It’s about time the Seven Dwarfs got their own wacky animated TV series, and if The 7D (premiering July 7 at 10:00 am on Disney XD) has an Animaniacs-like vibe that’s because Tom Ruegger, Alfred Gimeno, and Sherri Stoner are involved as exec producer, director, and writer. They are joined by Fish Hooks creator Noah Z. Jones, who designed the characters. I spoke with Gimeno about 7D, which takes place in the storybook world of Jollywood, where the Dwarfs act like the Magnificent Seven in protecting Queen Delightful from Grim and Hildy Gloom.
The voice cast, meanwhile, includes Kelly Osbourne as Hildy, Jess Harnell as husband Grim, Leigh-Allyn Baker as Queen Delightful, Bill Farmer as Doc, Maurice LaMarche as Grumpy, Kevin Michael Richardson as Happy, Dee Bradley Baker as Dopey, Scott Menville as Sneezy, Stephen Stanton as Sleepy, and Billy West as Bashful. They will be joined by Jay Leno and Whoopi Goldberg as the Crystal Ball and Magic Mirror.
Certainly judging by the initial two episodes, "The Long, Long Winter" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider Fighters" (directed by Charles Visser), there’s plenty of snappy and wacky fun. In the opener, the kingdom is magically frozen (but Gimeno insists they were not influenced at all by Frozen), and in the second Grim turns into a giant spider. Not surprisingly, the design of the dwarfs is very much what you’d expect today while still honing to familiar traits. The biggest problem seems to be accommodating as many of them as possible in each episode.
Gimeno describes "The Long, Long Winter" as a logistical nightmare, however, because there were so many elements to keep track of and because the snow sequences required an entire redesign with all of the dwarfs tied together as they ascend a mountain. "It was just like herding cats," he adds.
Steampunk? Sure, when the Glooms have internal combustion devices and Doc’s inventions are primarily clock work-based (including a squirrel finding machine that’s been modified to find chickens. There’s even an upcoming episode, "Very Important Thingy," in which Doc needs to get away from his noisy pals to finish a project.