The 10th Kingdom is one of my favorite Mini-Series of all time. I was entranced by the teaser commercial they showed on TV and managed to talk my mother into letting me commandeer the family TV for the duration in order to watch. My Dad even watched with us and liked it! It was a great film for the whole family to enjoy. I have been feeling sort of nostalgic lately and decided to give it another watch.
The 10th Kingdom is an American fairytale fantasy miniseries written by Simon Moore and produced by Britain’s Carnival Films, Germany’s Babelsberg Film und Fernsehen, and the USA’s Hallmark Entertainment. It depicts the adventures of a young woman and her father after they are transported from Manhattan, New York, through a magical mirror into a parallel world of fairy tales and magical beings.
The miniseries was initially broadcast over five nights in two-hour episodes on NBC, beginning February 27, 2000. It won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design in 2000. – Wikipedia The 10th Kingdom
First, they REALLY need to make a sequel to The 10th Kingdom. I know the author, Simon Moore, has stated in the past he would like to film another and has material waiting to use. The studios just don’t feel there is a wide enough fan-base to make money. Shame. It is SOOOOOO good!! And here is why….
I’m going to break this down by Disc since the DVD came in a 3-disc set.
**Spoilers Ahead!!****Spoilers Ahead!!****Spoilers Ahead!!****Spoilers Ahead!!****Spoilers Ahead!!**
Disc A: A New Kingdom
The awesome Mini-Series starts with their Emmy award winning opening sequence using the tune “Wishing on a Star.” Fun Tip: The giant walking around in the opening sequence is John Larroquette.
We start in New York city with a view of Central Park with poor Virginia lamenting her dull life. After meeting Tony the Janitor, her dad, and encounter a broken elevator we switch to the 9 Kingdoms and an ominous looking building. We meet the spoiled Prince Wendel heading to the ominous building which we find out is a Prison to deny the parole of his Step-Mother.
Back to Tony and Virginia and their snobby landlord/boss. Let’s skip ahead after a decent intro of Virginia, Tony, and their normal life. Back at the Prison we are witness to a prison break. The Troll King is breaking his kids out of Prison and gets tempted by a far away voice….. The Queen.
With the help of the Troll King and his kids, the Evil Queen escapes, cursing Prince Wendel to live the rest of his life as a dog. The Prince gives them the slip and walks through a Magic Mirror to the mythical 10th Kingdom, aka New York with the Trolls… and newcomer (the Queen’s Plan B) Wolf.
I wonder where they filmed the 9 Kingdoms shots. It is so beautiful!
The trolls follow and “claim” the 10th Kingdom in the name of the Troll Kingdom. Then they discover disco… aka More Magic. “The Brothers Gibb. They speak of a deadly fever that only strikes on Saturdays.” Apparently, they have shoe fetish as well as a drug problem (we see that a little later).
The scene in front of the Grill is stupid. I usually fast forward, but the kitchen scenes (where her friend names the dog, Prince) are cute. Don’t get me wrong. I think Scott Cohen did a great performance as the Wolf in every scene, but the premise is lame. There are better ways to introduce the wolf. I am pretty sure we all get that the Big Bad Wolf likes meat…. specially lamb. We get it. Move on.
After heeding Prince’s warning in the Kitchen, Virginia heads home to discover her dad passed out in his chair via Troll Dust. She tricks the awaiting trolls into trapping themselves in the broken elevator. Quick thinking. She escapes and Tony gets a visit from Wolf with a deal of a lifetime. The Dragon Dung Bean. Ew.
The Trolls trying to escape their “magic box” is hysterical. I love how they promise not to eat each other. That’s love.
Virginia heads to her Grandma’s and we get to see what the Big Bad Wolf does with grandma’s. Tony gets himself into deeper and deeper trouble as he makes wishes. His first of Six: That his landlord/boss and his entire family to become his slaves and kiss his butt, 2nd: A never ending supply of beer, 3rd: Something to clean the apartment, 4th: A million dollars, 5th: To escape from the police car, and 6th: to understand what Prince was saying.
What goes wrong: His landlord has tons of relatives, the fridge multiplies the amount of beer by 2 every time the fridge is opened and begins to overflow with beer, the vacuum that comes to life to clean everything starts eating everything, the million dollars was stolen from a bank, the police car crashes, and well… he has to listen to Prince for the entire series.
The therapy session with Wolf and the Doctor could have been left out, but I like the name-game. Wolf’s answers are great. I understand it illustrates what prompts him to become obsessed with self-help books and becoming a better wolf, but that could have been illustrated by his love for Virginia. The self-help books… pretty self-explanatory. Ha ha. If you want to improve and need guidance, where do you turn? Books!
Tony joins up with Virginia and Prince and go through the mirror into the 9 Kingdoms and straight into Snow White Memorial Prison. Wendel briefs us with the history and current situation and the Warden and Guards wake up. Wolf and the Trolls escape. The Trolls abduct Virginia. Poor Tony and Prince end up in Prison for the escape of The Queen. Hello, scapegoat. The Warden plots to kill the Queen’s dog, aka Prince, and Tony finds prison life not like all the movies he watched.
Ed O’Neill as the Troll King is brilliant. Just brilliant. The entire cast of this Mini-Series is amazing. It has a few BIG names, Ann-Margret, Rutger Hauer, John Larroquette, Diane Wiest, Warwick Davis, and Camryn Manheim. It also has a few people that I’ve seen in other films, but can’t remember their names. I spotted quite a few in here.
- The Prison Warden: John Shrapnel (You may know him from Troy or Gladiator)
- Sally Peep (Disc B): Lucy Punch (You may know her from Ella Enchanted, Dinotopia, or Eve Draper in Hot Fuzz)
- Willfred Peep (Disc B): Peter Vaughan (You may know him from Game of Thrones as Maester Aemon)
- Chancellor Griswold: Robert Hardy (You may know him from Harry Potter as The Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge)
Wolf’s rescue of Virginia is very Fairy Tale hero. He does it with his own style too. I like that. Wolf has to be one of my favorite characters in The 10th Kingdom. Tony and the Prince as a duo are amazingly funny. Also my fav.
Meanwhile, Tony escapes from Prison, Virginia is rescued by Wolf and meet up with Tony at the Prison docks, and we learn the story behind the Evil Queen… well, some of it. The Magic Mirrors are unveiled. We see Acorn make off with the Magic Mirror and our heroes are off down the river. The Golden River Gold Fish is another cute addition. We make our way to a village where we find the Trolls and Tony turns them all, and Prince, into Golden Statues. The team plus Golden Prince head down the road into the Forest and find the Huntsman’s warnings and Gypsies. The scene with the Gypsies are some of my favorites from the first Disc. I love the feel of the meeting. Clandestine almost. Virginia gets Cursed with long hair and we meet the Huntsman and learn why he is so feared. Enter Rutger Hauer. Yay!
Virginia and co end up in a storm and find themselves at Snow White and the Seven Dwarves cottage. After a night of revelations and talk between Wolf and Virginia, we find our heroes running from the Huntsman. They hide under leaves while Wolf tries to lead them away, but Virginia’s cursed hair causes her to sneeze and their cover is blown. Tony escapes, but Virginia is captured. The disc ends with Virginia being locked in a Magic Tree as the Huntsman’s prisoner. What will happen? We will find out on Disc B! (BTW I love how the Disc says “To continue, please go to side B.” None of the discs from the first release this message is found on were double-sided. Hahaha!)