Happily Ever After is a 1988 American animated film directed by John Howley, featuring the voices of Irene Cara, Carol Channing, Ed Asner, Malcolm McDowell, Dom DeLuise and Phyllis Diller.
The film is a continuation of the fairy tale “Snow White.”
|Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
The Looking Glass recaps the story of "Snow White."
The wicked Queen has been vanquished and the kingdom is at peace as Snow White and the Prince prepare to marry. But the Queen's equally evil wizard brother, Lord Maliss, comes to her castle where he learns about his sister's demise and vows to avenge her death. He transforms into a dragon and attacks Snow White & the Prince as they travel to the cottage of the Seven Dwarfs.
Maliss kidnaps the Prince, but Snow White manages to get away. She reaches the cottage and meets the Dwarfs' female cousins, the Seven "Dwarfelles": Muddy, Sunburn, Blossom, Marina, Critterina, Moonbeam and Thunderella. The Dwarfs have left the cottage, but the Dwarfelles gladly assist Snow White, taking her to visit Mother Nature at Rainbow Falls.
Mother Nature has given the Dwarfelles individual powers to assist her and holds Thunderella responsible for not mastering her powers, and accuses the other Dwarfelles of improperly using their powers. In his dragon form, Maliss attacks them but Mother Nature shoots him with lightning, causing him to crash and return to his human form. Before leaving, he informs Snow White that the Prince is held in his castle.
Snow White and the Dwarfelles travel to Maliss' castle in the Realm of Doom and along the way, they encounter a strange cloaked humanoid known as the "Shadow Man." Maliss sends his one-horned wolves after the group, but they manage to escape with the help of the "Shadow Man." Maliss is furious at this failure and he transforms into his dragon form, having finally captured Snow White successfully himself and taking her to the castle. The Dwarfelles follow them and sneak into the castle as well.
In the castle, Snow White is reunited with the Prince, who takes her through a secret passage to supposedly escape, but the Prince is actually Lord Maliss in disguise, and attempts to throw a magic red cloak on Snow White to petrify her into stone. He almost succeeds, but gets attacked by the "Shadow Man."
The Dwarfelles arrive and attack Maliss as well, but they fail to do so and become petrified by Maliss. The last to be unharmed is Thunderella, who finally regains control of her powers and is able to help Snow White subdue Maliss. The cloak is thrown on him and when the lighting bolt strikes at him, he is petrified in mid-transition between his human and dragon forms.
As the sun shines onto the castle, Snow White tearfully mourns the "Shadow Man" believing that she lost both him and her prince that is until Mother Nature arrives at the scene. Suddenly The "Shadow Man" wakes up and he turns out to be the Prince; as he is waking up he comforts Snow White, telling her not to cry as she notices that he is back to his normal self.
The Prince reveals that Maliss had cast a spell on him and he has been protecting and watching over her during her journey. Then, Mother Nature decides to let the Dwarfelles keep their powers because they’ve finally proven that they can work together as one and they are allowed to attend Snow White's wedding.
Mother Nature takes in Batso and Scowl to be trained as her new apprentices; in the process, Scowl has stopped smoking and is able to breathe again. Then, he comments by saying, "Ya know Batso, maybe working for this Mother Nature ain't going to be so bad" and even realizes that he can smell again as he wasn't able to before and then Batso replies by saying, "But with your cigar, you always smell" as the Dwarfelles begin laughing.
In the end, Snow White and the Prince are reunited as they share a kiss & begin to live happily ever after.
- Irene Cara as Snow White
- Malcolm McDowell as Lord Maliss, the now-dead wicked Queen's vengeful brother and evil wizard.
- Phyllis Diller as Mother Nature
- Michael Horton as The Prince, who is now captured by Snow White's step-uncle, Lord Maliss.
- Dom DeLuise as the Looking Glass
- Carol Channing as Muddy: a Dwarfelle who has power over the earth.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor as Blossom: a Dwarfelle who has power over plants and flowers.
- Linda Gary as Marina and Critterina: Marina is a Dwarfelle who has power over all lakes and rivers. Critterina is a Dwarfelle who has power over animals
- Jonathan Harris as the Sunflower
- Sally Kellerman as Sunburn: a Dwarfelle who has power over sunlight
- Tracey Ullman as Moonbeam, a Dwarfelle who has power over the night; acording to Muddy she is not herself during the daytime causing her to sleepwalk; and Thunderella, a Dwarfelle who has power over the weather including thunder and lightning
- Frank Welker as Batso the Bat
- Edward Asner as Scowl the Owl
Originally, Filmation had developed a plan to create a series of direct-to-video sequels to popular Disney motion pictures, but "Happily Ever After" & Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night" were ever completed.
It was eventually released during the same summer that Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was re-released theatrically.
After getting sued by The Walt Disney Company in 1987, Filmation promised their characters would not resemble the ones from the Disney version and it was also the reason Filmation changed the title of the film from the original title "Snow White in the Land of Doom" to "Happily Ever After."
The movie was originally supposed to be released in 1990 in the United States and while it received a 1990 theatrical release in France, it wasn't released to theaters in the United States until May 28, 1993.
At the box office, it ranked at #11 at the box office, grossing only $1,756,050 and took only $1.76 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend preceded by a $10 million advertising campaign from the distributor First National Film Corp.
"Happily Ever After" received generally negative reviews from critics.
Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote: "Visually, Happily Ever After is mundane. The animation is jumpy, the settings flat, the colors pretty but less than enchanting. The movie's strongest element is its storytelling, which is not only imaginative but also clear and smoothly paced."
Kevin Thomas of Los Angeles Times opined the characters (especially the Prince) were "bland" and called the film's songs "instantly forgettable."
Rita Kemple of The Washington Post derided the "inane" humor attempts as well as "badly drawn characters" and their "clumsy" animation.
Steve Daly of Entertainment Weekly gave it a score of "F" and recommended to "give this Snow White the big kiss-off."
Chicago Tribune's Mark Caro wrote that the comparison with Disney's classic film "Snow White" "couldn't be more brutal."
However, some other reviews were more positive.
Jeff Shannon of Seattle Times opined that "this one's a cut above in the animation contest, deserving attention in the once-exclusive realm of Disney and Don Bluth. It almost, but not quite, escapes those nagging comparisons."
Ralph Novak of People wrote that although "the animation is less sophisticated than the Disney standard," the story "moves nicely, though," with a "colorful" cast of voices.
Candice Russell of Sun-Sentinel called it "a sweet and likable film," crediting a screenplay "that avoids cuteness and sentimentality and remembers that kiddie fare is fun" and "a few charming songs adding to the merriment."