The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale
The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale is a 2014 American computer animated film produced by Crest Animation Productions, Nest Family Entertainment, and Sony Wonder, and released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. It was also the 5th film in the Swan Princess franchise.
Centuries ago, a sentient evil force known as the Forbidden Arts entered Earth from the underworld, intent on destroying all of its rivals for magical power. It learned of a legend that the Swan Princess will bring in an age of goodness, and that pure evil will not survive in her presence, but she can be defeated by a green-colored magical stone. The Forbidden Arts corrupted the legend, making it appear that the Swan Princess will bring despair and destruction instead. A group of unusually large and talking flying squirrels, called the scullions, found the legend and over the years formed a community dedicated to finding and destroying the Swan Princess. When Odette, the Swan Princess, was finally born to King William, the Forbidden Arts tried to use the sorcerer Rothbart to defeat her but failed.
In the present, Odette and Derek are pressured by Uberta to have a child, and are unaware that they're being tracked by the scullions, (two in particular, Cutter and Jojo, a pair of "Master Traper" brothers). The Forbidden Arts has joined forces with Mangler, the scullion leader, but is angered at their most recent failure. The Forbidden Arts leaves its cave to burn Odette alive, but is blocked by Odette's power and has to return to the crystal in its cave to recover. A nearby house catches fire instead, where a little girl named Alise's father is murdered . Odette and Derek bring Alise to the castle, and Odette feels a kinship with her because they both lost their fathers tragically. Although Alise refuses to speak, she slowly becomes closer to Odette and Derek, and they decide to adopt her as she has no living relatives.
The scullions attack Uberta's castle, kidnapping Alise to lure Odette and Derek away, and locking everyone else in the cellar. Odette and Derek avoid the scullions' traps but Derek is poisoned by Mangler's blow dart. A friendly scullion, whom Odette names Scully, cures Derek and explains about the fake Swan Princess legend and the Forbidden Arts, and reveals that he has been keeping the magical stone safe. The group goes to rescue Alise.
While Derek acts as a distraction, Scully sneaks into the scullion village and finds Alise in the Forbidden Arts' cave, but he is unable to rescue her. When the scullions are about to execute Derek, Odette intervenes and explains that all she wants is for her loved ones to be safe. Scully tells the scullions that the legend is a lie and the true evil is the Forbidden Arts. Mangler shoots a poison dart at Odette, which is blocked by Jojo, the younger of the two brothers from before. Odette cures him with an antidote prepared by Scully, and the tablet with the corrupted prophecy reveals the true prophecy about the Swan Princess.
At the castle, Uberta and Rogers are about to be punished by the scullions for protecting the Swan Princess, and declare their feelings for each other. Jojo and the other scullions arrive with the real prophecy tablet, proving Odette to be good, and they release Uberta and the captives. The scullion army works together with Derek, Puffin, Jean-Bob and Speed to protect the magical stone, but the Forbidden Arts manages to obtain it, gaining its power.
Odette and Scully enter the Forbidden Arts' cave to rescue Alise, and are attacked by Mangler. Scully defeats Mangler, but Odette is unable to break Alise's prison. Alise finally speaks up, telling Odette to destroy the Forbidden Arts' crystal. When Odette is unable to, Scully jumps onto the crystal, sacrificing himself to destroy the Forbidden Arts. In the ensuing explosion Alise is freed from her prison unharmed, and she calls out to Odette: "Mommy". The film ends with everyone celebrating the presentation of Princess Alise to the kingdom. A statue of Scully is erected on the castle's garden.
Why It Sucks
Warning: Don't put in the WIS reasons that “no one wanted this film”
- Alise is a "Mary Sue" character, as she has no flaws whatsoever.
- In the first few films, the Forbidden Arts were a kind of magic one could learn. It is now a sentient being in this film somehow.
- Speaking of the few films, it undermines the first one by implying that Rothbart spelled the Forbidden Arts' doom by turning Odette into a swan in the first place.
- Terrible song pacing. There are literally three songs back to back with barely any intermission.
- The main villains...are flying squirrels. I kid you not, FLYING FLIPPIN' SQUIRRELS....that's...just...the stupidest evil army ever conceived by human imagination.
- Speaking of the squirrels, they're called Scullions, but the term "scullions" are actually a term to call kitchen helpers.
- Mangler is promised the kingdom by the Forbidden Arts, but WHAT WOULD A SQUIRREL WANT WITH A KINGDOM?!
- Uberta wanted a baby, but it's never really explained why Odette and Derek couldn't have a baby by that point (though it is possible that as of the third movie, it's because of Odette's status as a demon).
- In one scene, Scully jumps off a cliff with Mangler, presumably to his own death. He is somehow alive in the next scene.
- One scene where Rogers repeatedly spits into Uberta's eye.
- The "I love you brings someone back to life" cliche.
- In one scene, Uberta brings Alise gifts, including "a real puppy, kitten, and panda bear". The real panda bear is never shown.
- In the same scene, Uberta also gives her an action figure, even though this is medieval Europe.
- Terrible voice acting, that consists of the actors either overacting with forced accents, or just sounding bored/uninterested
- A montage from the first film randomly happens in a painting.
- A single squirrel is somehow able to lift a human child with ease.
- It is never explained why Scully didn't believe the doctored prophecy.
- Alise is trapped behind a door with holes big enough for her to crawl through.
- The backgrounds are nice.
- The squirrel with an eyepatch actually makes some decent jokes.
- The squirrels have the right idea about taking down Uberta and the others seeing as the main characters are unlikable.
The film currently holds a 5.0/10 on IMDb, and 55% of audiences liking the film on Rotten Tomatoes.
- The film was theatrically released in China and Taiwan, where it bombed horribly.
- Richard Rich never wanted to make this movie, seeing as how badly the last movie did.
- The Swan Princess 5 & 6 Review
- The Swan Princess A Royal Family Tale (Musical Hell Review 57)
Musical Hell's review.