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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.
  • 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.
  • Agony of the Feet: The feet are the most sensitive part of a goblin's body, and the heroes use this to their advantage.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The goblin royal family, Prince Froglip and his parents. (Though not the human King and Princess Irene.)
  • Always Chaotic Evil: All the goblins are evil.
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  • 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.
    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.
  • Gainaxing: The Goblin Queen.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • 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.
  • 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.


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