The Bottom Line: Sorry, she was a really beautiful swan but I can't recommend the movie
This movie struck me in two ways. First, for the animation and coloring of the movie, it would be very enjoyable for a young audience. However, the story of the movie would be over their heads. In addition, gearing to that younger audience, I thought the movie showed too much violence and evil. More than I would want my 5 & 6 year old granddaughters watching. Of course, their mother allows them to watch movies like The Mummy and the like, but that is her, not me.
The second thing that I noticed is that although everything is visually geared toward the young, the story is actually much more mature. I feel the older viewing audience would quickly get bored with the idea of the movie because it is just too cutesy.
This is a fully animated movie, with voice-overs by humans. The singing voices werent all that good, in fact for the most part they were pretty poor. The voices used, however, matched the character fairly well. I have noticed in other animated shows where the voice just didnt seem to go with the character on the screen.
Being the third, I assume the previous movies also centered around the central characters, Princess Odette and Prince Derek, Queen Mum Uberta, Jean-Bob the frog, Speed the turtle, Puffin the parrot like police bird and Lord Rogers. In this movie we also have Whizzer the strange blue bird that can impersonate any voice after hearing it one time, Zelda the evil witch that was ousted from the castle in the past, and the idea of Rothbart the evil magician. Since Rothbart & Zelda speak of past performances, I assume they were in prior releases of Swan Princess, but I cannot attest to that.
As Rothbart has been banished (perhaps dead was my impression), the kingdom is celebrating their first festival days since the golden light of happiness has ascended over the land. Unfortunately, Zelda has learned that Rothbart has written down his evil magic spells and she wants to get her hands on them so she can evoke the destructive powers they hold. She gets Whizzer as an accomplice, much against his will.
Of course, being the bad Prince he is, Derek has the notes and failed to destroy them. Zelda kidnaps Odette to hold her for ransom for the notes, etc. etc. etc.
This is my point, the movie just becomes very violent and evil at this point. Sure, not according to the standards of the movies like Se7ev or Scream, but for a childs movie, too nasty for me. Zelda often makes harsh threats, uses evil powers, kidnaps, pits one person against the other, and so forth. The word hate and hatred are often used, as well as demonic references.
Overall the movie has a very beautiful look. The people are very fluid and life-like and coloration is just wonderful. Often they will give a birds eye view of the castle and surrounding area and it looks like a nicely painted picture, you can almost see the brush strokes. The colors are very vibrant.
The animal characters are playful and fun with bulging eyes and cute actions. However, even they sometimes take on an ominous tone.
This is a childrens movie. It is about magic castles, beautiful princesses and handsome princes. It is about love. I am sorry they felt it necessary to take it to the standards of an adult movie and fill it with the undertones of violence and corruption.
This was directed by Richard Rich, writing credits to Brian Nissen & Richard Rich. Nissen also played the voice of Prince Derek.
Unfortunately I cannot recommend this movie, even though it is quite pretty.
Animation: outstanding Viewing Audience: geared toward young but too violent
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Susi Dawson (SusiDee34)
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When Odette, the Swan Princess, is captured by the vile sorceress Zelda, Prince Derek vows to get her back at any cost. But the cost may be higher than even he is willing to pay, for Zelda's demand for the Swan Princess' return is the Forbidden Arts--a treasure that would grant the witch unlimited powers and rule over the kingdom! Includes three sing-alongs.