What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that THE SWAN PRINCESS is less scary than most animated fairy tales, though it does contain some of the typical action scenes common to these films. In most instances, these sequences are brief and do not depict injury or death. There's an evil enchanter, a flying beast, some fiery backgrounds, sounds of thunder and lightning. A scene in which the royal family's carriage is attacked is cut short before the princess is taken and the king wounded. King William delivers an important message to the prince, who comes to his aid, then simply disappears from the film. The longest "battle" is a paintball practice exercise, played entirely for humor. The final conflict takes place between the prince and the enchanter, who has turned himself into the flying creature. Princess Odette is portrayed with modern sensibilities, and is greatly offended when she believes the Prince loves her only for her beauty.
- Families can talk about what inspired this movie: the story of "Swan Lake," the ballet. It might be fun to read the ballet story together and see what the two tales have in common.
- Why did Odette refuse to marry Prince Derek when he first asked her? What was she hoping he would say?
- The music here is more contemporary than in most animated fairy tales. How did the modern songs and dancing add an element of humor and energize this old-fashioned story?
- Do you think the King's early leniency toward Lord Rothbart was a mistake? Other than destroying the villain, what could the king have done to ensure that the villain didn't cause any more trouble?