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90 Second Movie Review: Happily N'Ever After

Rich Cerow

Let me clear my throat, uh-huh, uh-huh.
Happily N'Ever After is a hilarious send-up of fairy tale tropes and characters, much in the vein of a Shrek or a Hoodwinked, 'cause kids can't get enough of beloved characters transported into computer-animated worlds where they perform a hi-larious Matrix parody, especially if the character dodging machine gun-fired gum drops is a granny or a very small child (or puppet, in Pinocchio's case). But I think Happily N'Ever After has an edge in this overcrowded market, and not just because it features the voice talents of husband and wife team Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prize, Jr., but because of that "N." I bet you Happily N'Ever After has all kinds of crazy funky hip-hop stylings. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that a version of "Rapper's Delight" as sung by the Three Little Pigs (who really should be singing Green Jell-O's "Three Little Pigs") will pop up somewhere in this film. Because that "N" is clearly modeled on the "N" found in Boyz N tha Hood. I bet the Big Bad Wolf pulls a drive-by on Count Chocula, who I admit isn't even a fairy tale character. Happily N'Ever After is on the bleeding edge of hip-hop cartoon cinema, way ahead of Bebe's Kids, although they are catching up due to their resilient not dying / multiplying policy. I really endorse this gangsta-fication of children's entertainment, however slowly it is coming. Between Happily N'Ever After and the penguin performance of "The Message" in Happy Feet, hip-hop in kids' movies is edging dangerously close to moving out of the old school and straight outta Compton. Once that safe, party-happy 1980s rap nostalgia is all dried up, children's cartoon producers will be forced to have their wacky sidekicks who are way hipper than their anthropomorphic lion parents start talking about slinging rock when they bust out a few verses from the Easy E ouvre. And, really, children need to learn earlier and earlier these days how to be slinging with them corner boys, cause that's the only way they're gonna get to be the kingpin of the neighborhood and pull themselves up out of their wretched lives. Not only that, but Snoop Doggy Dogg, as he was known in his prime, has lots of valuable lessons about the proper containers for malt liquor to impart to the children.

What your girlfriend will think of you if you take her to see Happily N'Ever After: That you've got the skills to pay the bills, and immediately after this you're taking her to a secret underground rap battle, where you hope to prove yourself and realize your dreams of being respected on the streets. Unfortunately, you'll wind up rapping about Spaghetti-O's and old episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and you will be totally embarassingly suburban. Which is convenient because you drive a Chevy Suburban, and right after this rap face-off you've got to go pick your little brother up from hockey camp, and then you've got to make sure you fill up the tank before you get home, 'cause Mom gets pissed when she gets in the car to find it on "E." She's a total playa hata.

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