I just love finding rare treasures. Today I finally obtained a copy of the rarely seen animated movie The Princess and the Pea. Taking it's cues from Disney, the movie can't help but feel familiar, but kudos to Swan Productions for stretching out Hans Christian Anderson's two page story into this grand animated epic.
The songs are quite catchy and when they work, boy do they work. I could've done without some of the villain songs though. I get it, you're evil, blah blah blah.
The film does appear to be dated (it was produced in 2002), and I'm saying this with love. It looks like it would've done well alongside Rolf Kauka's Once Upon a Time in the 1970s, especially with some of the characterizations and visual gags.
Also, so much in so little time happens that it was kind of hard to follow along. It seemed as if they were trying so hard to expand on the original two page story that they now had the problem of too much story. Ultimately there is a focal point and it's in the film's two main leads. The pea isn't one of them.
Daria and Prince Rollo are the heart of the story and you can't help but root for them. I love Daria. If Disney's Giselle wasn't a composite of several Disney Princesses, I would've said that they borrowed Giselle's look from Daria, but Daria in turn seems to have borrowed a lot of traits from Don Bluth's Thumbelina and Anastasia as well as Richard Rich's Odette from Swan Princess.
It is a complete shame that this movie is not widely available. It won awards and stuff. While it doesn't make any great statements about anything, it is enjoyable family fun and tear jerky romantic. Exclusively purchased right here.
If you liked this article check this out:
Tangled - A True Return to Disney Classics
Tiana and Charlotte - Princess Evolution
Little Mermaid - Gay Allegory
Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina
Anastasia (Family Fun Edition w/Bartok the Magnificent)
The Swan Princess (Special Edition)
Once Upon a Time