The Swan Princess (1994)
Seriously, its a longer article and review this time. Trust me.
In the early 1990s, while Disney is still the king of animation, there was a Non-Disney film released at the exact same year as The Lion King (which continues to become the highest grossing 2D animated movie of all time.). Released in November 18, 1994, New Line Cinema produced their first animated feature, The Swan Princess, based on the famous ballet â€œSwan Lakeâ€œ.
It tells the story about a boy named Derek and a girl named Odette who seem to hate each other until a few years while they become young adults, they finally start to fall in love. One day, an evil sorcerer named Rothbart captures Odette and brings her to his castle where he casts a spell on her, transforming her into a swan. He explains that she would turn back into a human when the full moon rises every night. While being accompanied by talking animals, Odette and Derek try to get back together in this amazing animated musical.
I know. We already know the movie's plot before because I have seen it a hundred times as a little kid back at the 90s while other Non 2D animated movies tried to take down Disney. I didn't understand the negative reviews from the critics from RottenTomatoes.com. I seemed to like this movie because it was one of my all-time favorite childhood movies. Here's my opinion to prove it.
I know lots of people hated it as a disney knockoff, but as a fan of 2D and 3D animated cartoon films, I found this movie to be quite memorable.
Animation: Like other Disney movies, the color backgrounds were quite lovely and the animation was very beautiful. It takes a lot of animation artists to create them with concerted effort. Grade: A
Acting: The casting was just great. Howard McGillin and Michelle Nicastro made a great mix of Derek and Odette. Jack Palance (in which some of you know he starred in Tim Burton's Batman) was so great when he played Rothbart. The rest of the actors turned out fine especially John Cleese as the French frog Jean-Bob. Grade: A-
Music and Songs: Before I can make my opinion about the songs, the music score from composer Lex De Azevedo is very good at his beautiful music. The songs â€œThis Is My Ideaâ€, â€œPractice, Practice, Practiceâ€, â€œFar Longer Than Foreverâ€, â€œNo Fearâ€, â€œNo More Mr. Nice Guyâ€œ, â€œPrincesses On Paradeâ€ and the ending credits songs were so catchy that I could dance to them all day long. Keep up the good work, Lex. Grade: A+
Characters: Derek is kind of an idiot, but is somehow very likeable when he had romantic feelings for Odette. Odette, by the way is a very lovely princess and I liked her swan form as well. The rest of the characters were likeable as well. Of course. I almost forgot. Every animated movie has animals as sidekicks. Jean-Bob, being voiced by John Cleese, was in no doubt very hilarious and I like his French accent. Speed the turtle was so funny. Puffin was a very likeable bird with a great Irish accent. Wow. Two talking animals with different accents. That's very amusing. Thumbs up. Grade: A+
Storyline: Let's just that the storyline was the only thing that I liked about this movie. It just follows the same storyline apparently from the ballet with new subplots and some new characters. Yeah we all know that, right? and that's it. that's all I'm gonna say about the storyline. Grade: A-
If you are a hardcore fan of Disney, go ahead and dislike this movie. To me, I like Disney and all of the other companies who made their own animated cartoons. Don't get me wrong. I know some people hated Non-2D cartoon films for ripping the musical formula that Disney always has in every single animated features. Lots of animated movies may be bad, but to me, this movie is not one of them.
I would recommend The Swan Princess to fans of the ballet and the book at the same time and it's just what they need to cherish it for generations. If you hate it, go ahead and watch some Disney movies. That's fine.
Long story short, The Swan Princess is a very likeable movie from New Line Cinema and its in no doubt my childhood favorite.
Rating: 5/5 stars