Thursday, August 23, 2012
In the wake of the two recent SNOW WHITE feature films, here's a little gem from 2008 - reposted for your reading pleasure!From the creative geniuses at Filmation that brought us the HE-MAN/SHE-RA CHRISTMAS SPECIAL comes HAPPILY EVER AFTER (made in 1988 - but released in 1993) an animated feature that thinks it's a sequel to Disney's 1937 classic. With voice talent like Carol Channing, Phyllis Diller, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Sally Kellerman and Tracey Ullmann - one expects to be in for a treat - or at least a camp classic. One should not have such great expectations.First off, the much-loved Dwarfs have been replaced here by a group of mismatched grotesque female trolls called (believe it or not) Dwarfelles (all idiotically named: Muddy, Sunburn, Blossom, Marina, Critterita, Moonbeam and Thunderella) and the fierce Evil Queen is replaced by her fey brother Lord Maliss (Malcolm McDowell, CALIGULA), who looks like every Scooby-Doo bad guy rolled into one. Jolly Dom DeLuise is the voice of the magic mirror, who recounts the entire plotline of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS as this film opens. This is actually the best part.Meanwhile, cigar-smoking Scowl the Owl (voiced by Ed Asner) and a bunch of bats, rats and ogres are celebrating the death of the Evil Queen, when her shape-shifting brother arrives looking for his sister. The mirror tells him that the Queen is now dead and Snow White (Irene Cara of FAME fame) is to blame! He asks the mirror, "Who's the pretty boy she's with?" Hmmmm...Maliss (or Malice) then declares himself all fabulous and vows to "control the laws of nature and bend them to (his) will!" Then he transforms himself into a big, blood-engorged red dragon and leaves.Scowl the Owl then begins rapping about being the "Baddest". And he's right. You have not lived until you've heard Ed Asner do hip hop. At this point I consider ejecting the dvd and using it as a coaster, but alas, it belongs to Netflix and not I. Meanwhile, because Evite doesn't exit yet, Snow White and her Prince are traveling on horseback to deliver invitations to the Dwarfs for their wedding. Maliss in his dragon form attacks them - first capturing Snow White, but the owl helps her escape. Maliss then tells the Prince that he "has something VERY special in store for him". I'll bet. ;)Snow White flees "into the woods", where the Dwarfs used to live, only they've gone "bye, bye" and their female cousins are now in charge. Each Dwarfelle (I can't believe I'm typing that word!) magically and inexplicably controls an aspect of nature - Muddy (Channing) makes earthquakes, Blossom (Gabor) grows flowers, butch lesbian Sunburn (Kellerman) controls sunlight and Thunderella (Ullman) manages the weather. They all report to Mother Nature (Diller). After we meet all the gals, Ullman warbles a horrible song that sounds like it was played on a Casio keyboard. Okay, I think I'm really done with this now, when someone I like is forced to sing a dreadful song - it's time to hit STOP.To be honest with you, the animation is so bloody awful, even worse than the usual Filmation crap , I could barely watch it. Every character seems like they were drawn in a different amateur-ish style and the unimaginative backgrounds and murky colors don't help at all. All-in-all a very feeble attempt at trying to fool audience into thinking that Snow White's story continues to unfold in this horrific way. So I FFWed. In the end, the troll women defeat the villain and Snow White and the Prince are reunited. Big surpise. They then invite all the Dwarfelles and Dwarfs to their royal wedding! And they all lived...well, you know what.If you have kids and want to punish them HAPPILY EVER AFTER is highly recommended. Otherwise, steer clear and watch any Disney original instead. FYI...Filmation also made A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS (though there seems to be no continuity between the two projects whatsoever).