Loinsgate’s CG-animated fairly tale spoof Happily N’ever After opens in wide release across North America today, offering another twisted take on classic children stories, this time poking fun at Cinderella, Snow White, Rumplestilskin and Red Riding Hood, to name a few. Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox’s Night at the Museum vies for a third week at the top of chart as a few light-weight contenders enter the ring.
Happily N’ever After takes place in Fairy Tale Land, where the age-old balance between good and evil has been thrown out of whack. When Cinderella’s power-mad stepmother rallies an unholy alliance of bad guys, it’s up to our blonde heroine to shed her damsel-in-distress trappings to lead the resistance. The voice cast is led by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sigourney Weaver, Freddie Prinze Jr., George Carlin, Wallace Shawn and Andy Dick.
The film is directed by Paul J. Bolger and written by Robert Moreland. Vanguard Films’ Oscar-winning producer John H. Williams (Shrek, Valiant) produced the film with BAF Berlin Animation Film and BFC Berliner Film Companie. Co-exec producers are Ralph Kamp and Louise Goodsill of Odyssey Ent., and Rainer Soehnlein, CEO of BFC Berliner Film Companie.
With the 2004 launch of its Family Entertainment Enterprises, Lionsgate has been building a slate of animated features that includes Threshold Animation Studio’s Foodfight and Sylvester. Based on the children’s book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble from late Shrek author William Steig, Sylvester is being produced by RichCrest Animation, which has a three-picture deal in place with Lionsgate, which is also developing two animated series for different TV networks. Animated home video releases coming from the company include Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus 3-D, Care Bears Big Wish Movie, Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends, Inspector Gadget’s Biggest Caper Ever and Pinocchio 3000.
Also opening in wide release today are New Line Cinema’s Cedric The Entertainer comedy Codename: The Cleaner, Paramount’s Hillary Swank inspirational teaching drama Freedom Writers and The Bigger Picture’s killer thriller Thr3e, which is rolling out in just 460 theaters. Night At the Museum still holds the highest theater count with 3,730 venues.