Happily N'Ever After
Happily N'Ever After is a 2006 American-German computer-animated family comedy film directed by Paul J. Bolger, produced by John H. Williams, and written by Rob Moreland. It is 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, 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 panned by critics and audiences and was a box office disappointment, grossing $38 million worldwide on a production budget of $47 million. 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
|Music by||Paul Buckley|
|Edited by||Ringo Hess|
|Box office||$38 million|
The story begins with the idea that the Wizard 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 and the goofy Mambo, 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. She lives as a servant to her stepfamily and often dreams of the Prince who will sweep her off her feet. Her best friend at the palace is Rick, 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 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 yet surviving, Rumpelstiltskin winning his bet with the miller's daughter and taking her baby, and the unseen demise of Little Red Riding Hood. She summons an army of trolls, witches, three Big Bad Wolves, 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 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 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 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 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.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Ella, a beautiful girl and the 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 dreams of marrying Ella, enchanted by her beauty but wonders 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 sees how far out of control things went.
- Wallace Shawn as Munk, an uptight and smart orange pig 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
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 4% based on reviews from 80 critics. The site's 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 $30.1 million on a $47 million budget, making it a box-office failure. By August 2010, the movie has grossed $38.1 million worldwide. It made $16.7 million in DVD sales in the United States.
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". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- "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.
- Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (3rd ed.). New York: Checkmark Books. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-8160-6600-1.
- "Celebrity Circuit". CBS News. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- "Happily N'ever After". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
- "Happily N'Ever After reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
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