Parents' Guide to

The Swan Princess

By Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Classic story is less scary than most animated fairy tales.

Movie G 1994 89 minutes
The Swan Princess Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 8+

A few intense moments and not the greatest message about romance...watch out for the shocking easter egg!

I would put it at 7/8 because my child didn't like the part where the prince almost killed the princess. He almost made us turn it off. It's true that the maker tried to create a whole spin off and merchandise but hardly anyone knows about it, your child will almost certainly not see it in stores, so I can't really click on the commercialization button. This show is a great mostly family friendly adaptation of Swan Lake--the writer made a good call seeing it's value as a musical. However the gushing stops there. So let's get this straight. We have a princess who is bethrothed to a boy who treats her like garbage. WARNING HE CHOKES HER! You see this behind the parents singing. The kids are LYING ON TOP OF EACH OTHER--totally inappropriate!!! It's supposed to be a raunchy easter egg that goes over kids heads but still! You never see the boy treat her well growing up, he's totally sexist. No real good memories, only a game of chess comes close. But when he sees how attractive she is as an older teen he decides based on her looks that he'll go through with the marriage. She knows that is wrong and rejects him but when she is kidnapped by the villian she starts to sing about how desperate she is to be saved and how she wants to marry him. Nothing has changed, it's not like he started writing love letters to her as a swan. Based on what good memories or shared values may I ask? He can't even recognize the fraudulent version of her, and there's nothing romantic about that or almost killing her both times. Now some of you may say not so fast, doesn't he mumble something about how it's not just her looks and comes up with a few pathetic offerings near the end? Yeah, but so what, that's the best he can do at what's probably the height of their romance? Are you really convinced that they have a strong foundation at the very end when she's all bubbly at the very end and questions him about how their marriage will never end and he doesn't respond, but just looks at her (well Derek, will your marriage last)? Very awkward. This marriage is more important for the countries--they sing about the lower taxes coming, so maybe there's some historical value in that. Most royal marriages were loveless. Perhaps the next 6 movies or so will clear this up if I ever see them, but the whole choking thing disgusted me. I don't mind damsel in distress movies, I don't have to have the girl save herself everytime, but this is not the kind that's okay. I can't believe the writer thought this would fly: It's like stop your complaining girls, who cares that the boy your parents like is a sexist bully who almost choked you--like you'd have a completely different view of this boy if a man held you hostage and he decided that based on how pretty you were he'd try to save you, wouldn't you want to reward your hero with your pretty self? If someone ever makes a "cartoon fairytale romances from the movies that won't last" or most problematic list this would be on it. Oh by the way I'm the wife of the user in case anyone is confused. I like nice graceful feminine role models which are becoming rarer in movies. I would click on positive role models because Odette really can discern right and wrong better than Derek even as a child, but she completely loses good judgement during a time of peril in her life.
age 6+

The Swan Princess

The film has great immediate and underlying themes including being true to yourself and understanding that love is more than just looks. This is easily recognisable when she refuses to marry Deric because he only loves her because she is beautiful, when she refuses to kiss the frog and when she continues to refuse Rothbart even though it would save her easily. She stays true to herself and shows a fair bit of girl power. Love the music and songs behind it and so do the kids. The lovely, if a little traditional, message of the importance of fidelity and true love in marriage is nice as well. Some kids may find the dragon thing a bit scary so just judge it on the individual, maybe check out the "creature" in a youtube clip if you're worried. don't bother watching the sequels, the animations and plots are terrible.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (6 ):

Delightful music, rich characters, and a classic love story make this a very enjoyable, family-friendly animated film. The featured players, including a turtle (voiced by the droll comedian Steven Wright), an eccentric European frog (voiced with gusto by John Cleese), and a brave puffin (voiced by character actor Steve Vinovich) are particularly fun and memorable. Taking on Disney's successful "princess" monopoly, Richard Rich (who'd worked for "the Magic Kingdom" for many years) struck out on his own to create a stylish, beautifully drawn fairy tale with a modern spirit and unique humor. Though The Swan Princess shows that he didn't have the enormous resources and funding of the Disney offerings, Rich succeeds admirably and spares his audience the innumerable tie-in products.

Movie Details

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