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Once Upon a Mattress (2005)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  18 December 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 965 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 9 critic

In this hilarious tweaking of the fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea", Queen Aggravain has ruled that none may marry until her son, Prince Dauntless marries. However, she has managed to ... See full summary »



(musical) (as Marshall Louis Barer) , (musical), 3 more credits »
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Title: Once Upon a Mattress (TV Movie 2005)

Once Upon a Mattress (TV Movie 2005) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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The musical story of THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA, adapted from the 1959 Broadway hit, and featuring most of the original Broadway cast.

Directors: Joe Layton, Dave Geisel
Stars: Carol Burnett, Jane White, Jack Gilford


Credited cast:
Brittany Gray ...
Princess #12
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Scott Augustine ...
Dancing Knight
Linda Bernath ...
Jordan Cable ...
Dancing Knight
Stephenos Christou ...
Dancing Knight


In this hilarious tweaking of the fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea", Queen Aggravain has ruled that none may marry until her son, Prince Dauntless marries. However, she has managed to sabotage every princess that come along. When Sir Harry and Lady Larken learn that they are going to be parents, wed or not, he goes off to the swamps and brings back Princess Winnifred ("Fred" to her friends). The queen is horrified and immediately begins to scheme, but Winnifred, with some help from Sir Harry, the King, and the Jester, isn't going to be quite so easy to get rid of. Written by Brad Pardee

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

princess | queen | prince | king | singing | See All (17) »


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 December 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

C'era una volta una principessa  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Carol Burnett, who plays Queen Agravain in this version, played Princess Winifred in the original Off-Broadway production in 1959, which later moved to Broadway, and then to TV as Once Upon a Mattress (1964). Burnett recreated the role in Once Upon a Mattress (1972). See more »


During the Happily Ever After number, Princess Fred gets up on the table and kicks off the books stacked there but when we look down a few seconds later the stack she just kicked off on the right side of the table as we face it has returned. See more »


Queen Aggravain: Goodbye, good luck, get out.
See more »


Version of The Princess and the Pea (2002) See more »


Music by Mary Rodgers
Lyrics by Marshall Barer
Sung by Denis O'Hare, mimed by Tom Smothers
See more »

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User Reviews

generally fun, with reservations
5 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I barely remember the 1972 television version of this, so it's probably unfair to say that one was better. But my impression is it was better, simply because Burnette played Winnifred. This is not to say Tracey Ullman was bad. Ullman is tremendously talented and she does a good job, but she was too restrained in the part. Burnette perfectly captured the world's least appropriate princess, but Ullman actually comes across as fairly sweet and gentle, at most mildly eccentric and occasionally slightly loud. It doesn't help that Burnette cannot completely contain her inherent wackiness; the play feels as though it should be a contrast between a cold, imperious queen and a wild, tomboyish princess, but the distance between Ullman and Burnette doesn't seem that great.

Still, it's a fun musical with many amusing moments and a good cast. And who knows, maybe if I saw that 1972 version I'd say, this isn't nearly as good as I remember.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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