Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happily Ever After (1993 film) - Part 1

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, I'm so glad that I can share this movie with you. I can't really express this in words, but I'm practically hopping up and down in my seat like a giddy schoolgirl because I get to talk about THIS.

Aw yeah
, Happily Ever After.

This movie has had a very unlucky past. Originally called "Snow White and The Realm of Doom", it's pretty infamous for being the movie that sent a pretty famous cartoon company, Filmation, into bankruptcy, and for being the subject of a minor legal dispute with Disney on account it's pegged as an unofficial sequel to that particular movie. Finished in 1988 but finally released in theaters in 1993 (a good five years after its completion), it's also known for being a box office bomb (here's how bad it did; it opened on the same weekend as Super Mario Bros. and that movie made eight times more money than this movie), a regular appearance in store bargain bins, and just all-around derivative of one of Disney's first animated classics. It's not as derivative as Happily N'Ever After, that terrible CGI film, but it's pretty up there.

But when I was a kid, I didn't know of any of these things and watched the everliving crap out of this thing. Yes, it's sad that I'm admitting this, but I liked it. Ah, the days when you could just enjoy something without knowing about other people's opinions of it and getting into large flame wars about it. Instead we were free to make our own decisions.

Disney scholars are going to scoff at me and mock me for my lack of bad taste, but when I was a kid, I loved this movie a lot better than Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. To me, there was no contest. While Disney's Snow White merely had some weird looking evil queen who has to brew a transformation potion in order to turn her into something that could've just used simple costume props, Happily Ever After had dragons, evil sorcerers that shot lasers out of his eyes, a talking bat, a smoking owl, and freaking packs of evil wolves with rhino horns. And while Disney's Snow White just had dwarfs, Happily Ever After had female dwarfs with freaking magic powers that could summon like thunderstorms and crap.

Yes, my friends. This is basically the tale of Snow White on steroids. And man did I cherish this film for it as a little girl.

It was only until later that I found out that people are actually supposed to hate this movie, which kind of bummed me out, but maybe the rosy glasses of nostalgia are blinding me and this truly is a turd wrapped in a pretty princess gown. Either way, I'm going to be looking at the strange, messed up world that is...

Happily Ever After

May 28, 1993 but completed in 1988; it was shelved twice before making it in theaters.

Availability: On DVD

Before the movie starts, it's actually nice enough to give us a short prologue to bring us up to speed, instead of just throwing us unheeded into the movie and expecting us to figure it out that way. It was a smart move, even though I really doubt that there would be a group of children who'd pick this up and go "Huh? Who's this 'Snow White' that you speak of? And dwarfs? What madness is this!?". After all, this movie is intended to be a sequel to Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, even if Disney will legally deny any connection to this movie due to copyright disputes.

...and it just hit me. In a way, this movie is a lot like a Disney fanfiction. That's both hilarious and sad.

By the way, guess who narrates this prologue? Dom DeLuise. Anyone growing up in the 90's knows his voice, and hearing him tell me a cliffnotes version of Snow White in the Seven Dwarfs in rhyme is a pretty surreal experience.
"Hey sure, lady. Just burst into our house uninvited. Of course we'll accept it!"
It's a very simplistic prologue, with still frames colored in sepia tone flashing in and out of a mirror while Dom is saying things like "Poison is strong, but love stronger still", but I'm not going to lie and say I hate it. It works, I really like the track of music they play, and the art, in its roughness, reminds me of storyboards and therefore makes the art student in me happy. And it's certainly a lot better than a CGI Snow White head set against a pitch black void, that's for sure.

I will point out one thing. Thanks to how condensed this run-through is, the way Mr. DeLuise describes it, it sounds like the Prince was just riding through the forest one day until he found a dead body lying underneath a tree (in this movie, she's not in a glass coffin, because I guess this version's dwarfs are pricks) and decided he's going to suck the corpse's face. And then Snow White wakes up and they immediately plan a wedding. Crazy, but at the same time, pretty close to the original fable.

Snow White's face when she wakes me up used to make me chuckle when I was little. And it still does today.
"Whooooa...what was in that apple....?"
"They rode into the sunset and through green clover, but that isn't the end, no, our story's not over", the voice in the mirror says, and that's when the Filmation name (which kind of makes me sad, considering the history behind their company and this film) and later the title pops and we finally get our movie where... that a dragon!?
Pictured: Awesomeness.
Yes, the very first thing we see in our Snow White cartoon is a dragon, and a very badass-looking dragon at that with torn wings and everything, swooping around and flying over crops until it flaps its way to a barren location with a castle built in it, all while this scene is set against a really ominous moon. It was around here that my little child brain realized that I wasn't dealing with some sappy, run-of-the-mill Snow White here with cute little singing birds and happy little bunnies. I was dealing with EXTREME Snow White for grownups!

...even if they could've used another color besides blue here. This is going to be a problem that comes up in this movie more than once, but they really overdo it on the blue.

This would make an awesome album cover for a power metal band.
Inside this castle, we find that it's crawling with brightly-colored vermin, all celebrating some momentous occasion while they remain blissfully unaware that a giant, hellish dragon is circling the castle in search of flesh to keep its hunger satiated. This is our first real glimpse at the quality of the movie's animation, and it's around the ballpark of "mediocre to sort of okay" range. It's nowhere near Disney quality, but on the other hand, it's not Felix the Cat: The Movie quality (which got laughably bad at times) and it's definitely not He-Man quality, Filmation's most famous product. Everyone will stay on model and there won't be any strange glitches when it comes to the movement. It's passable, which, in Filmation land, is a pretty solid compliment aimed in their direction.

Even evil minions love Oktoberfest!
I will say this. The monsters, while they do look like rejects from various platformer videogames, with one of the minions looking like a Kremling straight from Donkey Kong Country and the rats looking like the mooks from Battletoads, are kind of fun to watch. They just have no regard for basic cleanliness, so instead they slop wine everywhere, throw food, crap all over the floor, and just generally make asses of themselves. With these eating habits, these are clearly not forces of good, but the flea-ridden, scummy underbelly of evil. But hey, they sure know how to have a rocking good time.

And I was always a big fan of the two-headed monster just sitting off to the side chewing on the bone. It's a shame this movie was a big company-destroying box office bomb because I'm always a big fan of crazy monster designs with no recognizable species and I would've loved toys of this thing. Remember this creature, because he (or she, it never talks so I wouldn't know) will appear in the background of several scenes.

The left head is named Om, and the right head is named Nom.
The hideous monsters continue making a mess out of the place when the camera pans over to a very distinct-looking bat and owl. Judging by the fact that they have a unique color palette compared to the rest of the monsters, we've just run into our first main characters. So for those keeping track, in terms of a cast, we have an evil dragon, a smoking owl, and a little purple bat that kind of resembles the Tails from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Interesting take on the fable.

The owl, with the voice of Edward Asner (aka Carl, the old man from Up), goes on about how awesome this house-destroying party is, because underneath his feathery exterior is the heart of a frat boy. What's the occasion? The evil queen is dead, the very first plot point that actually makes this film actually have some ties to the original story. Clearly she wasn't too popular with the evil minions.

Wait, this castle is the same castle of the evil queen from Snow White? You mean to tell me that this is where Snow White was living while her stepmother was consulting the magic mirror and making her wear rags? Oh, of course. Snow White just learned to live with the hideous rats and crocodile and bird mutants while singing to the little doves out in the desolate wasteland of a backyard. Also, wasn't the evil queen like the ruler of a kingdom? Kind of an inconvenient place to rule a kingdom if you're in the middle of nowhere and peasants are like hundreds of miles away.

In short, what the hell, movie? There hasn't even been any dialogue yet and already I'm questioning your logic!
José Carioca's lazy brother and his sidekick Fails.
But I digress. Who are these two losers anyways? Well, the giant red owl with the clearly visible smoking problem is named Scowl, and the purple bat is named Batso (and he's voiced by Frank Welker; just noting this for completion) because no one making this movie could think of a better bat pun. A big theme that runs with them is that Scowl is trying to teach Batso how to be bad, and Batso is trying to convince Scowl to quit smoking, something that's going to be one of our hamfisted morals for this cartoon. It's a setup that makes it into many animated features; the two minions where one is a big loudmouth wise guy and the other is the meek, quiet type who gets pushed around but seems to have more common sense.

And again, they never explain why the evil queen has an intelligent owl with a bat sidekick. We just assume they're there because she's eeeeeeeevil with a capital E. Or, being winged vermin, they found an abandoned castle filled with stores of food and just moved right in. I bet Batso alone has like a nest of babies hiding in the basement.

And it was around here that Scowl realized that he was higher on the food chain...
Depending on how kind you want to be, this duo is either really cute, downright mediocre, or really annoying. I personally am okay with them (I don't hate them but they're not my favorite duo in the world) although, yeah, even I will admit that the smoking moral is pretty crammed in there, with Scowl unable to speak a sentence without bursting out into exaggerated if accurate-sounding smoker's coughs. At the rate he does it, I half expect him to just keel over and die from lung cancer. I'm pretty sure quitting isn't going to do him any good, Batso. Those lungs sound pretty black and tar-filled.
"I don't have an addiction! I can quit at any time!"
Now, wait a second here, you might be thinking. The evil queen is dead! How are they going to have an evil villain now? It certainly isn't this smoking owl, that's for sure!

Helpfully, one decides to show the hell up, which instantly scares all of the misshapen ugly minions. Hate to say it, guys, but this is what happens when you make a mess of a castle without realizing that there might be people looking for the evil queen. Even if Snow White was just going to let that accursed place rot, the fact that there's now a used castle on the market would get some people interested.

"You henchmen better have left me some popcorn shrimp or there's going to be hell to pay!"
This man happens to be Lord Maliss, and he happens to be the brother of the evil queen. Yeah, remember that part in the story? Turns out the wicked queen actually had relatives!

He's not exactly subtle either, because he has everything from strange green skin to a pointy Dick Dastardly mustache to an incredibly steep widow's peak. Truly this is a man you don't mess around with, lest you want to feel the back of his graceful, manicured tyrant hand. Although now, thanks to his appearance, I have to wonder if the evil queen also had green skin, really thick eyeshadow, and a perpetual scowl. Such traits like that must run in the family. 

And fun fact. Thanks to this movie, when I first read Harry Potter (and this was way back before the movies came out), this is who I pictured when I thought of Snape. You may now laugh at my stupidity.

"Dear diary, today I ate some oatmeal for my breakfast. It was flavorless and watery.
I thought of my mother. I cry."
The Potions Master is a little pissed off that he arrived at his sister's castle in the middle of nowhere and found it a total pigsty and full of hideous little mutants, but so far, his acting is pretty subtle. He just kind of looks around and asks for his sister all while sporting a fashionable cape. Nothing wrong there.

But I assure you, that's just hiding the true hammy being this character is. He's going to completely go off the wall in a moment here and show us just how awesome he can be once he starts raising his voice. Beneath that mustache is the brain of someone with no indoor voice.

...also, movie? Are you sure he's related to royalty? He doesn't look much like a lord with that sort of outfit. He looks more like some huntsman who got himself lost on his way to the nearest Renaissance Faire. Huzzah!

"Drat, drat, and double drat!"
He questions Scowl, and doesn't at all question the fact that he's essentially talking to woodland creatures, but he doesn't get much information from him. Instead, he goes over to his sister's mirror and, well, what do you know, it's the same mirror from the prologue!

Yes, it turns out the voice-over from the prologue is actually the magic mirror, who always talks in rhyme and who looks a lot like Cogworth's brother. And, as you can tell, he has an awkwardly superimposed face cel on a painted background. Thanks to this movie's lackluster special effects, you never get the impression that the mirror's face and the rest of the frame are the same character. Dom DeLuise's character looks like some man with blue skin just stuck his face in a hole in the wall and got stuck, so the queen put a mirror around him in order to make him look more festive. It's never believable that he's an actual mirror.

He does get a great line here though. The first thing he says in the movie is "Keep it down, you noisy creep. You're ruining my beauty sleep", which is such a useful line if you ever have to share a bedroom with anyone else.
"This is yet another example of the late neoclassic Baroque period.
And, as I always say, 'If it's not Baroque, don't fix it!'"
The mirror refuses him on account he's not the queen, which causes Lord Maliss to say "How DARE yoooooou!" and...holy crap! This guy can shoot lasers out of his eyes? How come the queen never had that power? It would've saved her on apples, that's for sure!

You should see what he does to his TV whenever his favorite team loses the Super Bowl.
The mirror is stunned that Maliss just freaking whipped out some eye lasers and shot him in the face, but then he quickly starts mocking him in rhyme and telling him that he's immune to magic spells. That doesn't deter Maliss, because when he hears this, he actually pulls out a goddamn mace and starts threatening the mirror with it, telling him that that stupid hunk of glass better tell him what happened to his sister or else it's clobbering time.

...okay, I'm going to come out and admit it. Lord Maliss is pretty awesome. I don't care if he's a ridiculous over-the-top villain with green skin and really thick eyeshadow. He's downright entertaining. I think the fact that Malcolm McDowell is voicing him has something to do with it.

Lord Maliss equips Mace of Smashing. Gains +15 in STR and STAM.
So the mirror finally gives up and politely tells Lord Hammy that the queen is dead., I'm kidding. The mirror really decides it's going the freak the kids watching this by giving us a jump scare in the form of her dead corpse. When he says "the queen is dead", a really scary white face with pitch black eyes flashes in the glass for only a split second, complete with a really spooky musical chord and some lightning effects. You only see this image for a brief moment, but trust me, it really haunts you if you happen to be five and watching this after being lured in with the cute cover filled with little dwarves and happy, colorful flowers. For the longest time, I had to hide behind the couch whenever the mirror started talking about the queen because I knew what was coming up.
"I'll be seeing you in your nightmares, kids!"
Right after making all of us little children pee our pants out of sheer horror (that face still gives me the shivers, holy cow), the mirror then decides to snitch on Snow White and her handsome prince in order to get on Maliss's good side. After all, that mace looks pretty devastating. It is here that we get our first real look at our heroes and, compared to the villains, they're pretty bland-looking, even if they do have a nice taste in wardrobe.

Although, in all fairness, the exact same thing happened with Disney's Snow White. Seriously, between that really scary old lady queen and Rotoscope White, who was more distinct? I think the only reason people even remember what Snow White looks like is because she's lucky enough to be a Disney Princess.

"Honey, wouldn't it be great if we actually rode the horse?"
"Nah, walking's much funner."
Lord Maliss is a little ticked off that his sister is taking a nice dirt nap, although the mirror says so himself that the reason the queen died is because she had to be a greedy asshole and try to kill Snow White, so really, her death is because Snow White retaliated in self-defense. Therefore, he decides that he's going to rule the castle and all of the disgusting creatures inside of it in the name of vengeance and knee high boots. Here is when he throws off any pretense that he's going to be subtle about his villainy and chews the scenery so much that there are visible bite marks in the animation cels. Snow White, you're going to rue the day you were prettier than someone else, causing them to get all ultra jealous and then try to murder you! This means war!

Shredder and Skeletor wished they were this melodramatic.
So Maliss starts casting great magical spells that smell like ham and cheese and then, well, this happens. In Maliss's words he "will twist and change and distort everything in the Realm of DOOOOOOOOOOM!" (oh geez), which means he's going to summon evil glows and make giant rock pillars burst out of the ground. Oh man, this scene has everything, from peasants fleeing in terror to over-the-top lightning flashes, and it really makes me wonder why the queen never had any of these neat powers. You'd think she'd have less of a problem killing some girl with skin as white as snow if her brother can summon freaking rock spires out of nowhere.

What exactly is the point of all of this, anyways? Absolutely nothing. We don't exactly see what this spell actually does or how it affects this landscape, so basically Maliss is just throwing a big magical temper tantrum because his sister did something stupid and got herself killed.

I will say this. The part where the green magic surrounds the castle is one of the best background shots in this entire film. This is nowhere near Disney quality, but they can have some nice atmosphere when they try.

Maliss's bad acting is so powerful that even the earth is shaped by his delivery.
Remember when I compared Street Sharks to a grilled cheese sandwich filled with three different kinds of cheese? Well, I think I just found something that tops that, because while he's shaping the landscape with his arcane powers, he honest to god gives a speech about what he's going to do to Snow White and her precious prince. There's just something loveable about a movie that's this overblown and exaggerated, and if I could, I'd frame this scene and hang it up on my wall. It's so over-the-top and so stupid that it swings right back into the awesome category. Maliss even tops the sundae of nuttiness by throwing his head back and yelling "VENGENCE!" while lightning flashes in the sky. Yes!

In other words, you want subtle acting? This is not the movie to watch. Also, nice crotch shot there, Maliss.

Hmmm, I'm still having trouble figuring out if he's the bad guy...
And then he turns into a dragon., I'm serious. Turns out that dragon from earlier was Lord Maliss, and that's how he travels because the man rides in style. After Lord Maliss shoots lasers from his eyes, takes control of the entire castle and its ugly animal minions, causes earthquakes, manifests green energy to surround his sister's empire, and twists the entire ground to his whims, he feels that he has to show off even more by shapeshifting. Geez, what did he even do to get all of those neat powers, anyways? Man, Snow White is really outclassed here in this movie.

And what a shapeshifting scene it is. Transformation sequences in cartoons can be anything from comical to downright frightening. Maliss turning into a wyvern (that's a dragon with only two legs to the non-fantasy geeks in the room) is the latter, because you can hear his bones crack and everything. Sort of intense stuff to see as a little kid. Again, I want to bring up the cover of this movie again and how it's nothing like what I'm seeing here. Curse you, 90's cartoons and your ability to be unspeakably dark!

My guess is that he's not going to poison any apples in this movie.
So he transforms, roars (or rather screams; the wyvern's roars sound like an inhuman blend between a dragon's roar and someone yelling and it's fantastic), takes off into the air, and bursts right through a stained glass window. Lord Maliss, everybody!

Thanks to him, I've come to the conclusion that dragons inserted into random fairy tales instantly make them at least 20% cooler. I'm pretty sure my novel where Peter Pan has to fight Captain Hook's brother who can transform into a dragon is going to sell millions of copies.

"Now if you'll excuse me, I have some sleep to slaughter and some gold to sleep on."
Well, now that the terrifying dragon that seems to be the embodiment of heavy metal bands has flown the coop, it's time for the loveable evil toadies to lighten the mood so that we don't have too many nightmares about this movie. So that's when we actually get a song from Ed Asner himself, even though it would logically make no sense to start rapping after you just saw someone transform into a dragon. Scowl's just awesome, I guess.
"Our new boss just turned into a dragon, so to celebrate, I'm going to start rapping!"
And I hate to say it, but this song is not terrible. It's pointless and it adds nothing to the story, but it's not eardrum-poppingly horrendous like some songs I've heard in cheap Disney knockoff musicals. In fact, I could even go the extra mile and say that it's actually pretty catchy, if you don't concentrate on how generic the lyrics are (the chorus is "He's bad! So bad!", which can mean anything to level of villainy to level of quality) and instead focus on the voice and the beat. Ed Asner is just one of those people who could make a song about the dictionary seem amazing, and those 80's drums are just amazing.

What's the song about? With a name called "He's Bad" and lyrics like "Bad like me is the way to go! Being nice is just for saps, being good is a handicap!", it's easy to figure out that the song is basically Scowl waving around his ego and showing off to the other minions that he's a bad enough dude to save the president. 

I think my main problem with this song is that it's too short. It's less than a minute long but we get things like smoking owls physically assaulting little purple bats and crossdressing monsters. Maybe if it was a little bit longer, it'd justify its existence in the movie. Oh well.
"Problem, Snow White?"
So after that song that no one will ever mention again, Scowl and Batso decide to fly off and help Lord Maliss get Snow White so that they can get back on his good side. Hate to say it, but he's probably got this thing covered, guys. You know, being a dragon and all that makes you crazy prepared to fight some girl who thwarted the evil stepmother by biting into an apple and dying while some dwarfs and a prince did all the work for her. I mean, geez, if she can die from drugged fruit, she can die from being ripped apart by a dragon. Just common sense.

I suppose he could try to kill her by secondhand smoke...
They fly off, and then we get a charming, flowery area filled with bright blue skies, happy little flowers, and a butterfly that accidentally perches on a tree. Whoops. Either they forgot a flower or that butterfly's the size of Mothra.

And then all of Maliss's hard work is wasted when Snow White gets her bodily fluids
sucked out by a giant butterfly.
But then, we finally see Snow White and Prince NoNameGiven, happy that they drove some jealous woman so insane that she tried to poison her own stepdaughter. It turns out they're out riding around on Prince Phillipe's horse from Sleeping Beauty because they're going to invite the Seven Dwarfs to the wedding and, since this takes place after the "Happily Ever After" in the Snow White fable, they're already in a pretty solid, understanding relationship. It's a pretty nice change of pace, to actually have characters that are already in love instead of just falling in sparkly, magical, princess-y love in one of these princess stories, but watch as they don't actually do anything with it later on.

And might as well get this out of the way. The Prince looks exactly like Prince Adam from He-Man, only with red hair and Gaston's outfit. Either Filmation did this intentionally as sort of a nod to their previous works, or they seriously can't draw a prince without using that face. It's probably the latter.

"You know, I never shared this with anyone, but when I hold aloft this magic
sword and say "By the Power of Greyskull"..."
Unfortunately, they're taking their sweet time, with them stopping so that Snow White can pick flowers for the dwarfs in a field with absolutely no shelter or protection from anything that might attack them. The Prince even gets to say the famous last words "With the wicked queen gone, who could harm us?" just to sweeten the deal. Geez, guys! Just cover yourselves in barbecue sauce while you're at it if you're going to make things so easy for the giant flying reptile!

"Nothing's going to attack me here! Tee hee!"
So yeah, Snow White picks some flowers for about three hours (how long does it take to pick enough flowers for seven dwarfs? It's not like they're going to be big flower connoisseurs or anything!) while her boyfriend watches her creepily like watching his fiance pick plants off the ground is the sexiest thing ever. He could try helping pick the flowers, but no, he'd rather sit back and stare.

...although at least he's more masculine and heterosexual than his more famous, shirtless brother. But then again, what isn't?

"Heh heh. Girls."
The flower frolicking goes on until a dragon just swoops out of the sky, grabs Snow White by the arms, and starts carrying her off.

...I know it's been established that Lord Maliss is the dragon and that this movie has dragons and monsters in it, but it's still taking me a while to get used to the idea that there are dragons in Snow White. I don't know, it's just not one of those fables that would have giant scaly beasts. I mean, geez, what's next; adding dragons to Sleeping Beauty?

"Well, that was easy. I'm not sure why my sister had such a hard time with this girl..."
What we get next is a chase sequence between the wyvern and the Prince riding his horse. If you've ever seen a cartoon where someone chases someone else while riding a horse, you probably already know exactly how this scene plays out. Can't really put The Standard Horse Chase Sequence into text, but you know how it goes; there's a ravine he has to jump over, there's some windy roads he has to steer the horse through, there's frantic clipclopping sound effects. Horses.

Although it kind of helps establish that this prince is sort of a badass. From what I recall, the Prince in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs never actually did anything besides sing in the beginning and then marry Snow White at the very ending. This prince's first reaction when he sees a freaking dragon swoop out of nowhere and carry off his wife is to ride off after it, showing absolutely no fear. He truly is the most powerful man in the universe!
"Aww man, why did I trade Battle Cat for this lousy horse?"
Finally, when he gets within range, Prince Master of the Universe actually pulls out a crossbow (although I'm not certain where he pulled it out from) and shoots the wyvern right in the leg. Not going to ask how he was able to quickly aim and shoot that thing, nor am I going to ask why he would try to shoot that thing in the leg when, if he was just slightly off, he would've killed his future wife. Because you know what? The other cartoon Snow White prince didn't have a crossbow. Therefore I'm going to allow this.

All those nights playing Modern Warfare 3 finally paid off!
Also, good going, Prince. Shoot the flying animal while he's carrying your bride away in the air from who knows how far up. That was a smart move, because Snow White can just break her fall by landing on her face.
I guess the Prince figures that if she dies, he can always just kiss her back to life...
But don't worry, Snow Generic Woman Design lands safely on the ground (even though she fell at least three stories and hit a branch on the way down; I guess princesses are made out of tougher stuff than us fragile commoners) without damaging her sensitive mascara or lipstick. She even has enough strength to get angry and wave a stick at the dragon in retaliation. Oh no, his one weakness!

"Ruin my flower-picking session, will you?"
Snow White looks like she's doomed, because that giant serpent is swooping down towards her and a splinter is only going to slow him down so much, but fortunately for her, that lung cancer-filled owl is a moron and decides to help at the last minute. This ends up backfiring tremendously, because instead of the owl colliding with Snow White's neck and ripping open any major arteries, he ends up hitting Maliss in the face and causing him to spin out of control. Not only is Snow White able to dodge the dragon now, but she's also able to flee into the woods, which are somehow dragon barriers now. not happy with Scowl, to say the least. I love for a brief moment, it looks like he's going to treat Scowl like an animal cracker and bite his head off. Yeah, the minions his sister left behind aren't the best, but hey, he got them for free.

He tries one more time to catch the slippery broad, but Snow White is able to get away from his grasp just in time and she disappears into the woods. That kind of sucks that Lord Maliss can transform into a dragon, but his dragon form just completely lacks the ability to breathe fire, or else he could've just fried Snow White and her fashionably blue dress to a crisp while her back was turned. I guess they didn't want to make a man who can summon earthquakes and shoot lasers out of his eyes too overpowered.

"I guess I could turn back into my magic-casting, eye laser-shooting human form
and chase her down, but that would be too easy."
But even with Snow White gone, there's still the Prince still running around, his hands still stained with the blood of his fallen sister. So Maliss, pretty pissed off that today just isn't going his way (clearly he was expecting to just fly off with Snow White and kill her before dinner), turns around and then attacks the prince.

And oddly, even though he collides with Prince Adam at full speed with his razor-sharp claws, this somehow doesn't kill the prince, but instead merely knocks him off his horse. Geez, are all the humans here made out of titanium or something? Somebody break a bone or at least get some sort of wound! You're fighting a flying monster the size of a T-rex while wearing nothing but normal clothing, and according to my Final Fantasy games, you should've gotten a game over already! Wildly unfair.

Yeah, I'm pretty confident these two are going to succeed against this evil villain.
Now, with the prince on the ground, do you think Maliss would take advantage of this situation and just bite the man's head off and then leave his decapitated corpse somewhere where Snow White can find it? Nah, turns out this villain likes to play things fair and refuses to attack the man once he's down, like all evil villains are wont to do. Maliss is even such a good sport that right when the prince is knocked off his horse, he decides to transform back into Snape. Okay then.
"Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?"
The prince's reaction to seeing a giant dragon with glowing yellow eyes transform into some man with emo hair and a belt with an upside-down triangle? He just says "I've never seen such magic as this." before asking him what he wants while making angry fists. I love how he's not at all surprised by this strange turn of events; he's just mad that this guy had the gall to transform into some sort of mythical beast and attack his future wife while they were inviting people to his wedding. The Prince's got some major balls.
In response to this rather gutsy move, Lord Maliss silently shoots him with an eye laser (instead of gloating about it or saying some overdramatic villain line like I was expecting him to do), which causes the prince to collapse at his feet in a senseless heap. Getting hit by a speeding dragon barely harmed the guy, and yet eye lasers did the trick. Go figure. 
Well, that was easy.
Now, I know what this looks like. You're thinking that Lord Maliss shot the prince down with his magic laser eyes and now he's a corpse, laying by his feet, already attracting ants and other vermin. I know that's what I thought when I saw this for the first time at age five, but trust me, the Prince is very much alive. Maliss just has "a very special fate" in store for him, and basically, it's up for us, the audience, to keep watching and see just what this special fate happens to be.

I do love the faces he makes at the Prince while he's just lying there, by the way. Lord Maliss is well aware of how awesome he is and by god, he's going to flaunt it.
"I'm simply fabulous!"
Meanwhile, Snow White keeps running through the forest aimlessly until long after the sun sets. Geez, she must've taken some serious track and field classes while she was disguised as a simple scullery maid in order to hide her immense beauty. What person has this kind of stamina?

By the way, get used to the fact that the entire film looks like someone poured blue all over everything. In this film, when the sun sets, everything takes on a shade of bright blue, making the film take on some major monochromatic qualities as we get further in. And that's not even limited to the night scenes either; just look back at all the previous screenshots and notice the dominant color in all of them. Now we know Filmation's favorite color.
"Oh, sure, keep running into the giant, scary forest until you get lost. Good going, me! Stupid, stupid, stupid!"
But yeah, you know what's going to happen next, now that Snow White is in the woods, wandering around and getting scared by forest fauna and finding little mine shafts filled with dwarf-sized feet and shovels. She keeps running until she ends up at the house of the Seven Dwarfs.

Although, wait. If Snow White was going to invite them to the wedding, then why didn't she immediately know where they were? She just kind of wandered through that forest aimlessly until she just happened to stumble across their house. This is not an efficient way to send out wedding invitations, Snow White!

...and couldn't she have just sent one of the Prince's servants to send out the invitation? I know they're her best friends and all, but that probably would've stopped the whole dragon thing from ever happening. Just saying.
"Well, that's ironic. I just hope my husband's still alive so I can still invite them to the wedding."
Unfortunately, since she was running for at least six hours, she actually passes out before she can even reach the door. If this is how she normally ends up at the dwarf's house, all passed out and sleeping in some random spot on her property, I have to wonder what they think of her.

Snow White, the neighbors are asking questions.
And this is where I'm going to stop on this movie for today, because I'm stopping right before we actually meet our dwarfs for this movie. It's been an exciting ride so far, but this is only the tip of the crazy iceberg that is this movie. If you think the dragon and the smoking owl were insane, just wait until you see what's in store in the upcoming chapters that is Happily Ever After.

An owl with a cigar informs you, through a pointless rap song, that Part 2 is this way!