Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Happily N'Ever After |
Actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., Andy Dick, Wallace Shawn, Patrick Warburton
Directors: Paul J. Bolger, Yvette Kaplan
Genres: Kids & Family, Animation
Once upon a time will n'ever be the same again. Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and Jack from the Beanstalk are all about to live happily ever after when the balance between good and evil gets thrown out of whack. It's up to Ci... more »
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Mark Baker | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 05/04/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Our story takes place in Fairytale Land, a kingdom populated by every fairytale character you've ever met. The balance between good and evil is maintained by a wizard (George Carlin) who makes sure that every story follows the book.
The time has come for Cinderella (Sarah Michelle Gellar) to have her fairytale ending. The Prince (named Humperdink. A nod to Princess Bride? Either way, he's voiced by Patrick Warburton) is hosting a ball on his twenty-first birthday. Cinderella is set to go and fall in love, just as the story dictates.
This doesn't sit well with Rick (Freddie Prinze, Jr.). He's a servant in the castle and has fallen for the beautiful Cinderella. Fighting a bad case of prince envy, he wonders why he never gets a happy ending.
While all this is happening, the wizard decides to go on vacation and he turns things over to his two assistants, Munk and Mambo (Wallace Shawn and Andy Dick). Mambo wants to add a bit of variety to the stories while the wizard is away, and the two start fighting.
Overhearing their fight is Frieda (Sigourney Weaver). She's Cinderella's evil step mother. She seizes the golden opportunity to take over the kingdom and tip the scales toward evil. Now it's up to Cinderella and a very reluctant Rick to return happy endings to Fairytale Land.
I'm always up for a good fractured fairytale, a genre that has become popular since the success of Shrek. I was looking forward to this one, but it failed to live up to expectations.
The biggest problem with the movie is the lack of development. Everything felt rushed, like it knew what it had to do and wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. The characters were also shallow, and I never felt like I got to know them, which made it hard to root for them.
There were a few funny lines in the movie, but most of it was played surprisingly straight. The Prince was the one exception, with a great running joke about consulting his book before everything.
This isn't the detailed animation we are used to. It's stylized with lots of weird angels. It works, but considering what most studios are putting out, it is a bit surprising.
The voice cast does great, with one exception. There was something about Sigourney Weaver's voice that bothered me. It almost felt like she reading the script with. She showed hardly any personality.
Unlike many films that adults and kids can enjoy together, this one is strictly for the kids."
Kiss Those Fariy Tale Endings Goodbye
Chris Pandolfi | Los Angeles, CA | 01/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What I found interesting about "Happily N'Ever After" was its willingness to turn classic fairy tales upside down. What if the princess doesn't wind up with the handsome prince? What if Sleeping Beauty remains asleep after Prince Charming kisses her? What if Rupunzel's golden hair caused more problems than it actually solves? We rarely see this kind of intentional manipulation when it comes to fairy tales, and that made this film a lot more enjoyable. It helps that it has a prominent sense of humor, making it delightfully light and airy. I was reminded of Disney's "The Emperor's New Groove" as I was watching "Happily N'Ever After"; both are films that depended on their heavy-handed jokiness in order to be entertaining.
Fortunately, this method worked in both cases. While this film isn't exactly meaningful or relevant, it's still tells a humorous, good-hearted story. The jokes begin almost as soon as the film begins; an evil woman waves a magic staff, shooting lightening into the air. Just as the lightening forms the letters of the film's title, the reel stops, exposing the celluloid's square holes. That's when the story's narrator tells a joke, of which I only remember an announcement to move a vehicle with Narnia license plates. After that, the back story is established: in Fairy Tale Land, The Wizard (George Carlin) is in charge of maintaining the balance between good and evil in all fairy tales. Basically, he makes sure that every story ends the way it's supposed to end, with the princesses getting saved by the princes and everyone living happily ever after.
The Wizard goes on vacation, leaving his assistants--Munk (Wallace Shawn) and Mambo (Andy Dick)--in charge of his control room located in the top tower of The Prince's castle. I liked the layout: in the center rests a large crystal ball that acts like a television set (with a remote control, I might add); above it are the precious Good/Evil scales. Bored with the same, predictable fairy tales, Mambo finds the idea of tipping those scales increasingly appealing; he wants to see edgier fairy tales, ones that may be turned into something original. Munk, on the other hand, is loyal and orderly, and will not stand to have his dimwitted co-assistant ruin everything for everyone.
Meanwhile, we're introduced to the narrator: his name is Rick (Freddie Prinze Jr.), the lowly servant to the handsome but clueless Prince (Patrick Warburton), who obsessively reads a rulebook and follows its every idea. Rick's working day is no picnic. He washes The Prince's dishes. He shines The Prince's boots. He even flosses The Prince's teeth. Such unpleasant daily routines have turned Rick a bit world weary; stories ending with a prince saving the day doesn't necessarily make him the most qualified for the job. Rick may have a thing or two to offer a damsel, especially when it comes to the fair Ella, nicknamed Cinderella (Sarah Michelle Gellar). Unfortunately, Ella is too blindsided by her love for The Prince to see Rick for who he really is.
As we all know, Cinderella lives the life of a slave in the home of her stepmother, Frieda (Sigourney Weaver), and her ugly stepsisters. It's announced that The Prince is throwing a ball, and every eligible maiden is required to attend. Being the wicked, spiteful person she is, Frieda purposely overworks Ella, giving her no time to get ready for the ball. But, lo and behold, the fairy godmother shows up, ready to help Ella out in her time of need (in this version, the fairy godmother is made to be a bit senile: "I'm here to grant your wish to become a real boy," she says when she first arrives, paving the way for a couple of other verbal goofs). Once she arrives at the ball, she's given the warning that the magic will only last until midnight.
Yes, we've definitely heard this story before. But consider the moment when Frieda arrives at The Prince's castle; she overhears Munk and Mambo's shenanigans (highlighted by Mambo's near disastrous encounter with the crystal ball) and decides to take matters into her own hands. It now seems that every fairy tale will have new endings, ones that don't end happily. This is because Frieda manages to obtain The Wizard's magical staff, giving her control over Fairy Tale Land (this is actually where the film began). She then watches the stories unfold on the crystal ball, and when the endings approach, she forcefully tips the Evil scale. This is also done to Ella, who up until then had been having a wonderfully romantic evening with The Prince (the instant her ball gown transforms back into humble peasant clothing, The Prince immediately believes that his maiden has run off).
Thus begins fight to save Fairy Tale Land from an eternity of unhappy endings. But it won't be easy: Frieda has called forth all the fairy tale villains, including the Big Bad Wolf, Rumplestiltskin (who becomes her sidekick), the giant from "Jack and the Beanstalk," witches, and goblins. Ella is convinced that The Prince is the only one who will be able to save the day; that is, after all, how it works in all fairy tales. But Rick knows better, especially when it comes to The Prince and his ridiculous sense of superiority. He decides to join Ella, Muck, and Mambo in their quest to save their world and defeat the evil Frieda. If they hurry, maybe happily ever after will once again be the norm for fairy tales.
Such a plot description must cement my claim that there's nothing relevant about this film. "Happily N'Ever After" is an escapist film, presenting a story that's easily understood and free from depth or complexity. I'm not sure why I found such qualities enjoyable; I'm usually the first to condemn a film for being overly simplistic. Maybe I was taken by the over the top sense of humor, such as the reinterpretation of the Seven Dwarfs as militant survivalists. Maybe I recognized the inside joke of The Wizard's passion for golf; George Carlin has been vocal in his hatred of that sport. Or maybe I was generally in a good mood. Nonetheless, I'll recommend "Happily N'Ever After," even if it's only for the light subject matter."
This movie is great!
caitlin vega | 10/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know why nobody else likes it, because I love it! This is one of my favorite movies, in fact I just gave my mom the idea to buy it for me since she needed a birthday present idea (and I hate making her spend a lot of money... so she bought this and tada great cheap present).
The characters are funny, the storyline could maybe move a bit faster but the little jokes are what made me laugh so much. Some of the jokes are very subtle, but when you notice them its great.
This movie amuses me a lot and I'm soon to be 22 years old. It's a cute, funny movie that (while it may not be up to the more mature sarcastic 'standards' of Shrek) is definitely worth watching over and over."
Uh, no...just didn't work
LARRY | Capitol Heights, MD | 02/02/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"*Happily N'ever After* tried to model itself after *Shrek*, straying away from the traditional fairy tales. How *Happily* was different was that Cinderella's evil stepmother took control of the tales' ending by letting the bad guys/villians win. However, *Happily* was just...well...boring!
The Wizard, who ensures balance among the tales, is off to a vacation. In his absence, he places the responsibility among his 2 goofy assistants. In the middle of their "playful" bickering, Cinderella's evil stepmother takes advantage of the situation by seizing the wand that controls balance.
In control, the stepmother bands together all the villians to take control of the kingdom and the "good" characters. Only Cinderella and the king's dishwasher escape. Together, they decide how to get the kingdom back. Along the way, they round up help from the 2 goofy assistants and the air-headed Prince Charming.
Overall, the story just didn't work (poor punch lines, little character development, etc.) Within 10 minutes, I was already looking at the time and wondering how much longer I'd have to suffer through this movie."