Happily N'Ever After

Crimes:

• Blowing a mildly interesting fractured-fairy-tales plot on a bunch of corny, feeble gags enacted by derivative characters who look like rejects from a cheap MMORPG

• Spending more time on lame banter and a cheesy pop sequence than on the plot

• Mostly just being boring

Defender: Director Paul J. Bolger

Tone of commentary: Resigned, sleepy. Bolger talks in a half-conscious, apathetic monotone, mostly addressing the same craft points over and over—particularly which backgrounds are paintings and which are CGI, and all the many fiddly ways in which his fantasy world wasn't meant to look "real."

What went wrong: "We didn't have the most money in the world, or the most time. We were a sort of medium-budget film. We had to make other decisions, you know?" One of those decisions? "We would try to give it our best, we would try to make it look interesting."

Comments on the cast: George Carlin literally phoned his role in, reading his few lines remotely from L.A. Also, "Unfortunately, the first actor who did Rumpelstiltskin died during the production, and he was replaced. He was fantastic, but the poor guy died."

Inevitable dash of pretension: Almost exactly an hour in, Bolger's minimalist, generic, bland observations suddenly wander off the deep end, as he falls into the common animation-commentary trap of "humorously" pretending his CGI characters are real people. Regarding a running gag in which one character is always lit from above: "Look, he has his own spotlight, even in the woods… So there's a guy up in the branches with a spotlight down on him. He didn't even get a credit, and I bet you he didn't get paid, that guy up in the rafters. He should have got some money for that. He's probably just some poor guy that they found and gave him a flashlight, and said 'You want a job?' 'Yeah, okay.' They gave him a book voucher for Christmas."

Commentary in a nutshell: "We decided here—you see that the smoke is absolutely not a real color. It's magenta. That was a big decision for us… It's magical. It's not real."

Filed Under: DVD

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