The Swan Princess (1994) voices Jack Palance, Howard McGillin, Michelle Nicastro, Liz Callaway, John Cleese directed by Richard Rich Movie Review

The Swan Princess (1994)   3/53/53/53/53/5

The Swan Princess (1994)

Almost a Beautiful Swan

As children Prince Derek and Princess Odette did not get on especially as their widowed parents forced them to spend every summer together in the hope that one day they will marry and unite their two kingdoms. But that all changes when Odette blossoms into a beautiful princess and Derek in to a handsome young prince, except Derek blows it when he offends Odette just as it seems they were going to get one. Things turn from bad to worse as Lord Rothbart, an evil sorcerer banished from the kingdom many years earlier, returns and kidnaps Odette leaving Derek to prove his love for her by rescuing her.

Watching "The Swan Princess" you get a sense as those behind it were aiming for a Disney style animation; from the characters and the songs to the hand animated look it all screams Disney but without that touch of magic and extra bit of detail which makes a Disney animation stand out from the crowd. And it is little wonder as director Richard Rich once worked for Disney and whilst his "The Swan Princess" is not up to Disney's high standards it is a whole lot better than I was expecting with the animation actually getting very close to imitating that of Disney from the mid 90s.

But "The Swan Princess" always comes across as Disney lite and so whilst it has amusing characters such as a frog and a tortoise who are well voiced they are not memorable, neither is the routine fairytale style storyline. It is the same with the songs as whilst they are quite pleasant and fit the style of movie nicely you don't remember them once the movie is over. Worst of all though is the character of Derek because as our hero he is totally forgettable which is not what you need especially when the villain, Lord Rothbart, ends up with more character and much better voiced by Jack Palance.

What this all boils down to is that "The Swan Princess" is much better than I was expecting and in truth a lot more enjoyable than a lot of animations. But it does suffer from not being memorable and that is mainly down to our hero character of Derek being far too bland.