The Princess and the Pea (2002)

“Because the evil prince Laird did not inherit the crown of Corazon, he sought his revenge by secretly switching his newborn daughter with that of his brother’s, King Heath. The real princess is raised as a peasant, unaware of her royal lineage… Unless Sebastian, the court historian, discovers the secret of the pea, dire consequences await the kingdom of Corazon. ”

– Anonymous, IMDB.

The Princess and the Pea is an American-Hungarian film, produced by Swan Animation who is “dedicated to creating high quality animation that entertains and promotes traditional family values”. The film is loosely based off the Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name.

There was an attempt to adapt the movie to a television series called The Princess and the Pea Chronicles, featuring the animal side characters from the film. Two episodes of the series are available on DVD, but at the time of writing this post I cannot find any information that clarifies how many episodes in total were created.

Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below)…
The Princess and the Pea is another Youtube find during my initial Bad Princess Movie binge that would eventually birth this blog. Honestly, my initial impression of the movie was feeling a bit surprised that I hadn’t heard of it before. When you see something like Golden Films’ Beauty and the Beast, you kinda get why you’ve never heard of it. A low budget, low effort film tends to fly under the radar, but The Princess and the Pea appears to have some earnest effort put into it.  

The Princess and the Pea fails mostly in the story department. The titular character, Daria, was deemed a ‘football’ by our viewing group, as she just sort of gets passed around from scene to scene. All of the action focuses on her, but she herself does nothing to further it. She’s a very passive protagonist. Her story having a happy ending is really luck more than anything else, she just happens to be in the right place at the right time.   

I should also mention, this is another musical. Again I’m not very musically inclined, so I’m not gonna pass too much judgement on the songs themselves. Vocally at least, they’re not awful, and I honestly wish that whoever provided the singing voices also did the character’s speaking voices as well. I think the voice actors were maybe given bad direction for their parts, as they tend to sound very stilted and somewhat monotone, whereas their singing counterparts convey a lot more emotion and as a result, are a lot more pleasant to listen to. 

Side note, but those “traditional family values” that got mentioned earlier? My DVD came with these questions to think about during the movie. These questions made me flashback to elementary school, and having to answer similar questions like these in my duotang.

In conclusion, The Princess and the Pea is an interesting one if only because you can really focus on and discuss the story, and what they could have (and frankly should have) done differently.

P.S. I did end up checking out the Princess and the Pea Chronicles… it was a fairly unremarkable, by the numbers TV show. As mentioned earlier, the show focuses not on the Princess, but her animal side kicks (Though the Princess does show up briefly to sum up the moral lesson of the episode in a song). I can definitely see why it never went anywhere.


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