Movie Monday: The Swan Princess

I’m just gonna put this video here and I’m not even going to summarize this because I maintain that “This is my Idea” is THE best growing up montage penned to film. You get to know the characters, watch them grow, establish firmly that what they have isn’t istalove (there’s a small element of that when Derrick finally catches on that Odette’s gorgeous, but the narrative backs up the fact that they were raised together and know each other on a level most prince/princess stories don’t).

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Immediately after the song, Odette asks what Derrick sees in her other than her beauty. Odette’s hesitation makes a lot of sense because she’s known Derrick her ENTIRE life and he’s never seemed to notice her before she got pretty, whereas in the song, we see that she was more than willing to be friends with him on multiple occasions. Derrick screws up and asks “what else is there,” prompting Odette to leave and their brief engagement is dashed to pieces.

On their way out of the kingdom, Odette and her father are attacked by “a great animal.”

 

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“That’s twice in one day!”

Meanwhile, Derrick is playing chess with his best friend and trying to ignore his steward’s lecture. One of the things I love about this movie is how well the background characters are fleshed out. I only wish Odette interacted with a single other female character even once in the movie. The evil female character is literally mute and she never even talks to Derrick’s mom. Not once. Not in a single scene.

 

Anyway, Derrick’s just decided to prove his love for Odette since he’s incapable of vocalizing it, when an injured guard bursts in to tell him Odette’s carriage has been attacked. Derrick rushes to the scene and discovers her father just in time to hear his last words.Derrick’s grief when Odette is lost and his grief for the king seem very realistic, and he’s the ONLY character that seems to grieve (well, other than Odette).His mom instantly goes on with life as though a long time family friend and surragette daughter weren’t just brutally killed in her kingdom.

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The scene switches to Odette and Rothbar, the bad guy. Rothbar wants to marry Odette so he can take over her father’s kingdom. I wonder what happened to Odette’s kingdom though? Like it seems to be an integral part of the villains plan, to take over her father’s kingdom, but the King is dead and the heir is presumed dead. But it’s never addressed again.

Also, I love how important consent is in this universe. The King and Queen worried Odette wouldn’t consent to the marriage with Derrick, and when she didn’t, that was that (though they could force her to spend every summer with him). Rothbar can literally turn people into animals and has a ridiculous amount of power, and he can’t force her to marry him.

Meanwhile, Derrick is practicing his hunting skills on the local musicians. He’s sure Odette’s not dead and he’s going to keep practicing until he’s sure he can take on any great animal.

Meanwhile Odette is making friends with the sentient woodland creatures and making zero effort to figure out where she is. I mean, I get to turn back human she has to be on the lake when the moonlight touches is, but why turn back human? In human form, Rothbar just keeps pestering her to marry him. I’d stay in Swan form until I could *do* something as a human.

Oh, curse caveat, the curse can only be broken when her true love professes his love to the world and does something to prove it. Odette immediately decides Derrick’s her true love, even though she doubted it the day before. But then again, now she’s alone in the world and he’s the only one left that she knows.

The scene shifts to a beautiful duet between Derrick and Odette that I’m just gonna put right here because I love it.


Derrick eventually makes an unlikely connection and realizes the animal is a shape shifter. Meanwhile, Derrick’s mom is trying to marry him off and Odette finally decides to DO something about her predicament and with a risky mission (where she stands watch) she obtains a map.

She and puffin track down Derrick, who meanwhile is hunting a shapeshifter. He spots Odette and determines SHE must be the great animal and follows her back to the pond, shooting arrows all the way. She lands in the water, changes back, and they hug, kiss, and hatch a plan. Derrick’s going to prove his love for her at the ball tomorrow.

Only Odette’s forgotten tomorrow there’s no moon. But Rothbar’s overheard the plan and sings the worst villain song ever while disguising his mute helper as Odette. Fake Odette goes to the ball and everyone’s all “is that Odette?” “I don’t know, we only saw her every summer for Derrick’s entire life and like, 3 days ago.” “Huh, maybe it is her.”

Derrick professes his love to the wrong swan, mortally wounding Odette. Derrick figures out his error and rushes to the lake only to find Odette breathing her last.

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Furious and grief stricken, Derrick goes after Rothbar and in a truly awesome scene with all kinds of callbacks to the beginning, fights and defeats Rothbar with a single arrow.

Returning to the lake, Derrick makes this tearful confession:

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And it’s enough to bring back Odette. They live happily every after.

I love this movie so much. I mean, there’s major plot holes, and it’s missing other female characters, and Odette’s pretty passive, and they didn’t USE the fact that these two characters have known each other their entire lives nearly enough, but it’s a pretty good movie. So glad Bella wanted to watch it.

 

 

 

 

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