Happily N'Ever After

2007-08-02 16:48
What it’s about:

In the land of fairy tales a wise old wizard (George Carlin) maintains the balance between good and evil, and makes sure all the tales turn out right. Rapunzel lets down her hair, Sleeping Beauty wakes to a kiss and Cinderella (Sarah Michelle Gellar) gets ready for the ball. But when the wizard goes away on holiday, leaving his inept sidekicks in charge, the evil stepmother (Sigourney Weaver) from Cinderella’s story decides to shake things up. Getting hold of the wizard’s staff, she plunges every tale in the kingdom into a bad ending. Since Prince Charming (Patrick Warburton) proves utterly useless at saving the day, it’s up to Cinderella and a love struck palace servant named Rick (Freddie Prinze Jr.) to save the kingdom.

What we thought of it:

If you’re thinking this film sounds like a cheap copy of Shrek, then you’re wrong. Even the cheapest copy would retain some of the wit, energy and good looks of original. Happily N’ever After is more like a copy of a fax that’s been left in the sun and then translated from Japanese – you can vaguely see what they are on about, but none of it makes very good reading.

The main problem here is shoddy production values. The film was animated by a brand new studio – Valiant – with the help of a bunch of German TV animators, which possibly explains why the whole thing looks so amateurish. The characters are blocky and clumsily animated and often appear to be floating in front of the obviously two dimensional backgrounds. The whole thing feels more like a cheap TV show than an animated feature.

This bargain-basement ethic is even more evident in the screenwriting and the flat, listless voice performances. The writers quickly run through their limited stock of ideas, and begin stealing scenes wholesale from better films. But even larceny on such a grand scale can’t disguise the paper thin plot – again more suitable for TV than the silver screen.

All of this might be forgivable if the film was a little more humble, and if the marketing were a little less of a con job. The tone of the narration is so self-satisfied, so convinced of its own cleverness, you just want to slap some sense into it. Don’t be fooled by the posters and the adverts folks – the fact that one of the producers of Shrek worked on this film doesn’t make it any less of a turd.

In short this is the Ricoffy of animated films, the imitation polyester leisure suit of animated films. Rather wait for Shrek the Third - at least those guys have proved they know what they’re doing.

- Alistair Fairweather
This bargain-basement rip-off of Shrek feels like a half hour TV show stretched across 85 minutes.

cathrine 2007/04/17 1:00 PM
goog the movie sound interesting for me
cathy 2007/04/17 1:02 PM
good i like the movie it sound in teresting even though i havent seen it
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