A power-hungry sorcerer curses a princess to live as a swan by day in this tale of everlasting love.A power-hungry sorcerer curses a princess to live as a swan by day in this tale of everlasting love.A power-hungry sorcerer curses a princess to live as a swan by day in this tale of everlasting love.
Our main characters, Derek and Odette, are set to spent every summer together from their childhood up to their young adulthood and that is not easy, because they despise each other! How they tease each other during a montage accompagnied by the wonderful song "This is my Idea" is really entertaining, and honestly not that far from reality, because this is how many kids act in their childhood. It was spot on and arguably the strongest part of the movie.
But to be honest, the fact that Derek is so bad at expressing his feelings to Odette is kind of a letdown after all those years' setting up of their romance. Now he must prove his love for Odette while the villainous Rothbart has abducted her and tries to force her to marry him instead so he can get to the throne initially not using destructive methods. Quite original use of the evil power hungry sorcerer villain, actually. Despicably trying legal methods to get to his goal.
Therefore he turns her into a swan and asks her every night to marry him if she wants to become fully human again, but she only wants her true love, Derek. Jack Palance's performance as Rothbart is creepy. He talks to Odette the same way a narcissist would talk and he really enjoys seeing her cry. But Odette stands up to him and with her wonderful animal friends try to escape his grip when he is not around.
And with that conflict set up we get all sorts of things you'd expect from this kind of fairy tale.
Like briefly stated in the beginning of my review, I think I like it so much, because it is so down to the basics of what I know as a fairy tale with princes and princesses, magic and of course a happy ending where good triumphs over evil. And despite the rather rushed romance, the tale of ever lasting love just speaks to my sentimental side. It's sweet, and I just can't help feeling it every time. The music is well composed and the songs are effective in conveying whatever emotion they resemble and move the story forward. And the end is perfect, gets me every time!
And no matter which side you're on, it must be addressed that The Swan Princess, despite its flaws, has earned its place in animation history as the last theatrically released Western animated movie to not use any aid of computers. After the invention of the CAPS system to digitally colour the drawings and the release of Disney's The Rescuers Down Under it has been standard procedure using that method sadly making ink and paint hopelessly ineffecient and a thing of the past seen from a business standpoint.
So to sum up, The Swan Princess is an enjoyable casual fairy tale for kids with animation as traditional as its premise reminding us of the good old times of hand-drawn Disney spiced up with good songs, entertaining characters and a creepy villain. In my opinion it should have been a stand-alone movie, because Richard Rich and co. has ruined it with unwanted forced garbage CGI sequels with stupid plots, impossible settings, awful songs and obnoxious characters. Stick with this one and preserve the real magic.
- Jun 2, 2018