The Trumpet of the Swan

E.B. White is the beloved children's author behind Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. Each additional movie adaptation of White's work showed a decrease in quality. Wow, Charlotte's Web is over twenty-five years old and it's still great. Stuart Little was below par, and the new The Trumpet of the Swan is a big stinker. This is family film only because of its children's novel roots and the fact that it is completely innocuous and harmless. However, it is also exceedingly boring and bland. There is nothing engaging whatsoever in this tepid adaptation, and should only amuse the youngest of children who are amused by anything colorful that moves.

In directors Richard Rich (yes, that would be Richie Rich, The Swan Princess II, The King and I) and Terry Noss and adapter Judy Rothman Rofe (Monster Mash) adaptation, Louie (Dee Baker, Mowgli's Story, Space Jam) is the trumpeter swan with no voice. His father (Jason Alexander, Just Looking, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle) buys him a trumpet so that he can have one. Still, everybody makes fun of him and ostracizes him except for Serena (Reese Witherspoon, Little Nicky, American Psycho). Louie goes on the prototypical journey of self-discovery, slowly realizing that he does not need a voice to be special. He learns to read and write, and to play the trumpet. Heck, he even moves to Boston to get a job. Oddly enough, the movie seems to put down self-esteem rather than lift it. The message that comes across is one of conformity, thanks to the constant, unrecognizable annoying honking of Alexander.

Rich has been at the helm of a number of other disappointing animated features, and his latest is no different. It brings to mind other unmemorable animated films such as Thumbelina and The Quest for Camelot. There are four or five songs in The Trumpet of the Swan, but they are not integrated well into the film and not remarkable. Except for the trumpet, most of the music sounds like it came from a keyboard. The animation is not very good, especially for the people. The colors are not clear and the lines often look like they are moving, so people change shape when they shouldn't. With so few movies for children out these days, it's a shame that movies like The Trumpet of the Swan come out in the first place.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 15 minutes, Rated G for ghastly.

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