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The Swan Princess
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Swan Princess More at IMDbPro »

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21 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

A good, watchable movie despite its flaws.

Author: Abigail Laughlin from Montreat, NC
25 April 1999

Compared to previous attempts by competing studios to break Disney's stranglehold on the animated film market, The Swan Princess really is a good movie. The animation does not quite have Disney's finesse and got a little rough in places, but was still watchable and generally pleasing to the eye, unlike, say, Thumbelina. The songs, though not particularly memorable and vaguely cheesy in the manner of much older animated flicks, did not bring the movie to a grinding halt and actually managed to, in general, help it along. It has a plot.

That's not to say that The Swan Princess doesn't have its problems, mostly in its characters. The titular lead, Princess Odette, is a flat failure as a heroine--she never *does* anything except lead her one true love, Prince Derrick, to her--and even then, she only does that because her animal friends, Puffin, Speed the turtle, and Jean-Bob the frog, cook up the plan for her.

Derrick is much more likeable, and though throughout most of the movie he is a flaming idiot, he is a likeable and sympathetic flaming idiot--and he does learn. His mistakes are, as a rule, human and understandable, and in the end it is he who saves the day and finally learns the movie's apparent lesson--that beauty is not all there is in matters of love or anything else.

The development of their relationship is refreshing--rather than falling in love at first sight, they start out hating each other with a passion, and it takes them years--spanned capably over the course of one amusing if sugary song--to realize that they do love each other. And then Derrick blows it(!), and spends the rest of the movie scrambling to recover from his mistake.

The end battle was satisfying, though in general I prefer for the heroine to help save their hides in some manner. The movie-makers were not afraid to beat the living daylights out of their hero, and though the save he pulls in the end is nothing short of miraculous, it was at least shown much earlier to be within his princely capabilities.

Despite its flaws, I found The Swan Princess to be a satisfying and re-watchable movie--though I did catch myself agreeing with Derrick's comment (stated early in the movie) that he could do much better.

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17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

loved it

Author: puteriain6 from New Zealand
19 December 2005

*sigh* I was like around 2 years old when it came out and apparently it was a favorite of mine along with the Disney classics and such. And even though I'm 13 now.. i still love it. A total classic love story where the two "lovers" are separated and the Prince has to find the Princess. I love the songs 'This Is My Idea' and 'Far Longer Than Forever'. This Is My Idea is probably my favorite because it shows Odette and Derek grow up together and it's quite funny when they come to the "This is not my idea.. This isn't my idea.. of fun" since it usually concludes humorous scenes. Any young child would love it.. especially girls. The animal-trio are hilarious especially Jean-Bob and Speed.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Whimsical children's tale, good animation and storytelling

Author: MovieAddict2016 from UK
24 January 2006

It's been a little while since I had seen "The Swan Princess," but I could distinctly recall many scenes from it. I'd always enjoyed it before, so I decided to watch it again - for the most part, it still holds up.

Of course, it's a children's tale, so some slack must be given; it's not going to be as well-rounded (entertainment-wise) as a movie like "Toy Story," but it does contain its fair share of adult-oriented jokes along with silly physical humor that will amuse children.

The story is pretty basic - a lovely princess is destined to marry a prince, but an evil sorcerer (voiced by the diabolical Jack Palance) has other plans and kills the princess' father, locks the daughter away and casts a spell on her so that she turns into a swan at night.

It's predictable, but it's got a great vocal cast, and the animation is pretty good. Give it a shot. Avoid the unnecessary cash-in sequel.

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

i still love this movie

Author: bwaybaby01 from United States
11 February 2007

This was my favorite sage of movies when I was 3. I still love them to this day when I am 15. This movie tells the timeless tale of two lovers who are drawn apart by one shallow prince who eventually learns that there is more to love than looks and beauty. When Derek goes on his quest to find Odette, he realizes how much he really does love her and his kingdom gets sick of hearing about here. The music is spectacular as well. I love the songs "Far Longer Than Forever" and "This Is My Idea". "This Is My Idea" shows Derek and Odette growing up and you notice that every year their relationship grows until one summer when they realize how much they really do love each other. When they are pulled apart by Rothbart and how shallow Derek is, they sing the duet "Far Longer Than Forever" about their everlasting love for each other. Anyone who does not like even the first movie has a real issue. Even though the saga got kind of lame as the years went by, they still hit me close to home.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

So what, if its corny.

Author: walsh-22 from United Kingdom
23 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Boo, Boo! I say to all reviewers who think it is corny, so what. I love it anyway.

This is a type of film Disney is known for making, instead it is made by Columbia Tristar. The story is basically about a princess called Odette who is kidnapped by an evil sorcerer, Lord Rothbart who puts a spell on her that turns her into a swan and the only way the spell can be broken is if Prince Derek declares his love for Odette.

Jack Palance plays Rothbart as a pantomime villain.

I like the love story between Odette and Derek especially when they start of not liking one another.

It has some very funny scenes and lines. The two scenes that stand out for me is when the Prince is practicing his marksmanship with painted arrows and the targets are musicians dressed up as animals. Another is Jean-Bob, a frog voiced by John Cleese who is convinced he is a prince and that if he kisses Odette he will become one.

The songs are very memorable and catchy, I especially liked the songs "Practice, practice, practice," "No fear," and "This is my idea." The animation is just amazing, the movement is so realistic and the scene at the end is awesome as it is at night, you can see the shadows of the water, the moon sparkling and the swans flying by.

This film has it all- romance, humour, magic, action, brilliant animation and a moral story where good triumphs over evil.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Great movie

Author: manufan91 from United States
29 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was very young when this movie came out, so I grew up watching it. I have ALWAYS loved this movie. I just barely watched it over again (because now I'm in high-school and I hadn't watched it in a long time), and I still love it! It's true that it does have it's flaws, but they're nothing huge. It's still better than most Disney movies that I've seen (but then again, that's just my personal opinion).

I agree with those who say that the sidekicks are the best; but Derek's sidekicks are just as amusing as Odette's. I love Brom and Queen Uberta; but Rodgers remains my favorite character of the movie. I love his sarcastic humor- "You should write a book; How to offend women in 5 syllables or less." Come on- that's hilarious! I also like that Chamberlain guy. He has my favorite line of the whole film; "Oh! the milkman- it must be the milkman!....... Well... it's not the milkman."

I think that the biggest flaw in the whole play was Princess Odette; she is supposed to be the heroine, and she never does anything! OK, she finds Derek and gets him to come to the lake, but she couldn't have even done that without Puffin, Speed and Jean-Bob. No offense, but when Derek said, "What else is there?" He was kind of on to something.

And contrary to what most people say, I loved all the music- even "No More Mr. Nice Guy." My favorite song is "This is My Idea," simply because it's funny, and I don't mind it getting stuck in my head (which it tends to do a lot).

I just think that there's something in the Swan Princess for every age (though keep in mind that I can only attest to 15). It's a movie that every girl would enjoy seeing at least once.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

nice '80s princess story... when was this made?

Author: SnoopyStyle
15 September 2013

Prince Derek and Princess Odette are forced to spend their summers together by their widowed parents hoping for them to fall in love. Just when they seem to do just that, Derek says "You're beautiful.", and Odette ask "What else?". Derek could only reply "What else is there?". Evil sorcerer Lord Rothbart kidnaps Odette and places her under a spell which turns her into a swan. She turns back to a woman when she's on the lake as the moon rise. When moonlight leaves the lake, she's turn back into a swan. The only way to break the spell is to have her love make a vow of everlasting love.

This is very much an 80s style animation with the singing, the drawing, and the subject matter. All the characters are straight out of 80s Disney movies. And quite frankly, it works on that terms. The animation, the jokes, the princess subject, the songs... all of it works but only on that term.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Good Movie

Author: wetnoodle1016 from United States
11 March 2006

I happen to think that this was a very cute fantasy movie. It does not copy The Swan Lake and it is original. However, it has some good love scenes and I liked it in the sense that it was very fun to watch. I still remember the movie from when I've seen it years ago. It has pretty good animation and good songs to remember. The music is nice to listen to. The characters are displayed well and the voices are clear. This movie is adorable. I liked it very much and it was memorable. There are two sequels following it that I enjoyed as well. The third one was very funny. Anyways, The Swan Princess was satisfying. This is a great movie to show to kids and adults.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Swan Princess

Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
19 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was one of those cartoons I had heard about so many times, and I knew at least one of the actors doing a voice in it, I knew it wasn't going to be Disney standard quality of animation or storytelling, but I was still willing to try it, from director Richard Rich (The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron). Basically Princess Odette (Michelle Nicastro) and Prince Derek (Howard McGillin) were forced by their parents as children to many summers together in the hope they that they would grow become close and eventually fall in love, they hates each other, but as adults they may finally to develop mutual attraction, but after a little offence he causes she is not sure he truly loves her for more than just her beauty. Years ago vengeful sorcerer Lord Rothbart (Jack Palance) was banished from the kingdom for attempting to cast evil spells and take the kingdom for himself, but he has returned to take revenge, disguised as the "Great Creature" he can turn into he manages to kidnap Odette, and fatally wounds her father King William (Dakin Matthews), Derek vows to train himself to kill the beast that killed the king and save the life of his true love. While Derek's training goes on and believing that the princess is still alive for him to save and convince of his love, Odette has had a curse placed on her by the evil enchanter, at his castle lair on Swan Lake she will turn into a swan in the daylight, and if she does not to return to the water when the moonlight shines she will not temporarily turn human for the night time, Rothbart will only lift the curse if she agrees to marry him so he can legally take the kingdom, she continues to refuse. While cursed Odette makes friends with friendly tortoise Speed (Steven Wright), frog Jean- Bob (John Cleese) who believes he is also cursed and if kissed will become a human prince, and the puffin bird named Puffin (Steve Vinovich), they sympathise with her wanting to return to the kingdom as a human and be with her true love, Derek refuses to let her mother Queen Uberta (Sandy Duncan) make him marry someone unless he truly loves them. Prince Derek does eventually find Odette as the swan, but he wrongly assumes she is the Great Creature, but he does see her turn temporarily human at night, but she is trapped by Rothbart before she can make any escape and stop the proposed bride seeking and potential wedding ceremony for the prince, and with the evil sorcerer disguised as the princess he hopes to make the prince express his true love to the fake, therefore allowing him to take the kingdom. In the end Rothbart in the form of the Great Creature is defeated by Derek firing the one arrow through his heart, the swan curse of Odette is lifted, and the couple finally embrace their true love for each other, marry, unite the kingdom and the two families and they all live happily ever after. Also starring Liz Callaway as Princess Odette (singing voice), Mark Harelik as Lord Rogers, James Arrington as Chamberlain, Davis Gaines as Chamberlain (singing voice), Joel McKinnon Miller as Bromley and Brian Nissen as the Narrator. You can tell by the animation style that this film was a rather low budget, the story does have it's fair share of predictable and cheesy moments, and most of the songs are lame, but the voice casting is chosen well enough, Palance making a good villain, and Cleese and Wright adding the needed comic relief, I suppose it will entertain most of the family, not a bad animated musical fairytale. It was nominated the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for "Far Longer than Forever". Worth watching!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not my idea of fun, indeed!

Author: iamyourlife from United Kingdom
8 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have always passed up the offers of watching The Swan Princess because I had the impression that it was a cheap Disney rip-off of inferior quality. I have also avoided other animated films, such as Anastasia, for the same reason. Recently I became unemployed so had more free time and on a whim I decided to watch Anastasia, expecting it to be a cheese fest which would leave me cringing and rolling my eyes. Car crash TV if you will, which I was in the mood for at the time. To my surprise I absolutely loved it. Well, it is clearly not one of the best movies of all time, but I can't deny that it is one of my favourite animated movies. Which brings me to The Swan Princess: my surprise at enjoying Anastasia so much encouraged me to give this movie a go. I regret this decision.

The animation is sub-par. Honestly, you'd think they could have made it look a little less like a My Little Pony episode and more of the quality of their main competitors, Disney. Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't looking for animation of say Aladdin quality. Anastasia's animation isn't that good either after all, and that didn't affect my enjoyment. In this case though it really is just like a cheap cartoon which in turn makes me feel like I'm watching something aimed solely at little children rather than an animated movie for all ages (such as Disney movies or indeed Anastasia, which I feel I'm starting to gush about).

The songs are awful. No joke. Again to use Anastasia as a comparison: A's songs aren't the best, but they are more mature I guess. I don't mean lyrically, I mean in sound and indeed in how they are performed. SP's opening song is abysmal. "This isn't my idea of fun" indeed. Using a song for a montage showing time passing is a fine idea, but the song needs to be decent and well..the singers should have decent voices too. The kids singing these parts were awful. For an example of how to do that type of scene right, see Do You Want To Build A Snowman? from Disney's most recent release, Frozen. I would continue but there's only so many ways I can say that the songs suck.

The story. Oh I could accept this story maybe if the animation and music were better. It is one cliché after another, with one boring cardboard cut out character after another. I didn't like either Odette or Derek for various reasons, in Derek's case he's just a class A pillock and I found myself rooting against him. Odette is just boring, no wonder he only liked her for her looks. "What else is there?" is a fair question when you consider who she actually is. A pretty face. Allegedly anyway, she's not the best looking animated character I've ever seen. But I digress. The villain was also stupid and made no sense. He wanted to take over the kingdom but refused to just take it, even though the king was dead and his heir had vanished?! No, he wanted to do it legally by marrying Odette. Stupidest villain I can think of, he didn't deserve the kingdom by that point. At least other villains have decent plans!

All in all, I was so disappointed by this movie. I'm not sure if it is aimed at a wide audience or solely at children, but in my opinion if they were attempting a movie which would appeal to a wide range of age groups, they certainly misfired on this one. I cannot see what this movie has which would appeal to anyone over the age of 8. Disney it most certainly is not. And there I was thinking Disney try-hards couldn't get worse than Thumbelina!

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