Rejoice, Swan Princess fans. Last year we got The Swan Princess Christmas after the series’ 12-year hiatus and this year we’re getting a fifth installment in the Swan Princess franchise: Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale.
The trailer was released back in November, but we just caught wind of it recently. Check it out below.
Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale is a direct-to-video film that shows Odette and Derek after their happily ever after as they adopt a new child named Elise. Elise is an older girl, around 6-9 years old, and the kingdom is head over heels in love with their new princess. But the new little family’s happiness doesn’t last for long when Elise is kidnapped by a troupe of squirrels who believe that Odette is the prophesied evil swan. Dun, dun, dun!
It’s interesting to see the Swan Princess franchise take on an adoption story line rather than go the Odette-is-pregnant route. I guess pregnancy complicates things and would force some parents to have “the talk” with their children. The Rescuers and to some extent Oliver & Company took on adoption themes, but I’ll be honest, I never thought the Swan Princess would go this route.
I’ll just talk about the elephant in the room: the animation isn’t stellar. As much as I want to like it, it looks like a cheap video game. Some of the scenes where the horses are running reminds of Epona’s movements in Ocarina of Time, which came out in 1998. I personally would rather have cheap-looking 2D animation than really bad CGI, but apparently that’s not what the kids want these days.
The Blu-ray cover doesn’t show the CGI characters as they appear in the film–the designs are a weird mashup of CGI and 2D. Odette’s face looks suspiciously like Barbie’s from the Barbie movie covers. It seems like a bait-and-switch tactic, attempting to lure in unsuspecting buyers into thinking they’re buying a new Barbie film.
The film is directed by the Richard Rich, who has directed all of the Swan Princess film to date. The series must be a cash cow for him and his studio Crest Animation Productions because they keep bringing us more Swan Princess! And as a business person, I can’t blame him.
Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale will be released February 25, 2014, just in time for the series’ 20th anniversary. The film will not be available on Blu-ray. Instead it will just be a combo pack with a DVD and UltraViolet digital copy of the film.You can pre-order the film on Amazon.