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|Happily N'Ever After|
|Directed by|| Yvett Kaplan|
Paul J. Bolger
|Produced by||John H. Williams|
|Written by|| Rob Moreland|
|Starring|| Sarah Michelle Gellar|
Freddie Prinze, Jr.
and Sigourney Weaver
|Distributed by|| Lionsgate Films|
|Release date(s)||January 5, 2007|
|Running time||86 minutes|
|Followed by||Happily N'Ever After 2: Snow White Another Bite @ the Apple|
Happily N'Ever After is a 2007 computer-animated film based on the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. It is a Vanguard Animation production, released by Lionsgate Films on January 5, 2007. The title is the opposite of happily ever after.
The film stars 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. The film received negative reviews due to its poor animation, poor script, lack of humor and general lack of creativity and plot development. It was considered to be a box office bomb and is often regarded by critics as one of the worst animated films of all time.
A direct-to-video sequel, Happily N'Ever After 2: Snow White Another Bite @ the Apple was released on March 24, 2009.
As the story begins, we are introduced to 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 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 his two assistants, the uptight Munk (Wallace Shawn) and the decidedly goofy Mambo (Andy Dick).
The beautiful Ella (better known as Cinderella) (Sarah Michelle Gellar) starts out a damsel in distress, dreaming 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 visits Rick in the palace kitchen to borrow items she needs to complete her chores and to share her hopes of dancing with "him" (the Prince) tonight. 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. He wants it all to be perfect: perfect hair, perfect shirt, perfect everything (he even put on perfect underwear). He plans to meet his Damsel at the ball.
However, things don't go as planned at the ball. Thanks to the assistants, Ella's evil stepmother, a drop dead gorgeous woman with an hour glass figure named Frieda (Sigourney Weaver), gains access to the Wizard's lair during the Prince's ball. While the wizard is away, the wicked stepmother will play. Frieda 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 comically unhappy endings (including one where Rumplestiltskin (Michael McShane) wins his bet with the queen and takes her baby). As for Ella, Frieda can't stand her hope and goodness. Frieda's goal is to put the "cinder" back in Cinderella. That night, she calls an army of trolls, witches, big bad wolves, and giants to her castle. Ella finds out and escapes to the woods, where she meets Munk and Mambo.
Together, they flee to the Seven Dwarfs' home. Witches and trolls, led by The Ice Queen, attack them. Rick flies up on a broom, having stolen it from Frieda. The dwarfs hold off the trolls, while Rick, Mambo, Munk, and Ella escape. The Ice Queen is shot down during an attempt to capture them. Frieda discovers the failure and goes after Ella herself. She succeeds in capturing her and Rick, Munk, and Mambo follow her. Ella, meanwhile, is being tortured by Frieda in the palace throne room. Rick, Munk, and Mambo slip into Frieda's castle and attack Frieda. During the fight, Frieda generates a pit of flame in the floor. Mambo knocks her in, and everything returns to normal. But the voluptuous villainess had one final trick to play. While plummeting through the magma, she uses her staff to fly back up again. After a short battle, Frieda creates a portal by accident. Ella knocks Frieda back, so that part of her is in the portal, she then finishes her off by punching her and knocking Frieda into the portal.
Set against a backdrop of fractured fairy tales spinning wildly out of control, Ella and her true love Rick ultimately must choose their destinies in a world of happy endings and get married. Rumplestiltskin has shown throughout the movie that he has come to care for the baby, and the queen lets him stay in the castle as the baby's nanny, "Uncle Rumpy." Later, Frieda is shown trapped in the Arctic surrounded by elephant seals.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Ella
- Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Rick
- Andy Dick as Mambo
- Wallace Shawn as Munk
- Patrick Warburton as Prince Humperdink
- George Carlin as the Wizard
- Sigourney Weaver as Frieda
- Michael McShane as Rumpelstiltskin
- Amigos: Tom Kenny, Rob Paulsen, Philip Proctor
- Dwarves: John DiMaggio, Tom Kenny
- Stepsisters: Kath Soucie, Jill Talley
- Witches: Tress MacNeille, Jill Talley
- Wolves: Tom Kenny, Jon Polito
- Additional Voices by Lee Arenberg, John Cygan, 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, April Winchell
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.
Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film 38th in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s, with a rating of 4%.
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, well below the initial budget cost, making it a box office bomb.
However, it proved to be a very lucrative seller on DVD, explaining the "Happily N'Ever After 2" released in March 2009 by Lions Gate.
See also Edit
- Happily N'Ever After Official Website
- Happily N'Ever After at Keyframe - the Animation Resource
- Happily N'Ever After at the Internet Movie Database
- Happily N'Ever After at All Movie Guide
- Happily N'Ever After at Rotten Tomatoes
- Berlin Animation Film
- CelebrityWonder.com - Happily N'Ever After Trailers And Reviews
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