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Swan Princess
Swan Princess
Actors: Jack Palance, Howard McGillin, Michelle Nicastro, Liz Callaway, John Cleese
Director: Richard Rich
Genres: Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Animation
NR     2009     1hr 30min

From the director of The Fox And The Hound comes The Swan Princess, a magical, musical animated adventure based on the classic fairy tale "Swan Lake" that captured the hearts of audiences around the world! The winner of th...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Jack Palance, Howard McGillin, Michelle Nicastro, Liz Callaway, John Cleese
Director: Richard Rich
Creators: Richard Rich, Jared F. Brown, Matt Mazer, Seldon Young, Terry L. Noss, Brian Nissen
Genres: Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Animation
Sub-Genres: Animation, Animation, Animation
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/18/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French
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Movie Reviews

A Classic Fairytale
R. M. Fisher | New Zealand = Middle Earth! | 07/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This classic fairytale story is based on possibly the most famous ballet of all time - Swan Lake. It is loosely based however, and follows the traditional Disney pattern of storytelling with romance, adventure, slapstick, musical numbers animal sidekicks, and of course with love conquering all.Princess Odette (Michelle Nicastro)and Prince Derek (Howard McGillin) are betrothed from an early age by their parents in the hopes that their two kingdoms will be united. The only problem is - the two can't stand each other. However, unlike most other romance movies where the hero and heroine go through many trials before realising they're in love, Odette and Derek fall for each other within the opening five minutes of the film as they grow from child to adult during the opening song. However, due to Derek's claims that Odette's beauty is the only thing that matters to him, Odette rejects his marriage proposal and she and her father return home to their kingdom. They do not get far however - the evil Count Rothbart (Jack Palance) is waiting for them, and transforms into a terrifying beast and kidnaps Odette, changing her into a swan. At the reclusive lake that Odette is taken to, Odette learns that she is a swan every day, except for an hour each night when she changes back into human form. The only way to break this curse is for her one true love to make a vow of everlasting love and prove it to the world. Rothbart's reasons for kidnapping Odette are to force her into marriage so that he might take over the kingdom. Odette refuses, convinced that Derek will save her, and with her animal friends Speed the turtle, Jean-Bob (John Cleese) the frog and Puffin the (what else?) puffin they lure Derek to the lake to witness her metamorphosis for himself. Reunited, the lovers make a plan - tomorrow night at his mother's ball Derek will give Odette his vow of everlasting love. However, Rothbart is one step ahead of him and imprisons Odette, sending his disguised servant to the palace in her place...The protagonists Odette and Derek are a satisfactory hero and heroine for the story. Odette is the typical fairytale princess (blonde hair, blue eyes, etc) but has some very twenty-first century ideals - she refuses to marry Derek if all he sees is his beauty (though strangely enough she is singing a few minutes later about how much she loves him) and takes it into her on hands (or wings) to bring Derek to the lake. Derek, however is an imbecile. Among other things he insults his bride-to-be, nearly kills her, and then confesses his love to another woman. His redeeming features are his singing voice and his heroic athletic abilities with a bow and arrow.The secondary characters are far more enjoyable - Odette's animal friends will appeal mostly to kids - the heroic Scottish Puffin, the slow but steady Speed, and (cleverly following the fairytale of the Frog Prince) the snobbish and proud Jean-Bob who believes all he has to do to be transformed into a prince is to be kissed by a fair maiden. Adults should warm to Derek's flustering and hysterical mother Queen Uberta, who comes across as the typical interferring and meddling mother, and Derek's consort, the wry and sarcastic Rogers. Also worth noting is Derek's best friend, the cowardly Brom who inevitably swallows his fears to save the day.The Swan Princess is on the whole an enjoyable, traditional fairytale with all the components one would expect. Great songs, good animation, successfully funny jokes and an interesting story with only a plot holes all contribute to this. A few scenes got on my nerves, such as Rothbart's techni-colour, disco-like musical number and the down-right tacky beauty-pagent style of the ball, but the last twenty minutes of the movie - including Odette's escape from the prison, the imposter-Odette drawing Derek's attention from the desparate swan at the windows, and Derek's final fight with Rothbart more than make up for it. This movie is a must for all fairytale lovers."
One of my all-time favorites
Caitlyn Steinbacher | Spring, Texas United States | 06/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'd just like to say that, as a 16 year old, I STILL sit down and watch this movie. As do all of my freinds -we're getting ready to go off to college and wondering how in the world we'll afford DVD players to watch this movie.

The real reason I'm reviewing is because there's a particular review that totally bashes this movie that rather infuriated me. I would like to state here and now that this is a children's movie, and therefore of course it has holes in it. But I've noticed that a lot of things in real life have holes in them as well; nothing is perfect. And I'm also appalled that a mother who watched this movie through to make sure it was all right for her kids even suggested that the evil villain kill Odette and marry her double. Why didn't the villain of Barbie's Swan Lake just kill the Prince instead of bothering to leave him alive? That whole CHILDREN'S MOVIE thing comes to mind...

Personally, I love just about every song in this movie. I find all the characters fun to watch, and no matter how many times I see the film I always forget that Derek's friend gets lost in the forest... I also find it quite charming that for once, a princess doesn't fall in love with the prince IN 10 SECONDS! Oh my gosh, WHAT a concept that Derek and Odette have known each other for YEARS instead of MINUTES and therefore have an actual UNDERSTANDING between one another instead of love based on appearances. I also like that Odette, for all that she loves Derek, originally protests marrying him because he says he loves her only for her beauty. Do I hear a message being sent to audiences? That looks aren't all that matter? Why, yes! And do I hear Derek telling Odette that he loves her "for her kindness and her courage" at the end when he's finally able to put it into words? Yes, those are his exact words.

I have seen the Barbie version of Swan Lake, and while it is cute and charming in its own right, I found the Swan Princess much more memorable. And what The Princess and the Pauper had to do with this movie I'm unsure..."
Sarita Dutta | Calcutta, West Bengal India | 08/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dazzling, colorful animation accompanied by sweetly dulcet music bring this fairy tale to life, which will definitely leave a lasting impression on your mind. Directed by Richard Rich, The Swan Princess tells us the story of a beautiful princess named Odette. Her birth brings great joy to her father King William, who on this occasion betroths her to the heir of the neighboring kingdom, Prince Derek; son of the widowed queen Uberta. The two children are brought together each summer with hopes that they would one day fall in love. This eventually does happen; (though as kids they were always fighting) but when asked by Odette what he sees other than her beauty, Derek fails to proclaim his love for her. Meanwhile the evil enchanter Rothbart, who had been banished from the kingdom, ambushes the king and princess, kills William and kidnaps Odette. She is turned into a swan and changes back to her true form only when the moonlight touches her wings. The spell can alone be broken by a vow of everlasting love from Derek. With the help of her hilarious friends Jean-Bob, the frog and Speed, the turtle; she must prove her true love and defeat Rothbart.

The animation, which consists mostly of hand painted cels, is simply majestic; the backgrounds and characters looking nothing short of spectacular. The movie took three long years in the making and the intense labor of the artists is indeed observed in the stunning visual style of the film.

The music, by Lex De Azevedo (with lyrics by David Zippel) is brilliantly composed; songs like `This Is My Idea' and' Practice, Practice, Practice' being well-placed and catchy. `Far Longer Than Forever' is matchless in its melody, with its haunting tune and luscious music that touches your heart (it received a Golden Globe nomination for best song in 1994). As to why it did not receive an Oscar nomination is still a big mystery to me, as in every way it is comparable to `A Whole New World' or `Beauty And The Beast'. The end-title solo `Eternity' is beautifully performed by Miwa Yoshida. The score (also by Azevedo) is rich and vibrant, brightly highlighting the emotional sequences in the film.

The portrayal of the characters is done marvelously. Odette is beautiful and kind, her romantic heart making sacrifices for her true love. Prince Derek is handsome, brave and passionate, and he proves his love for Odette in the end. The villain Rothbart, though sometimes a bit scary for younger viewers, provides a strong negative character. The sidekicks, Jean-Bob, Speed and Puffin are hilarious and they bring most of the humorous moments. Derek's mother Uberta, his mentor, Lord Rogers and his cowardly companion, Bromley are wonderfully depicted, their presence adding comic warmth to the movie.

The voice cast comprises of talented artists. Jack Palance is superb as the dark voice of Rothbart. John Cleese voices Jean-Bob with a peculiar French accent which is simply loveable. Sandy Duncan brings Uberta to life with spasm and liveliness and Steven Wright well portrays the character of Speed. Howard Mcgillin is excellent as the speaking and singing voice of Prince Derek and Michelle Nicastro is the perfect choice for Odette, her voice both warm and gentle.

Overall, a well done movie, which although does not earn the title of a classic or masterpiece; is yet unique in beauty and offers something for the entire family. It brilliantly conveys the message of love and sacrifice (although I believe that the script could have been developed a little more). Sadly, the DVD of this movie has never been released in the US. I had to import mine from Europe (where it has been officially released by Columbia Tristar video). So if you enjoy spectacular animation and melodious music, this movie will be wonderfully entertaining. As for me, I simply adore it and shall always keep a special place for it in my heart."
An excellent musical cartoon along the lines of Swan Lake
Sarita Dutta | 04/06/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Princess Odette and Prince Derek have been urged since childhood to wed and unite their kingdoms by their nosey parents, only truly learning disdain for one another. When Odette's father is killed by a mysterious shape-shifting beast and Odette is kidnapped, Derek must search and train for a fight against an unknown power for the hand of his true love. The songs are enticing and the animation, while not-quite Disney quality, is still engrossing. John Cleese voices one of Odette's nature-friends, which is always a bonus."