Penelope was realeased in theatres on 2/29/08 and on DVD on 7/15/08.
... I mean, don't run out and buy it, but it's definitely worth a rental if you're looking for something light. Penelope is an originalish fairy tale with a good cast and a strong moral. It's great for all kids, but especially little girls, and I think they'd LOVE this movie.
I say "originalish" because I don't think it's possible to come up with a completely original Fairy Tale. You can create new characters and and choose from one of a few generic Fairy Tale morals to wrap up the story with, but for the most part the formula will need to be the same or I guess it wouldn't really be considered a Fairy Tale.
Penelope takes place "Once Upon a Time..." when a town witch casts a spell onto a man who abandoned her pregnant daughter (who subsequently commits suicide). The first female born of the man's bloodline will suffer from the curse which can only be broken if she find's someone who can see past the curse and love her unconditionally. (That is not how the curse is described in the movie.)
The end is kind of a stretch because they deliberately worded the curse in such a way specifically to deceive the audience, but my biggest problem with the story is that the punishment doesn't really fit the crime. The pregnant woman who was abandoned wasn't abanoned because she was ugly, actually she was quite pretty. She was abandoned because of her station in life, she was a servant girl, not a pig faced girl.
The fact that the writers couldn't come up with a better origin story for the curse is depressing because while Penelope won't be winning any awards, it is wholesome entertainment for a rainy afternoon with the family.
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