Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Singing Princess|
Actors: Patricia Hayes, Stephen Jack, Arthur Young, Humphrey Kent, Paul Hansard
Director: Anton Gino Domenighini
Genres: Indie & Art House, Kids & Family, Animation
Princess Zeila must choose a prince from among all the princes in Baghdad, despite the evil plotting of Jafar to thwart her hopes. Genre: Children's Video Rating: NR Release Date: 9-AUG-2005 Media Type: DVD
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Rent this first...
R. Gorey | New York | 08/14/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"An odd curio, of interest mainly to animation buffs, perhaps even less so to fans of Julie Andrews, whose voice--though appealing--isn't showcased to great advantage here. Some beautiful backgrounds and some intricate (if uninspired) animation make this worth a look for cartoon completists. Its resemblance to Disney's "Snow White" may encourage unfavorable comparisons. Some disturbing, almost nightmarish imagery is compelling, but the film suffers not only from careless dubbing into English, but from poor storytelling skills overall. I'd probably not recommend this, unless you're a hardcore "golden age" animation fan. Others beware: the marketing may have you believe it's another undiscovered treasure, like Rogers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" (also with an early Julie Andrews). Not so. Fascinating on some levels, but certainly not the crowd pleaser you'd hope it to be. Print quality is average to poor, but for those who've never seen this oddball feature, it may be worth renting."
The first italian long feature cartoon
Massimo Becattini | Firenze, Italy | 02/21/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The first italian long feature cartoon (1949, italian title "La rosa di Bagdad" - The rose of Bagdad). The masterpiece of Anton Gino Domeneghini, with beautiful scenery, dialogues and characters. Winner at the 10th Venice Film Festival in 1949. The music (by Riccardo Pick-Mangiagalli) is elegant and fascinating (Julie Andrews was engaged as the singing princess in the american version!). The animation techniques, even though a little bit primitive and clearly influenced by Disney's films, are really attractive. Absolutely not to lose!"
For the more serious animation buffs...
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 08/25/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"THE SINGING PRINCESS (aka "The Rose of Bagdad") is really only notable from an historical perspective. The first feature-length Italian animated movie, it was acclaimed at the annual Venice Film Festival in 1949. The English-dubbed version cast 14-year-old musical prodigy Julie Andrews for the singing voice of the title role.
The story presents a colourful chapter in the best traditions of the "Arabian Nights"/"Aladdin" mold. The pretty Princess Zeila's life is endangered when the evil Sheikh Jafar tries to force her into marriage. Zeila's musical assistant Armin rushes to the rescue only to be trapped by the black magic of Jafar's conjurer. Adding some much-needed comedy are the three royal ministers Zirko, Tonko and Zizibe; plus Armin's pet magpie Calina.
Fans of Julie Andrews will find this title a worthwhile, if questionable title for their collection. She only gets to sing three full-length numbers, and those are average at best. The animation style is more within the vein of Max Fleisher, with overly-exaggerated facial expressions for the comical supporting characters; the figures of Princess Zeila and Armin are drawn in a more natural style.
Kudos to Lion's Gate Entertainment for releasing this seldom-seen gem on DVD, and at a reasonable price. For the serious animation buffs only."