Sofia the First : Once Upon a Princess

It might probably be a good idea to start the blog with an entry about a bit… higher quality movie, but since Sofia the First was the thing that spurned the idea for the whole blog thing it probably deserves its spot here. Besides, I already have the old review I wrote on it a few months ago so I don’t have to start from a scratch.

First things first, why did I ever even bother with Sofia the first? I have this “Pokemon Princesses” drawing series, which depicts animated princesses in Pokemon style. I had already drawn the main heroines from preview pictures (the animation hadn’t been released yet), but later I found out that they had named princess friends as well who too should get drawn. My self-imposed rules say that if possible, I must watch the film/series I’m planning to draw, so I had no choice but to suffer through this… thing.

So. Sofia the first : Once upon a princess is a wish fulfilment fantasy for five-year-old girls who love princesses. I’m a cynical nerd some twenty years too old to be in the target audience. Let the party begin!

Our heroine is the little Sofia, who is a totally average commoner girl. So she is the perfect self-insert for the little girls in the audience: very kind, nice, friendly, cheerful, and a bit klutzy and clumsy (tee-hee!), but also a little bit insecure! Also, even as a princess she’s still nice to her old friends! She helps the baby bird back to its mother! And all this before she learns to talk to animals! All this of course means that she’s just as horribly boring and irritating as her promotional art suggested. Man I hate characters like this!

sofia3

So Sofia the perfectly normal and relatable girl becomes a princess when her mother marries the king and Sofia gets a stepbrother and a stepsister. The prince brother, James, is a super pansy, the kind of perfect nice guy you tend to see in stuff aimed at little girls, so he’s naturally perfectly friendly to Sofia from the start. The stepsister, Amber, on the other hand is the only one who doesn’t think Sofia is the best thing since sliced bread right away, so naturally she’s an antagonist and we’ll get to see her many evil schemes to make our awesome heroine feel uncomfortable.

The plot follows Sofia as she starts in the school for princes and princesses where the kids learn important skills every princess needs (such as pouring tea) while the stepsister does her best to make her life miserable. Meanwhile, the royal sorcerer plots to take over the kingdom!

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Will Sofia manage to learn to act like a princess before the ball held to honour her joinage to the royal family on Friday? Will the suspicious sorcerer get the heroine’s magic amulet? Will Amber manage to stay away from the heroine’s fanclub? Will I find out that the new princesses mentioned at the beginning of the blog entry weren’t in this movie after all? Dun dun dunnn!

The “highlights” of the movie include cutecute animals appearing to assist our lovely heroine (because a princess just needs to be accompanied by talking animals), the sorcerer’s minion accidentally blurting out that the counter spell is hidden behind the painting, and Cinderella materialising out of thin air at Sofia’s darkest hour to give her advice and help her learn the aesop on true sisterhood. By singing! I mean, I had seen promotional material telling that Cinderella would make an appearance, but by the time I got to watching I had forgotten about it, so her sudden appearance was super random and bizarre that it was pretty hilarious (not in a good way though).

The animation looks cheap. Can we go back to traditional animation, CGI looks pretty creepy when it’s not done properly? The voice actors probably do their best but with the lines so stupid it doesn’t help much. “Why do the horses have wiiiiiiiiiiiings!?” sounded totally natural (guess when they took off).

The only thing I could enjoy were the little princesses designs. The dresses were pretty stupid, but they were dress-uppable (or character-creationable). But I’m not that desperate with my potential subjects; luckily I have a lot of more interesting ideas so I don’t even have to think about adding this to my to-do list.

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And the answer to the last and most important question regarding additional princesses? There were none. I mean, not in this piece of animation, they’ll feature in the animated series. Because my self-imposed rules that often make my life difficult say that the characters I draw must be named in the movie/series I’ve watched; background extras who get bigger roles in some other story I haven’t seen don’t count. So in the end watching this was a complete waste of time. Yaaaa! (except that knowing myself, at some point I’ll probably be so desperate for new characters to draw for the PokePrincess series that I’ll submit to watching the tv series as well…)

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2 Responses to “Sofia the First : Once Upon a Princess”

  1. Frozen impressions so far | Hapuriainen's Disney Blog Says:

    […] « Sofia the First : Once Upon a Princess […]

  2. Sofia the First : the Pain Continues | Hapuriainen's Animation Blog Says:

    […] Western animated movies by drawing them, and I heard Sofia’s movie would give me two of them. The experience was very unpleasant, but at least I got my […]

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