Happily N'Ever After

STORYBOOK ROMANCE This time, Cinderella ends up with an average joe.
STORYBOOK ROMANCE This time, Cinderella ends up with an average joe.

Time Out says

Everyone remembers the story of Cinderella, right? A plain Jane (Gellar) who’s perpetually abused by her wicked stepmother (Weaver)? She meets a prince and loses a shoe? Apparently, since most five-year-olds are now too busy downloading Pixar films onto their iPods, they don’t have time to watch a straightforward rendition of a fairy tale. And so animated bedtime stories have to be self-conscious and full of contemporary pop-cultural references (thanks a lot, Shrek!). These revisionist toons should also be semiwatchable, however, a modest goal that is way beyond this plasticine product’s grasp. You expect a certain amount of sugar and snark in a modern children’s film, but this tossed-off retelling reeks of folks just out to make a cheap buck.

In Fairytaleland (“Canada was already taken”), Cinderella’s stepmom tries to put a stop to all happy endings. It’s up to Ella, a doting servant (Prinze) and two wisecracking animals (Wallace Shawn and whiny Andy Dick, both phoning it in) to save the day. Quality-controlled this ain’t: The computerized animation is cut-rate; the script keeps piling on clunker jokes that even toddlers will find lame; and Prinze proves he isn’t any better an actor in two dimensions than he is in three. (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.)—David Fear



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