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Happily N'Ever After Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… plenty bad enough. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 16

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Stuffed with stock characters -- the vain prince, the critter sidekicks -- who adamantly stay stock.

    Read Full Review

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    N'ever was an apostrophe so misplaced, n'ever was the prospect of good cheer so perversely defeated.

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Who would have thought an animated comedy satirizing the predictable nature of fairy tales could be so grim?

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    This movie is the worst kind of offender: it thinks its funny and clever, but it is neither. The filmmakers have mistaken banality for wit and silliness for humor, and that doesn't begin to address how visually clunky this motion picture is.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    Happily was begun as an old-fashioned 2-D "flat" cartoon and then switched by producer John Williams (of "Shrek") and director Paul J. Bolger to 3-D during production. The style finally is an uncomfortable amalgam of both.

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  • See all Happily N'Ever After reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

Shrek wannabe isn't offensive ... or fun.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although kids may want to see this animated fairy tale "reimagining," it's not really worth their time. The movie revises the Cinderella story in order to let the "bad guys" win ... for a minute. This results in some minor violence, much dastardly laughter, and temporary changes to familiar fairy tale plots (Rumplestiltskin steals the baby, Sleeping Beauty doesn't wake up, etc.). Many genre clichés are played out here: The wicked stepmother is mean, her daughters are obnoxious, the prince is dimwitted, and wolves, trolls, and the giant are ugly and lumbering. There's a little bit of potty humor, and a couple of none-too-menacing scenes in the dark woods. The cartoony violence primarily consists of falls and inconsequential explosions (no one dies).

  • Families can talk about the film's premise -- that all fairy tales follow a basic plot and might need to be invigorated. How would you change the plots of these familiar stories? Is there another way to change the ending without focusing on "good" and "evil" characters? How does Rick's point of view affect the movie? What might happen if Ella didn't decide to like him in the end? What do you think happens to Ella's stepsisters? What other movies have covered similar territory? What makes this one better/worse than those?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Villains (especially the wicked stepmother) are predictably unpleasant (smelly, cackly, selfish), but in the end, they're defeated. Other cliched fairy tale behavior (obnoxious stepsisters, etc.) is also evident.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Cartoony hijinks include explosions with no consequences, various falls and grumblings, and a "battle scene" in which the seven dwarves haul out a windmill-cum-catapult and shoot precious jewels at dive-bombing witches on brooms (it's a decidedly un-fun bit of business).

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Sexy-bodied bad stepmother: Her ballgown shows mighty cleavage and a slit up the side to reveal leg/high heels; plot focused on marriage (all the girls in the kingdom apparently want it, and the prince thinks he wants it); chaste kissing by primary couple.

  • language false0

    Language: Namecalling ("dragon lady," "salmonella," "loser") and other mild obnoxiousness ("royal pain the butt," "a butt the size of a shopping mall").

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: During the villains' takeover of the palace, they're served food and unidentified drinks on trays.