actually do a decent job of suggesting the characters’ personalities. True, they don’t look like the Dwarfs of 1937, but that alone doesn’t mean the show will be BAD. The crew listed here have a decent track record (in terms of quality), so I personally don’t find sufficient reason to think the show will be terrible.

  • http://4eyedanimation.com JoeCorrao

    I do find it unsettling the way things are approached on CB. It’s old school or nuffin for some while others like some non conventional approaches. CB should have an open thread to submit alternate designs for classic characters…may help the debate and we can see different approaches. I would love to draw the 7D’s in my pen style without feeling that I tore Jesus off the cross and shaved his beard.

  • larry

    Hahaha Amid taking aim at a pre-school show! Hard hitting stuff! When you say something is pure shit,why don’t you post some of your own drawings or artwork showing how it could be improved? Don’t worry, I can wait….

  • http://spencerderek.com Derek

    “He’s made it impossible to differentiate between the dwarfs,”
    Only two I’m having trouble discerning are Sneezy and Dopey.
    I mean, One’s hiding his face, that’s clearly Bashful, one’s wearing a sleeping gown and carrying a teddy, that’s clearly sleepy. One is grumpy, and my guess is that would be Grumpy. In a similar vein, I’m going to guess that the happy one is Happy. And one is wearing a bowtie, suspenders and glasses, which is “cliche” for smart person. So that’s Doc.

    In all honesty, the designs actually convey their personalities better than the traditional ones would have were you seeing them only in a static lineup. If there’s any issue I have it’s not the designs themselves but the clear lack of any sort of actining the poses

  • http://www.animatorisland.com/ J.K. Riki

    I dunno what art school you went to, but if that was a first year student’s work the rest of the class would be in awe. Is it freaking Freddy Moore quality? No, and not much is. Sure as heck isn’t beginner art student though, from experience those kids’ designs are AWFUL. (Not ragging on them, they just don’t have the experience yet.)

  • Craig M

    For the sake of argument, let’s say the characters were drawn in the original style.

    Some of the gags, if I had to guess from the previous work of the talented people involved, will likely be anachronistic. Let’s imagine the comments on this site the first time a classically drawn Doc sends a text or a tweet.

    • Roberto

      That argument doesn’t really hold up. Cause it only serves to demostrate that they should have changed the characters entirely. If you are going to include tweets and texts in a Seven Dwarfs show…well, those are not Disney’s Seven Dwarfs. You can make the dialogues more “contemporary” but the set up doesn’t allow modern technologies. And even if you change the designs if you keep the names it seems that you are implying they are the same characters. They should have done something about gnomes or any other thing.

  • http://www.youtube.com/2MKcreations Matthew Koh

    Man,all those tough comments.

    It reminds me of Tex Avery’s cartoon “I Like To Singa”.

    Respect someone’s new and creative talent!

  • Sarah J

    I’m gonna have to agree with Amid on this one. These designs don’t look particularly interesting, they’re a little stiff and boring. Not that I expect much from a show made for preschoolers, but how are we supposed to figure that these are the same dwarfs from the Snow White movie? What is the point of the radical design change? Why not just make a separate show instead of trying to force a connection between two completely different things?

  • Marvin

    Don’t listen to ‘em, Amid. We need more people like you telling it like it is in this industry. Good on you.

    Honestly, the only reason this looks the way it does is because it’s cheap and cost-effective. Just like most crap being shat out these days.

    As nice as it would be to see some lush, beautiful animation again, it just isn’t going to happen anytime soon as the current decision-makers at Disney wrongfully believe that children are too stupid to notice the difference.

  • Kingfish

    This style isn’t to my personal taste but there’s room for all kinds of variety out there. If the design isn’t appealing enough, it will sink or swim on its own. I thought the design on “Bob’s Burgers” was crude and juvenile when I first saw it, but it is animated beautifully and complements the dry humor of the show. We shouldn’t be so harsh on the hard-working people in the industry… we’re all colleagues. It’s one thing to give a thoughtful critique, it’s quite another to dismiss their work as “awful” or “pure sh*t”.

    If they are taking a radically different take than the movie then I respect that they have changed the designs of the characters. It allows them to live in a different world without comparing unfavorably to the movie versions. If you don’t like it, at least it’s its own distinct entity. Think of is as the Superman of Earth-2 or something.

    And yes, the original Snow White was a huge gamble for Disney, but part of the reward is that the company now has all these high-value properties they can do whatever they want with.

    And the original movie isn’t going anywhere… this isn’t George Lucas we’re talking about. If you want your kids to see the original dwarves, rent it for them. It gets re-released pretty regularly.

  • Ryoku

    Most kids can’t tell slight variations of things (Mustang\Camaro cars), but they can detect serious alterations.

    Plus, a part of what made the original designs great is that they were designed around their behavior, these look like garden elves that could fit any personality.

    To those naive optimist that can’t stand Amid having an opinion: Try drawing these, and then the original Dwarfs.
    You will understand Amids criticisms then.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

    I like these! They’re funny and compelling.
    They look like ADVENTURE TIME.
    I like ADVENTURE TIME!

    The overly-rounded, wobbly-bags-of-fluid-in-slow-motion “classic Disney” look is about played out anyway.

  • Roberto Severino

    If I were redesigning the characters, I would have actually made them look funny and really cartoony. Just saying. This doesn’t look like a revolution from any kind of animation style and simply the same stuff that’s been on TV for years. Let’s focus on making real cartoons and working to bring the art of making them back into the mainstream. I could care less about this.

  • Rodrigo

    Thanks, John K.

  • Hulk

    Here’s my guess as to who’s who. Left to Right- starting with the one with the Fat Albert style hat over his eyes-

    Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy, Grumpy, Doc, Dopey – Do I get a prize for guessing right?

    Seriously though, it seems with Dopey, if that is indeed him, they kept the influence Harpo Marx in his design but went in a different direction. One could see that as being faithful to the source material.

  • Marc Baker

    I’m shocked they would re-design The Dwarves like this, and I’m even more shocked that Tom Ruegger, and Sheri Stoner are involved. I miss the solid, classic designs that Disney has always been known for. Heck, even their simplistic designs from the 50′s looked better than this. Nothing wrong with more original, offbeat designs so long as their appealing, but this, not so much. I don’t care if the classic ‘wobbly bags of fluid in motion’ designs have been played out. I miss them, and Disney use to carry that over to their TV division as well as they could back in the 80′s, and 90′s.

  • Maya

    I mean this in no disrespect to Noah Z. Jones but based on the two cartoons he’s done already, I’m going to have to partially agree with Amid. These designs (and more specifically his style of drawing characters) are bad; I don’t care if it’s a kid’s show. That’s no excuse.

    And no, I’m not saying they have to compare to the 1937 movie, they just need to look like they weren’t spat onto a a screen. I don’t even have to watch the show to guess it’s probably going to just as ugly, bland and unfunny as Almost Naked Animals and Fish Hooks.

    • Ryoku

      To be honest, I think he just re-designed them to flaunt about his style.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~kurtwiley/ kurtw

    The recent Disney’s Princess magazine shows they’re redesigning Cinderella (new design’s more like Barbie than what Marc Davis created.

    IMHO am frankly amazed how limited Internet animation, (much) Anime, South Park and Seth MacFarlane products have so dramatically warped 2D animation into its present flat, weirdly designed universe.