Happily N’Ever After: 2 & ½ Stars (out of 5)
A film about fairy tale creatures and their worlds turned upside down. We’ve seen this before, and done better. Happily N’Ever After is Shrek-lite.
The plot takes place in Fairy Tale Land when the Wizard (George Carlin) goes on vacation leaving his two, less than trustworthy, apprentices (Andy Dick, Wallace Shawn) in charge of making sure all the fairy tales (which apparently re-run forever) keep ending in happy endings. This leaves open the opportunity for Freida (Sigourney Weaver), the evil Stepmother of Cinderella, to take control of the Wizard’s magic staff and bring unhappiness to all. (Your evil maniacal laugh here).
The only ones standing in her way are her beautiful step-daughter Ella (Sarah Michelle Gellar), the blockhead Prince Charming (Patrick Warburton), and our narrator, the palace dish washer, Rick (Freddie Prinze Jr.).
In terms of standing the genre on its head the film has some nice moments, but nothing we haven’t seen done better in Shrek, or even last year’s Hoodwinked (read that review) which is slightly better thought out, and better executed, than what we get here. There’s also some troubling animation issues when the characters are forced to run and end up looking like epileptic Howdy Doody dolls.
There are some nice moments scattered throughout the film but as a whole it doesn’t amount to much. By no means terrible, Happily N’Ever After just comes off as unremarkably average. But then what did you expect from a film starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Andy Dick?