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Western Animation / The Princess and the Goblin

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The Princess and the Goblin is a 1992 children's fantasy film based on the novel by George MacDonald. It was directed by József Gémes, and was jointly animated in Hungary and Wales.

When a peaceful kingdom is menaced by an army of monstrous goblins, the brave and beautiful Princess Irene joins forces with resourceful peasant boy Curdie to rescue the noble king and all his people. The lucky pair must battle the evil power of the wicked goblin prince armed only with the gift of song, the miracle of love, and a magical shimmering thread.

The English language cast includes Sally Ann Marsh as Princess Irene, Peter Murray as Curdie, and Rik Mayall as the goblin Prince Froglip.

This film contains examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: The goblins have two crippling weaknesses; their feet are much weaker than the rest of their bodies, and they cannot stand singing.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The goblin prince is named Froglip instead of Harelip.
    • The term “harelip” was once used to refer to a person with a cleft lip. That term is considered offensive today, which is likely the reason for the name change.
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • The amount of creatures the guards manage to prevent getting into the castle can be counted on one hand, including Curdie. Not to mention Lootie constantly loses Irene, and nobody believes her about her great-grandmother or the goblins.
    • Except the King, who trusts his daughter's judgement.
  • A Girl and her Cat: Turnip is Irene's true companion, accompanying her everywhere she goes, and alerting Curdie when she is kidnapped.
  • Agony of the Feet: The feet are the most sensitive part of a goblin's body, and the heroes use this to their advantage.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: All the goblins are evil.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The goblin royal family, Prince Froglip and his parents. (Though not the human King and Princess Irene.)
  • Badass Boast: Froglip gets one.
    Froglip: I want to have them eating the dirt from under my FINGERNAILLLLLLLLLLLTHPTHPTTH!
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The goblins think so.
    Froglip: Above ground, we were forced to obey...laws. To help others. To be friendly to people! [laughs] Impossible!
  • Captain Obvious
    Curdie: It's like a village... a goblin village. Whoa... this must be where the goblins live!
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Froglip absolutely revels in his own nastiness and makes damn sure everyone knows it.
  • Cats Are Mean: Completely averted by Irene's cat, Turnip, who is one of her most loyal companions, but played straight by one of the goblin's pets, a fork-tailed demonic cat creature.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: In the climatic fight scene, Curdie rushes to get a sword from the weapons room. It's extremely obvious which weapon he's going to pick up because of this trope.
  • Cute Kitten: Irene's cat Turnip is very adorable.
  • Dark Action Girl: The Queen goblin is the toughest character in the film.
  • Disney Villain Death: Froglip, and a good number of other goblins via the Inevitable Waterfall.
  • Dub Name Change: In Hungarian, Irene's name is Angelica, Curdie is Kófic and Prince Froglip is Prince Varangy (=Toad). Turnip's name was directly translated. In German, Irene is called Aline.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Froglip genuinely loves his mother.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The Goblin Queen is noticeably more malevolent than her husband.
  • Incessant Chorus: "A Spark Inside Us". It's a song about singing, but it helps that singing is a highly effective weapon.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: One is formed after the castle is flooded.
  • Large Ham: Prince Froglip doesn't so much talk as he loves to shout and spit with all the subtlety of a megaphone. Considering who voices him, it comes with the package.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: While the Goblin Queen is asleep, Curdie takes off one of her shoes, but she wakes up and summons the guards before he can take her other shoe off. Later, when Curdie is fighting her, he uses a machine to smash her other shoe to pieces - while it's still on her foot.
  • Made of Iron: Curdie can survive falling down a cave without a scratch, but when he falls down the stairs he's unconscious.
  • Momma's Boy: The Goblin Prince is constantly doted and praised by his ghoulish mother.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: The Goblin Queen is far more malicious and intimidating than her oafish husband, and is also harder to put down than the other goblins by virtue of covering up her only weak spot.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Coupled with Nice Job Breaking It, Hero as well. The goblin's initial plan was to flood out the mines, but they also dig a tunnel to the castle in an attempt to take it and capture princess Irene. Since Curide only warned his father and the other miners about the first plan, they build a wall that redirects the water away, but as Curdie later realizes, this means that there's only one place the water can escape now; through the tunnel leading directly to the castle. This leads to the goblins being washed out, but also endangers everyone in the castle when it floods over.
  • Only Sane Woman: The Goblin Queen is the only one who bothers to wear shoes.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Irene is a princess who wears pink.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The King instantly believes Irene about the goblins.
  • Right Makes Might: Discussed and Invoked by Irene's great grandmother, who states that her own magic alone may not be enough to protect Irene from the goblins, and that she'll need a different form of "magic" to overcome the ordeal.
    Irene's great grandmother: You may need a different sort of magic; the sort of magic that is inside everyone if they dare to find it.
    Irene: You mean like being brave?
    Irene's great grandmother: It's more than just being brave, my child. It is the magic of Good against Evil, of Right against Wrong, of doing what you think is right, even when nobody else will help you.
  • Song of Courage: "A Spark Inside Us" gets used throughout to both repel goblins and embolden the heroes.
  • Speech Impediment: The Goblin prince has a wet lisp who sprays saliva over everyone.
  • Staircase Tumble: Curdie hurts his leg falling down some stairs.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The few guards that defend the castle are so grossly incompetent that it makes one wonder how the kingdom has managed to last so long under their protection.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Despite the fact that their feet are their weak spot, only one goblin in the entire film ever thinks to wear shoes.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Curdie grabbing a sword and joining the guards to fight the goblins, and Irene going to the caves to rescue Curdie by herself.
  • Trail Of Breadcrumbs: Both Curdie and Irene use a thread to navigate the caves of the mines, but while Curdie uses ordinary thread that quickly runs out, Irene is given magical thread by her great grandmother that's tied to a ring, barely visible but able to be felt and much longer in length. It ultimately leads Irene to where Curdie was captured and allows them to escape.
  • Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness: Froglip picks his nose in a grotesque manner, sprays saliva whenever he speaks, and declares, with regard to the humans he's plotting against, "I want to have them eating the dirt from under my fingernails!"
  • Unholy Matrimony: The Goblin King and Queen. It's hardly a loving relationship, the Queen constantly hurling verbal abuse towards her husband.
  • Villainous Mother-Son Duo: The Goblin race is being led by Prince Froglip and his mother the Goblin Queen. Froglip aims to conquer the humans in large part to make his Brawn Hilda of a goblin mama proud. The Queen in turn is genuinely loving and extremely doting towards her son, constantly praising Froglip and supporting him. Meanwhile, the Goblin King is such a Henpecked Husband that his wife and son have to come up with all the plans and do all the heavy lifting.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Goblins hate and are utterly repelled by singing (even their pets), and this allows the humans to drive back their forces.
  • You Didn't Ask: After narrowly escaping the tunnels full of evil goblins, Irene wants to kiss Curdie to thank him for saving her life, but they are interrupted by Lootie.
    Lootie: [hollering insistently from the castle grounds] Princess Irene!
    Curdie: "Princess"?! You didn't tell me you were a princess!
    Irene: You didn't ask.