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Western Animation / Happily N'Ever After

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Happily N'Ever After is a 2007 independent German animated film set in a troperiffic fairy tale land. Cinderella's Wicked Stepmother gains control of the land's magic and uses it to cause all the fairy tales to have unhappy endings.

Critical reception to it was wildly unkind, but it's since picked up a minor cult following, enough to earn a Direct to Video sequel, Snow White, Another Bite @ The Apple.

Happily N'Ever After provides examples of:

  • Best Friend: Rick and Ella are this to each other, even after they became an Official Couple.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Cinderella, despite being beautiful and a Ms. Fanservice.
  • Damsel in Distress: Played with. Prince Humperdinck hopes Ella is one, but in the end she kicks more ass than he does along with Rick.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rick and Mambo. They are the biggest snarkers.
  • Disney Villain Death: Subverted: Frieda is pushed into a bottomless fiery pit, but she flies back into the room thanks to the scepter. She's actually defeated when Ella pushes her in the dimensional portal.
  • Expy: Mambo and Munk are this for Yoyo and Doc Croc.
  • Fairy Tale Free-for-All: The film explores a world where the fairy tales exist side by side, and what would happen if the balance of power between good and evil were suddenly shifted.
  • For the Evulz: Frieda decides to take over the Wizards' wand and give a bad ending to all the various fairy tales... for fun...
    • Rumplestilskin even lampshades this when asking Frieda why she hates Ella so much. Frieda's reply?: "I don't know. Because she's gorgeous? Because she's too stupid to know her place? Because she's so cheerful about everything? Because if she wins, she'll be the queen and I will be the stepmom forever!"
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: The whole point of the film. Even when evil is vanquished and everybody gets a happy ending, not all of them are traditional (Ella, for instance, decides not to marry the Prince).
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Rick makes one for Ella in the climax.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Frieda. Also Ella, along with Hartman Hips.
  • Jerkass: Frieda the Evil Stepmother. See For the Evulz.
  • Limited Animation: Largely due to sending animation to several studios even though it had a moderate budget.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Frieda the Stepmother, surprisingly, with her hourglass figure, shapely long legs and prominent cleavage. Also Ella herself, a very beautiful, cute and pretty girl, either in her normal maid clothes or in her Pink Pimped-Out Dress.
  • Nice Girl: Ella, who is very kind and caring.
  • Official Couple: Rick and Ella at the end.
  • One True Love: Rick and Ella are this to each other.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Notable aversion: as soon as her mooks fail to capture Elle, Frieda decides to go after her herself.
  • Our Trolls Are Different: Huge, dumb monsters with bunny ears.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Cinderella's magically made dress, which is Pink.
  • Prince Charmless: Despite his idealised reputation, Prince Humperdinck is actually a dim-witted, clumsy oaf who constantly has to follow a literal handbook on how to act like a fairy tale prince. While he falls for Cinderella and spends most of the film trying to rescue her, she is almost immediately put off by him and eventually falls for Rick instead. Humperdinck shows no hard feelings, and even pays for their entire wedding.
  • Shout-Out: Prince Humperdinck's name is the same as another Humperdinck we know.
  • Truer to the Text: Frieda unintentionally did that to the actual original Little Red Ridding Hood, by having her eaten by the wolf, which is unfortunately the actual ending of her original book in the real world.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Frieda changes the story of Little Red Riding Hood so that the wolf eats Red.

Happily N'Ever After 2 provides examples of:

  • Art Evolution: Inverted. The animation is much worse, on par with or worse than fellow sequel Space Chimps 2, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future and the early Transformers: Generation 2 commercials.
  • Ascended Extra: The 7 Dwarfs. They appeared in a scene in the first film.
  • Bishōnen Line: The Wicked Stepmother of this movie starts out ugly and is turned beautiful.
  • Continuity Cameo: A portrait of Ella and Rick from the first movie appears on the wall in the Fairy Godmother's office.
  • Continuity Nod: When observing Snow White's behaviour and how radically different she is from her mother, Munk wonders if Mambo interfered with the scales again, referencing the inciting incident of the previous film's events.
  • Continuity Snarl: The Seven Dwarves' brief cameo in the previous film heavily implies that they already know Snow White and the events of their original fairy tale have already happened. This film shows her meeting them for the first time, despite this film explicitly taking place after the first.
  • Dance Party Ending: The song even has "dance party" in the lyrics.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Snow White's mother, Queen Grace, is shown to have died when the latter was only young. She is remembered by the entire kingdom for her unfailing and borderline saintly kindness, and Snow White's character arc involves learning to live up to her mother's legacy.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Lady Vain tries to kill Snow White for being more humble than before, to illustrate, Snow White was actually okay with her marriage as long as her dad was okay with it. Lady Vain basically threw away her chance to rule for her own pettiness.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: In Happily N'Ever After, Rumpelstiltskin starts out evil and later turns good. In this film, which explicitly takes place after the first, he's shown working for Lady Vain and helping her with her scheme, with no explanation given for why or how he went back on his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Queen Grace suffered from a violent coughing fit not too long before her death.
  • Identical Stranger: Lady Vain looks remarkably similar to Queen Grace aside from her nose, so she uses the Magic Mirror to turn herself into a carbon copy of the late queen so she can court the king.
  • Lack of Empathy: When everyone else in the kingdom was mourning Queen Grace's death, Lady Vain was openly smiling, since it would mean someone else would get to be queen.
  • Meaningful Name: Lady Vain is, predictably, selfish and obsessed with her appearance.
  • Unexplained Accent: In the English dub, the seven dwarves have Scottish accents, despite being German.
  • Villain Ball: When Snow White and her friends crash the wedding in the climax, Lady Vain - still acting on their mutual hostility from before - assumes they're trying to stop her, and attempts to kill Snow White in front of the entire kingdom. If she had simply listened to what Snow White had to say to her father - that she had learned her lesson, and was even willing to allow the marriage if that was what he wanted - then Lady Vain's plan to marry the King and take the throne could have succeeded without any opposition.
  • Walk Through the Camera: A scene where a group of trolls begin walking toward a light shining at the castle. A pink one walks into the camera and walks back out.