The Swan Princess Is Getting a Prequel?

If you're a Swan Princess fan, you might be familiar with the Chamberg Daily News, the YouTube webseries for official announcements about the never-ending onslaught of tie-in movies to the original 1994 adaptation of "Swan Lake." Instead of exploring the new settings and characters that were introduced in The Swan Princess 10: A Royal Wedding, it looks like the series is going back to its roots for its 11th installment. According to the latest video newsletter from the Chamberg Daily News, the next Swan Princess movie will be a prequel entitled A Fairy Tale Is Born that will explore the events before and leading up to the original film.

I've been pretty vocal about my thoughts on the pointless CGI sequels that spat all over the beautiful hand-drawn animation of the original trilogy. As such, I'm not too thrilled about adding a prequel to the mix that would further soil the imagery of the original film. To be fair, it has not been officially confirmed that the prequel will be CGI instead of hand-drawn, but I would be very surprised if it isn't. The animation is not the only reason I'm skeptical about a prequel. The Swan Princess did such a great job of showing the childhood years of Odette and Derek prior to the events of the movie that I don't think there's much else to add. They even covered Odette's awkward phase when she had acne, and Derek and Bromley didn't want girls interrupting their playtime. This does open up an excuse to make Rothbart come back as a villain again, but I'm hoping they don't ruin the original by having him reveal his plans too early.

Since the last sequel took place in a Chinese kingdom and told the story of a princess who had only been introduced to the series one movie prior, I was hoping that the filmmakers could continue to introduce new characters and lore. This could expand upon The Swan Princess franchise as a brand, turning it into their own line of princesses along the lines of the Disney Princess brand. They did this to an extent in the some of CGI sequels with Derek and Odette's adopted daughter Alise, who grew up throughout the course of the films. The movie that really implied they might be going in this direction, though, was The Swan Princess 9: Kingdom of Music, in which various kingdoms from other cultures were introduced for a music competition. It would have been great to make more movies exploring these kingdoms and the princesses who live there. Going back to the beginning seems like beating a dead horse since Odette and Derek's story has more than run its course.

Speaking of new beginnings, the upcoming live-action Little Mermaid film, which is likely to retcon the original animated version, has recently revealed its new character design for Sebastian, and opinions on it vary. Following in the direction of the other live-action remakes, Sebastian has been transformed into a much more realistic-looking crab with beady eyes and one deformed claw. Though it's a big change from the original movie, it's hard to say how much personality he will have before we can hear his voice and see the animation. Flounder had a more subtle reveal in the background of various clips that have been released from the film. Though he maintains his blue and yellow color scheme, he bears a much stronger resemblance to a real fish than the big cuddly sidekick we've grown accustomed to.

Change is a natural part of life. We can either fight it or embrace it, but it's going to happen either way. Hopefully, a prequel to The Swan Princess won't do too much damage to the original film's animation or story. Right now, the only thing we know is its title, The Swan Princess: A Fairy Tale Is Born. As far as The Little Mermaid, I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I prefer the more expressive hand-drawn designs of Ariel's sidekicks to these soulless replicas. Still, the film might be enjoyable on its own merit. Do you think studios should leave these properties alone and move on to new stories that aren't rooted in nostalgia? Let me know in the comments!


Sugar said…
I'm afraid that the studios don't want to leave ANYTHING alone, but to reform everything according to the times, consequently they need to make new versions of everything, I don't want to be pessimistic but they already got their hands on winx so I hope they do the same with Regal academy and even in about 10 years sofia the first.
However, it is always in our hands to decide if we give our time and money to these new versions and their products. I'm afraid that if a prequel to the Swan Princess was made, they would soften Odette and Derek's relationship, contradicting the original timeline where they were children's enemies until little by little they became friendenemies and they liked each other in their adult years.
And I don't think they'll let a guy be really mean, offensive or unfriendly to a girl so maybe Odette seems too pushy compared to a more peaceful Derek or they'll almost totally erase the idea that they used to get along in childhood.
Sugar said…
I'm afraid don't understand, I meant that they weren't friends with children.
Lisa Dawn said…
Sofia the First is already getting some sort of sequel or reboot or spinoff, so I'm afraid it's going to be a lot sooner than ten years. I posted about it a few months ago. Nobody knows much about it yet.

I get what you mean about Odette and Derek not liking each other as children. Maybe a prequel would show the exact event where they realized they didn't hate each other and make it something other than the engagement ball like in the first movie.

Your comment about needing to reform everything according to the times reminds me of Alise's line from one of the CGI sequels where she was complaining that everyone at the castle was too old-fashioned and that she wanted to be a "modern princess." I always thought that was funny because she was obviously referring to the modern-day princess stereotype of becoming a warrior even though the movie was supposed to take place in medieval times, so "modern" in that setting should have meant something completely different.
Kiki Callahan said…
Don Bluth should just let Disney make Anastasia an official Disney Princess!
Kiki said…
Disney needs to make Anastasia an official Disney Princess!

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