The Swan Princess II: Escape from Castle Mountain

 
(i)

 

Charm replaced with cartoon violence in lackluster sequel.
  • Review Date: April 12, 2010
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 71 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

Classic good triumphs over evil. Prince Derek, the hero, learns a valuable lesson about what is truly important in life. Loyalty, courage, and unselfishness defeat greed, meanness, and a thirst for power.

Positive role models

The heroes and heroines are smart and upright.  Even the most humble creatures have much to offer. The villains are depicted as power-hungry, egotistical, and dangerous.

Violence & scariness

Cartoon violence includes: swordplay, characters plunging from mountain tops and cliffs, threatening fires, explosions, hostage taking, prince being sucked into quicksand, crocodiles harassing heroes, a frightening wolf.  Villains fall and disappear into deep crevasses, never to be seen again.

Sexy stuff

Three sweet kisses between married prince and princess.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sequel has more cartoon action and violence than the original Swan Princess. There are explosions, threatening fires, spooky music, crocodiles with gnashing teeth, several falls from a mountain top, an episode in which the hero appears to be sucked into quicksand, a scary wolf chasing the heroes, a landslide crashing down upon the prince, and more.  It should also be noted that the emphasis is on the fun of the chase and the derring-do of the characters rather than the effects of all the violence. There is no blood; no one dies on screen; and, though a very lovable frog is unconscious for a period of time, none of the heroes is seriously injured. The two villains, however, plunge from a cliff and are never seen again.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

It's a festive day for Princess Odette (voiced by Michelle Nicastro) and Prince Derek (Douglas Sills). They're getting ready to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. And, it's the Queen Mother's 50th birthday! But the evil Clavius (Jake Williamson; former partner of Rothbart, the villain in the original film, The Swan Princess) has other plans for them. He conspires to destroy their happiness, capture the prince, and invade the castle to retrieve a well-hidden magic orb that holds the key to the Forbidden Arts -- powers that will enable him to conquer the entire kingdom. The royal family faces great danger and it's only with the help of their loyal friends that they can do battle with the devious sorcerer and hope to save their world.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Richard Rich and the team behind the charming musical fairy tale The Swan Princess hoped to achieve similar success with this sequel.
Unfortunately, neither the story, the music, nor the characterizations
live up to the standard they created in the original. Sorely missed are
the the wonderfully conceived song-and-dance numbers with their sly cultural references, as well as the vocal talents of John Cleese, Steven Wright, and Jack Palance who brought
distinction and vibrancy to the supporting roles. In this film Princess
Odette is relegated to secondary status, in support of Prince Derek and
his conflict with the evil Clavius. The story no longer bears any
resemblance to its namesake "Swan Lake" ballet and is now simply a
by-the-numbers good versus evil tale that moves from one action
sequence to the next.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about sequels. If you saw the original, what changes did you notice? Does this movie stand on its own or do you need to see the original first?

  • The filmmakers show that each of the familiar characters ( i.e. the princess, the prince, the puffin, the frog) has his or her own strengths and all of them help save the day in some way. Can you identify what qualities are special to each character?

  • Prince Derek learns a valuable lesson about what is most important in life. How do you determine what tasks and commitments matter the most to you?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 18, 1997
DVD release date:August 18, 2009
Cast:Douglas Sills, Jake Williamson, Michelle Nicastro
Director:Richard Rich
Studio:Rich Animation
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies
Run time:71 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Swan Princess II: Escape from Castle Mountain was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass