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Western Animation / Happily Ever After

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Looks like Snow White got a tan and hair extension.
Happily Ever After is an unofficial sequel to Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, produced in 1988 and released in 1993 by Filmation. As the studio had actually gone under in 1989, the film is also Filmation's final project. As with most Filmation productions, it features low budget animation and a typical high fantasy/adventure setting, though to divert from the Disney setting, it takes some serious plot detours.

The film opens literally as the previous story ends with Snow White and The Prince are off to go get married after the death of the wicked Queen. Unfortunately, just as this is taking place, the Wicked Queen's brother and evil enchanter Lord Maliss pays a visit at his sister's home and gets caught up on the state of events. Naturally, he vows revenge on his step niece, Snow White. He kidnaps the Prince but loses Snow White. She ends up back at the house of the seven Dwarfs, who are actually absent as instead their cousins, the seven elementally powered Dwarfelles have moved in. This leads to one big girl posse chasing down Maliss to rescue The Prince. Along the way, they are followed by a hooded individual called The Shadow Man.

As you might be able to tell from the plot summary, the film takes more than a few liberties with the fairy tale's setting.

It was critically panned upon its release due to its rather cliche story and the low animation quality. Despite bombing hard at the box office, the film did manage to develop a cult following on VHS.

Watch here, at your own risk.

Tropes included:

  • Action Girl:
    • This Snow White has quite a bit more spine than other incarnations.
    • Ultimately Thunderella too, in the climax, when Thunderella throws a lightning bolt at Maliss and distracts him long enough for Snow White to finish him off.
  • An Aesop: The ending has a tacked-on lesson against smoking, as Mother Nature forces Scowl to quit the habit by ripping the cigar off him, and Scowl remarks that he can finally breathe, spontaneously changing him from a wannabe bad guy to wanting to work for Mother Nature.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: The dead queen's minions are partying in her castle.
  • Animated Musical: The film features three musical numbers, one by Scowl, one by Thunderella and one by Mother Nature.
  • Animation Bump: There is Limited Animation all over the place, but it makes up for it with the few fluid animated scenes.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The male Scowl lays an egg.
  • Avenging the Villain: Maliss's motive is to avenge his dead sister, the Evil Queen.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Love Is the Reason", performed by Irene Cara, is a pop-rock ballad that plays over the end credits (the beginning credits too in some versions) with inspiring lyrics about how "you" have untapped potential hidden deep inside and should reach for it.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the end, after Mother Nature has congratulated everyone, Sunburn says that, of course, some of them were more useful than others. Muddy scolds Sunburn; honestly, must Sunburn take all the credit? No, she mustn't, as Sunburn wasn't talking about herself, she meant Thunderella, who really came through.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The mousy Thunderella finally learns to control her powers at the film's climax and pretty much torches Maliss herself.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Snow White is about to be turned into stone by Maliss, the Dwarfelles suddenly show up, rushing to the rescue, and proceed to beat up Maliss, giving Snow White time to escape. But then Maliss manages to turn the Dwarfelles into stone and is about to do the same to Snow White again. Except Thunderella DIDN'T get turned to stone and she electrocutes Maliss, which stuns him long enough for Snow White to turn his powers on him.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The main Dwarfelles are the blonde Sunburn, the brunette Muddy and the redheaded Thunderella.
  • Bowdlerise: The American DVD sloppily edits out a lot of the violence present in the original VHS edition, such as the dragon morphed Maliss taking an arrow to the leg, Maliss being slapped by Snow White, and some shots from when the dwarfelles take on Maliss. note 
  • Brooklyn Rage: Sunburn's not from Brooklyn, of course, but speaks with such an accent and is angry enough to fit this trope.
  • Bumbling Henchmen Duo: Scowl and Batso are the most major characters among Lord Maliss' servants and are usually seen together. They are hilariously incompetent at helping him with his plans or being evil at all, and mainly serve as comic relief.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Mother Nature, despite a tendency to blunder her experiments badly (and dancing like a hippie chick), is the most badass character around, able to one shoot Maliss in his One-Winged Angel form.
    Snow White: THAT'S Mother Nature?!
  • Butt-Monkey: Scowl, who gets put through a lot of physical abuse throughout the film, from both his Bad Boss and his sheer, bumbling incompetence as a henchmen. Sunburn as well, to a lesser extent.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Snow White calling Maliss's dragon form a 'bird'.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Scowl is a prideful, blustering avian mook who fancies himself as a nasty, tough bloke and loves to boast about how much of a bad guy he is, despite being completely incompetent (he even has a whole Villain Song about the matter). Ironically, he accepts the heroes' decision to try to reform him without much protest at the end.
  • Cigar Chomper: Scowl always has a fat cigar in his mouth.
  • Crisis Makes Perfect: Thunderella spends most of the movie unable to control her lightning powers, but in the climax, just when Maliss is only seconds away from petrifying Snow White, then Thunderella finally gets her powers under control so she can fire a lightning bolt at Maliss, even though the Realm of Doom normally cancels the Dwarfelles' powers.
  • Color Wash: The film straight up abuses the color blue. For example, the Realm of Doom is completely painted in blue.
  • Covers Always Lie: The Dwarfelles are way bigger than the cover suggests. Plus, they made Shadow Man appear to be the Big Bad.
  • Darker and Edgier: Zig-zagged. The atmosphere around the Dwarfelles, the minions and Mother Nature is arguably Lighter and Softer than the original film. However, Maliss manages to bring a lot of the dark elements.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • One of the Dwarfelles (who are allied with Snow White) is Moonbeam, who supposedly has the power to command the night, though unfortunately this is never seen.
    • Shadow Man is a fairly off-putting being, being clad in dark, dirty-looking rags, and keeping his face concealed. However he wants to ensure Snow White's safety.
  • Defiant to the End: Muddy staring down Maliss even as he throws her into a pile with the other Dwarfelles to be turned into stone.
  • Digital Destruction: The bad edits to hide violent content in the American DVD. As with many Filmation projects released on the American DVD, they are taken from PAL copies as the original 35mm elements were apparently destroyed by Hallmark.
  • Disney Death: In the climax, the Shadow Man and six Dwarfelles are stunned or turned to stone.
  • Distressed Dude: The thrust of the plot is the heroes storming Maliss's castle to rescue the Prince. Of course, since he's been turned into the Shadow Man, he's actually loose for most of the film.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Maliss rules the Realm of DOOM—oom—oom—oom—oommmm...
  • Dramatic Thunder: Happens with obnoxious frequency during the final confrontation, with lightning flashing every time someone is turned to stone, as well as when the Shadow Man is seemingly killed.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Turns out that the demise of Snow White's stepmother is not the end of her problems — she still has to contend with Maliss, who's motivated by avenging his sister, the aforementioned stepmother. Snow White suffers a lot as she loses her Prince to Maliss and has to go find him, not even knowing if he's still alive, has to deal with many dangerous creatures, sees her friends turned to stone and nearly suffers the same fate. However, everything ends up working out for the best thanks to certain characters' (ie: Thunderella) pluck, and Snow White is definitely allowed her happily ever after with her Prince at the end.
  • Elemental Powers: The Dwarfelles, complete with Meaningful Names: Sunburn, Muddy, Blossom, Marina, Thunderella and Moonbeam. Critterina's power is not quite elemental.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Maliss seems to have genuinely loved his sister, considering he wants revenge for her death.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Prince gets no proper name and is always only referred to as that, even by Snow White.
  • Evil Gloating: Maliss insists on doing this as he advances with his petrifying cape on Snow White. It's probably because he's taking it so slow that he gets defeated.
  • Evil Uncle: Since the evil queen was Snow White's stepmother, this would make Maliss Snow White's step-uncle, though it's not noted within the story.
  • Eye Beams: Maliss can shoot yellow-orange beams out of his eyes. Unusually, they don't burn or destroy targets, they just knock them over (though if he goes for the target's eyes, that's a very bad thing; just ask Shadow Man). They can also be used to carry people around, as he did with Snow White and Shadow Man.
  • The Fashionista: Blossom.
    Thunderella: He was sooo terrible!
    Blossom: Unbelievable, my dear! He was wearing last year's cape!
  • Faux Affably Evil: Maliss when he sneers that Snow White seems cold before throwing his petrifying cape at her.
  • Feminist Fantasy: Snow White is out to save her prince and the dwarves have been replaced by dwarfelles. There's also an additional "empowerment" element for little girls watching the movie, as Thunderella, the youngest of the Dwarfelles, does finally manage to "get it right" regarding her powers and is primarily the one responsible for the villain's defeat.
  • Field Power Effect: Mother Nature and, by extension, the Dwarfelles cannot use their powers in the Realm of Doom. But Mother Nature can kick Maliss's ass any day if he's outside it. Thunderella eventually does manage to use her powers even inside the Realm of Doom, hitting Maliss with a lightning bolt so Snow White can petrify him.
  • Forced Transformation: The Prince is turned into the suspicious-looking, voiceless Shadow Man by Maliss. It makes life hard for him since he wants to help Snow White but the dwarfelles keep telling her not to trust him because of how he looks.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Snow White and the Dwarfelles with tangible personalities. Snow White is melancholic, Thunderella is phlegmatic, Sunburn is choleric and Muddy is sanguine.
  • Gratuitous Rap: Scowl's rap song "The Baddest", about how supposedly bad he is. It comes very early in this fairy tale movie and the only prompting he needs to launch into it is Maliss leaving the castle, after which he flies down in silence and suddenly begins singing it.
  • The Grotesque: It's never shown what the Shadow Man looks like under his clothes, but it is implied from the appearance of his hands (brown and gaunt with sharp nails and only four fingers on each hand) and fear of letting Snow White come close and touch him that it's probably not a pleasant sight. Then it turns out he was the Prince all along, with Maliss having cursed him into that form as revenge.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Scowl and Batso, because Mother Nature helps him learn to "smell again" after clearing up the harmful effects of smoking, and Batso was only evil because Scowl was, so Batso heel face turns because Scowl does.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Lord Maliss's final fate is becoming petrified by his own cloak.
  • Indy Hat Roll: Sunburn does one in Maliss's castle, after she hits the door's trigger out of frustration. It's also one of the few examples to use an upward-closing door.
  • "I Want" Song: "Thunderella's Song", about Thunderella wanting to have control over her powers like the rest of the Dwarfelles.
  • I Will Find You: Snow White vows to find the Prince after they're separated by Maliss, afraid that something terrible might have happened to her lover.
  • Limited Animation: As usual for Filmation, the movie was produced on a low budget and it shows compared to other animated films of the time.
  • The Load: Despite the elemental powers, the dwarfelles do very little to help Snow White. Doubly so when they enter the Realm of Doom, where Mother Nature has no influence, meaning the dwarfelles' powers are annulled. One dwarfelle is an exception, proving to be of great help to Snow White: Thunderella. Her powers eventually do work, "Realm of Doom" or no, and Thunderella is instrumental in Maliss's defeat.
  • Minion with an F in Evil:
    • Batso and his inability to grasp the concept of "being bad".
    • Scowl himself definitely counts, boasting of how bad he is and yet does more to hinder Maliss's pursuit of Snow White than he does to help it, to the point where Maliss himself hopes to roast him purely for his own amusement.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Rhino-wolves! And the creatures spawned by Mother Nature.
  • Mordor: The Realm of Doom, controlled by Maliss. It's a place of perpetual darkness and desolate rocky landscapes that's populated by all manner of weird and dangerous creatures that do Maliss' bidding. Mother Nature herself has no power over that land until Maliss is defeated.
  • Mother Nature: Mother Nature is a mentor to Snow White in her quest to find her Prince, teaching her how to reach the Realm of Doom. She's portrayed as a sort of hippie-esque mad scientist who loves to mix and match things to create new living beings. The element-wielding Dwarfelles are her direct subordinates.
  • Mysterious Protector: The Shadow Man is a hooded figure who goes around protecting Snow White and the Dwarfelles, with the latter distrusting him because he's so weird and mysterious and keeps himself at a distance. At the end, it turns out he's Snow White's Prince under a curse, so of course he'd be invested in protecting them.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Near-Villain Victory: Maliss seemingly kills the Shadow Man, petrifies six out of seven Dwarfelles, and comes very close to petrifying Snow White and winning. She puts up a good fight, but he ultimately subdues her and is just about to put the petrifying cloak on her. Maliss would have won if he hadn't made one fatal mistake—he thought he petrified all seven Dwarfelles, but only got six, so he's caught off guard by Thunderella attacking him, which ultimately allows Snow White to take his cloak and use it on him.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Scowl gets in the way of Maliss chasing Snow White, thus letting her escape. The prince still gets screwed.
    • Then there's the scene near the end. Let's just say they unintentionally help the dwarfelles storm the castle.
    • Maliss himself isn't immune, because he's only defeated in the end because instead of just killing Snow White outright when he has the chance, he insists on petrifying Snow White with a cloak, which gave Snow White an opportunity to beat him... with a little help from Thunderella of course.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Critterina, who in keeping with her name and position is clearly anthropomorphic to some degree compared to the rest of her fellow Dwarfelles.
  • No Song for the Wicked: Lord Maliss does not get a musical number and he's certainly a lot more threatening than his funny minion Scowl, who does. Then again, who would want to see Maliss rap?
  • Ominous Owl: Scowl is a subversion. Despite being on the bad guys' side, he's a Butt-Monkey and not threatening at all despite his insistence that he's the baddest of the baddies.
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: The film ends with the camera panning up from Snow White and the Prince kissing to the dawning sky.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The Mirror neglects to inform Maliss that his sister's death wasn't Snow White or the Prince's fault. The plot might not have happened otherwise.
  • Power Incontinence: Thunderella's problem throughout the story is that she can't figure out how to control her lightning powers. She manages to overcome this in the hour of greatest need and saves Snow White with her newfound control over her element.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: The Shadow Man sees himself in a puddle of water and angrily kicks it with his foot.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Snow White is drawn with very fair skin and jet-black hair.
  • Scaled Up: Maliss's favored mode of transportation and attack is to turn into a red dragon, and unlike most examples, it was actually pretty effective up until Scowl interfered.
  • Shadowed Face, Glowing Eyes: The Shadow Man cloaks his body to such an extent that the only part of his face that's visible is his yellow eyes peeking out from the darkness of his hood.
  • Shapeshifter Swan Song: What happens when Maliss dies. First he turns into his dragon form and then, before he turns into stone underneath the cloak's effects, turns into a dragon with his human face.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Scowl and Batso have no involvement whatsoever in the climax of the film. Unless you count letting the Dwarfelles in accidentally as being involved.
  • Spiritual Successor: Filmation previously did a sequel to Snow White in 1980, A Snow White Christmas - it was a Christmas Special, and only lasted 50 minutes. That one also much more obviously ripped off Disney - by the time this film was made, the Mouse had gotten wiser.
  • Stealth Pun: "Seven Dwarfelles I hadn't counted on!" Damn right, because if Maliss HAD counted them, he'd realize one was still loose, and that one turns out to be his downfall.
  • Storming the Castle: After Maliss succeeds in kidnapping Snow White, the Dwarfelles take it upon themselves to invade his castle in order to help her, with many run-ins with Maliss's goons along the way.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: The goons that the Wicked Queen has left to Maliss (who seem, by the way, suspiciously similar to the ones who worked for Maleficent) are even more bumbling than the dwarfelles — particularly Scowl.
  • Tagalong Kid: Thunderella is a young child and the youngest Dwarfelle overall. She tags along on the adventure due to being part of the group, but it's obvious her colleagues resent her for her failure to effectively wield her lightning powers. Nonetheless, she plays a pivotal role in defeating Maliss at a time when all the others are down for the count.
  • Taken for Granite: Maliss has the power to turn living beings into stone through the power of a cloak. He plans to use it to get his revenge on Snow White.
  • Tempting Fate: "With the evil queen gone, who would harm us?" - the Prince to Snow White seconds before they're attacked by Maliss.
  • Title Drop: The last line is the prince asking Snow White, "Are you ready to live happily ever after?"
  • True Blue Femininity: The beautiful and very feminine Snow White spends the movie in a blue dress. It also contrasts with her Prince, a handsomely masculine warrior who wears a bold red shirt.
  • The Unintelligible: The Shadow Man can only communicate in grunts and moans, though the occasional "No!" can clearly be made out among his attempts at speech.
  • The Unreveal: The Shadow Man's face underneath his hood is never revealed.
  • Unwilling Suspension: After Maliss's minion Scowl gets in the way of his quest for revenge on Snow White one too many times, Maliss punishes Scowl by tying him up and hanging him over a boiling cauldron. Batso eventually saves Scowl from this fate.
  • Villain Song: "The Baddest". More like Mook song, though, since it's sung by Scowl.
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: Scowl runs into a tree while helping Maliss chase Snow White.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Prince’s horse is never seen again after Maliss’s first attack on Snow White.
    • The fate of the Queen/Maliss’s minions after the latter is defeated.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: How Mother Nature reacts when Snow White says she wants the Dwarfelles to come with her. ("You want THEM?")
  • You Monster!: Spoken by Snow White to Maliss after the latter turns the Dwarfelles to stone and kills The Shadow Man.
  • You Must Be Cold: When Maliss has Snow White cornered, he mockingly says she's cold and throws his petrifying cape at her.