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The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

February 17, 2014 by  



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Fun, entertaining and action-packed, for parents with daughters or those who grew up with the original films will find “The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale” to be an animated family film worth watching.

Images courtesy of © 2013 Swan V LLC. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale

FILM RELEASE: 2014

DURATION: 78 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 Aspect Ratio), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French and Spanish

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: PG (For Mild Peril)

Release Date: February 11, 2014

Directed by Richard Rich

Screenplay by Brian Nissen

Storyb y Richard Rich and Brian Nissen

Produced by Richard Rich, Seldo O. Young, Jared E. Brown

Executive Producer: Seldon O. Young

Music by J. Bateman

Songs by Jenny Frogley and J. Bateman

Featuring the voices of:

Yuri Lowenthal as Prince Derek

Elle Deets as Princess Odette

Jennifer Miller as Uberta

Joseph Medrano as Lord Rogers/Scully

David Lodge as The Forbidden Arts

Clayton James as Jean Bob

Gardner Jaas as Puffin

Doug Stone as Speed

Joey Lotsko as Mangler

Jeff Michaels as Cutter

Kirk Thornton as Jojo

Brian Nissen as Brodie/Ferdinand the Chef

Cahterine Lavin as Bridget

Carly G. Fogelson as Alise

The memorable characters of THE SWAN PRINCESS series are back for an all-new adventure! Shortly after the Royal Family adopts a young girl named Alise, she is taken away into the forest. Princess Odette, Derek and their woodland friends, Jean-Bob the Frog and Speed the Turtle, must work together to find a way to bring her home to the castle. With friendship, teamwork, original songs and plenty of laughs, THE SWAN PRINCESS: A ROYAL FAMILY TALE is a must-see for the whole family!

Back in 1994, the animated film “The Swan Princess” was born.  The original film was directed by former Disney animated director Richard Rich (“The Fox and the Hound”, “The Black Cauldron”) and since then, two more animated films were created and released direct-to-video with “The Swan Princess II: Escape from Castle Mountain” (1997) and “Swan Princess: The Mystery of the Enchanted Treasure” (1998) and in 2012, “The Swan Princess: Christmas” was released.

For those not familiar with the original storyline,  the storyline introduced us to King William and his daughter Odette, and widowed Queen Uberta and her son Prince Derek, and introducing them at a young age and as they become adults, they fall in love with each other.  But jealous of Prince Derek of having to rule the kingdom, the evil sorcerer Rothbart wants to make sure that in order to rule the kingdom, he must get rid of Derek and Odette.  Rothbart has put a transformational spell on Odette, changing her to a swan during the day and human at night.  The only way the spell can be broken is if the two believe in everlasting romantic love.  In the first film, Derek kills Rothbart and life for he and Odette is living happily everafter.

In Feb. 2014, “The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale”, the latest “Swan Princess” feature will be released on Blu-ray and DVD.

“The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale” features both Prince Derek and Princess Odette trying to have children.  Derek’s parents are quite verbal of how they want a grandchild and the two hope they will have a child.

But what the Royal Family is unaware is that The Forbidden Arts has arrived and is destined to destroy the Age of Goodness and the Swan Princess  with the help of a squirrel tribe which has been falsely told that the Swan Princess is destined to destroy all squirrels.

But as the squirrels try to kill the Swan Princess, they fail.  Thus leading the Forbidden Arts to go on a rampage and destroy the home of an innocent family.

As Derek and Odette see the blast, the two hurry to the area in which they find a young girl trying to rescue her father.  Derek manages to rescue the man but the man is mortally wounded and asks for Derek to watch over his daughter Alise and promise him.  Derek promises the man and the man passes away.

This leads to Derek, Odette and the servants at the castle to make Alise feel at home and both Derek and Odette fall in love with Alise and want to adopt her into their family and be her parents.

But in a calculated attack, the squirrels kidnap Alise and Derek’s parents.

And now Derek and Odette set off to rescue them.

VIDEO:

“The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1).  It’s important to note that this animated film is direct-to-video and it’s not made with the highest of budgets compared to a Pixar, Disney or Dreamworks animated film.  But the film is well-animated in the sense that it doesn’t look low-budget and the characters especially the animals look cute and will attract the attention of children.

But while scenery does look very good and is detailed, character animations may seem like older animation and not as detailed.  Which is not bad, but it’s important for people to not expect the kind of animation that they are use to seeing in the more expensive, higher budget animated films.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“The Swan Princess” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.  Dialogue and music is crystal clear.  There is a lot of music throughout this film and noticed that there is use of the surround channels for the more action-driven scenes.  Also, the voice acting by Yuri Lowenthall and Elle Deets is well-done!  Especially the talent who provided their singing voices throughout the film.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale” comes with two sing-along songs.

EXTRAS:

“The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale” comes with a Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet code for digital streaming of the film.  The slipcover also has a pink rubber princess tiara for young children.

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“The Swan Princess: Christmas” is an entertaining animated film for the entire family.

 

Many young parents grew up watching “The Swan Princess” when they were younger and now, they can enjoy this latest animated film as Derek and Odette start their own family.

As always with the theme of “The Swan Princess”, there is always something dark and brooding that wants to kill both Prince Derek and Princess Odette (the Swan Princess) and in this latest animated film, the Forbidden Arts has returned to try once again to end the “Age of Goodness” and to put an end to the Swan Princess.

While the first animated film did have tragedy, this one has a young girl being kidnapped by squirrels and and who have been duped that Princess Odette is out to end their entire species.  So, they want to stop that from happening.

 

But the film is not too violent and for children (boys and girls), they will be entertained by it.  I felt this film was created to include the younger children, unlike past films which were more for older children.

 

The release is also the first Blu-ray release for “The Swan Princess” and while the animated films were never known for the greatest animation, this one is for the children and they will no doubt love the film and probably won’t care if it’s not big-budget animation ala Pixar or Dreamworks.

 

Overall, “The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale” is the continuing story of Prince Derek and Princess Odette and for many people who grew up watching the original animated films back in the ’90s and are now adults and parents, will find the progression in the relationship of Derek and Odette similar to their own, as the two go on to start their own family.

 

Fun, entertaining and action-packed, for parents with daughters or those who grew up with the original films will find “The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale” to be an animated family film worth watching.

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