Happily N’Ever After

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PG to 8 (Viol., Scary scenes) , lacks interest over 13

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Happily N’Ever After
  • a review of Happily N’Ever After completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 5 April 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Parental guidance recommended due to some violence and scary scenes
Children aged 8-13 Children of this age would enjoy this movie
Children over the age of 13 Lacks interest for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Happily N’Ever After
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: n/a
Length: 87 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Fairytale Land is controlled by a Wizard (voice of George Carlin) who controls the scales of good and evil and makes sure that fairytales end happily ever after. He is assisted in this task by two helpers called Munk (voice of Wallace Shawn) and Mambo (voice of Andy Dick). When the Wizard goes on holiday, he leaves his assistants in charge and all goes badly. 
Frieda (voice of Sigourney Weaver), the evil stepmother of Ella a.k.a. Cinderella (voice of Sarah Michelle Gellar) gets hold of the Wizard’s magic staff and proceeds to turn Fairytale Land upside down, so that all the happy endings become unhappy and the bad characters win and come to the castle to party and create chaos.
Ella is in love with the handsome prince but his servant, Rick, is secretly in love with Ella. He sees the battle to restore order as a way to prove himself and win Ella. Ella, however, believes that only the prince can save them. Through the course of their adventure she learns that you don’t need to wait for a hero, you need to believe in yourself and your friends.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

None of concern

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • There is a battle between the seven dwarfs, Ella, Munk and Mambo and villains from fairy stories
  • The wicked stepmother attacks the Jack, Ella, Munk and Mambo with the Wizard’s staff.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Some of the characters from fairy tales, including the Big Bad Wolf, other wolves and various monsters may be scary for young children.
  • Rumplestiltskin, seen as a menacing shadow, takes a baby away from its mother.
  • When Ella is walking in the woods with Mambo and Munk there are scary sounds and noises and they are chased by big scary wolves with large teeth.
  • All the wolves and monsters get together to attack the seven dwarves, Ella, Munk and Mambo who are nearly caught but reach the safety of the dwarves’ house just in time.
  • Jack, Ella, Munk and Mambo are attacked by the wicked stepmother who is holding the wizards staff. Although they think they have defeated her when she falls into a big pit she comes back again to attack them.
  • When the stepmother gains control of the wizard’s staff she summons all the baddies to the castle; some of them look quite frightening.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

None of concern.

Product placement


Sexual references


Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • There are scenes where the Cinderella imagines kissing the prince. She also kisses Rick however this is very mild and not obviously sexual
  • Some female characters have exaggerated hourglass figures and display cleavage

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • It appears that the animals at the party are drinking alcohol though this may not be clear to young children

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • None of concern, but some putdowns such as “dork”, “little freak” and “half-wit”.

In a nutshell

Happily N’Ever After is an animated adventure comedy featuring many familiar fairytale characters. The message of this movie is that life is an adventure and that just living ‘happily ever after’ is really quite boring. Also that rather than waiting for a hero to come along and save you, you should believe in yourself and take action.

Values that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:Trust your friendships

  • Trust your instincts.
  • Teamwork
  • The importance of loyalty

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of being responsible and taking your job seriously, and what happens when you don’t.