In the '90s, Disney was getting big bucks with their animated musicals. So, what is poor unknown studio Crest Animation to do? Why, make their own, of course! The Swan Princess is designed specifically to fool people into thinking it's a Disney movie, not only by copying their famous formula, but also by merchandising and sequelizing the hell out of it. Disney's making dolls of their female characters? The Swan Princess has dolls up the wazoo! Disney's making direct-to-video sequels of their most popular movies? Cue The Swan Princess and the Secret of the Castle and The Swan Princess: The Mystery of the Enchanted Treasure. Disney stopped making sequels, but now they're making computer-animated Tinker Bell movies? Cue The Swan Princess Christmas and The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale. And all this over a film that bombed at the box office. I guess that's where Anastasia succeeds where The Swan Princess fails, since Anastasia had the backing of a much larger company, had much better advertising, and its marketing tie-ins more closely resembled what Disney put out, whereas the only people The Swan Princess was fooling were the folks who weren't familiar enough with Disney to realize that's not what Disney packaging looks like.
So, it's no secret that The Swan Princess steals a lot from Disney. Bromley looks like LeFou from Beauty and the Beast. The town looks like the one from Pinocchio. The ballroom scene during "This Is My Idea" looks like the ballroom scene from Sleeping Beauty. None of this escaped Disney's notice, which is why years later in The Princess and the Frog, Disney appropriated elements of The Swan Princess for their own movie. The way Naveen acts is similar to Jean-Bob, and the sphere of water when Facilier's spell is broken looks just like the one that appears when Odette transforms. This pissed off quite a few The Swan Princess fans... y'know, the same people who blame Disney for their favoritest movie bombing at the box office, and don't realize who ripped who off first.
My, does this style look familiar
Look at that cheap, dollar store packaging. They just didn't care.
This in no way resembles how Disney packaged their dolls in the early '90s
Were they trying to copy Disney, or Barbie?
Yeah, someoneactually said that with a straight face.