"Happily N’ever After 2": How Can a Bad Apple Taste So Good?
Imagine a movie that tried to cash in on the whole “fairy tale with a hip and modern twist” craze made popular by Shrek. Now imagine that it failed miserably at the box office. Finally, imagine its direct-to-video sequel, which is animated by a studio that looks like it learned its craft from the geniuses behind Ratatooing.
And you thought Disney direct-to-video sequels were bad.
So what possessed me to pick up Happily N’ever After 2: Snow White: Another Bite @ the Apple? Curiosity, I suppose. I wanted to see how bad it was and I went into it expecting a bad movie. I wasn’t disappointed. It features sub-par animation that looks like it was taken from a Nintendo64 game; forgettable music; and horrendously predictable writing that tags every cliché.
And I enjoyed every minute of it, because, unlike Ratatooing, Happily N’ever After 2 actually makes it into the so-bad-it’s-good category.
It’s the story of Snow White … with a twist! Snow White’s mother is loved by all. We are told this numerous times throughout the first four minutes of the movie. We are also given the greatest line of dialogue ever written. “Mother, why does everyone love the Queen so much?” “Because she is beautiful.” There you have it, folks. People will love you if you’re beautiful. But wait! It gets better! “Am I beautiful?” “Uh…” It’s brilliant!
So the Queen—who apparently sleeps in her clothes, probably due to the high cost of modeling new ones—dies of Incurable Cough of Death. Flash forward “many years later…” and Snow White is an adult. Apparently there were huge but inconsistent strides made in technology during that time because people now have cameras and cell phones that project holograms, but they still use horses and carriages to get around. We’re also introduced to Snow White’s hip catchphrase that’s sure to never be outdated: “Holla!” Genius! It’s quickly revealed that Snow is a jerk who needs to learn the true meaning of helping others. SPOILER ALERT! By the end of the movie, thanks to a pop music montage, she does! Anyway, the King thinks Snow needs a role model, so he decides to marry someone beautiful, because, after all, beautiful people always make good role models. The evil soon-to-be stepmother decides to ruin Snow’s reputation—because she’s evil, I guess. She’s never really given a good reason, but that’s not important! What’s important it the way how she goes about her brilliant evil plan! She will give Snow White an apple that will … not kill her, no … even better … it’ll make her a gossip! Then everyone will hate her! MWAHAHAHAHAH! It’s genius!
After running away because everybody hates her, Snow White meets the Seven Dwarves, who teach her the true meaning of helping others. She returns (with a handsome knight) just in time to stop her father’s wedding to the evil stepmother. Only then does the evil stepmother decide to kill Snow White. She fails miserably, but Snow forgives her, because … that’s the right thing to do? Anyway, it ends with all the characters dancing to some hip, upbeat, forgettable song. Just like all the others.
The animation is dreadful, and everything looks like it’s made of plastic. The inverse kinetics are some of the worst I’ve seen, with things floating rather than balancing on characters’ heads. The movement looks like an old video game cut scene, and the mouth flaps don’t often match the dialogue, which is awful and groan-worthy. There are tons of plot holes, and with its obvious plot, bumbling henchman, forgettable pop songs, “hip” catchphrases, and characters dancing to some hip, upbeat, forgettable song it comes with every cliché. It’s horrible, but it’s funny, though the biggest joke of all is it wasn’t meant to be funny in the way that it is actually is funny. As a work of art, it fails in all but one respect, but at least it succeeds in the most important task of all: It entertains.