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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:24 am 
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farerb wrote:
Jules wrote:
Is Richard Rich still directing these?

Yes.


This really irks me. While Rich's theatrical films aren't exactly masterpieces, surely there is no reason to think this guy is in any way incompetent, right?

Sure, Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron get a lot of critique ... some of which may be aimed at the direction. Nevertheless, having The Black Cauldron on your CV is a boon I think, irregardless of the film's bombing at the box office. Certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

I don't think Rich is a brilliant director, by any means, but I think he is far better than this. Excuses about budget on these DTVs ring hollow to me. You don't need a gazillion dollars to write and perfect one decent story and script, and which doesn't make use of plot devices favoured by hack filmmakers who have no ambitions of ever being considered "great."

Rich, if by some miracle you are reading this, please go back to your roots. If you have become disillusioned with the animation industry take a break and come back with a fresh mind. If your only opportunities now are low-budget DTV films then make them with the same level of care and passion that I am sure you poured into your theatrical films (irrelevant of whether those films are good or bad.) If anything, make a statement. Show the industry that DTV doesn't have to be cruddy and low-quality. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:00 am 
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I don't know if this is playing devil's advocate, but Ted Berman (and Art Stevens on TF+tH) also directed. I'm not trying to knock Mr. Rich because clearly I adore those films.

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:30 am 
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No, don't worry. :) I'm aware he co-directed those, but I think my argument still stands.


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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:09 am 
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Jules wrote:
This really irks me. While Rich's theatrical films aren't exactly masterpieces, surely there is no reason to think this guy is in any way incompetent, right?

Sure, Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron get a lot of critique ... some of which may be aimed at the direction. Nevertheless, having The Black Cauldron on your CV is a boon I think, irregardless of the film's bombing at the box office. Certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

I don't think Rich is a brilliant director, by any means, but I think he is far better than this. Excuses about budget on these DTVs ring hollow to me. You don't need a gazillion dollars to write and perfect one decent story and script, and which doesn't make use of plot devices favoured by hack filmmakers who have no ambitions of ever being considered "great."

Rich, if by some miracle you are reading this, please go back to your roots. If you have become disillusioned with the animation industry take a break and come back with a fresh mind. If your only opportunities now are low-budget DTV films then make them with the same level of care and passion that I am sure you poured into your theatrical films (irrelevant of whether those films are good or bad.) If anything, make a statement. Show the industry that DTV doesn't have to be cruddy and low-quality. :)

I think he always was mediocre, not bad but not good. His films always had something lacking, the original Swan Princess starts really good, but then it devolves into mediocrity, with removing any shred of personality the characters established in the opening song (which was great). Also the film never really reached the same level of Disney's outputs at the time, just like any of those Non-Disney films.

I think he just found his comfort zone where he can make money without any true effort. I don't even understand why there's a market for this kind of films anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:29 pm 
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Jules wrote:
No, don't worry. :) I'm aware he co-directed those, but I think my argument still stands.

Lol, I know that you know that :) But I meant in my just-woke-up post that maybe Berman (and Stevens) influenced things in a different way than Rich did...(my words are failing me, sorry). Like maybe the best stuff was non-Rich? Nothing against him, and I don't even know/remember which director did what (c'mon Disney, make a making-of book!), so who knows what parts of the films were influenced by whom...??

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:13 pm 
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farerb wrote:
Jules wrote:
This really irks me. While Rich's theatrical films aren't exactly masterpieces, surely there is no reason to think this guy is in any way incompetent, right?

Sure, Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron get a lot of critique ... some of which may be aimed at the direction. Nevertheless, having The Black Cauldron on your CV is a boon I think, irregardless of the film's bombing at the box office. Certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

I don't think Rich is a brilliant director, by any means, but I think he is far better than this. Excuses about budget on these DTVs ring hollow to me. You don't need a gazillion dollars to write and perfect one decent story and script, and which doesn't make use of plot devices favoured by hack filmmakers who have no ambitions of ever being considered "great."

Rich, if by some miracle you are reading this, please go back to your roots. If you have become disillusioned with the animation industry take a break and come back with a fresh mind. If your only opportunities now are low-budget DTV films then make them with the same level of care and passion that I am sure you poured into your theatrical films (irrelevant of whether those films are good or bad.) If anything, make a statement. Show the industry that DTV doesn't have to be cruddy and low-quality. :)

I think he always was mediocre, not bad but not good. His films always had something lacking, the original Swan Princess starts really good, but then it devolves into mediocrity, with removing any shred of personality the characters established in the opening song (which was great). Also the film never really reached the same level of Disney's outputs at the time, just like any of those Non-Disney films.

I think he just found his comfort zone where he can make money without any true effort. I don't even understand why there's a market for this kind of films anyway.

I agree, I was a big Swan Princess fan as a kid but looking at it now, the film was never up to Disney's standards despite trying its best to compete with the Mouse. The premise of the prince and princess knowing each other from the beginning but being filled with loathing rather than love was super inspired but it all goes downhill from there. Actually one could argue that the film was clearly not going to impress when the very opening has the baby princess just thrust into the King's arms upon birth, with no mention of a mother. Rothbart is a shallow villain who can't compare to Disney's greatest and his character design leaves a lot to be desired. The animation is clunky and looks like something from Disney's Dark Ages rather than Disney's Renaissance. I think the songs are a strong point for the film but even then a lot of them are clunkers. The film is also riddled with plotholes like how there is no moon on the night of the ball...however how is it then that when Odette returns to Swan Lake and passes out, she suddenly turns into a human? Also how did Odette plan on going to the ball in the first place even if there had been a moon. She couldn't exactly fly there and did Derek expect her to walk through the forest the entire night after becoming human?

The only non-Disney animated film that was ever up to Disney's quality was Anastasia which also explains why critics felt it was more Disney than Disney's actual animated film of the year, Hercules. Anastasia is also the only one that took a life of its own and still has a major following to this day. I heard Don Bluth wanted to make a Dracula film after Anastasia so I so wish we could have lived in a universe where he could have been able to do so.

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:23 am 
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Wall-E wrote:
I think he just found his comfort zone where he can make money without any true effort. I don't even understand why there's a market for this kind of films anyway.


And that kills me! :P What happened to his pride? He used to work at Disney animation for crying out loud! He was clearly good enough to get hired there and lasted quite some time. I don't understand how with that personal history he feels ok pushing out films that look like they they were made by dilettantes that Disney animation wouldn't even consider. I do think he can make the same living as now, without the resultant films being a stain on his filmography.

Disclaimer: I haven't actually seen any of the Swan Princess sequels, so perhaps my judgment isn't completely valid (or fair). Still, based on what I know of the industry, I don't expect the movies to be much better than they appear in the trailers. If I ever do watch them and feel otherwise I will make my feelings known. :)

Taran <3 Eilonwy wrote:
Lol, I know that you know that :) But I meant in my just-woke-up post that maybe Berman (and Stevens) influenced things in a different way than Rich did...(my words are failing me, sorry). Like maybe the best stuff was non-Rich? Nothing against him, and I don't even know/remember which director did what (c'mon Disney, make a making-of book!), so who knows what parts of the films were influenced by whom...??


Now I get what you wrote! :) Yes, it would certainly be fascinating to know who was responsible for what when you have directing duos. Also, I think if Disney released a making-of book for TBC, I would guess that there is enough of a cult following for it to sell quite well.

Jasmine wrote:
The animation is clunky and looks like something from Disney's Dark Ages rather than Disney's Renaissance.


I'll come to the film's defence here. :-) The animation may not be up to par with what WDAS was doing at the time, but I don't think it is anything to be sniffed at! I feel the film is still a very handsome production. I know some film critics attacked the film for its visuals at the time, most notably Gene Siskel who on TV compared the "Princesses on Parade" sequence contemptuously to the ballroom scene in WDAS' Beauty and the Beast. What Siskel failed to consider was the Swan Princess was likely made at a far lower budget than its Disney contemporaries, as well as that it was inked and painted on cels and shot on film, rather than digitally inked and painted. As such, he should not have expected the same level of production values as a WDAS film of the era. I do hope he wasn't expecting another CG ballroom! While I am sure BatB's iconic scene could have been recreated (CG backdrop and all) with traditionally photographed pencil animation, the digital ink and paint process at WDAS surely facilitated the integration and compositing of fully-shaded CG elements such as the ballroom in BatB, or the cave of wonders in Aladdin, or the jungle in Tarzan! God knows how far more complex those sequences would have been to create as they are now had those films stuck with painted cels and 35mm film. :shrug:

Finally, if Swan Princess's character animation is less refined than Disney's, the same cannot be said for the effects animation, which is phenomenal and absolutely gorgeous. (We have Michel Gagne to thank for it.) 8)


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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:40 pm 
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I haven't seen any of the sequels either. I just assumed they were like most DTV sequels for Disney films or The Land Before Time or Anastasia. Besides, the first film is great and I wouldn't want to sully it with the memory of the sequels.

I always loved the music for this one, although it was by no means on level with Menken; the opening number is the best one, but aside from "No Fear," I like alll the songs. Callaway's voice is so beautiful. Better than many of the Disney princesses, imo. Derek is actually to me more in the vein of a Walt prince, only better than any Walt ever made. I suppose the fact that we see him have action scenes helps a great deal, whereas most of the Walt princes kind of stand there. Phillip actually gets to play a part in the climax, but he's as flat and dull as Aurora is, he doesn't even speak once throughout. :lol: Odette makes the whole film, jmo, although Queen Uberta and Lord Rogers are my next favorite parts of it (always thought they were a cute couple, too). I think this film is similar for me in that I love the ending when everything feels tragic, when Derek makes a vow to the false Odette and then Odette dies, just like when Thumbelina believes Cornelius is dead and is singing at the Vale of the Fairies. I don't know why that just gets to me. Both Cornelius and Derek have these epic, ultra masculine singing voices, too. :lol: It's too bad Disney doesn't really have any of those... That's sort of what I meant when I said in another thread that I'd like Disney to make another male-lead musical and the character had a Cheyenne Jackson-esque voice.

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:14 pm 
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Jules wrote:
What Siskel failed to consider was the Swan Princess was likely made at a far lower budget than its Disney contemporaries, as well as that it was inked and painted on cels and shot on film, rather than digitally inked and painted.

The Swan Princess was made with a budget of $21 million while Beauty and the Beast was made with $25 million, so smaller but not that small. Though you might be right about the technology.
Regardless, to me it's less about the appearance and more about the story lacking and the characters being not that interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:48 pm 
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Disney's Divinity wrote:
I always loved the music for this one, although it was by no means on level with Menken; the opening number is the best one, but aside from "No Fear," I like alll the songs. Callaway's voice is so beautiful. Better than many of the Disney princesses, imo. Derek is actually to me more in the vein of a Walt prince, only better than any Walt ever made. I suppose the fact that we see him have action scenes helps a great deal, whereas most of the Walt princes kind of stand there. Phillip actually gets to play a part in the climax, but he's as flat and dull as Aurora is, he doesn't even speak once throughout. :lol: Odette makes the whole film, jmo, although Queen Uberta and Lord Rogers are my next favorite parts of it (always thought they were a cute couple, too). I think this film is similar for me in that I love the ending when everything feels tragic, when Derek makes a vow to the false Odette and then Odette dies, just like when Thumbelina believes Cornelius is dead and is singing at the Vale of the Fairies. I don't know why that just gets to me. Both Cornelius and Derek have these epic, ultra masculine singing voices, too. :lol: It's too bad Disney doesn't really have any of those... That's sort of what I meant when I said in another thread that I'd like Disney to make another male-lead musical and the character had a Cheyenne Jackson-esque voice.

For me personally, nostalgia has a lot to do with my affection for The Swan Princess. I never went completely gaga for it when I saw it as a kid, but I still liked it a lot and gave it several re-watches (especially in mornings when my folks were at work during my days off). The music is brilliant, the sidekicks are enjoyable (with the exception of Jean-Bob, who I always found reallys snooty) and even Lord Rogers and Uberta are funny characters. As for the leads, they are compelling enough, despite that they may not be as memorable to distinguish them (in fact, I´ve always liked that Derek was flawed and had a vulnerability to him). The same goes for Rothbart. He may not be great, but he´s still effective enough.
The weak link in The Swan Princess (from an analytical adult point of view) is the story. There are several holes within the script. While I´ve always liked that the movie questions the norm of the Princes falling for the Princesses for the sake of their sheer beauty (because that is what the story should´ve been centered about), it´s quickly thrown the side after when Odette gets captured. Odette and Derek´s love for each other happens too randomly to be believable or convinging (they practically yearn for each other as they´ve always loved each other during in Far Longer Than Forever, despite how they´ve spent the entire movie loathing each other).
Besides, the script never lets Odette actually grieve over her late father, nor does it confirms that Odette actually knows what happened to him. And despite how Odette is given her mandatory feminist spunk, she ultimately becomes a damsel in distress at the end. It is Derek who has to save her and the day. And though it makes sense after all, since Derek is the one who needs the biggest arc, it´s still a pity that Odette becomes regressive.

But regardless of my rant of the underwhelming story, I´m still very fond of The Swan Princess. Even more as an adult than a child, because it´s strengths have appealed to me more. I´ve always thought it was a pity that it was underrated and I´m glad to see the appreciation for it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:31 pm 
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Some trivia about the franchise.

Quote:
Q: What was the relation between Rothbart and King William? Did they know each other outside of Rothbart's attempts to take over the kingdom?

A: Actually, yes! There’s a small hint at the beginning of the original 1994 movie, when Rothbart says ‘I’m not through with you yet, Willy”. As well as, King William going easy and choosing to banish Rothbart instead of executing him. The Mystery of the Enchanted Treasure DVD Special Features confirms the relationship. In Princess Odette's storytime, she refers to him as her "evil uncle Rothbart". So Rothbart and King William were actually brothers!
Source: https://www.swanprincessseries.com/blog ... tured-news

Quote:
Q: The character names are some of my favorites in animated movies! Do any of them have fun/interesting origins or reasons they were chosen for the movie?

Brian Nissen: Derek was just one of many names we tried. We actually like Eric but were then reminded that this was the name of the prince in Little Mermaid. I can’t remember the other names that were in the running. Initially, we thought Derek was too contemporary, but we went with it for one of the early drafts and it just stuck. The same thing happened later with Alise. It felt too modern, but as time went on it seemed right and it stuck. In regards to Jean-Bob, in early drafts of promotional materials, his name was Shipley but we weren’t completely satisfied with that. I was looking for a play on French male names like Jean-Claude and Jean-Pierre. I knew I wanted the second half to feel out of place — something that contradicted the Frenchness of Jean, like Jean-Ned or Jean-Larry. Jean-Bob seemed to have the right sound and level of ridiculousness. As mentioned in the movie, Speed’s real name is Lorenzo Trudgealong. We really like it but we felt like it would be better to have a nickname that cut against the turtle stereotype. Speed felt right, mostly because it sounds like a name that was sarcastically bestowed by Jean-Bob, along with Mr. Molasses and a host of others. Uberta and Bromley both came from name books. They just felt right. Uberta especially seemed to match her. It sounds rigid and royal. Lord Rogers was a tip of the hat to many a Hollywood butler or valet named Rogers. Originally, Rothbart’s sidekick was just called The Hag, but in sequels, she became known as Bridget which I liked because it seemed like such a cute, unexpected name, given that it was the name of one of the Von Trapp children.
Source: https://www.swanprincessseries.com/blog ... tured-news

Quote:
Q: What was the design inspiration for Odette and Odile's dress?

Steve Gordan: My inspiration for all the costuming for The Swan Princess was based on Edith Head's work for Hollywood-style medieval type films. Like The Court Jester. If I recall right I initially designed her original dress to be more off-the-shoulder than what it turned out to be and I believe Rick pulled me back some, but when it came time for Odile's dress it seemed more appropriate to go a little more daring.
Source: https://www.swanprincessseries.com/blog ... r-chamberg

Quote:
Q: Where did the title ‘Chamberg’ come from for the Chamberg Daily?

A: From the map taken by the animals from Rothbart’s castle. This map is how Odette discovers where she is being held. Chamberg is the name of Derek’s Kingdom. There is a town in Germany called Schaumburg with a rich history. It was founded in the 12th century, during the Middle Ages. The landscape includes amazingly dramatic castles and beautiful lakes. This was a perfect model for our story.
Source: https://www.swanprincessseries.com/blog ... tured-news

Quote:
Q: How long was Odette under Rothbart’s spell?

A: Roughly a year. As seen in some storyboards of an alternate version of ‘Practice Practice Practice’. The line was cut from the movie but it still remains true that Odette is missing for about a year, give or take maybe a month or so for the moon cycle to happen how it did in the movie.
Source: https://www.swanprincessseries.com/blog ... tured-news

Quote:
Q: How many years had Odette and Derek been married when they adopted Alise?

A: Quite a few. Swan Princess and the Secret of the Castle took place during Derek and Odette's first wedding anniversary. Later, were the events of the third Swan Princess film. The Forbidden Arts needed to die off in order for them to become the ghost they appeared as in The Royal Family Tale, the fifth film in the series as well as the film in which Alise was adopted. So at the very minimum 2-5 years!
Source: https://www.swanprincessseries.com/blog ... tured-news

Quote:
Q: What kind of flowers were in the scene where Odette is first introduced at the enchanted castle and JeanBob tries to pole-vault over the moat on a cat tail?

A: The flowers are purple Calla Lilies. These beautiful flowers are native to Africa, so we think it must be because of the Forbidden Arts magic they were able to grow at Swan Lake.
Source: https://www.swanprincessseries.com/blog ... tured-news

Quote:
Q: Why is the animation in the ending scene so much different than the rest of the movie?

A: Because the water is CGI! While the rest of the film, and the background, of this scene were all hand drawn, producers decided to use a brand new technology to computer generate the water. It really makes the water sparkle and look so realistic. The few seconds in this scene were $45,000 of the film's budget!
Source: https://www.swanprincessseries.com/blog ... ws-feature

Quote:
Q: Is there anyone who’s been part of the Swan Princess for every single movie?

A: Director Richard Rich, Writer Brian Nissen, and Producers, Jared F Brown and Seldon Young have been involved in all ten of The Swan Princess films. Not only have the leaders of the team remained the same but both Steve Vinovich (voice of Puffin) and Mark Harelick (voice of Lord Rogers), have continued as voice actors throughout the series. One of the most important team members of the series is Joe Compana, the Editor who has completed all ten Swan Princess films.
Source: https://www.swanprincessseries.com/blog ... tured-news

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:20 pm 
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I’ve always liked Derek as the name. I don’t know, somehow it kind of suits a muscular guy who’s not that bright. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:36 am 
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Finally saw these latest two installments. Kingdom of Music was fun even though it featured an overused plot (another transformation curse that needs to be lifted :roll:), and quite a bit of humor. The musical competition was also cringy, but the plotline with the Princess Alise/Lucas/Prince Li love triangle was surprisingly sweet.

On the other hand, A Royal Wedding was atrocious. The villain -- who we were first introduced to in KoM -- was beyond awful and not threatening at all, the main characters were SUPER dumb, the conflict was yet another variation of the curse/stolen identity, and there was simply nothing enjoyable about it. Well, maybe Uberta's scenes. I kept waiting for it to end but it just dragged on and on. It is by far the worst of these movies.

Final ranking :D
1. The Swan Princess (1)
2. The Swan Princess (5): A Royal Family Tale
3. The Swan Princess (3): The Mystery of the Enchanted Kingdom
4. The Swan Princess (2): Escape from Castle Mountain
5. The Swan Princess (7): Royally Undercover
6. The Swan Princess (9): Kingdom of Music
7. The Swan Princess (8): A Royal MyZtery
8. The Swan Princess (6): Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today!
9. The Swan Princess (4) Christmas
10. The Swan Princess (10): A Royal Wedding

I read that part 11 is coming in 2021, so I guess we won't be done with the Swan Princess any time soon!


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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:07 am 
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Mooky wrote:
I read that part 11 is coming in 2021, so I guess we won't be done with the Swan Princess any time soon!

Where did you read that? I searched but couldn't find anything about it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:38 am 
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My bad, I thought it was official, but I see now it's just one of the fan-sites "reporting" it.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:58 pm 
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Sotiris wrote:
No, Mooky! Don't do it! I understand the impulse but you must resist.

Just LOOK at her. She'll haunt your dreams. She'll steal your soul.

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mwahahaha, come to me, Mooky...


Haha Sotiris..I'm pretty sure you will enjoy this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYcCBbEhyyk



:D

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:45 pm 
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^That was hilarious! :lol: Speaking of the Christmas movie, I thought this piece of information was interesting.

Quote:
Q: When reviving the brand in 2012, after the initial 3 movies, what was the strategy behind doing a Christmas special to debut the 3D sequels?

A: Sony Pictures came to us wanting sequels to release direct to DVD and the biggest component missing in their home entertainment catalog was Christmas themed films. This was in line with the overall family values that we wanted the brand to convey, so we said yes. However, Christmas films are limited to Christian markets and we have made a point of focusing the subsequent sequels on more international markets so the story is not isolated to any particular subgroups.
Source: https://www.swanprincessseries.com/blog ... tured-news

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:13 pm 
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I never liked that the religious aspect was too much in your face in the film. I think Beauty And The Beast II handled that in a better way. It was subtle while Swan Princess Christmas was not and came off as manipulative.

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:21 am 
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There is a huge debate over whether Christmas should be kept as a religious holiday only for Christian's to celebrate or not. I am kinda on the fence about it because I am ok with non-Christians celebrating the "secular parts" of it, but it's not a clear cut issue.

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 Post subject: Re: The Swan Princess
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:41 am 
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Disney Duster wrote:
There is a huge debate over whether Christmas should be kept as a religious holiday only for Christian's to celebrate or not. I am kinda on the fence about it because I am ok with non-Christians celebrating the "secular parts" of it, but it's not a clear cut issue.


That wasn't my point. My problem with Swan Princess Christmas (aside from the fact that it exists :lol: ) is that it uses beloved characters from a popular franchise to promote christianity. That was not the case with Beauty And The Beast 2 as it only focused on the festive aspect of Christmas and therefore the film can reach all children around the world no matter what their religious background may be.. That is not the case with Swan Princess Christmas.

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