Happily N'Ever After
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Happily N'Ever After is a 2007 American-German computer-animated fantasy family film directed by Paul J. Bolger, produced by John H. Williams, written by Rob Moreland and based on the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. The title is the opposite of a stock phrase, happily ever after; the name is contracted with an apostrophe between the N and the E. The film stars the voices of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Andy Dick, Wallace Shawn, Patrick Warburton, Sigourney Weaver, and George Carlin in his final film appearance. The film premiered on December 16, 2006 and was theatrically released on January 5, 2007 by Lionsgate, and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on May 1, 2007 by Roadshow Entertainment. The film was both a critical and commercial failure, earning $38 million on a $47 million budget. The film has also been described as a rip-off of the Shrek franchise. Despite this, a direct-to-video sequel, Happily N'Ever After 2: Snow White Another Bite @ the Apple, was released on March 24, 2009.
|Happily N'Ever After|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Paul J. Bolger|
|Produced by||John H. Williams|
|Written by||Rob Moreland|
|Based on||The Fairy Tales|
by Brothers Grimm
and Hans Christian Andersen
|Narrated by||Freddie Prinze, Jr.|
|Music by||Paul Buckley|
|Edited by||Ringo Hess|
|Box office||$38 million|
The movie begins with presenting the fairy tale world in where the Wizard (George Carlin) controls all of the fairy tales and maintains the balance of good and evil. 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 and the magic scales in the care of Munk and Mambo.
Ella, better known as Cinderella (Sarah Michelle Gellar), lives as a servant to her step family, and dreams of one day meeting 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. Ella sees Rick only as a friend, but Rick secretly loves Ella, although he is too cool and proud to admit it. Rick takes it upon himself to personally deliver the invitations to the royal ball to Ella. It is revealed that Rick sees the prince as someone without any substance, and really doesn't understand what Ella likes about him. Rick's Three Amigos, the comic chefs (all voiced by Phil Proctor, Rob Paulsen and Tom Kenny) in the palace kitchen, believe that Rick has a bad case of "Prince envy". The Prince does everything according to a literal "Princely Rulebook", 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) yet surviving, Rumpelstiltskin (Michael McShane) winning his bet with the miller's daughter (Jill Talley) and taking her baby, despite not knowing how to take care of it, and the unseen demise of Little Red Riding Hood. She summons an army of Trolls, witches (Tress MacNeille and Jill Talley), three Big Bad Wolves (Jon Polito and Tom Kenny), the Giant (John DiMaggio), and Rumpelstiltskin 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 goes looking for his maiden (not knowing it was actually Ella) in hopes that he will be able to defeat Frieda and save the day.
Together, they flee to the Seven Dwarfs (all played by Tom Kenny and John DiMaggio) home. Witches and trolls led by The Ice Queen attack them. The Seven 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 Ella 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 get nothing. Rick, Munk, and Mambo slip into the castle and attack Frieda. After a short battle, Rick takes a blast meant for Ella and falls into a deep sleep. Frieda then creates a portal by accident. Ella knocks Frieda back, causing her to fall into the portal. With Frieda gone, Rick awakes from the spell, prompting Ella to kiss him joyfully. When Rick asks why she didn't want a prince, Ella says she knew all along she was in love with him, and that he is a prince in her eyes. He soon asks for her hand in marriage.
Cinderella and Rick eventually get married, deciding to choose their own destinies in a world of happy endings. Their wedding is celebrated throughout the kingdom, and later, following their coranation, King Rick and Queen Ella share a kiss under a full moon lit by fireworks, happy to finally be able to spend their lives together. 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 completely oblivious to the events while he was away.
In the final scene, Frieda is shown trapped in the Antarctic surrounded by nosey elephant seals.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Ella, a beautiful scullery maid from the tale "Cinderella" and the protagonist of the film. She was formerly in love with the Prince but later realized that her true love is her friend Rick.
- Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Rick, a stressed out servant who works for the prince and finds him as a grand annoyance. He has a peculiar crush on Ella, enchanted by her beauty but wondering what she sees in the prince at all.
- Andy Dick as Mambo, a rebellious and goofy purple cat-like creature who works for the wizard. Bored with the cycle of good endings, he wishes for things to go differently every once in a while but relents when he see how far out of control things went.
- Wallace Shawn as Munk, an uptight and smart orange pig creature who also works for the wizard. Unlike Mambo, he avoids causing trouble in the fairy tales'. He helps Ella stop Frieda from taking over fairy tale land. Although he and Mambo bicker, they're best friends.
- Patrick Warburton as The Prince, the prince of the Cinderella story. Unlike the original prince, he is somewhat lazy and ignorant, but is determined to find his "maiden", Cinderella. He follows steps in a tiny booklet he carries around. His name is revealed to be Humperdink which is only mentioned in a deleted scene on the DVD release.
- George Carlin as the Wizard, an ancient wizard who watches over the fairy tales of Fairy Tale Land making sure they go by the book and balances scales of good and evil to make sure they go well. He leaves his assistants in charge while he goes on vacation in Scotland.
- Sigourney Weaver as Frieda, Cinderella's power hungry stepmother and the main antagonist. She takes over Fairy Tale Land by breaking the balance of good and evil on the scales and takes the Wizard's staff for more power.
- Michael McShane as Rumpelstiltskin, the titular character from the tale "Rumpelstiltskin". He takes the baby from the miller's daughter after Frieda breaks the balance of good and evil on the scales and assists her.
- John DiMaggio as the Giant, the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk.
- Tom Kenny, Rob Paulsen, and Philip Proctor as amigos.
- John DiMaggio and Tom Kenny as dwarves and trolls.
- Kath Soucie and Jill Talley as stepsisters.
- Kath Soucie as Little Red Riding Hood.
- Tress MacNeille and Jill Talley as witches.
- Tom Kenny and Jon Polito as two out of the three Big Bad Wolves.
- Lisa Kaplan as the fairy godmother
|Happily N'Ever After|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Label||Lionsgate Music and Publishing|
- Hammer's Coming Down - Brooke Lizotte
- Happy Doesn't Have to Have an Ending - They Might Be Giants
- Scotland the Brave - David "Bagpipes" Brooks
- Baby Wants a Diamond Ring - Squirrel Nut Zippers
- Pass the Glok - Kris Dirksen
- Monster Mash - Bobby Pickett (as Bobby (Boris) Pickett) and The Crypt-Kickers
- Disco Inferno - The Trammps
- Bar Sauce - Population Music
- Trainwreck - The Sammies
- No Hill Is Too Steep - Farmer Jason
- Get What I Want - Jaron Lowenstein, Skylar Grey (as Holly Brook), Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher
- Sneaking In - Population Music
- Happy Ending - Aidan Hawken
- No More Rain - Jack Diamond
Rotten Tomatoes reports that 4% of 80 surveyed 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 it so blatantly rips off." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 28 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating “generally unfavorable reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “C" on an A+ to F scale.
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, making it a box office letdown. It made $16,666,054 in DVD sales in the United States.
|Artios Award||Best Animated Voice-Over Feature Casting||Ruth Lambert||Nominated|
A direct-to-video sequel, Happily N'Ever After 2: Snow White Another Bite @ the Apple, was released on March 24, 2009.
- "HAPPILY N'EVER AFTER (2006)". British Film Institute. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
- "Happily N'Ever After Office Data". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
- "Happily N'Ever After" - Los Angeles Premiere
- "Happily N'ever After". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- "Happily N'Ever After reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
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