The film opens up with a landscape shot of a castle in the foreground of a major metropolitan modern city. It is never stated in the movie what the name of this world is called but since later on it is implied another Kingdom exists for the sake of simplicity I will call this current setting Kingdom No Name.
We are then introduced to our main character Princess Alexa (age 17 of Kingdom No Name) who is shown to be an avid book reader but extremely shy at any type of social gathering with people. So shy in fact she consistently turns down these events enough that their butler Brookhurst can finish her sentence.
After turning down a speech for the Equestrian Club (Horse Riding Club) Alexa sings a song about how much she prefers to read than socialize.
It is important to note that Brookhurst mentions the speech for the Equestrian Club is to be given this afternoon, mainly because how much time passes between events will be one of the biggest unexplained elements of this film.
During her song Alexa is interrupted by Brookhurst again who informs her that her Grandmother (name never given) wants Alexa to join her for tea with the Ambassador and Prince Kieran of (possible of the Kingdom of) Hilgovia (also age 17). Alexa goes and peeks in on the tea event but quickly leaves back to her room.
Unfortunately I am unable to unsee when Alexa bounces on her bed during her song and the bed does not move one inch. A limitation of either the CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) or art direction.
Despite this flaw I do like this introduction to the movie and Alexa. It sets up a very plausible setting and believable character. The highlight to the introduction in my opinion is when they show the many different ways Alexa reads her book when moving around her room.
At the end of her song Alexa’s mother (Queen Adrienne) knocks on her door and commands her to go to her dance lessons. Alexa begrudgingly follows.
At the dance lesson Alexa’s instructor Mr. Primrose is there along with Alexa’s two ladies-in-waiting friends Jenna and Samantha.
Adrienne informs us that there is the 161st Ball being held tonight and it is tradition for the Princess to dance the waltz with the King.
Alexa is not confident in her dancing skills but despite her protests Mr. Primrose attempts to teach her until Alexa accidentally trips the two of them up and as they fall to the ground Mr. Primrose appears to have sprained his ankle and is escorted away by Adrienne and Brookhurst.
Left to their own devices Jenna and Samantha begin their own modern dance and convince Alexa to join in who appears to enjoy herself (while her Grandmother peeks in on the three of them dancing) until she quits and says she can’t keep up.
Samantha brings up one of my biggest peeves of this movie with her quote, “You’re a princess, which means you’re good at everything.” This is compounded by Alexa’s quote, “So everyone keeps telling me.”
Aside from the fact this is a blatant lie in reality the story itself uses this as an underlying reason for a lot of Alexa’s growth which she does not earn and is unacceptable to me.
After bidding her friends farewell Alexa is presumably about to hide back in her room to read when her Grandmother (name never given) stops her and gives her half of good advice.
Grandmother: “You can’t hide from life forever.” -Good Advice
Grandmother: “You’ll never know what you can do unless you try.” -Underdeveloped Good Advice.
While in theory the premise is sound the execution of that second quote will be underwhelming and later on Alexa will end up being able to do impossible things without putting in the effort to unlock the particular talent.
After her required semi sage advice Grandmother (name never given) gives Alexa a new book that she has never read before because she was quote: “Saving this for the right time.” Does this mean she knows what the book will do? The film certainly rearranges Grandmother’s facial expression to make it seem like she does.
(To answer any questions about the book the film never answers any questions about the book).
Alexa thanks her Grandmother (name never given) and immediately begins to read the new book which opens with a girl having magical powers. Alexa then sings about what she would do if she herself had magical powers.
During her song she brings up possibly the root of her social anxiety - That she’s afraid of people seeing her fail should she fail. A pivotal character arc motivation that will go completely unexplored.
I feel this is an excellent opportunity to bring up suspension of disbelief. I understand that Alexa is not really flying through the air or turning water into chocolate. This is simply a daydream she is fantasizing while reading a book about magic. I too daydream what I would do with magic and understand I am not actually blinking across rooftops to avoid traffic.
The problem comes in when the rules of the world changes but the rules are not clearly defined how or to what extent they change.
I will give an honorable mention to the grass bending under Alexa’s feet during her song at a specific scene. Worth two claps - one for each foot.
At the end of the song Alexa follows a butterfly into the gardens to underneath a magnificent weeping willow, seemingly a new location based on Alexa’s expression. That or she’s so focused on the butterfly she hasn’t noticed exactly where it has lead her.
Either explanation would work for me.
While watching the butterfly the book starts to shimmer and a pattern highlights on the front cover as also the same shimmer and pattern appears on the stone wall underneath the tree.
There is magical sounds and lights flickering but Alexa either does not hear the sound or notice the flashing lights, or is too focused on the butterfly to literally notice anything else.
Not quite either explanation works for me.
Once the door is fully materialized onto the garden wall Alexa finally turns around to see it and in an acceptable gasp she drops the book onto the ground.
Unfortunately the animators decided not to animate the grass moving when the book fell even though they had just done so for shoes.
Also more unfortunately Alexa doesn’t immediately pick up the book from the ground in case there was dew still on the grass to to prevent the dew from ruining the book.
If giving the movie the benefit of the doubt perhaps it was late morning and the early day dew had already dried up…even underneath the complete shade of the tree.
Alexa opens the new door and all she notices at first is just seemingly a normal garden path still underneath the weeping willow leading off to presumably somewhere further into the garden.
While contemplating what to do Alexa hears Brookhurst yell from in the distance that Mr. Primrose has recovered enough from his sprained ankle that he is ready to continue the dance lessons. This is the excuse/reason Alexa needs to step through the magical door.
Why was Brookhurst yelling in the gardens about her continued dance lessons? Perhaps someone saw her reading and dancing her way into the gardens and Brookhurst didn’t want to search the entire grounds for Alexa so he was communicating with elevated volume.
As Alexa passes her way through the hanging ivy unbeknownst to her again magic happens and her dress/outfit and tiara changes.
Not noticing a book’s cover changing or a new door appearing out of thin air?
Not noticing the clothes you are currently wearing are being changed into a completely new set of clothes and the headpiece you have currently on your head is changing shape and size and possibly also weight?
Not as fine.
I’m even willing to give Alexa a pass on not seeing the change because it happens exactly at the moment she’s covering her eyes from the sunlight when stepping out from in the shade.
What I can not give her a pass on is literally not feeling with her own skin her dress changing into a completely different dress.
And while on the subject of magic behaving in bizarre ways why is it that Alexa’s dress and tiara must change? Later on Alexa will ask the same question and someone will quote, “How else does a princess dress?” What? Why? What is the difference between her current dress and her new magical dress?
Then again I have been certified in having no fashion sense so obviously I am missing the intricate details of the two different dresses.
After regaining her eyesight Alexa does finally notice her new getup and comments on it. She then meets some creatures that while never actually named in the film in subtitles they are referred to as a Bouncie (singular) and Bouncies (plural).
While following the Bouncies further into this new land suddenly an arrow is shot at Alexa into a tree missing her face just shy of a few inches.
Displaying self preservation skills Alexa hides in cover to prevent herself from becoming a pin cushion. We see two young women seemingly close to Alexa’s age appear with one of them wielding a bow (with their left hand dominant) and another arrow at the ready.
After a hilarious introduction with people tripping, diving, falling, and face-palming once everyone confirms that no one is a threat to each other Alexa introduces herself.
While in this scene the other two women are not properly introduced to keep this “paper” more simple I will jump ahead and confirm that one of the women is named Nori while the other woman (the archer) is called Romy.
(In the actual scene Romy’s name is actually mentioned but only by Nori as they are about to flee to the hideout 7 minutes after they met Alexa. Nori’s name situation is much worse as the first person to say her name is Alexa a whole 22 minutes after they meet without Nori [or anyone else] ever being seen giving Alexa her name.)
Nori and Romy then sing a song about how they lost their magic which was attached to their wings and tail respectfully. A group of three wingless fairies and three tailless mermaids also join for the chorus.
In the song they mention that the person to take their magic was an evil princess named Malucia. Fans of King’s Quest VII might pick up on the fact that Malucia’s name is literally one letter different from Malicia’s name who is the evil fairy in King’s Quest VII.
After the song Nori and Romy point out Alexa’s new wand in her hair which appeared when she stepped into this magical land. Based on what they say the dress and tiara and wand prove that Alexa is a princess and thus because she is a princess she has magic automatically even though she was not born in this land.
Romy then gives up an unexplained possible biology plot hole when she says quote: “…pure oxygen you land folks breathe. Making me dizzy…” Does that mean mermaids don’t breathe air? Can they only breathe underwater? That doesn’t seem entirely true as in many scenes mermaids with their tails will be singing or conversing while above water.
Having no biology degree in any sense I did a single one page internet search and the site mentioned there are such animals called amphibious fish which means the fish can both breathe in and out of water because of biologically advances, but then the site mentioned some of the fish did this because of their oxygen poor water in order to survive.
I get the distinct impression that the water in this magical land is not oxygen poor.
Regardless of whatever amphibious fish I try to compare Romy to I feel her “pure oxygen” line is an unneeded addition to the film and just brings up more issues than it solves.
I can also absolutely believe that the writers thought they were being clever by explaining away Romy’s “air-headedness” by this quote.
And while on the subject of Romy the film never explains why she is the one using a bow and arrows. Do not misunderstand me. I like the fact that someone is being proactive. I genuinely applaud the fact that two of the people Malucia stole from are not sitting around twiddling their thumbs but are actively trying to protect the rest of the subjects.
However, if Romy truly is unused to having legs (despite the fact she can dance and do crazy funny gags) what was the internal logic in giving her the precision weapon instead of Nori?
(In comparison to the rest of the movie’s issues I am perfectly willing to let this question go).
As Alexa is wielding her wand while trying to describe her normal dress to Nori she accidentally uses magic from the wand and changes Nori’s normal outfit into Alexa’s normal yellow dress.
Nori for some reason has a bias against yellow.
While trying to change Nori’s outfit back one of the Bouncies antenna quivers and it bounces up to Nori and chatters in an untranslated language. Nori is shown to understand them regardless of us the audience and warns the group that the Sniffers are coming. They explain to an understandable confused Alexa that Sniffers are agents/minions of Malucia and they can smell magic.
Nori and Romy agree on a plan to take Alexa to their hideout while Nori stays behind for a few seconds to throw the Sniffers off Alexa’s trail. The Bouncies and extras scatter. Romy takes Alexa to the bottom of an impossibly gigantic tree and pushes three plant stems which causes three ropes to appear from somewhere above.
Meanwhile Nori takes some leaves from her bag and scatters them on the ground. (I did check and Nori does have that bag even before her outfit is changed by Alexa. The only bit continuity in the film preserved). She then quickly runs back to the tree and all three take a rope and are raised up out of sight.
We are then introduced to the Sniffers who are named Sniff and Whiff. While I don’t like their too cartoony design I do mostly like the idea of them moving around like a roly-poly and understand the design of their long noses.
The Sniffers only pick up the scent of the “stench weed” that Nori scattered. (How does Nori not smell like stench weed? Do you have to handle them carefully)? They then mention something about unicorns before insulting each other and rolling away.
In a surprising twist of fate this film actually uses a real medical term “deviated septum” in a throw away joke. No child will know what this term is and I myself personally did not have a clue what it was so I looked it up on a single website.
In an overly simple incorrect explanation a deviated septum is a displacement of part of the nasal cavity. Symptoms of this could include snoring, having trouble sleeping, or having problems smelling.
While the film might have flubbed with amphibious fish they balanced it with a joke about noses.
Who would have guessed? Go figure.
After escaping the Sniffers Nori and Romy escort Alexa to their hideout. They explain (based on later context) all the mermaids and fairies have come together to protect the three baby unicorns from Malucia. Nori introduces Alexa to the hideout (much to Alexa’s embarrassment) and after being teased by the other fairies Nori pleads to Alexa to change her outfit back. This time Alexa concentrates and with a flick of her wand Nori’s outfit is restored, minus the berry stain according to Romy.
(There was no berry stain. I went back to double check. And while we’re on the subject why do the fairies dislike Alexa’s normal yellow dress? And while we’re still on the subject why did the mermaids find the berry stain “embarrassing”? Is it because they don’t get stains since they live in water? But animals in water can still get stains from certain conditions correct?)
Alexa meets the three baby unicorns while being warned about their sharp horns and then Nori and Romy mention the most powerful creature in the realm - the Queen Unicorn. She is being hidden in another part of the forest away from Malucia.
Taking Alexa above the treetop Nori and Romy point out the castle where Princess Malucia lives. They also mention how there was a King and Queen but they disappeared a few weeks ago which is when Malucia started stealing magic from the subjects.
(Surprisingly this magical land has a name mentioned in the movie - the Kingdom of Zinnia. Unfortunately the name is only mentioned twice).
Malucia is the only princess to ever be born in Zinnia without magic. This sets up several intriguing mysterious for the audience to solve. Why is Malucia the only princess born without magic? Why did the King and Queen disappear? Why is Malucia stealing magic? How is she stealing magic? Why is there no lookout at the top of the tree to keep an eye on the castle should there be any movement?
We will see later how not all these mysteries are solved.
The next scene introduces us to the said evil Princess Malucia and her henchmen called Trogs (plural. Trog - singular). Now I actually really really like the golden swirl patterns on the Trogs. Like legitimately I have no quarrel with that aspect of their design.
What I do have a problem with is they’re just too cartoony. They have absolutely no sense of menace to them thus they convey no threat thus I’m not concerned about them.
Redesign the Trogs to look more menacing, be more threatening, while keeping their golden swirls.
Worse than the Trogs though is Princess Malucia herself. Why in the world did they design her with such a hugely disproportioned head compared to the rest of her body? Why? Why why why? Was that why she was born with no magic? Was it to show that she has a big ego? Was it to make her not seem as pretty as the main characters to tiny children? Was it all a marketing ploy?
This is genuinely the design part of the movie I dislike the most. It makes no sense in the film in any way.
After being introduced to Malucia and her head Trog named Grodlin she hollers for the Sniffers to report. They roll in and report that while they haven’t found any of the unicorns yet they did uncover a young fairy (name later given as Nola) who is then hauled in by a couple of Trogs. Malucia then sings a song about how she wants all the magic in Zinnia.
During the song Malucia takes Nola’s wings (thus Nola’s magic) and the orb atop Malucia’s scepter grows larger in size.
While on the subject of the scepter we never find out its origins. Where did it come from? Why was it kept? Did it use to be under lock and key and Malucia retrieved it or was it a regularly used item? Is it from the era of the magical book?
Honestly I’m willing to give the scepter a believable backstory for the film. My idea is the scepter was from the founding of Zinnia and its original purpose was to absorb any evil magic wielded by troublemakers during the history of Zinnia. Now Malucia is using its function for the opposite purpose all for her selfish desires.
After Malucia’s song the film cuts back to Alexa at the hideout and we unfortunately get another song in less than a minute from Alexa singing about how she does actually have magic now and in the process learning how to use her magic.
Once Alexa is finished practicing she happens upon a generally good idea of trying to restore Nori’s and Romy’s magic with her wand however this proves not to work. Romy and Nori decide that they will need to retrieve Malucia’s scepter as that is where their magic is being held. Alexa is not keen to battle Malucia and so walks away.
Back to Malucia she is having a tea party with Nola and some of her Trogs when the Sniffers return and claim they have found where they believe the Queen Unicorn is being held based on the evidence there is an overwhelming amount of stench weed in a particular portion of the forest.
In a surprisingly unexpected brilliant move Malucia decides to let Nola go with the idea she will unintentionally lead her exactly to the Queen Unicorn.
Back at the hideout Alexa has returned and is simply hanging out. Some Bouncies’ antennae quivers and they go to tell Nori and Romy but it turns out it’s just Nola having finally walked/run all the way from the castle. (Did no one notice Nola missing?)
Keep this point in mind because I am going to come back to the Bouncies behavior later.
Nola exclaims that Malucia has found the Queen Unicorn and is off to capture her. Nori and Romy decide to bring the Queen Unicorn to their current hideout. Alexa offers to give them a ride on a lily pad while making a reference to the classic story of the boy and flying carpet.
This reference, while I’m sure was only written as a joke, brings up a lot of lore and world destroying ramifications.
Here’s what broke me.
Romy’s Quote: “What’s a boy?”
Let me try to contextualize my reaction the first time I heard this.
I laughed so hard and for so long that I had to pause and rewind the movie because I was unable to pay attention.
At first Romy’s question made my brain suddenly go off in all different directions on how this world’s population worked. If there were no boys where did new fairies and mermaids come from? We know there are young subjects because we’ve seen Nola. Perhaps fairies were born from flowers and mermaids from water lilies?
It wasn’t until later that I connected the dots that they had mentioned there was a King and Queen in this world. A King - who is a man - who is a grown boy…
And Romy doesn’t know what a “boy” is…
I understand that the writers wanted to make a funny joke but instead what happened is they opened up the second worst plot wormhole in the film.
Sometimes you have to laugh because otherwise you’ll cry.
After that disaster of a joke (that I still laugh at every time) Nori and Romy guide Alexa to the part of the forest they’ve hidden the Queen Unicorn while she controls the magical flying lily pad.
Arriving at the correct portion of the forest Nori explains the Queen Unicorn is hidden by a secret portal that is activated by a specific branch. Opening the portal the three women step through.
Now I have a world building question about the Sniffers for this specific part of the film. I understand the want to hide the Queen Unicorn in a secret portal and spread stench weed around the area to throw the Sniffers off the trail, but is the reason you need the stench weed is because they could smell the magic of the portal or the magic of the Queen Unicorn no matter where she is?
(And another question about the Sniffers - We obviously know they can smell individual magic and not just great qualities of it; evidence Nola; and they found the general location of the Queen Unicorn using deductive reasoning, so how have they been unable to discover the hideout that still has a lot of mermaids and fairies with their magic? Is it because the hideout is far above ground level?)
This next scene I do appreciate for the effort even if the execution was not to its full potential. In my mind’s eye when I think of a Queen Unicorn I imagine a magnificent creature of imposing character, grace, and authority.
The Queen Unicorn is the tallest creature in the movie - which I approve of. Unfortunately she’s not quite awe-inspiring enough for my taste. Her appearance should have been more cinematic, more grand.
As it is in the film, she simply partially looks the part without acting the part.
(What also puzzles me is why the Queen Unicorn only lets Alexa ride her. There is no reason ever given.)
After meeting up with the Queen Unicorn the four of them return to the original hideout. (Did they walk back? How much time did that take?)
Upon calling for an elevator for the Queen Unicorn Malucia reveals herself (presumably she was on stakeout) and her six Trogs plus Grodlin. The Queen Unicorn never makes it to safety as she is immediately captured with what looks like normal rope and not fighting back.
Really Queeny? Really?
Romy fires a final arrow at Malucia but she uses her magic to disintegrate it mid-flight and then both Romy and Nori are also easily captured by the Trogs.
(Surprisingly in this scene Romy is shooting with her right hand revealing herself to be ambidextrous. An uncommon character trait in seems in fiction.)
Alexa is told to hide which she complies but Malucia follows her and they enter a small scuffle where Alexa loses her wand and Malucia begins to drain Alexa of her magic. Only when Malucia trips and breaks the spell does Alexa finish running away and Malucia calls off the chase.
I must bring out two concerns this fight exposes. First is why does Alexa just stand there while her magic is being drained? If the draining spell had a paralyzing element to it that would make sense. It would also explain why Nola didn’t make a fuss and also upcoming scenes.
Second is Malucia’s memory. Obviously she knows that Alexa has magic. She doesn’t know Alexa is a princess in another kingdom but she must know that Alexa has magic because she starts draining it from her and she sees her use it and even asks, “Is that magic?”
Keep this in mind because we are also going to be coming back to this particular point.
After letting Alexa go Malucia uses Nori and Romy as hostages to invade the hideout and the scene ends with a flash of light from Malucia’s scepter.
Coming back to the Bouncies’ behavior: How exactly does their magic work? At first we are told they can sense Malucia’s minions (as evidence when Alexa meets Nori and Romy) but then they panic when Nola appears. If they had been sensing Malucia following Nola that could have made sense but then if they were sensing Malucia hiding why weren’t they continually on alert? How long does their magic stay active when activated?
And worst of all why did none of the Bouncies register when the Trogs and Malucia were literally about to walk into the hideout?
Side Note: Thumbs up for the fairy who tries to protect the unicorns. Make her a lieutenant.
Taking her command a bit too far Alexa runs all the way back to the border of Zinnia and Kingdom No Name. She is just about to cross back when she stops and internally ponders without involving the audience and instead turns around and runs back to the hideout.
Again no time frame is given how long this turnaround takes.
Upon arriving back to the hideout Alexa discovers that everyone’s magic has been stolen by Malucia. Romy asks Alexa, “Why did you come back?” and Alexa doesn’t really properly answer the question.
Alexa’s Quote: “I just…had to.”
No heart-to-heart talk about how she can’t run away from life anymore; how Nori and Romy have become her friends; how her conscious would have made her feel guilty if she abandoned everyone in their time of need; none of that.
She just simply “had to.”
This could have been an excellent spot for Alexa to get in some speech practice but instead the movie decides to bypass any type of legitimate character growth.
To make matters even worse Alexa doesn’t even have to go searching for her wand to show her commitment to her cause. Some random Bouncie hops up and returns her wand to her making Alexa not have to work for it at all.
After those missed opportunities Alexa, Nori, and Romy for a second time fly away on a lily pad this time to confront Malucia at her castle.
Just as they are flying off the camera gives us probably the widest angle shot for how many people are at the hideout. I tried counting the pixels and came up with around 35 but I can’t be sure I didn’t accidentally count some flora in that number as well.
Flying up to the castle roof Alexa, Nori, and Romy obverse the three baby unicorns and the Queen Unicorn restrained in the throne room with magical chains. The three young unicorns have already had their magic/horns removed off camera and Malucia then begins to drain the Queen Unicorn.
Just a personal nitpick but I would have liked to see the Queen Unicorn’s magic go through more colors as her magic is being drained. To show her majesty and power.
Once of the Queen Unicorn’s horn is gone and her magic is absorbed into Malucia’s scepter the entire Kingdom of Zinnia goes dark. The Kingdom loses its vibrant colors, the sky darkens, and thunder rumbles.
Unfortunately this brings up a small plot hole the movie never acknowledges. It seems implied that in this Kingdom of Zinnia every creature has magic, from the little Bouncies to normally the Princess of the Kingdom, so what about the Trogs and the Sniffers? Do they not have magic? If so why not? If they do have magic did Malucia already take it from them? If she didn’t why do they say she now has all the magic in the Kingdom? What about flora and smaller fauna? Do they have magic?
If I had to imagine what part of their physiology represents their magic my guess would be for the Trogs their golden swirls and for the Sniffers their long noses.
Regardless of the truth of the matter Malucia now has all the original magic in the Kingdom of Zinnia (Alexa does not count as her magic is from outside Zinnia). Nori and Romy lament that it’s all over now but Alexa repeats her Grandmother’s (name never given) words, “You’ll never know what you can do unless you try.”
This is where Alexa’s convoluted unexplained plan emerges from. The best we as the audience can do is infer what the plan could have been based on dialogue and actions.
The first part of this theoretical plan might have been to get inside the throne room. The three decide to take the deception route and trick their way inside. Walking up to the outside Trogs (one named Harry) they convince the guards they are here to “surrender” to the great and powerful Malucia.
Having been escorted to the throne room Malucia taunts Nori and Romy and gives us an interesting tidbit of lore when she mentions Nori and Romy fought her when she took their magic and thus she remembered them.
That does unfortunately bring up a slight wrinkle when they had fought at the hideout and Malucia didn’t mention that tidbit earlier but maybe Malucia was distracted by the Queen Unicorn.
Or perhaps the issue is just Malucia is near-sighted because when confronting Alexa her next statements invalidates that earlier scuffle at the hideout and makes me want to throw the movie’s script in Malucia’s face.
Malucia’s Quote: “I bet you don’t even have real magic.”
But you saw Alexa use magic. You even asked, “Was that magic?” You yelled, “I’m the only one who can have magic!” And even more evidence you know Alexa has real magic is because you started draining her magic from her.
In her forgetfulness Malucia calls for the Sniffers to check if Alexa has magic. They confirm Alexa has even more magic now than Malucia does with all the magic of the Kingdom of Zinnia in her possession with the scepter.
They then exit the scene and are never seen again.
Alexa then tries a threaten speech check but fails because she didn’t put enough skill points into intimidation.
Alexa’s Quote: “I’ll make a deal with you. Give everyone their magic back and I’ll let you go.”
Or what? You didn’t drop the other shoe Alexa. You didn’t give Malucia a reason to be frightened of you so she would obey your command. You could have said something like, “Otherwise I’ll change your dress to yellow.” or, “I’ll shrink you.” or, “I’ll make your birthday cake taste awful.”
Anything Alexa. Anything would have counted.
While failing her speech check Nori and Romy attempt to sneak up on Malucia to either subdue her or steal her scepter or something but whatever their intention was their plan fails as Malucia sees them and uses her magic to restrain them.
Malucia then insults Alexa in a bizarre way with the phrase, “Princess Imposter Pants.” I’m not surprised Malucia knows what pants are as she has probably seen her father wear them. What I am surprised about is Malucia assuming that women wear pants as literally no woman in the Kingdom of Zinnia does and the only time in the film we see women wear pants is at the very end with the Equestrian Club in Kingdom No Name.
We then reach the climax of the film where Alexa and Malucia have a magical duel…if we’re being very generous with that term.
After a few back-and-forth spells are thrown at each other Alexa causes a bunch of candy to fall on top of Malucia (candy not animated correctly) and in rage Malucia uses her magic to increase her height and size to gigantic proportions.
With this upper hand Malucia catches Alexa in her draining spell again and while under its paralyzing effect Alexa notices the orb on top of Malucia’s scepter begin to crack. Gaining an epiphany Alexa tells Malucia to drain all of her magic to which Malucia happily complies.
Alexa is drained of all of her magic, her wand disappearing forever. The orb cracks some more and Malucia laughs at her total triumph.
(But because this movie has no teeth Alexa does not suffer any ill side effects of suddenly losing all her magic in this realm built completely on the foundation of magic.)
Suddenly the orb and scepter shatters in an explosion of magical force throwing Malucia through the air back into the throne while shrinking her back to her normal size.
And then a cake is thrown into her face.
The restrains holding Nori and Romy vanish as well as the magical chains holding all the unicorns. All of the rest of the magic floating around then gets absorbed by Alexa.
Now I have a question for the movie. Why exactly did the magic go to Alexa? Is it because she was the most magical person without earning it? Is it because she was empty of magical essence thus the magic was simply filling a void? Was Alexa a magical power conduit?
And while on this subject why did some of Malucia’s spells deactivate after the scepter shattered but not all of them? Was it a matter of proximity? That can’t be the answer because if that was the case then Nori and Romy would’ve received their magic back since they were literally right there in the same room and that goes for all the unicorns as well. All of their horns would’ve been returned to them since they were also right literally there.
I think the movie should’ve gone with either all or nothing. Either Alexa absorbs all the magic and frees everyone plus returns their own magic or after the scepter shatters all the magic returns to its own rightful owner.
As a result of Alexa absorbing the leftover magic she evolves into her final third form complete with another brand new dress and a new hairstyle.
While doing no research for this “paper” I came across the reason for this transformation. Unfortunately there was only one word legible on the research document.
I believe the word was ——- marketing.
No longer needing a wand Alexa simply uses her hands to return to Nori her wings and to Romy her tail. The two then sing a song about regaining their magic.
Alexa then returns the horns to the unicorns including the Queen Unicorn. Strangely restoring the Queen Unicorn’s horn does not return color back to the Kingdom of Zinnia even though losing her horn is what caused the darkness to appear.
It is only when Alexa raises her hands into the air that color returns to the Zinnia and the sky brightens and the thunder disappears.
They should have left that power to the Queen Unicorn. It would have given her more of an agency to the events of the film.
(At first my train of thought was it wasn’t the Queen Unicorn losing her horn that caused color to disappear but rather Malucia having all the magic trapped in her scepter, however that theory also doesn’t work because if that was true as soon as the scepter exploded then color would’ve returned because the magic was free again.)
All the heroes return to the hideout and Alexa restores everyone’s magic and the song ends with fanfare and a poorly animated Queen Unicorn rearing up in joy.
Now we enter the part of the movie I truly do despise. No exaggeration. If my faux professor would let me these next few paragraphs would be all in capital letters with exclamation marks at the end to show me shouting. As it is please imagine me doing so while continuing reading.
The movie has one last scene with Malucia where it is shown Grodlin making her sweep up the mess she made during the duel. Then out of nowhere her parents, the King and Queen of Zinnia, return from their trip.
They weren’t missing, they hadn’t been kidnapped, they hadn’t disappeared into a time portal.
They had simply been “on a trip.”
Did everyone forget the King and Queen were going on a trip? Did the King and Queen tell their subjects they were going on a trip? Did Malucia spread a lie after her parents left they had disappeared?
Did the writers forget the script and open up personally the largest plot hole in the entire movie that inspired this “paper” to be written?
The world may never know, but what we do know is it gets even worse.
After the parents spring forth from a plot hole the Queen says and I quote, “Did you try to take over the kingdom again?”
You mean this is a common occurrence? This has happened more than once? And you two have taken no precautions to prevent this from continuing to happening?
Worse yet the King quotes, “Well we’ll deal with that after we give you your present!”
Are you saying that your daughter, whom as a Princess of this Kingdom of Zinnia is I assume either a guardian or partially responsible for the well-being of the subjects of this Kingdom, is allowed to get away with draining legitimately all the magic in the entire Kingdom - from its own subjects - and also break the scepter which I assume was a priceless Kingdom artifact, without being reprimanded for her actions?
I do not trust this King no matter what he says. By the tone in his voice he did not sound very upset at Malucia thus I do not believe she will learn her lesson not to ever do this ever again.
I honestly would have preferred the parents to never have appeared in the film. Yes it would have left a loose end, a different plot hole - What happened to the King and Queen when they disappeared? - but I genuinely would have preferred that than this catastrophe the movie went with.
Calming back down we return to Alexa, Nori, Romy, and the Queen Unicorn at the crossing to the real world Kingdom No Name. Alexa says goodbye to all of them and then returns home with her final form dress still adorned on her.
Why does her dress not revert back to its original form? She completed her trial? Gained some confidence?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Alexa closes the magical door, picks up the book and watches the door disappear and the book’s cover revert back to normal.
Brookhurst finds Alexa to warn her the Equestrian Club is now on the premises (contradicting his way earlier statement about Mr. Primrose) but Alexa surprises him by saying she wants to go talk to them.
She gives them a small speech (having never practiced), meets the guests of Hilgovia (now not shy of strangers), and puts the book into her own collection instead of returning it to Grandmother (name never given).
Since time supposedly didn’t move in Kingdom No Name while Alexa was in Zinnia she hasn’t missed the ball for tonight and so the final scene of the movie takes place in the ballroom.
Almost thirty people are present for the monumental 161st ball. Somewhere along her journey Alexa learned how to waltz, dances with her father, then in the middle of the ball interrupts the waltz to dance the modern dance from the beginning of the film with her friends.
The three change their dresses in faster-than-possible time, Alexa sings a final song about being herself, the song ends and the credits roll.
To make a long “paper” short this movie has no stakes to it. If there had been a time limit and Alexa would have been missed in Kingdom No Name while she was in Zinnia, that could have worked.
If there had been actual consequences to the people of Zinnia losing their magic or even Alexa losing her magic that I would have approved of.
If Malucia’s backstory had been properly explored and certain plot holes closed up that would have been helpful.
If character designs had been improved to be more consistent with either the rest of the film or to give some characters more of a threatening look that would have been nice.
If the two worst plot holes (in my opinion) had been corrected I would’ve sung with joy.
At the end of the day I cannot deny that I still laugh at a couple of the jokes and overall generally do not mind the movie. At the very least I must respect this movie enough to admit it did cause me to write this “paper” so I could have something to upload to AO3.