Happily NEver After
PG
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +2

Animated comedy from Lionsgate, with the voices of Sigourney Weaver, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Patrick Warburton. Written by Rob Moreland. Directed by Paul Bolgar.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Cinderellas wicked stepmother takes control of the Fairy Tale world, creating havoc for all who dwell there, including the Seven Dwarfs, Little Red Riding Hood, and of course, Cindi. A wizard goes on vacation, leaving his two comic underlings in charge and telling them to maintain a balance of good and evil. But one of his minions is bored with all the happy endings until he learns what can happen when evil takes charge.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Those newly taken with light and sound coming from enormous flat screens will be the ones most enthralled, while older viewers may find the story subversive and the animation lackluster. That said, I didnt find it as dismal as a great many reviews have proclaimed. Because its January, when we critics are used to the studios bringing out all the films that wouldnt qualify for Oscar attention (many call this the dumping ground month), sometimes we are a bit too critical of new releases.

What lessons are incorporated seem confusing and lost in the comic (semi-comic) antics. But it has an interesting twist. Cinderella thinks shes supposed to get the prince, not realizing that the commoner next door is the real hero.

First-time director Paul Bolgar and writer Rob Moreland (1998s Ground Control, which examined the high-pressure world of air traffic controllers) dont do anything outstanding, but they do try to entertain. And with character actors Wallace Shawn and Andy Dick as the inept servants of the wizard, well, there are bound to be at least a few funny moments. Kids at the matinee where I saw this one seemed to enjoy it, getting the biggest kick out of the self-centered (also inept) prince.

I was entertained and generally it takes more than light and sound coming from enormous flat screens to do that.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Lionsgate

Summary
Crude Language: There are a couple of butt jokes and a few slight crudities, but generally the filmmakers steer clear of such material.
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Like all fairy tales, the action has witches and trolls doing dastardly things, but nobody is overtly spooky looking they are more comical than scary; there are several slapstick situations involving violent acts; as always, parents should attend to reassure during moments that might frighten little ones.
Sexual Intercourse: The villainess is drawn very sexily, with low cleavage-revealing garments.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: One suggestive remark.
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Though witches and wizards are featured, along with a magic staff, the filmmakers are not attempting to promote an interest in the dark arts. Its merely a comic take on fairy tales.
Running Time: 87 minutes
Intended Audience: Kids 5 and above

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