I remember when the famed animation company Nest made their way onto the scene back in the mid-1990s with Richard Rich, a former animator from Disney, being one of the stand outs. Besides making a few other projects, with the most popular being their animated stories from the Bible, they’re also remembered for making the 1994 movie The Swan Princess with Rich at the helm. It now celebrates being 25 with the The Swan Princess: 25th Anniversary Blu-ray. The catchy songs and cool cast still hold up nicely and will entertain both kids and those young at heart.
The story follows the lives of Princess Odette (Michelle Nicastro) and her childhood friend Prince Derek (Howard McGillin) who were inseparable as kids and grow closer in love to rule the kingdom as they grow older. Of course we all know that’s too good to stay like that, so we have Lord Rothbart (Jack Palance), a sorcerer that’s looking to take over the land for himself. As he’s going about his plans to do so, he’s caught in the act but not before placing a spell on the princess that turns her into a swan, and she can only turn human again under moonlight.
Odette does her best to live life as a swan and even makes some clichéd but fun animal friends named Jean-Bob (John Cleese) who is a frog and Speed (Steven Wright) the turtle, along with Puffin (Steve Vinovich) the bird. Her friends are determined to help her and Prince Derek be together again, but with the magic spell complicating things and Rothbart on the loose, it’s going to take a lot of work at getting their happy ever after.
Me and my family had a nice time with this movie, as it has just enough standard family film fare to keep viewers entertained while possibly breaking out into a song or two. The animation and art are very well done as to be expected from director Richard Rich who worked at Disney. Speaking of which, these come together nicely in high-definition as all the colors and details are crisp and clean, as is the audio that makes sure every song and music number comes through perfectly.
There’s not much as far as special features go, but there’s a new one that goes behind the scenes and has some interviews with the cast and crew. There’s a classic making of extra those goes into how some of the animation is done which is nice for those looking to get into the field, and there’s a few sing-alongs for families to have fun with.
The Swan Princess: 25th Anniversary Blu-ray makes a nice addition to any family’s collection of animated movies. There’s plenty of fun and family film tropes to be entertaining, and while the extras are light, what’s there rounds out to a good release for families to swan dive into.