The 10th Kingdom

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The 10th Kingdom
10th Kingdom DVD.jpg
DVD cover for The 10th Kingdom
Directed byDavid Carson
Herbert Wise
Produced byRobert Halmi Sr.
Robert Halmi Jr.
Written bySimon Moore
StarringKimberly Williams
Scott Cohen
Ed O'Neill
John Larroquette
Daniel Lapaine
Dianne Wiest
Ann-Margret
Music byAnne Dudley
CinematographyChris Howard
Lawrence Jones
Edited byAndrew McClelland
Chris Wimble
Distributed byHallmark Entertainment
Release date(s)February 27, 2000 (2000-02-27)
Running time417 minutes (466 minutes extended version)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$44,000,000
 
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The 10th Kingdom
10th Kingdom DVD.jpg
DVD cover for The 10th Kingdom
Directed byDavid Carson
Herbert Wise
Produced byRobert Halmi Sr.
Robert Halmi Jr.
Written bySimon Moore
StarringKimberly Williams
Scott Cohen
Ed O'Neill
John Larroquette
Daniel Lapaine
Dianne Wiest
Ann-Margret
Music byAnne Dudley
CinematographyChris Howard
Lawrence Jones
Edited byAndrew McClelland
Chris Wimble
Distributed byHallmark Entertainment
Release date(s)February 27, 2000 (2000-02-27)
Running time417 minutes (466 minutes extended version)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$44,000,000

The 10th Kingdom is an American fairytale fantasy miniseries written by Simon Moore and produced by Britain's Carnival Films, Germany's Babelsberg Film und Fernsehen, and the USA's Hallmark Entertainment. It depicts the adventures of a young woman and her father after they are transported from Manhattan, New York, through a magical mirror into a parallel world of fairy tales and magical beings.

The miniseries was initially broadcast over five nights in two-hour episodes on NBC, beginning February 27, 2000. It won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design in 2000.

Plot[edit]

In a hidden realm, fairy tale characters inhabit nine magical kingdoms where an Evil Queen plots to rule them. She is trapped in the Fourth Kingdom Prison under the rule of Prince Wendell; the spoiled, arrogant grandson of Snow White. Weeks before his coronation ceremony, the Queen enlists the help of the brutal Troll King and his three children to release her before the Prince makes his annual visit to the prison.

Prince Wendell is captured by the Evil Queen, who is his wicked stepmother and turns him into a Golden Retriever while her very own Retriever is transformed into Wendell. In panic, the transformed Prince flees the Prison and stumbles across a traveling mirror and is transported to New York City. The Troll King orders his bumbling children Burly, Blabberwort and Bluebell to bring back the escaped Prince while the Queen releases a half-wolf prisoner (who is simply called Wolf) to retrieve him instead.

Meanwhile regular Manhattan inhabitants, headstrong waitress Virginia Lewis and her oafish father Tony encounter the mishaps caused by the new magical arrivals to the city; including Wolf falling helplessly in love with Virginia and Tony being given six wishes (which he foolishly uses for personal gain). Prince is able to communicate with Tony by use of his last wish and urges them to travel back to The Nine Kingdoms with him to break the spell. Tony, feeling responsible for Prince, reluctantly accepts and Virginia and Tony are taken back to the realm through the magic mirror.

At first, Tony and Virginia are desperate to get home with the magic mirror being taken from place to place around the Kingdoms. The group travel the lands in pursuit of the mirror, facing many dangers and challenges in the process. During their journey, Wolf questions his loyalty to the Queen in order to gain favour with the stubborn Virginia and quickly sides with them. This act prompts the Queen to send her relentless and cold-blooded Huntsman to capture the Prince along with Virginia and Tony.

Virginia eventually meets the ghost of Snow White, who reveals she is destined to save the Nine Kingdoms. Tony also recognizes the Queen as his long lost wife and Virginia’s mother. They travel to the castle to stop the her, but Wolf seems to have betrayed Tony and Virginia. The Queen has her imposter Prince Wendell crowned king and then tries to poison all the monarchs who attend the ceremony.

Luckily, Wolf switches the poison for a sleeping potion and everyone escapes unharmed. Virginia must kill the Evil Queen in self-defense, which pains her greatly. The real Prince Wendell turns back into a human and takes the throne. Grateful to Tony for all his help, Prince Wendell offers him a job at the palace and Tony accepts. Virginia returns Wolf’s love and they travel to New York City as a couple and expectant parents.

Characters[edit]

Production[edit]

Simon Moore, writer of the screenplay, wondered about what happened after the Happily Ever After of old fairytales. His vision became The 10th Kingdom.

According to The New York Times "There are humorous allusions to familiar characters like the Seven Dwarfs and Rapunzel throughout the 10 hours and appearances by updated versions of Snow White (Camryn Manheim) and Cinderella (Ann-Margret)." Executive producer Robert Halmi Sr. explains, "'We wanted to take the flip side of these well-known characters...For instance, our Cinderella is now 200 years old. And Camryn took her part because she loved the idea that Snow White was now overweight.'"[4] Camryn Manheim elaborates, "Well, I've been playing her in my bedroom for many years now, so I was ready for her. But it was wonderful, I grew up reading about Snow White and fantasizing about being the fairest of them all, and there I was...My manager told me that NBC had offered me the role of Snow White and I said, 'I'll take it.' I didn't read it ... and I agreed to do it even before reading the script because I was so thrilled that they were moving away from the conventional Snow White....I am playing Snow White, and we've come very far from that image when I grew up and we're getting all kinds of images of beauty...So it was really thrilling to get in that tight corset and be able to accentuate my assets, no pun intended and, yes, it was a throwback to my finer days."[5]

The Times reported that Virginia Lewis's portrayer, Kimberly Williams, "prefers to work in film and theatre rather than television. "Because TV happens so fast, I feel a sense of panic," she explains. Yet, despite the misgivings, she could not resist the offer to star in The 10th Kingdom alongside Dianne Wiest, Jimmy Nail and Rutger Hauer. "Simon has woven together all the old fairytales and updated them, exploring what happened after Happily Ever After," explains Williams, whose character Virginia is a New York waitress thrust into a parallel world inhabited by trolls, talking dogs and evil stepmothers.".

Broadcast and reception[edit]

The miniseries was initially broadcast as five 2-hour episodes on NBC, beginning February 27, 2000. The 10th Kingdom won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design in 2000.

Seattle Post Intelligencer critic John Levesque found Kimberly Williams "annoying yet somehow captivating as Virginia."[6] Ron Wertheimer describes Virginia as "that plucky waitress...on her way to self-confidence."[2]

Variety's Laura Fries asserts that "Kimberly Williams is doe-eyed and pretty and is heavily featured throughout, but 10 hours is a lot for this star to carry on her shoulders."[7] Christopher Null felt that "Larroquette [was] an unfortunate casting choice. 30 minutes of Night Court has always been my limit on the guy. 417 minutes is too much of his abrasive attitude to handle."[8]

Merchandise[edit]

During the original airing of The 10th Kingdom there was a toll-free number displayed so that one could order a set of the novelization, the CD soundtrack, and the entire miniseries on three VHS tapes. In May 2000, The 10th Kingdom was released by Hallmark Entertainment and Artisan Entertainment (now Lions Gate Entertainment) on VHS as both a two tape set and as an Extended Play single tape edition. Approximately two hours of the miniseries was cut out to make it fit on two tapes. None of the footage dealt with major plot elements, but the sheer amount removed resulted in a significantly different viewing experience. The miniseries was later released as aired on a three disc DVD set in October 2000. A two disc set followed in May 2002, which utilized one double sided disc and one single sided disc and included the special feature "The 10th Kingdom: The Making of an Epic", hosted by John Larroquette. The complete 5 episode series is available for instant streaming on Netflix as of the 3rd week of August 2012. This is the first time the series has been presented in individual episode format since the initial broadcast on NBC. On March 19 The Tenth Kingdom is being released on Amazon with a runtime of 447 minutes.[9] On March 19, 2013, after several years of unavailability, Mill Creek Entertainment reissued the complete miniseries on 3 DVDs, retaining the making-of featurette and presents the miniseries as five separate parts.

The novelization, released in February 2000 by Hallmark-Kensington Books, was written by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith under the name Kathryn Wesley. The novel was based on an early version of the script; however, only a few differences exist between the novel and the film, with most being slight changes in conversations and other minor details. For a number of years it was available in a package with the VHS release of the movie and the soundtrack, but it is now out of print.

Varèse Sarabande released a soundtrack album on compact disc, featuring the score by Anne Dudley and the Miriam Stockley cover version of "Wishing on a Star" heard over the opening title and end credits of each episode.

  1. The Four Who Saved the Nine Kingdoms (2:40)
  2. Standing on the Edge of Greatness (1:50)
  3. Six Glorious Wishes (2:03)
  4. Addicted to Magic (2:43)
  5. The House of White (2:44)
  6. Troll Trouble (3:45)
  7. Flowers Only Grow Where There Are Seeds (2:18)
  8. The Dwarves of Magic Mountain (2:32)
  9. Nothing Escapes the Huntsman (2:26)
  10. A Stepmother's Curse (3:04)
  11. The Dog Formerly Known as Prince (1:56)
  12. Blood on the Snow (1:28)
  13. Trolls in New York (1:25)
  14. A Travelling Mirror (1:59)
  15. Kissing Town (2:16)
  16. A Gypsy Incantation (2:21)
  17. These Are Dark Days (3:14)
  18. Seven Years Bad Luck (2:32)
  19. The Days of Happy Ever After Are Gone (2:13)
  20. When the Wild Moon Calls You (2:34)
  21. Still Lost in the Forest (2:57)
  22. Do Not Think, Become (2:19)
  23. Wishing on a Star - Miriam Stockley (1:23)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Melissa Perenson, "The 10th Kingdom: What happens after happily-ever-after?", SciFi.com.
  2. ^ a b Ron Wertheimer, "A Fairy Tale For Adults (Watch for Snow White)", The New York Times Television Reviews 2000: The New York Times (New York: Routledge, 2001), 98.
  3. ^ Simon Moore, The 10th Kingdom, DVD, directed by David Carson and Herbert Wise, New York: Hallmark Entertainment, 2000. See the special features section on Tony for Christine's maiden name.
  4. ^ CRAIG TOMASHOFF, "COVER STORY; Through a Very Different Looking Glass", The New York Times (February 27, 2000).
  5. ^ As quoted in PAT ST.GERMAIN, "Camryn relishes NBC Snow job", JAM! (January 11, 2000).
  6. ^ John Levesque, "'10th Kingdom' isn't perfect, but it is creative", Seattle Post Intelligencer (February 24, 2000).
  7. ^ LAURA FRIES, "The 10th Kingdom Review", Variety (Feb. 21, 2000).
  8. ^ Christopher Null, "Review of The 10th Kingdom", Filmcritic.com (2001).
  9. ^ http://www.amazon.com/10th-Kingdom-Epic-Miniseries-Event/dp/B00B04NIZO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362254529&sr=8-1&keywords=the+tenth+kingdom

External links[edit]