A Royal MyZtery: WHY?

If you didn't know that there was another Swan Princess sequel released yesterday, you are a very fortunate person indeed. The Swan Princess: A Royal MyZtery (yes, that's the actual title) marks what I believe is the eighth movie featuring the characters from Richard Rich's 1994 classic, The Swan Princess. It was no mistake that I left "The Swan Princess" portion out of the title of my blog post, as these movies are so far and away from what was once an adaptation of the "Swan Lake" ballet that they may as well be on another plane of existence entirely. All of the CGI sequels that started with The Swan Princess Christmas in 2012 have been pretty terrible, but this one might just be the worst yet. Don't worry, though. I went ahead and watched this abomination so you don't have to. Below the image is a description of all the most cringe-worthy things that happened in the movie and why it is objectively terrible and should never have been made, just like all of the other CGI sequels.

The two traditionally animated Swan Princess sequels from the '90s, Escape from Castle Mountain and The Mystery of the Enchanted Treasure did something that every good sequel should be able to do. Even though they were not exactly great movies, they could be enjoyed as standalone stories without requiring the audience to have seen the original. That is not the case for the CGI sequels. Each CGI abomination, of which there are now five, introduces a new character who gets carried into the next movie with absolutely no explanation of who they are and why they are hanging out with Odette and Derek. Continuity is great for TV shows and book series, but not for a series of badly written movies that no one in their right mind would want to binge-watch in order.

By attempting to take all the other sequels into account, we now have a cat who sees dead people, an orphan girl who was adopted by Odette and Derek, an "orphan" boy who was reunited with his parents in one of the sequels but seems to be living with Odette and Derek now anyway, an old king who lives in the next kingdom over, and a strange alien-like race of creatures who take up a ton of screen time despite having no apparent purpose. These creatures spend a large chunk of the movie holding some sort of strange trial involving a ghost squirrel or something like that. During the trial, there are cuts to interviews with the alien creatures in the style of a reality TV show where they address their thoughts on the trial directly to the camera. Not only is it extremely awkward, but also irrelevant. As a result of all these leftovers from past sequels that nobody wanted, A Royal MyZtery is a huge mess that makes no sense and is virtually impossible to follow.

The villain in this movie only makes sense if you were paying attention to the last movie. Even then his motivations are a bit murky. But wait, there's more! This villain also appears to have Dissociative Identity Disorder (unless he was faking it) and performs a duet--with himself. You read that correctly. This movie has a man in it who performs a duet with himself. I think that says it all right there. Not only does it turn mental illness into an awkward joke, but it isn't even entertaining in the slightest. The way he is defeated doesn't make much sense either. There is some kind of scale with a weight on one side over a pit so jumping off the scale would mean falling into the pit. It made a strange kind of sense when the two children were placed on it because one of them jumping off would mean the other falling, but when Derek jumped onto the scale in their place, he could have easily jumped onto the ledge that was inches in front of him instead of forcing Odette to think he was going to die only to make a grand escape a few minutes later.

The characters we already know and love from the original movie are now ridiculous caricatures of themselves, showing us that they have not learned or grown at all from their experiences over the past eight films. Queen Uberta, who is somehow still alive, opens the movie with a signing tour for the book she wrote recounting the events of the previous sequel. She turns the tour into a ridiculous convention honoring herself with cosplayers who are all dressed as her, posters of herself that scale buildings, and a carriage with a giant painting of her face on the door. Princess Odette has forsaken her bravery from the first movie where she sang the song "No Fear" by singing a song in this movie to a cat called "Man Up" because she didn't want to face a bunch of little rodents herself. If it wasn't bad enough that a strong-willed princess was telling a cat to "man up" for her, she then awkwardly attempts to face the rodents while squealing "Don't make me use these heels!" Rogers, Derek's adviser from the first movie, is now in love with Queen Uberta for some reason and can understand Odette's animal friends Jean-Bob, Speed, and Puffin even though the only reason Odette is able to talk to them is because she spent time as a swan. He also has technology that allows him to talk to ghosts. I guess they wanted him to have a bigger part than Derek's sarcastic adviser who only came up with clever one-liners, even though that's what made him great.

Before I wrap up this excruciatingly painful review, there are a few other ridiculous additions to the Swan Princess universe I'd like to point out. Some of the characters are able to communicate by placing stars in the sky that blink in Morse Code. That's right. Stars. They create them by reflecting light from the moon using small mirrors. How do they know the other person happens to be looking at the sky at that exact moment and that it's not just a twinkling star? That never comes up. They have full conversations using this method, blinking out full sentences and paragraphs using only mirrors. As protective as Odette and Derek are of their two adoptive children, neither they nor anyone else who works at the palace notices when they get kidnapped by the villain. This is a full castle staffed with guards, not just some shack in the woods with no locks on the doors! What kind of security do they have at this place? Okay, I think I'm done rambling now. Obviously, you should not watch this movie unless you're on a dare or playing a drinking game for things that don't make sense. I wish I could say this is the last sequel, but as far as I know, there are still plans to make more.


Unknown said…
Oh my gosh i totally agree the first 4 and I include the Christmas one because they still stuck to the story line with Rothbart were fine even though the Christmas one was the yucky 3D it was still ok after that they need to stop seriously what are they trying to prove if they want more money give us dolls!!!
Anonymous said…
Thanks, this sounds truly, truly awful. XD Just one note: Rogers was always in love with Queen Euberta, they flirt at the end of the first movie. ; )
Unknown said…
Thank you! I always feel so sad when I when I see these movies
It really takes away from the magic and romance of the first movie
I simply refuse to even watch all the horrible animated sequels and pretend that only the first three exist. It MIGHT have been okay except for the terrible animation.... Nah... I miss the butterflies you get when you see Derek and Odette reunite and all those romantic scenes.

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