AVAHS – A Fairy Tale Christmas

Plot: The King’s viceroy, Crofton, wishes to tax the villagers heavily and eventually take over as king, but the king won’t allow it. In an effort to get him out of the picture so he can take over, he gives the King’s daughter, Princess Angela, a potion to erase her memories and gives her over to his brother to raise her in the woods.

About a decade later, the king indeed finds himself lost without his daughter, and his assistant is living the high life on all the tax money he’s collecting. Can Angela regain her memories and return to her rightful place as princess?

Breakdown: I’d like to share IMDB’s plot synopsis of this movie. Ahem.

“When a young woman accidentally triggers to Christmas Day was begins to reflection on addiction to building the Christmas Tree from a North Pole in B.C.”

That should show how little information there is on this movie and how many people have actually seen it. God bless the random user who took the time to write a fairly proper synopsis in the Storyline section.

I’m surprised there’s actually a well-written and detailed review on that page too. Technically, there are three reviews but two of them are clearly trolling.

Wanna know something else? The IMDB page is literally the only site that has ‘information’ on this movie. The only other website with info is the page for the production studio behind the film, Waterfront Pictures.

Click that link, by the way, because its mission statement is such overly produced corporate gobbletygook it’s insane. I was getting a headache reading it.

I won’t lie. I’m not ashamed. I went into this fully with the mindset of having something to make fun of. I mean, come on. From the lazy title to the nonsensical yet still cliché plot to the bad art and animation to the characters that are so bland that the movie didn’t even bother giving them names half the time (I have the character list in front of me, and the only one I recognize is Angela, and even then I forgot her name halfway through.)

It was ripe for mocking…..and it disappointed even on that front. Don’t worry, I found a bunch of superfluous stuff to overanalyze that I’ll get to in a minute, but overall it’s just bland.

It has so little of a plot that the movie doesn’t even reach an hour – it’s 44 minutes including credits, and I feel like some parts are missing. For instance, a talking deer and talking bird mention that only the princess has a ‘true heart’ which allows her to understand their speech (just go with it.) It’s phrased like we saw a scene with them talking to Angela when she was a child earlier, but we didn’t.

Now for other things that make no sense but aren’t funny to talk about.

Why doesn’t Crofton just kill Angela? I get that this is a kids’ movie, but even in Snow White they try attempted murder when the princess is an obstacle. If Disney is being more hardcore than you are, you have problems, bro.

Why does Crofton want so much taxes? He wouldn’t get all that money – The king would.

The king is really fine with all these taxes because he’s so preoccupied with finding Angela? I guess that makes a little sense, but the movie makes off like the king went on a journey to find Angela immediately after she went missing, yet later they act like he was just out for a day trip.

Crofton acts like he’ll be king if Angela’s out of the way. I dunno if he was just waiting for the 40-something king to keel over and he could take over his job considering he’s not married and Angela was his only heir. Again, I thought the king was off for years to find Angela, yet he returns with no fanfare and it’s like he never left.

How far away is Angela’s guardian’s house? They act like it’s many, many miles away, but the king gets there and back in hours, and Crofton, who should be ruling the land in his stead, gets there in what seems like minutes because he somehow heard that his minions weren’t doing a good job keeping the King away from Angela’s village minutes after one failed attempt.

What is up with Angela, anyway? First off, let’s talk about the ‘true heart’ thing. What does that even mean? Does she automatically have one because she’s a princess or is it just who she is? Why does having a ‘true heart’ grant you the ability to talk to animals? Why is that the ONLY power it grants you? Why wouldn’t a true heart grant you the ability to…do…something that allows her to prove who she is to her father?

Second, why is everyone so surprised that Angela has a desire to help people? Several times, people are like ‘Why did you help me?’ and she’s like ‘I couldn’t not help you. Why, is that weird?’ Is everyone in this universe apathetic or a jerk?

Why can’t the king recognize Angela by looking at her? She has a pretty notable face, and her hair even stays the same over the years. He also somehow has a photo of her that he keeps with him.

He has Prince Charming syndrome when faced with an impostor. He gave Angela a bracelet the night that she was kidnapped – it was her late mother’s bracelet and only Angela should have it. Some bitchy impostor who looks nothing like Angela has the bracelet and he’s fully willing to believe she’s Angela when the real one’s right there.

Why are they pushing for an ‘every girl longs to be a princess, and life is sucky when you’re not one, but, yay, I am one!’ message?

Why didn’t the king use the song as a test of proving someone was Angela or not? He said only his wife, he and his daughter knew that song. The bracelet is an heirloom, sure, but 1) It could easily be lost or stolen. And it’s easy to expect your kidnapped daughter would have her bracelet stolen. 2) The bracelet is treated like it’s this unique piece of jewelry….Look at it.

It’s a simple beaded bracelet with no engravings. It has three charms on it – a star, a crescent moon and a heart. Three of the most overused symbols in history. Anyone could remake this bracelet. They probably have 300 at the village shop.

Why did they sequel bait this? Why? “She lived happily ever after….at least until…well, I’ll save that for next time.” No next time. Just now.

Did they really think this would take off enough to warrant a sequel? To be fair, the studio did come out with another animated Christmas movie, but it’s not a sequel to this one. It’s called, as creatively titled as this movie, A Very Fairy Christmas.

I might watch it if I can find it, but don’t hold your breath. Fairy stalkers are sure a creepy concept, though.

The music is actually quite tolerable for a movie of this nature. But, goddamn, they jam like 12 song breaks in a 44 minute long movie.

The art and animation bounces between ‘bad, but not horrifying’ to ‘they’re not even trying.’ They don’t do a single thing to make Angela a ‘beautiful perfect princess’ trope….which…yay? But I swear to god I had to pause the video and laugh for a good two minutes because Angela has the face of a meth addict.

The fact that the IMDB page mentions addiction makes this all the funnier.

The animation studio behind the movie, Cheshire Smile Animation Inc. doesn’t seem to have a wide library of work, but give them credit for lasting in this industry for 18 years.

Overall, this movie is a waste of time. I was never begging for it to be over or anything. It’s not horrible and the music’s actually alright. But you don’t come out of it with anything more than when you went in. I’m not even sure there’s a moral to this story…..Be nice?

Oh yeah, I haven’t really mentioned Christmas, have I? Angela gets her bracelet on Christmas Eve. The song she learns is kind of Christmassy. There’s a scene midway in the movie where Angela pauses her quest to go home to stop at the miserable village. They can’t celebrate Christmas because they’re being taxed so much. Angela reminds them that Christmas isn’t about the presents, it’s about friends and family….and then she gives them all presents that she randomly has in her sled…

Christmas is…around in this movie, but it’s not at the forefront.


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Exploring Disney’s Castle: Snow White (1937)

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Plot: Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named Snow White. Her evil step mother, the evil queen, was incredibly jealous of her beauty to the point where she demanded that she be killed. Her assassin wasn’t able to kill her and instead prompted her to run away into the woods.

While wandering in the forest, she stumbles upon a house obviously owned by seven dwarfs, and because she’s a girl in a fairy tale she just busts in like she owns the place. The dwarfs return from their precious gem mine and find the girl, allowing her to stay there as long as she cooks and cleans for them. However, the queen has learned that she is still alive and decides to go kill Snow White on her own.

Breakdown: I was prompted by some friends to go back and watch old Disney classics, and here I am. Please note, though, I am not going to watch every Disney movie ever. Animated ones, probably, but not live action. When it comes to the live action ones, I’m probably just going to pick and choose and not go in any particular order.

I’m glad I decided to do this. It’s a welcome break from constantly harping on bad Disney sequels, though hopefully I’ll be done with that whole series soon enough. There’s just something about classic Disney that warms my heart. And it’s usually not even nostalgia either. There’s something legitimately enchanting about old Disney movies, especially the animated ones. It’s the style, the tone, the way the movies connect with its audiences – it’s just great.

Disney hasn’t completely gone off the deep end. While much of their latest stuff in terms of TV shows has been crap, I’ve been able to stomach a good portion of it. I even watch some of their stuff on and off.

They do well with their theatrically released movies. Hell, they dug themselves out a few hundred feet with the release of Frozen.

I believe many of their staff still have a good deal of heart. It’s the higher ups behind it all that tend to make their products the overly manufactured BS we tend to expect from Disney nowadays.

But what of our first feature for this venture? Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? How well does it hold up in dear old Twix’s opinion?

Very well, actually. I have a great fondness of movies that, even if they do have issues that I could go off about, I like it so much that I don’t want to. This movie is very obviously one meant to be enjoyed with family and friends.

Sure, Snow White’s 14 years old and pining for a boyfriend like she’s an old spinster. Sure, one who clearly looks to be in his 20s just happens upon her and falls in love instantly. Sure, it seems odd that despite it being the dwarfs’ house and they’re just letting her live there that Snow White acts like a mother around the house and has the authority to give them orders. Sure, it’s questionable that a 14 year old girl is living with seven adult men. Sure, it’s unsanitary as hell to have birds making decorative imprints in pies with their feet, but who cares? Just enjoy the show! And that’s what I did.

The animation is lovely. While rotoscoping was used for some scenes, it’s still one of the best examples of Disney animation in my opinion, and I am just a sucker for great animation. The faces on Snow White, the prince and the queen look off sometimes, but it’s nothing the normal non-nitpicker would point out.

The story is decent enough. All of the characters are likable. You even start to like Grumpy after a bit. The prince is just barely there. He has a love-at-first-sight thing going on with Snow White and shares one scene with her before leaving the movie and coming back at the end to wake her up with love’s first kiss. This was supposedly because he was the hardest character to animate, but I don’t see how he was more complicated to animate over the queen.

The songs stand up amazingly well, and so many of them I still hum randomly to this day.

I have my qualms with the ending, but it’s a Disney fairy tale movie from 1937. Nitpicking a ‘happily ever after’ ending just seems moot.

In regards to production, Snow White was a huge risk and accomplishment in animation history. It was the first ever feature length cel-shaded animated movie in history, and it came with a hefty price tag. So much so that many people around Walt Disney, including his wife, Lillian, and brother, Roy, tried numerous times to talk him out of the production. He went on with it anyway, mortgaging his house to fund the project.

In the end, it cost $1.4 million or $25 million today – more than five times the estimated budget of $250,000. His risk paid off. Snow White was a huge critical and financial success, and it even inspired the production of The Wizard of Oz in 1939. It has long since become one of Disney’s most treasured classics, and I can’t help but get caught up in it.

Recommended Audience: Nothing questionable, unless you think about things too hard. They even ‘censor’ Snow White’s ‘death’. E for everyone!


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