Re-released on Blu-ray and 4K HDR in late October was the 25th Anniversary edition of the 1994 classic THE SWAN PRINCESS with updated features – that include a look back over the 25 years since its original release and five fun sing-alongs that I’m sure members of its huge following will enjoy.
In the animated film, King William (Dakin Matthews) and Queen Uberta (Sandy Duncan), the widowed parents of Princess Odette (the late Michelle Nicastro) and Prince Derek (Howard McGillin), make an arrangement in their kids’ early childhood for them to wed. Not at all interested in each other, the pair are forced to spend a portion of their summers together miserably. In their early adulthood, the unexpected happens and an actual attraction forms – unfortunately for Derek his appears to be superficial.
But after a tragic event, that results in the Princess’s kidnapping and transformation into a swan by the evil Lord Rothbart (the late Jack Palance), Prince Derek makes a commitment to find Odette, make amends and marry his true love.
Now I was already in early adulthood when the movie was first released, and had no recollection of ever viewing before receiving a screener a couple of weeks ago. Yet, I found its themes – heavily based on the old adages of “beauty’s only skin deep” and “never judge a book by its cover” – still relevant for a 2019 kid’s audience.
What may be difficult for the aforementioned is the fact that animation and CGI technology have developed so much since 1994, that even a digitally remastered work has the tendency to look dated.
And even though I prefer my princesses on the more powerful side – thinking mostly of you Mulan – I love the fact that Princess Odette intially chose to not marry Prince Derek, which forced him to reconsider his actions and chase her to right a wrong. That’s a powerful action for the early 90’s – with the previously mentioned Disney’s Mulan not being released until 1998.
In short, “The Swan Princess” is a cute story with good messaging that only suffers visually from its technological age. I would rate it 3 out of 5 on the MMTrometer.
You can get additional info, including where to purchase and sign up for franchise merchandise giveaways at the official website here.
Until next thought, Thomasena