Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Blu-ray Review - The Swan Princess: 25th Anniversary

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

For a very long time, it seemed Disney was the only studio releasing animated films. However, that changed in the '90s, many thanks to direct-to-video releases, as well as a few theatrical releases from other studios. One of these films happens to be The Swan Princess, which is an adaptation of the Swan Lake ballet.

Directed by Richard Rich, the film was originally released to theatres in 1994, featuring the voice cast of Michelle Nicastro, Howard McGillin, Jack Palance, John Cleese, Steven Wright, Steve Vinovich, and Sandy Duncan.

Sony Home Entertainment recently released The Swan Princess on Blu-ray (G; 89 minutes)  to celebrate its 25th Anniversary, featuring a brand-new featurette and archival features. The film is also available on in 4K HDR on digital.

The Swan Princess centers around Odette, a beautiful princess who's turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer, Lord Rothbart. She can only turn back into a human when the moonlight touches the swan lake, which is when Rothbart tries to persuade her to marry him. Of course, she rejects him every time, thus, she becomes a swan again. Her only friends are Jean-Bob the frog, Speed the turtle and Puffin the bird, who are determined to protect her. Then there's also Prince Derek, who's in love with Odette and will also do anything to protect her.

Special Features include:
  • Looking Back at 25 Years of the Swan Princess
  • The Swan Princess: The Original Making of
  • 5 Sing-Alongs 

Final Thoughts

Despite my love for 2D animation film, I had never watched The Swan Princess until it was released on Blu-ray. I was thirteen-year-old when the movie was first released in 1994, which was a time when I was no longer interested in cartoons. However, I do remember my little cousins owning it on  VHS so I already knew a little bit about the plot.

The Swan Princess is a reimagining of the old Swan Lake tale, where a princess is turned into a swan. While the film does it's best to feel like a "Disney" film, it completely misses the mark. The animation looks very cheap and more in par with some of the bad animated series that also came out of the '90s. The characters are one-dimensional. The dialogue is very silly and was clearly written for only children. The runtime is only 89 minutes but it feels way too long, mostly due to the horrible editing.

The picture and sound qualities are alright on the Blu-ray but don't expect anything topnotch.

Overall, The Swan Princess is an odd fairy tale that'll only appeal to the '90s children who loved the film and are now parents who want  their children to watch it. Everyone else will be bored with it!

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