ⓘ Happily NEver After
Happily NEver After is a 2006 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 earned million on a million budget. A direct-to-video sequel, Happily NEver After 2: Snow White Another Bite the Apple, was released on March 24, 2009.
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 decidedly 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 step family, 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 cant really understand what Ella likes about the Prince. Ricks 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 dont go as planned at the ball. Thanks to the assistants, Ellas evil stepmother, Frieda gains access to the Wizards lair during the Princes 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 millers 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 throughout the movie that he has come to care for the baby and the millers daughter lets him stay in the castle as the babys nanny. The Wizard returns from vacation where he wasnt told about what happened while he was away.
In the final scene, Frieda is shown trapped in the Arctic surrounded by elephant seals.
- Tom Kenny, Rob Paulsen, and Philip Proctor as amigos.
- Kath Soucie and Jill Talley as stepsisters.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lisa Kaplan as the fairy godmother
- Kath Soucie as Little Red Riding Hood.
- 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.
- 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.
- Tress MacNeille and Jill Talley as witches.
- 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.
- Michael McShane as Rumpelstiltskin, the titular character from the tale "Rumpelstiltskin". He takes the baby from the millers daughter after Frieda breaks the balance of good and evil on the scales and assists her.
- John DiMaggio and Tom Kenny as dwarves and trolls.
- Sigourney Weaver as Frieda, Cinderellas 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 Wizards staff for more power.
- John DiMaggio as the Giant, the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk.
- 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, theyre best friends.
- Tom Kenny and Jon Polito as two out of the three Big Bad Wolves.
- Happy Ending - Aidan Hawken
- No More Rain - Jack Diamond
- Bar Sauce - Population Music
- Baby Wants a Diamond Ring - Squirrel Nut Zippers
- Happy Doesnt Have to Have an Ending - They Might Be Giants
- Disco Inferno - The Trammps
- Trainwreck - The Sammies
- Sneaking In - Population Music
- Pass the Glok - Kris Dirksen
- Monster Mash - Bobby Pickett as Bobby Boris Pickett) and The Crypt-Kickers
- Scotland the Brave - David "Bagpipes" Brooks
- No Hill Is Too Steep - Farmer Jason
- Hammers Coming Down - Brooke Lizotte
- Get What I Want - Jaron Lowenstein, Skylar Grey as Holly Brook, Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher
4.1. Reception Critical reception
Rotten Tomatoes reports that 4% of 80 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review. The critical consensus is: Happily NEver 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.
4.2. Reception Box office
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. By August 2010, the movie has grossed $38.1 million worldwide. It made $16.7 million in DVD sales in the United States.
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