“Princess Odette, Prince Derek and their trusted woodland friends return for their first Christmas celebration! But, with the villainous Rothbart striving to destroy Christmas itself, will they be able to stop him and save the day? Told in beautiful CG animation for the very first time, The Swan Princess Christmas is an enchanting musical holiday treat the whole family will enjoy!”– Anonymous, IMDB.
The Swan Princess Christmas is brought to us by Crest Animation Productions and Nest Family Entertainment. It was released 14 years after the original Swan Princess film, is the fourth film in the Swan Princess franchise, and was the first film to be animated with CGI. According to IMDB Trivia, The Swan Princess Christmas had a (presumably small) theatrical release in the U.S. and South Korea.
Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below)…
From humble beginnings… it seems so long ago that I spotted The Swan Princess Christmas in the bargin bin at Walmart and though “Wait, seriously?!” Not only had they brought back the Swan Princess franchise, and not only did they make it in CGI, but they made it a Christmas movie!
If you’re unfamiliar with the Swan Princess franchise, it’s set in a vaguely medieval time period with actual sorcerers/sorceresses running around. It kinda makes it weird to also throw Christmas into mix. The movie does somewhat attempt to keep things generic… except they also have songs where they clearly talk about Santa and Jesus Christ. Do Santa and Jesus exist in the Swan Princess universe? If I had to put money on it, I imagine they just wanted to make use of the traditional Christmas songs and didn’t want to alter the lyrics. I really wish they did because it sticks out like a sore thumb to me. Personally I think a generic holiday would’ve been nice, but I imagine “Swan Princess Winter Solstice Festival” is way less marketable.
So the summary above already spoiled this, but Rothbart is back! For those not in the know, Rothbart was the villain from the very first Swan Princess movie. It’s both awesome and awful that they chose to bring him back for the Christmas movie of all things. I really wish they had saved him for a better plot than “Evil doer wants to destroy Christmas!”. That said, I do love hearing Rothbart shout about how he wants to destroy Christmas, and how everyone reacts with utter horror at the thought. I really love how something as nebulous as Christmas can apparently be destroyed by one angry wizard who’s low on tidings and good cheer.
As one might expect for the first CGI entrant in the series, the animation can be pretty shoddy, which adds to the hilarity. If you’re going to watch one Christmas-y Bad Princess Movie out of the ones I’ve listed thus far, make it The Swan Princess Christmas.