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"THE SWAN PRINCESS: ESCAPE FROM CASTLE MOUNTAIN"
(1997) (voices of Michele Nicastro, Douglas Sills) (G)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor None Mild Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Mild None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None Minor Minor Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Children's Animated: A prince must deal with a power hungry villain who wishes to take over the world.
PLOT:
It's been a year since Princess Odette (voice of MICHELE NICASTRO) and Prince Derek (voice of DOUGLAS SILLS) have been married. While she's concerned with celebrating their anniversary, he's dealing with someone who's setting fires to their fields. That person turns out to be a henchman sent by the power hungry Clavius (voice of JAKE WILLIAMSON), who wishes to trap and kill Derek so that he can take over the kingdom via the powers of an Orb of the forbidden arts. Derek thus sets out to find Clavius with the help of Jean Bob (a frog), Speed (a turtle) and Puffin (a bird). Odette is turned into a swan to help Derek, but Clavius then gets the orb and becomes all powerful. From that point on, Derek must retrieve the orb to turn Odette back into a human, and he must deal with the 50th birthday of his mother, Queen Uberta (voice of Christy Landers) and stop Clavius from taking over the world.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they liked the original, they might, but since it performed horribly at the box office, it appears most kids didn't want to see it, and thus probably won't want to see this sequel either.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: G
For not containing material to warrant a higher rating.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • Derek is a prince concerned with his land, but not necessarily with the anniversary of his marriage or the 50th birthday of his mother, both of which he forgets about and then blows off to take care of other business. He does defeat the bad guy in the end and shows bravery in doing so.
  • Odette is the princess who cares about her husband and wishes they had more time together. She also risks her life to help Derek in his quest to stop Clavius.
  • Clavius is the villain who wants unstoppable power to control the world and thus isn't a good role model.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 2 out of 10
    Lacking the ability to entertain children or adults, this film is destined for a quick trip to the video shelves, following in the footsteps of its cinematic predecessor that made less than ten million dollars at the box office. Why this film was released in the theaters is the big question, as it comes off as a weak, Disney wannabe, with sub-par animation, song writing, and plot construction. Looking and feeling more like a Saturday morning TV cartoon, what's most surprising is the film's inability to entertain the kids. While it has the standard supporting cast of talking animals, they're neither amusing nor cute enough to hold a child's attention, and most kids will get bored and restless during this feature's 80 minute runtime. In general, the story is rather listless with the usual plot of the prince having to stop the villain that shows no imagination or creative spark. The songs are okay, but will bore kids with their lack of fun or upbeat tunes. And while the animation occasionally looks okay, for the most part it's rather flat and boring which is how this film is probably best described. With little publicity, no star voices behind the drawings, and without the marketing power that Disney uses to propel its films into kids' minds, this small animated feature will be lost in the stampede of summer films. That would have been a shame if the film had been any good, but as it is, no one will even notice. We give this film a 2 out of 10, mainly for its inability to entertain its core audience.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    There's almost nothing to object to in this film. There's the usual good guy/bad guy violence, but it's rather tame and limited to a few punches and other such fighting. A few scenes may be a little scary to the youngest of viewers, but even so they're rather tame as well. The worst part of the film -- as stated above -- is the film's inability to entertain kids. Your children will probably be quickly bored by this feature, and that alone is a reason to probably skip this film.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Clavius drinks what appears to be wine in one scene.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Obviously Clavius and his henchman have both as they try to overthrow Derek and take over the world.
  • Derek forgets his anniversary and his mother's birthday. When reminded of them, he always seems to have something else to do instead, and he's noted for always being late.
  • The Queen has a little bit of a bad attitude as she throws a temper tantrum about her birthday and then about Derek forgetting about it.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Some younger kids may find scenes listed under "Violence" as a little tense or scary, but those who've seen Disney animated features probably won't.
  • A scene where Clavius follows several characters into the castle cellar may be a little scary to the youngest of kids, but not to anyone else.
  • Derek fights off a wolf that attacks him and then falls into a mud pit and slowly sinks below the surface (until Odette saves him).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Cross Bows/Bows & Arrows: Used by Derek, and by Clavius' henchman to fire at Derek in an attempt to kill him.
  • Swords: Used by Derek to spar with a magical sword controlled by Clavius.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Nitwit," "Shut up," "Sucker," and "Don't you ever shut up?"
  • Clavius' henchman shoots a lit arrow into a field, catching it on fire.
  • Clavius throws a knife at a painting of his former partner, then spits a pin at it and then an ax into it.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A few scenes have enough suspenseful music to warrant a mild rating (thinking about very young children -- otherwise it's rather minor).
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Odette is upset that Derek forgot their anniversary and that they don't spend much time together.
  • The Queen is upset that Derek forgot her birthday.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Villains and their attempts at attaining power.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Clavius' henchman shoots a lit arrow into a field, catching it on fire.
  • Clavius' henchman flips Puffin aside, sending him flying into a tree and injuring his tail. He then fires a series of cross bow arrows at Derek who escapes unharmed.
  • Uberta grabs Clavius by the neck and strangles him after he kidnaps her, but he eventually stops her.
  • Jean Bob is pushed through a door look and ends up flying across the room and into a wall.
  • Clavius and others fall down steps as they try to grab the orb.
  • Clavius' henchman causes a bunch of boulders to nearly crush Derek who escapes from that, and then from arrows fired at him, a spiked log swinging at him, and swords that fall near his head.
  • Derek fights off a wolf that attacks him.
  • Jean Bob strangles Puffin after the bird tells the frog to remember the phrase "No fear"as they hang from Clavius' hot air balloon.
  • Derek fights with Clavius' henchman (a few thrown punches) and both alternate hanging onto the edge of a cliff (with the henchman stepping on Derek's fingers).
  • The henchman throws Odette (as a tied-up swan) into a ravine, and Derek comes to her rescue by cutting the cable holding up a cable car that then falls into the ravine with the henchman inside it.
  • Clavius causes a sword to fight with Derek, and then fires "energy" bolts at Derek, eventually hitting and injuring him.
  • Clavius tosses Jean Bob aside, slamming him into a wall and seriously injuring him (but he's okay by the story's end).
  • Clavius' mountain lair blows up, presumably killing him inside it.



  • Reviewed July 18, 1997

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