I guess he's not a fan of ballets or 1980's animes.
Ever since Doug Walker did his review of The Swan Princess, I've noticed more and more people around the internet accuse this movie of being "Disney-lite," "a Disney knock-off," etc.
Problem is, the reasons they give are either something that almost EVERY animated movie has done since Snow White (singing, princesses, animal companions, etc) OR it was already in the original fairy tale-inspired ballet written and composed by Tchaikovsky decades before Disney ever got into animation.
Quick Backstory: The Swan Princess is based on the ballet link
, again, written and composed by Tchaikovsky. And it's a very faithful adaptation too. I've read plot summaries and watched the ballet proper, and The Swan Princess actually doesn't change too much
The only real changes they made are that Odette and Prince Siegfried (renamed Derek) grew up knowing each other, were arranged to marry, then broke up right before Odette got kidnapped and enchanted by the sorcerer Von Rothbart (just plain "Rothbart" in the movie). In the original ballet, the prince and princess meet for the first time AFTER the prince hunts her swan form, follows her to the titular Swan Lake, then she lands on the lake and transforms into a beautiful maiden before him. In the movie, he's hunting the Great Animal that kidnapped her to try to find and rescue her. (Very stupidly, I'll admit, since he shoots literally anything that moves). So it's not like the prince tries to kill a helpless swan and then decides to marry the girl she transforms into right afterwards because now she's hot. (Also, in the ballet Swan Lake is filled with dozens of swans that Von Rothbart presumably also kidnapped and enchanted, his female henchwoman is actually his daughter Odile, and Odette and Siegfried die at the end, while in the film they both live.)
So anyway, onto the accusations of Disney knock-off and explanation of where they ACTUALLY CAME FROM.
Sorry Sk8er_girl, but your grievances against the film are extremely similar to many other people's. So, I'll address them. (Please note I'm not singling you out, I'm just addressing most people's views of it, and the Critic's.)
"Odette and Derek's dance in the beginning where they float in to the sky, looked way to familiar to Sleeping beauty's ending."
Admittedly yes, it looks similar. I'll give you that one.
"When Rothbart turns his henchwomen into Odette, I felt it was so blindly ripping off The little mermaid where Ursula transforms into Eric's 'dream girl"
Actually, that was from the original ballet. Have you seen the movie Black Swan? It discusses it there. In the ballet, Von Rothbart (yes, his name is Rothbart in the ballet) has a daughter named Odile whom he disguises as Odette to fool the prince into declaring his love for her, knowing it'll cause him to be unfaithful to Odette and thus keep her trapped as a swan forever. In fact, there's a practical ballet purpose for it, since the same prima ballerina that plays Odette (dressed in white) often plays Odile (dressed in black), where she does more sensual dances.
"Rothbart kidnapping Odette so he can marry her was just like Aladdin where Jafar kidnaps Jasmine so he can marry her, and both their motives are mainly money."
Nope. Sorry, that was from the original ballet again. Well, at least he kidnaps and curses her in the original version, though it's never fully explained why. He kidnapped and enchanted dozens of other women to be swans as well. Odette is just the highest born, and thus the most beautiful and graceful (of course) and so they named her their Swan Queen.
However, there is a link
that changes it so that Rothbart wanted to marry her, so he killed her family, stole her away, put her under the "swan by day" spell, and refuses to lift the spell until she agrees to marry him. Every night he asks for her hand, and every night she tells him to shove off. So The Swan Princess borrowed from that version more from Disney.
However, before anyone jumps down The Swan Princess' throat, Disney did the exact same thing
for The Little Mermaid. If you watch the link
, you can see where Disney heavily borrowed from it as opposed to link
So, yeah. The Swan Princess didn't rip off from Disney there.
"A prince confessing their love for the princess breaking the spell is their harmless way of ripping off Disney's true love kiss."
Again, that was from the ballet. And again, it's an important plot point because the only way to free Odette from the spell is if she falls in love with and retains the heart of a man who remains faithful to her. So, of course, Von Rothbart sends his daughter and tricks the prince into declaring his love for her, knowing it'll keep Odette under his thumb forever.
"The ending is just like Sleeping beauty's ending, he fights the beast for his love and in one dramatic shot kills it, Confesses his love "True loves kiss" and she's back up.
Admittedly, yes. It is similar.
HOWEVER... In the original ballet, Odette and Siegfried DIE. After he makes a vow of love to the wrong girl, Odette realizes she'll be trapped as a swan forever, and out of grief decides to kill herself to escape the curse. Siegfried also realizes his mistake, and decides to commit suicide with her, symbolically showing that they'll defy Von Rothbart and be together in death as they couldn't be in life.
Obviously, The Swan Princess can't keep that ending. Fairy tale animated musical adaptations CAN'T have the main characters that we've been rooting for all film fail in their endeavor and kill themselves at the end; it'll upset the kiddies too much.
Thus ends "The Swan Princess." Roll credits.
From a story perspective though, it would be really anti-climactic if she just got up and said, "Okay, I'm fine now," and the sorcerer (who literally killed her family and kidnapped her to get to her, kept her imprisoned, enchanted, and under his thumb for so long, and went to the trouble of sending his daughter to the prince to trick him into declaring his love for the wrong girl) just suddenly decided to let her go.
However, again, the anime version changed it so that Siegfried accidentally confessing to the wrong girl causes Odette to slowly die, and he has to fight the sorcerer to save his life. So The Swan Princess borrows from a previous Swan Lake adaptation rather than Disney. Which itself is not that unusual since film climaxes often have to be more action-packed than ballet endings. Most film adaptations to most fairy tales give the climax more tension, suspense, drama, and action.
If anything, I thought The Swan Princess's ending was a brilliant way to increase the drama and the emotional stakes, wrap up loose ends, and make a climactic ending.
Odette doesn't kill herself out of grief, she's dying from a spell. (Which helps the "strong heroine" department.) Derek doesn't realize his mistake and decide to drown himself beside her, he rushes to save her. The spiteful sorcerer who'd rather kill her than let her be with someone else isn't overcome and destroyed when the power of their love and double-suicide defies him. The prince demands he save her, the sorcerer pretty much says, "Over my dead body. I'll let her live only if you kill me." And the prince does just that!
That's a much better ending than a double-suicide.
There are probably more rip-off accusations, but I can't think of any right now. If anyone wants to bring them up, I'll be happy to refute them.
Well, that's all. I've got nothing else to say for now.