A sweet little animated tale for girls that is loosely based on Swan Lake. Young Princess Odette is snatched by evil sorcerer Rothbart (Palance), who turns her into a swan to keep her apart from her love, Prince Derek. She can only take human form when the moonlight glints upon the lake, but at least she has a trio of friends – frog Jean-Bob (Cleese), Puffin and turtle Speed – to help her win the prince and cancel the curse.
The songs here aren’t very memorable, but the story and animation is cute enough, and Odette is a determined young thing, not a wussy princess waiting for her prince to come. There are two disappointing sequels, The Swan Princess II (1997) and The Swan Princess III: The Mystery of the Enchanted Kingdom (1998), both of which are only worth watching for true fans of the first one.
Is The Swan Princess suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Very little ones may be scared by Lord Rothbart.