Say someone gets their hands on the device that could change fairy tales forever. Instead of happy endings, bad things happen to those beloved characters. Jack gets stomped on the beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty doesn’t wake up, Red Riding Hood sits in the digestive track of a wolf, and the entire fairy tale kingdoms goes awry.

What if they stay in this backwards time span, yet still find a happy ending? Do you follow the Terminator timeline and the inevitable happens without going back? Or maybe things play out like Déjà vu on separate timelines, where one version of the character is forced to repeatedly play out the original story as stated in Happily N’Ever After.

Then again, who cares? This movie is a mess. Trying to ensure logical or scientific accuracy on the whole thing may seem ridiculous, but there’s nothing else to do while you watch this humorless, dull, and unimaginative animated film.

The fairy tale parodies were done better in all three Shrek movies. The re-tellings here have no new concepts or laughs behind them. Animation is stiff and on the level of a TV cartoon. Characters are sloppy and lacking originality. How many cute cartoon pigs does the world need?

The cast is filled with names including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Andy Dick, Sigourney Weaver, and George Carlin in a small role (maybe 10 lines total). Any movie with the voice work of Patrick Warburton should be instantly enjoyable as well, yet he’s given nothing to work with.

Aside from a few small snickers, Happily struggles to elicit any of its laughs. These parodies all feel familiar in this day of CG animation, and this movie can do nothing to shake the feeling. How this ended up in theaters instead of direct-to-video is an answer only the execs at LionsGate can answer. [xrr rating=1/5 label=Movie]

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As with any CG film, Happily uh, happily makes its way onto Blu-ray. Primary colors are strong, bright, and pure. Texture detail is excellent. The transfer is clean, sharp, and never wavers. There are some instances where minor compression artifacts show through, banding is noticeable, and hair has a tough time staying stable, though these are minor distractions in a beautiful presentation. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Video]

It’s hard to recall a disc with more positional dialogue than this. Every scene is loaded with voice work coming from the appropriate direction. It’s obvious how much care has been taken to ensure the experience was immersive. Surround work is always accurate during action scenes. Bass comes through deep and pure, especially as the giant steps through the land. [xrr rating=5/5 label=Audio]

Three featurettes run about 25 minutes to begin the extras, covering the actors and the animation process. Seven deleted scenes last, appropriately enough, seven minutes. These are surprisingly complete and not just storyboards. An alternate ending doesn’t do much to change things drastically in its two minutes of runtime. Finally, a selection of three games for the kids round out the features. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Extras]


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