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Sep 072016
 

It’s true that there are quite a few movie versions of Snow White, but there are seldom any versions that take place after the events of the classic fairytale. One such feature is Happily Ever After.

After the Wicked Queen’s death, the demonic creatures that served her run amok as though they are glad to not have a ruler anymore. Then who would expect that the queen had a brother? He’s a wizard named Lord Maliss, who is just as evil if not worse. It seems so strange that he just popped in at the castle when he did.

Image result for happily ever after 1993

For added comic relief, another villain that’s commonly featured is Scowl the Owl (voice of Ed Asner) and his friendly companion Batso. Scowl tries to help out Maliss, but ends up bumbling everything. It’s like he’s trying too hard to be evil. Of course the real distraction is that Scowl is always smoking a cigar. It’s so annoying. Who ever heard of an owl that smokes all the time.

As for Snow White, she and her Prince (who is unnamed for some reason) are on their way to get married only to be attacked by Maliss, who has the ability to turn into a dragon at will. By the way, Maliss desires revenge for what happened to his sister.

You might expect the Looking Glass to be creepy, but it really isn’t. That’s mainly because Dom DeLuise, who I can always expect to be funny, voices the role.

With the Prince captured, Snow White seeks out the seven dwarves for help. Unfortunately, they’re no where to be found. Instead, Snow White finds their cousins, the seven Dwarfelles, who are female dwarves with magical powers related to nature. They are Muddy, Sunburn, Blossom, Marina, Critterina, Moonbeam, and little Thunderella. Like the dwarves, these ladies are named after their personalities as well as their powers.

The Dwarfelles’ power comes from Mother Nature (voice of Phyllis Diller). I’ve seen versions of Mother Nature on The Smurfs and on Christmas specials about the Miser Brothers and I’ll tell you, this version is not one to take lightly, especially when she threatens to take away the Dwarfelles’ powers for making mistakes. Since Mother Nature does make mistakes herself, it sounds a bit hypocritical.

Along the way to Lord Maliss’s castle, Snow White finds a strange humanoid called the Shadow Man, who looks like he could be a character from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Snow White believes he’s good, but the Dwarfelles don’t. Could it be because he looks different, or that he doesn’t speak? Either way, I think the Shadow Man could be a good guy that’s just misunderstood.

This was an interesting movie with its level of fairytale adventure. You can really tell that Snow White has grown in skill since her previous adventure in the woods. She’s braver and more resourceful, but could there be any other relatives wanting revenge for the Wicked Queen?

Apr 132012
 

From the creators of the classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Christmas special is a stop motion animated film called Mad Monster Party. Every classic movie monster is featured in this adventurous comedy from the 60s.

Dr. Boris Von Frankenstein (voice of Boris Karloff) holds a monster convention at his private island, the Isle of Evil, to announce his retirement as a mad scientist. No, it’s not a convention like Spooky Empire, but there are famous monster guests of many sorts.

The Bride of Frankenstein, known in this movie as the Monster’s Mate, is voiced by Phyllis Diller. I recognize her brand of humor from when I saw her on The Muppet Show.

Another interesting character is Yetch. He’s a zombie that tends to fall apart, literally, and has a voice like Igor. It’s especially noticeable when Yetch shows his obsession for Dr. Frankenstein’s secretary Francesca (voice of Gale Garnett). As pretty as she is, who wouldn’t be obsessed?

I recognize Gale Garnett as a singer on this movie because I used to have one of her old records, which had some great folk songs on it.

Dr. Frankenstein confides in Francesca that his successor is his nephew Felix Flanken. Francesca becomes jealous and tells Count Dracula. The two of them plot to get rid of Felix and keep Dr. Frankenstein’s secret formulas for themselves. Luckily, Felix isn’t intimidated because he’s mostly in the dark about the monsters and his uncle’s business.

After a wild dinner party, the monsters have an unusual restless night. The Creature from the Black Lagoon sprays water as he sleeps. The Wolfman howls in his sleep because of the full moon. The Mummy snores when he’s not sleeping in his tomb. Even the Monster’s Mate snores, which causes Fang (Frankenstein’s monster) to sit in his electric chair just to get some peace and quiet. I guess Dr. Frankenstein had yet to invent a formula for monster sized snoring.

Once Felix realizes what he’s a successor of, he has serious doubts about accepting the offer. Meanwhile, the other monsters double-cross Francesca and she ends up in the mote, which is filled with crocodiles. Felix rescues her, then suddenly Francesca falls in love with him. It’s amazing how she had that sudden change of heart.

It soon becomes more exciting as Felix and Francesca try to escape the island with all of the monsters in pursuit, which even includes a giant ape. Is that what they call “It”?

This was a very interesting movie. I admit, it’s not exactly Van Helsing, but has a creative way of featuring all of those old movie monsters together. I even read in the booklet, which comes with the DVD, that this film inspired The Nightmare Before Christmas. Personally, I think it’s more along the lines of Coraline.