Happily N'Ever After

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Happily N'Ever After
Happilyneverafter1 large.gif
Promotional poster
Directed byYvett Kaplan
Paul J. Bolger
Produced byJohn H. Williams
Written byRob Moreland
Douglas Langdale
StarringSarah Michelle Gellar
Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Andy Dick
Wallace Shawn
Patrick Warburton
George Carlin
Sigourney Weaver
Mike McShane
StudioBAF Berlin Animation Film
BFC Berliner Film Companie
Odyssey Entertainment
Vanguard Films
Vanguard Animation
Distributed byLionsgate
Release dates
  • January 5, 2007 (2007-01-05) (United States)
Running time86 minutes
CountryGermany
United States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$47 million[1]
Box office$38,085,778
 
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Happily N'Ever After
Happilyneverafter1 large.gif
Promotional poster
Directed byYvett Kaplan
Paul J. Bolger
Produced byJohn H. Williams
Written byRob Moreland
Douglas Langdale
StarringSarah Michelle Gellar
Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Andy Dick
Wallace Shawn
Patrick Warburton
George Carlin
Sigourney Weaver
Mike McShane
StudioBAF Berlin Animation Film
BFC Berliner Film Companie
Odyssey Entertainment
Vanguard Films
Vanguard Animation
Distributed byLionsgate
Release dates
  • January 5, 2007 (2007-01-05) (United States)
Running time86 minutes
CountryGermany
United States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$47 million[1]
Box office$38,085,778

Happily N'Ever After is a 2007 computer-animated fantasy film based on the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. It is a Vanguard Animation production, released by Lions Gate Films. The title is the opposite of happily ever after.

The film stars the voices of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Andy Dick, Wallace Shawn, Patrick Warburton, George Carlin, and Sigourney Weaver. It proved to be Carlin's final film role before his death the following year, excluding his 2008 HBO special It's Bad For Ya.

A direct-to-video sequel, Happily N'Ever After 2: Snow White Another Bite @ the Apple was released on March 24, 2009.

Plot[edit]

The story begins with the idea that the Wizard (George Carlin) controls all of the fairy tales and maintains the balance of good and evil in Fairy Tale Land. With the help of his assistants the uptight Munk (Wallace Shawn) and the decidedly goofy Mambo (Andy Dick), the Wizard is checking to make sure that all the fairy tales under his care are "on track" to have their traditional happy endings. As we meet him however, the Wizard is leaving for Scotland for a long-overdue vacation. He leaves the kingdom in the hands of Munk and Mambo.

Ella is a girl who is better known as Cinderella (Sarah Michelle Gellar). She lives as a servant to her step family, dreams of the Prince (Patrick Warburton) who will sweep her off her feet. Her best friend at the palace is Rick (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), the palace dishwasher. Rick takes it upon himself to deliver the invitations to the royal ball to Ella. Ella sees Rick only as a friend, but Rick secretly loves Ella, although he is too cool and proud to admit it. Rick can't really understand what Ella likes about the Prince. Rick's Three Amigos, the comic chefs in the palace kitchen, believe that Rick has a bad case of "Prince envy". The Prince does everything by the book, and plans to meet his maiden at the ball.

However, things don't go as planned at the ball. Thanks to the assistants, Ella's evil stepmother, Frieda (Sigourney Weaver), gains access to the Wizard's lair during the Prince's ball. She manages to chase off Munk and Mambo and tip the scales of good and evil, causing a series of fairy tales to go wrong and have unhappy endings including Jack getting stepped on by the Giant (John DiMaggio), Little Red Riding Hood being eaten by the Big Bad Wolf, and Rumpelstiltskin (Mike McShane) winning his bet with the miller's daughter and takes her baby. She summons an army of Trolls, witches, 3 Big Bad Wolves, the Giant, and Rumpelstilkskin to her castle. Ella finds out and escapes to the woods, where she meets Munk and Mambo. The trio set out to find the prince who has gone looking for his maiden (not knowing it was actually Ella), in hopes that he will defeat Frieda and save the day.

Together, they flee to the Seven Dwarfs' home. Witches and trolls led by The Ice Queen attack them. The dwarfs hold off the trolls, while they flee with the help of Rick who had stolen a flying broom. Frieda decides to go after Ella herself. She succeeds in capturing her and returns to the palace, with Rick, Munk and Mambo in pursuit. Frieda tortures Ella because if the story had run its course she would have married the prince while Frieda would never get anywhere in life. Rick, Munk, and Mambo slip into the castle and attack Frieda. During the fight, Frieda generates a pit in the floor. Mambo knocks her in, but she uses her staff to fly back up again. After a short battle, in which Rick takes a blast meant for Ella and falls into a deep sleep, Frieda creates a portal by accident. Ella knocks Frieda back and punches her into the portal. Rick awakes from the spell and he and Ella kiss, finally admitting their feelings for each other.

Ella and her true love Rick decide to choose their destinies in a world of happy endings and get married. Rumpelstiltskin has shown throughout the movie that he has come to care for the baby, and the miller's daughter lets him stay in the castle as the baby's nanny. The Wizard returns from vacation where he wasn't told about what happened while he was away.

In the final scene, Frieda is shown trapped in the Arctic surrounded by elephant seals.

Cast[edit]

Amigos voiced by Tom Kenny, Rob Paulsen, Philip Proctor

Dwarves voiced by John DiMaggio, Tom Kenny

Stepsisters voiced by Kath Soucie, Jill Talley

Witches voiced by Tress MacNeille, Jill Talley

Two out of the three Wolves are voiced by Tom Kenny and Jon Polito

Additional voices by Lee Arenberg, John Cygan, Robert Bergen, Jennifer Darling, Debi Derryberry, Patti Deutsch, Shae D'Lyn, Andrew Dolan, Bill Farmer, Jack Fletcher, Roger L. Jackson, Sherry Lynn, Mickie McGowan, Natalie Nassar, Laraine Newman, Jan Rabson, Kevin Michael Richardson, Jim Ward, and April Winchell

Production[edit]

The film was originally a traditionally animated feature, but after the growing success of computer animated features, the idea was scrapped. Some rough animation had already been completed by the time the project switched over to the new animation format.

The head of the visual effects was Chris Spry who is CG Supervisor at The LaB Sydney, which made the visual effects for the film.

Box office and DVD sales[edit]

The film opened #6 behind Dreamgirls, Freedom Writers, Children of Men, The Pursuit of Happyness, and Night at the Museum, which was at its third week at the #1 position. The film made $6,608,244 during its opening weekend.

The film made a total of $15,589,393 at the US box office and $15,300,096 foreign, grossing a worldwide total of only $30,889,489, on a $47 million budget. By August 2010, the movie has grossed $38,085,778 worldwide, almost recovering the film's budget.[1]

It made $16,666,054 in DVD sales in the United States.[1]

Reception[edit]

The film received negative reviews by critics, criticizing the animation and mostly the similarities to Shrek (despite having the same producer of the film). Rotten Tomatoes reports that only 4% of critics gave the film a positive review. The critical consensus is: "Happily N'Ever After has none of the moxy, edge or postmodern wit of the other fairy-tales-gone-haywire CG movie so it blatantly rips off."[2] The website ranked the film 38th in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Happily N'Ever After Office Data". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Happily N'ever After". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 27, 2012. 

External links[edit]