My opinion right after watching film
My opinion right after the film is that it is wretched. I have never heard so many songs in a film, and so many horrible cover songs at the same time. Most of the characters are poor, it is a poor tribute to A Midsummer Nights’ Dream, and the effort is seriously lacking.
Production started in 2012 for the film. Lucas wanted to make a daughter specifically for his daughters, and used this film to do it, since girls likes romance films, and that there are not any films specifically targeted for girls anymore. They wanted the film to be like Beauty and the Beast, but the Beast does not change, and also wanted to take some inspiration from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The film starts with a map of the Fairy Kingdom and the Dark Real, and then we are taken to the Fairy Kingdom to be introduced to our protagonist Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood). It is her wedding day, and she is supposed to marry the very vain man Roland (Sam Polladio). She ends up accidentally flying to the Dark realm, where there are primroses to make love potions. The assistants tell their master Bog King (Alan Cummings), which worries him, since he does not want people to be in love. We are about 6 minutes into the film at this point, and there is already approximately 3 songs.
Her sister Dawn (Meredith Anne Bull) is with her elf best friend Sunny (Elijah Kelly), and rants to him about the spring dance, and who she should hook up with, being totally oblivious to the fact that he is in love with her. ANOTHER cover (do you see the issue here?) is being sung, and they are attacked by a lizard, but Marianne saves them. She tells her sister not to be so lovestruck all the time.
It is the Spring ball, and her father the Fairy King (Alfred Molina) tries to rekindle her romance with Roland, and completely blows off that he cheated on his daughter. What type of father ignores something like that. We get a few more songs, where Roland tries to get back with her, and she humiliates him in front of everyone. I think 8 songs passed by now. I am not even kidding. They have a song about every 2 minutes.
I forgot to mention that Bog King`s mother Grisleda (Maya Rudolph) wants her son to find love, and tells him to open up. Does that remind any of you of what Marianne`s father is trying to do? Remember this. Before the Sugar Plum is recaptured, she tells Sunny to not let the Imp get the potion. After she tells the Bog King that she made Sunny a potion, he goes to the Fairy ball to put a stop to all of this.
At the fairy ball, Sunny is singing, and trying to open the potion at the same time, but it goes wrong when it hits Dawn, and she is bagged instantly by the Bog King to be kidnapped. We are midway through the movie, and the plot is really getting started. Maybe if we did not have a song every 3 minutes, then MAYBE this would not be a problem. Sometimes having crappy redundant cover songs does not help a story.
When Dawn is removed from the bag, she falls in love with Bog King because he is the first person she saw since the potion was put on her. Dawn`s constant singing of love songs grew annoying to everyone, and not he wants to find an antidote. Their father gives Roland his own army (which is what he wanted the entire film) to save his daughters, and when Sunny follows, he turns everything on him, though he told him to get the potion.
They are soon told by Sugar Plum is that the antidote is something even more stronger than manufactured love (hint hint, it is real love, which is why the potion did not work with Bog King all of those years ago, because he used it on someone that is in love with someone else). Bog King and Marianne start to realize that they are interested in one another, but when Roland and company show up, it looks really bad on her part. He thinks Marianne played him and set him up for Roland to destroy him, which makes him go evil again.
Long story short, they fight, Roland becomes the big bad villain, and when he is outnumbered, he tells his army to trap them all. I cannot believe this. The army is willing to harm the daughters of the man they REALLY work for? Over some prick that is not even a part of their kingdom? Roland uses the potion on Marianne, but it does not work, since she is in love with Bog King. She pretends like all is forgiven, but punches Roland to his fall, and reunites with Bog King. I forgot to mention that all of a sudden, Dawn is in love with Sunny. WTF? When did this happen? How did this happen? She was not even paying any mind to him. If she had feelings for him beforehand, the potion should not have worked, but now that she thought Bog was gone, she has feelings for the elf? Whatever.
The characters are even weaker than the story. They have some personality, I will give them that, but the execution of their personalities and the one-dimensional side of them is just too much for me to personally handle.
Despite everything, the animation is pretty damn good. While it is very reminiscent to Epic, the style works for the fairy-type world they are creating. The fairy designs are decent, but something about making them overly thin with the squinted faces kind of irk me.
HORRIBLE. The music is HORRIBLE. The amount of songs that I genuinely like that they ruined is truly grating to say the least, took me out of the movie, and blinded me with an unhealthy amount of anger. Why would they decide to do what they did with it? Even with the decent at best ones, it was lazy.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on January 23rd, 2015, it performed extremely poorly. It made about $12,429,583 domestically, and a pathetic $39,801 overseas, the international gross is $12,469,384.
Even if you ignored the financial flop of this film, the film is still a critical flop as well, receiving negative reviews. Many people complained about the fact that it looked nice, but has no surface, the songs and characters are horrible, and that it is the typical animated film today, which is all style and no substance.
= 21.5/40 = 54%