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Overall Rating

Awesome: 2.86%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 25.71%
Pretty Bad: 2.86%
Total Crap68.57%

4 reviews, 11 user ratings

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Happily N'Ever After
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by brianorndorf

1 stars

If the one-two punch of "Code Name: The Cleaner" and the lukewarm "Freedom Writers" didn't set an ominous enough note for the 2007 moviegoing season, "Happily N'Ever After" swoops in to make you feel the hurt even more. A GC-animated rip-off of "Shrek," this German-born production is a severe test of patience, and I weep for the parents forced into viewing this junk with their kids.

Did you enjoy "Shrek?" Or last year's sleeper hit "Hoodwinked?" Well, "Happily N'Ever After" is a GC-animated release that's counting on that fandom. You could pass this picture off as faint homage, or even threadbare acknowledgment, but let's get serious: this is grand theft movie on a very uncomfortable and tedious scale. 2007 is barely three winks old, and we're kicking off the newborn year with this? It's going be a long, cold winter at the multiplexes.

"N'Ever" started life as a German animated riff on fairy tales; another jog around the irreverence track that "Fractured Fairy Tales" made cool and "Shrek" made magnificently profitable. Outside of the "N'Ever-ending" opening titles that list the endless companies that paid for this beast, there's one great clue that the picture was not born in Hollywood: the heaving bosoms. Only the Germans would bestow such careful, pillowy attention to the bustline of the wicked stepmother and the flying witches. It's enough to make Russ Meyer's corpse make involuntary gripping motions with his hands.

The rest of "N'Ever" isn't nearly as interesting. It's a harmless enough diversion for toddlers, but the sheer lack of any invention or wit is brutal to behold. It's a cheap, ugly production with animation on a level with the PS2's most mediocre cinema scenes, and padded ridiculously with nondescript "adventure" and "comedy" that puts the audience right to sleep. The only reason this was spared the cruel death of the direct-to-video market was because there's still gold in the "Shrek" hills, and Lionsgate wants their slice of the pie.

We have gags about Rapunzel's long hair, Sleeping Beauty's deep slumber, a dim-witted Prince Charming, and a union of evil fairy tale creatures irritated they never get their due. You've been here before, trust me. What truly fries the senses is the voice talent. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Sigourney Weaver (who actually seems to be enjoying herself as the aforementioned busty stepmother) show up to add their B-list spark and poor lip-synch to the film, while tired, unfunny hacks like Andy Dick, Wallace Shawn, and Patrick Warburton punch the clock in the comedy department. At this point, I'm ready to start a petition to keep Warburton out of any and all animated releases. Seriously, enough is enough.

It seems so impossibly strange to me that Lionsgate would allow "N'ever" to be shown to the press before release day, while they furiously scramble to hide their horror line-up and Tyler Perry films year after year. Clearly, someone at the studio must've been inhaling the eggnog this holiday season to allow this nonsense to be viewed early.

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originally posted: 01/07/07 17:31:59
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User Comments

4/03/08 David Cohen Even my kids recognized it as a cheap knock-off, bad sign 2 stars
8/09/07 tina funny & cute, in a way. i liked it, but the story could be much better. 3 stars
8/01/07 Paola I loved it 5 stars
6/29/07 Charles Tatum Astonishingly awful; kids bored 1 stars
5/28/07 none ya total waste of time and $! Little kids won't even like it 1 stars
4/05/07 William Goss Worth no child's time and no parent's money. Banal beyond belief and then some. 1 stars
3/06/07 the wizz I thought this might be great like Hoodwinked but this put me to sleep. Boring and just bad 1 stars
3/01/07 17 y.o Girly Good story line, cute characters, only problem was the guy who played the Prince, not good 3 stars
1/08/07 too-much-coffee mistress My eyes bled! Worst animated film of the year! Two thumbs down! X_X 1 stars
1/06/07 harrison excellent review, gotta love that slapstick! 3 stars
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  05-Jan-2007 (PG)
  DVD: 01-May-2007

  DVD: 26-Nov-2007


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