Once Upon a Mattress


Once Upon a Mattress Review

Disney likes its fairy tales, doesn't it? "The Princess and the Pea" gets an update here, courtesy of the Broadway musical Once Upon a Matress -- and my, it's a strange attempt at making something for kids.

Here's the gist. The prince (Denis O'Hare) can't marry until one of his girlfriends passes the "tests" given by the queen (Carol Burnett), who clearly doesn't want him to be wed -- to anyone. This poses a problem for the princesses in the family, who all want to marry their boyfriends but, by law, aren't allowed to until the prince has a bride. Particularly it's a dilemma for Lady Larken (Zooey Deschanel, in a weird blonde wig), who's pregnant out of wedlock.

Never mind trying to explain that to the kids, you'll have just as much luck trying to get across why our young prince would possibly fall for Winnifred (Tracey Ullman), a strange woman who shows up at the castle one day, seemingly at random. (Oddly, Burnett originated the Ullman role in the original stage production.)

The film is over in a breezy 75 minutes or so, so there's really no time to worry about the story or the singing, or whether this is appropriate for a white-case DVD release. It's ultimately pretty harmless and almost wholly unmemorable, but considerably better than a lot of animated junk that's passed off as kiddie fare.

Once Upon a Mattress

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 18th December 2005

Production compaines: Touchstone Television, ABC Video Enterprises


Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Kathleen Marshall

Producer: , Marc E. Platt, Marty Tudor

Starring: as Queen Aggravain, Brittany Gray as Ensemble, as Princess Winnifred, as Prince Dauntless, as Lady Larken, as Sir Harry, as The Jester, Tom Smothers as King Sextimus, as The Wizard, as Molly