Happily N'Ever After

Featured In Issue 122, July/August 2007

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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For some mild action and rude humor
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Paul J. Bolger
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The Department of Fairytale Land Security is run by none other than The Wizard (Carlin), whose job it is to make sure that every story has a happy ending. But everyone needs a vacation now and then, and when Mr. Wizard decides to go on one, he leaves his assistants Munk (Shawn) and Mambo (Dick) in charge. They allow Cinderella's (Gellar) wicked stepmother (Weaver) to get a hold of The Wizard's magical staff, and she is determined to change things a little, making sure that there is plenty of Happily N'Ever After going around. This ain't your mama's fairy tale. (Tricia Spears)

Special features are the same on the "No" side and the "Yes" side and include director commentary; three featurettes: "Journey Of The Characters In The Enchanted Forest" (16 minutes), "From Storyboard To Fairy Tale: A Comparison" (three minutes), and "Creating The Happily Story: Bringing N'Ever After To Life" (12 minutes); seven deleted scenes; an alternate ending; and three games from the Department of Fairy Tale Security: "Munk's Fair Tale Fix," "Mambo And Munk's Magical Matchmaker," and "Choose Your Own Fairy Tale."

The MPEG-2-encoded Blu-ray Disc is very clean with very good detail, but colors are not as bold and vibrant as I expect from a high-definition computer-animated presentation. The image can occasionally look slightly digitized, with occasional stair-stepping on edges, and some color banding can be seen at times. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack uses each of the available channels quite frequently throughout the presentation, but the front and rear stages do not fully mesh, with no real sidewall imaging. Dialogue is well recorded and does not sound forward, as many animated titles can, and directionalized dialogue across the front stage matches on-screen movement well. Effects are also imaged well around the room, making for an enjoyable experience. We still don't have the equipment to listen to the Blu-ray Disc's lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel encoding, but the core DTS stream sounds more forward than the DVD's encoding, which can actually become a slight distraction. Other than that, the soundtrack is fairly enjoyable. (Danny Richelieu)