Why The 7 Dwarfs Were Slaves Of Scrooge McDuck
While Snow White is evading the Huntsman, who is desperate to rip out her heart to deliver to the Wicked Queen, she comes upon a tiny cottage inhabited by seven random little men. Who are these beard goblins, and, more importantly, why are they living out in the forest, completely off the grid? The answer to this will lead us down into the darkest depths of Disney. Behind all the catchy songs and the hijinks is a pit of forced labor and inescapable greed.
The Dwarfs Are Definitely Hiding Something
When we first meet the Dwarfs, we learn that they're all Reservoir Dog'd up with special nicknames that no regular being would ever have. It may just be a minor detail in the grand scheme of things, but it makes sense to think of pseudonyms like "Happy" and "Dopey" as super phony aliases. All of the Dwarfs are aptly named for one distinguishing character flaw, which is not only memorable for the children in the audience but must be very memorable for whoever is coldly leading them.
The Dwarfs may have come up with these names themselves, but there is a reason that Bashful has never turned to Snow White and said, "Actually, it's Edward Simone Jr." A lost identity quickly leads to a lost willpower. But we'll get to that later.
The Dwarfs also live together in squalor in the middle of the enchanted forest, which is very suspicious. Their house is so filthy that poor Snow White has no choice but to enlist forest critters to help her in cleaning it. What can they be hiding? Virtually all they do is dig for diamonds and precious gems, but they're a group of men living together in one small house. And most of them have the facial hair of someone who has been alive for a decent number of decades. Even counting in Disney logic, Doc should've at least saved up enough to afford a nice loft in Tribeca by now.
This is what gentrification does to the average working Dwarf.
"It ain't no dig to get rich quick." We're with you there, Dwarfs, but why aren't you guys living in a mansion or, better yet, your own mansions, because you're all grown-ass men? Also, remember that their tiny cabin is a dump. When you're surrounded by deer, and the most famous member of your group is named after how unfriendly he is, it's probably hard to hire a decent cleaning agency. But shouldn't they take it upon themselves to do a dish every once in a while. Even the Dwarfs in Lord Of The Rings never let it get that far. This would imply that they're too tired from mining all day to bother with it, but why not just take the afternoon off and sweep? What are you saving for, you morons?
The Dwarfs are also extremely paranoid about having their stash raided. When they come home to find that their house has been mysteriously cleaned, they lose their goddamn minds about it. It's not like they came home to a crime scene or saw any palpable damages at all. Instead, they walk through the door to find the second half of any Hoarders episode.
But, seeing as how they're really quick to drop the whole "My cup is missing!" shtick about five minutes later, this means that they're probably less angry about finding a decently arranged cabinet, and more angry about the fact that someone was in their house. Someone who could potentially take the diamonds that they're using for absolutely nothing.
The Dwarfs' Plan Is Overturned By Scrooge McDuck
Logically speaking, if the Dwarfs are mining for anyone in the Disney Universe, it would be Scrooge McDuck, whose estimated net worth is in the billions. It is never directly stated in the movie who they are working for, but the comics point a finger toward one McDuck in particular. Scrooge invested his Dwarf diamonds wisely in the post-depression Disneyverse, building an empire on the backs of Dopey and Sneezy.
A possible place for Scrooge McDuck to have earned part of this astounding sum in the Disneyverse is the diamonds dug by the Dwarfs. We know that Scrooge was a hard worker in his youth, but it seems unlikely that when this godless dog accountant in the comic issue "The Second-Richest Duck" mentioned "mines" as part of Scrooge's assets, that Scrooge was there himself.
Although, really, "mills" might be the more disturbing asset there ...
"The Second-Richest Duck" also shows us that Scrooge is willing to fly to Africa when he hears that someone may be wealthier than he is. This is a manduck who has been driven insane by his need to have the greatest financial standings in the world. So much so that, even when the Dwarfs are supplying him with what has to be a surplus in gems, he keeps them in their barracks-style cottage, afraid of giving them an ounce. Who else could have worked in the mines for him? The only critters that Scrooge hangs out with are his pants-less nephews. And this isn't just a wild guess, either ...
The Duck's Mad Plot
The unlikely collaboration between Dwarf and duck is even confirmed in another of the Scrooge McDuck comics.
In the comic "The Washed-Up Witch," Snow White sends a flawless diamond with a map to Scrooge McDuck to lure him out to the enchanted forest to do some business. Once again, Scrooge travels great distances (in this case, to what might be an entirely new Disney continent) because he might have the chance to become wealthier. McDuck is eager to make an offer to Snow White to get a good deal on her flawless gems, but she refuses.
Motherfucker wastes no time.
Instead, Snow White and the Dwarfs are desperate for protection from the evil queen/witch and offer the gems to McDuck in exchange for protection like he's the goddamn Godfather of Disney or something.
Which, let's face it, would be an amazing reboot option.
Why would the Dwarfs seek out McDuck? According to the storyline, McDuck has the reputation of a regular Donald Trump, known for his riches and business prowess. This probably does nothing but stroke his huge duck ego.
"Yes, yes, go on."
McDuck exploits the witch's loneliness and lures her into the deal by picking her flowers. Every "He's not such a bad guy!" ending in the Scrooge McDuck comics is undone by this conversation. He tricks this poor, obsessive woman with just a slight romantic token.
This also seems like a lesser-of-two-evils choice of who to root for.
Also, remember that she used to look like this all the time:
And that she used to live in this:
Eternally reduced to living in her ugly disguise and stripped of her castle, she is ready to take any chance that might offer a slight glimmer of happiness and redemption -- even an offer from a talking duck. The title even calls her "washed-up." This isn't a person with a lot of options. McDuck asks the witch if she'd like a job as his personal secretary, in an attempt to lure her away from the enchanted forest. But that's only part of the plan. This is a land of smiling forest animals and love. The witch is the only person that could possibly have the power to tamper with the Dwarfs. McDuck knows this and is so very willing to exploit it.
The witch initially refuses and follows McDuck to the mine, where she tries to bewitch him. After learning about the magic of perseverance from McDuck, Dopey hatches up plans for the antidote, which renders the witch's magic powerless. Incidentally, this is also a major theme of Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal. The Dwarfs reward McDuck for his help by letting him keep the diamond.
Trickle down economics works!
McDuck leaves the cottage and is reunited with the wicked witch, who, on a second thought, remembers that she's a lonely old hag with absolutely nothing going for her. She reconsiders the whole secretary job and accepts the position, and the two skip away into the sunset.
In the film version, they'd high-five and freeze-frame.
Now that McDuck has the wicked witch on his payroll, the Dwarfs will be forced to pay him off in diamonds for all eternity to make sure she stays the hell away from their quaint forest utopia. The Dwarfs and Snow White know that McDuck seems to be the only one with the ability to keep her out as well. At the end of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, the witch is knocked off a cliff by a bolt of fucking lightning and survives. Plus, she hates Snow White with a burning passion. All of the pickaxes in the Dwarfs' disposal are not going to be able to take her down if she decides to go for Round 2.
And so, the Dwarfs now work for Scrooge. Whatever they were planning to do with their precious minerals is now replaced by Scrooge's mad quest to be the richest duck in the world. And how much has Scrooge amassed since this comic ended?
How Much Has McDuck Made From Dwarf Labor?
According to some tricky math by The Billfold, Scrooge's fortune is estimated at $31.2 billion. That's a lot of little duck top hats.
And what happened in the later years for Scrooge and the witch?
On the Disney Series House Of Mouse, the evil queen is spotted being involved with Disney's shadier characters, providing evil magic for the most corrupt of them. She's obviously been able to use the change in location to her advantage. It's hard to market yourself when you're stranded out in Dwarfland. Thanks to Scrooge's connections, she can garner an easy living as a kind of spell saleswoman.
On the other hand, decades later, Scrooge McDuck loses the connections with the Dwarfs and is desperate for a new source for diamonds:
All in all, what started as the Dwarfs attempting to put away for the future became Scrooge's retirement fund. And how did they finally get away from their feathered overlord? Probably with a coup. When you're that enamored with your wealth, the only thing that will change your mind is a bunch of mining equipment being shoved in your bill.
Vicki Veritas believes that any anti-princess sentiment is a bunch of malarkey and wrote an entire article about it on her website, because let's be real here, princesses grow up to be queens. For more hilarious observations, be sure to follow Queen Vic on Twitter.
Learn about the suicidal snake monster from Beauty And The Beast in The 5 Creepiest Foreign Versions Of Disney Fairy Tales, and check out the original Snow White tale in The Gruesome Origins Of 5 Popular Fairy Tales.
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