I’m not sure how to feel about The Princess and the Goblin. It feels like a lot different ideas merged in one somewhat hastily thought narrative. Considering it was based on a rather strange book, I’m blaming screenwriters too much.
It was released in the U.K. in 1992 and in the States in 1994. It was a Hungry/Wales/ Japan co-production.
So Princess Irene is a lonely little girl who only has her nurse, Lootie and her cat, Turnip for company. One day she runs into some goblins and is saved by a mining boy name Curdie. He tells her that Goblins and their pets can’t stand singing. He takes her back to the castle and she offers to give him a kiss but Lootie interrupts.
The next day Irene finds a secret door that lead her to the magic spirit of her great-great -grandmother.
Curdie returns to mines where he works with his dad. He overhears some goblins talking about building a dam and that their weakness in their feet. He also overhears that that the Goblins King, Queen and Prince plan to flood the mine and the plan to have Prince Froglip marry Irene so he can rule the sun-people. Curdie gets captured and thrown behind a large rock.
Irene continues to visit her great-great-grandmother and she gives Irene some magic invisible thread that will leads her to her own magic. She then decides to sneak off to follow the thread which leads her to where Curdie is being held in the heart of the goblins’ village.
They make it back to the castle but the goblins attack and flood the mines which gets redirected to the castle. But they defeat the goblins and Irene gives Curdie a peck on the cheek.
It’s just a weird movie that seems to hinge at a plot. Irene is not that concern with goblins, she is more obsessed with her magical great-great-grandmother. I think the issue is that with a title like The Princess and the Goblin you would except the princess and the goblin to have interactions with each other but they don’t. The goblin prince, Froglip kidnaps her but we don’t see them interact, hell we don’t see kidnapping.
The title is more like a list, there is a princess and goblins, so the title is more from Curdie’s perspective.
Curdie as character is boring. He is a pragmatic but that is all I get from him. The goblins also don’t have personalities. They are just gross and mean. I got more of a sense of character from the weird dinosaur thing that gives Curdie a ride, it’s at least helpful and sweet. The great-great-grandmother has a bit of a personality as she is helpful, aloof and somewhat silly. I wish we could have gotten a name more than great-great-grandmother for her. Lootie is annoying and Turnip is an adorable cat.
And then there is Irene. Irene is adventurous and brave as she just goes for following that thread. She could just be naive but her trust in her great-great-grandmother is rewarded when it does lead her out of the mountains. She is also not shy about kisses. Unfortunately I just don’t find her all that compelling.
The animation is not great. It’s not bad, but it’s not remarkable. The sound mixing is weird. For some reason it really apparent. I can’t really describe my issue with it but it’s distracting in way.
There was only one song and it was bland.
The Princess and the Goblin is just a weird meandering movie that tries to do way too much and actually does very little. I’m left confused by it.
Who else was uncomfortable with that random goblin licking Lootie on her chest? I was.Follow thehunchblog