Once Upon a Mattress

Once Upon a Mattress If you like old-fashioned campy musicals and revisionist fairy tales, take a look at this one. Carol Burnett and Tracey Ullman star in this Disney version of the Broadway classic. Burnett (who played Princess Winifred in the original Broadway production) stars as Queen Agravain, the queen of a fairy-tale land who won’t let her 40-something son, Prince Dauntless, get married. What she tells Dauntless is that a real princess would pass her test, which is different every time. But Lady Larken and Sir Harry need Dauntless to get married. No one else is allowed to get married until Dauntless is, and Larken is pregnant. Sir Harry goes on a quest to find a princess who can pass the tests and comes back with Princess Fred (Tracey Ullman) a moat-swimming princess from the swamp. Since the story is based on The Princess and the Pea, we all know how the story will end, but Dauntless and Fred are racking their brains to figure out what the test will be and how to pass it. Burnett wears fabulous sequined outfits with elaborate headdresses that look like an unholy cross between 1450 and Las Vegas, and of course, still commands the screen. Ullman’s Winifred is charming and stubborn, especially as she’s complaining about how Snow White had a seven men (practically a regiment, even if they were short) helping her get to happily ever after, while she’s on her own. There’s enough sexual innuendo here to keep the adults chuckling, between Fred wanting to be “satisfied” and Dauntless asking his literally dumb father to explain the wedding night to him, even as it’s quite sanitized enough for the kids not to notice. All of us enjoyed multiple viewings of this romp of a movie.

About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
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1 Response to Once Upon a Mattress

  1. Pingback: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella | alibrarymama

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