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Running Time:
1 hour, 27 minutes

Rating: PG Parental Guidance Suggested.

Rating Explanation:
for some mild action and rude humor.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
An underwhelming Shrek knock-off.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Happily N'Ever After? - alternate ending; Deleted scenes: Lost in Fairy Tale Land; 3 fun featurettes: Journey of the Characters in the Enchanted Forest, Creating the Happily Story: Bringing N'Ever After to Life, From Storyboard to Fair Tale: A Comparison; Director's commentary; 5 games from the Department of Fairy Tale Security: Choose Your Own Fairy Tale Ending, Munk's Fairy Tale Fix, Mambo and Munk's Magical Matchmaker, Mambo's Memory Mix-Up, Create Your Own Witch's Broom; 16x9 widescreen version; English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio; English and Spanish subtitles.

Happily N'Ever After
The computer-animated story has Cinderella’s wicked stepmother Frieda (Sigourney Weaver) get hold of the magic staff from the wizard (George Carlin) who is in charge of making sure that all of Fairyland’s tales turn out happily. She uses it to make sure there will be no more happy endings. Ultimately it’s up to the prince’s servant Rick, (voiced by Freddie Prinze, Jr) not only to persuade Cinderella that she should love him rather than the self-absorbed Prince Humperdink (Patrick Warburton) but to allow him to work with her and the wizard’s goofy assistants Munk (Wallace Shawn) and Mambo (Andy Dick), who lost the staff in the first place, to outmaneuver Frieda and restore order to their world.

It sounds like a clever idea, but the script begins with a bunch of gags that seem to be watered-down Disney and descends from there until a scene where Cinderella and her new-found allies meet the Seven Dwarfs, who seem to be wild-eyed militiamen, and they're all chased by a bunch of trolls and witches. That's about when Rick says “I hate to tell you, but it gets worse.” And it does.

There are a few funny bits, like the repeated mispronunciation of Cinderella’s name by her forgetful Fairy Godmother (Lisa Kaplan). And some amusing moments with Rumpelstiltskin (Michael McShane), but it never comes close to the funnier and classier examples of the genre like Shrek, which it's trying so hard to emulate. It's not even as good as last year's “Hoodwinked!” Plus the animation is decidedly second-rate. The backgrounds are unimpressive and the characters look akward, stiff and inexpressive, but worst of all, it's unimaginative. We expect much more of computer-animated films these days. But "Shrek the Third" is on its way; let's hope it lives up to its predecessors.

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