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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Storybook Fairy Tales > Comoputer Animation > Happily N’Ever After (Blu-ray + DVD-Video)

Happily N’Ever After (Blu-ray + DVD-Video)


Picture: B+/C+     Sound: B/B-     Extras: C-     Feature: D



Sometimes, a pair of actors so obnoxious, annoying and awful that they seem like a curse on the entertainment industry.  Except in a rare case that makes at least one of them commercially viable, every project they make leaves a long trail of artistic carnage that affects the whole industry while ruining it.  In the last decade or so, that couple has been Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Sarah Michelle Geller, who fresh from their disembowelment of the Scooby Doo franchise are the lead voices in Paul J. Bolger’s Happily N’Ever After (2006) is the latest disaster extending that wreckage to computer animated features.


The self-reflective smart-alec animated feature was started by Disney as CG was arriving, but now, it is an approach that is as tired and played-out as its leads.  We have recently seen CG shorts (see Magnolia’s 2006 Academy Awards Shorts DVD elsewhere on this site) that did this sort of thing much better than the 87 minutes of this torture test.  Gellar is a second-rate Cinderella who has to save the world of fairy tales by crossing over into other worlds to bring balance back to all of them.  Faster than you can rip off Disney and Shrek, every bad pun and predictable joke from Rob Moreland’s awful script (which feels like a PC reshuffle of every thing we’ve seen, so soulless it is) falls as flat as Prinze’s voice acting.


Sigourney Weaver, Patrick Warburton, Andy Dick, Wallace Shawn and George Carlin, all of whom are far superior to this material, are also wasted in this lame, lame gagfest that will make more than a few people gag at its stupidity.  “Never” is right.  Skip this one.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is a bit softer on the DVD, yet surprisingly cleaner and clearer on the 1080p digital High Definition Blu-ray, making it the one surprise on the whole Blu-ray version.  Though the color range is not great, the detail and depth is more like a typical Blu-ray should be.   Both offer Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes that are average, but the DTS HD Master Audio lossless track on the Blu-ray is an improvement, but not as much of one as we expected.  Dialogue is clearer, but the flaws in the mix also show.  Paul Buckley’s score is condescending and dippy.  The Potential of the mix is never realized.


Extras include an alternate ending that shows even they did not know what they were doing, deleted scenes: Lost in Fairy Tale Land, three featurettes, director's audio commentary, Games ‘from the Department of Fairy Tale Security’, choose your own fairy tale ending, Munk's Fairy Take Fix, Mambo and Munk's Magical Matchmaker, Mambo's Memory Mix-Up and Create Your Own Witch's Broom!  This has some entertainment value the feature lacks, so if you happen upon either copy of this, kids might like something here.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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