• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Dec 18, 2005
  • Season #: 1
Once Upon a Mattress Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 19 Ratings

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  • Summary: Tony-winner Kathleen Marshall makes her TV directorial debut with this musical based on the fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea," which has been both a Broadway production in the late 1950s as well as a TV movie (twice previously).
  • Genre(s): Movie/Mini-Series
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 15
  2. Negative: 4 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: J. Wynn Rousuck
    Surely one of the most delightful examples of televised family entertainment this holiday season.
  2. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    This version is a triumph.
  3. The remake has everything that those earlier versions had and something more: Tracey Ullman and Carol Burnett together and at each other's throats.
  4. Reviewed by: Melissa Rose Bernardo
    Why was the tired Tracey Ullman tapped to star in this candy-colored adaptation of the fairy-tale stage show? [16 Dec 2005, p.77]
  5. 50
    Not that it's not a nice show, but it is precisely the kind of production for which the word "corny" was probably coined.
  6. 50
    Nothing works very well in this elaborate but leaden production, which seems more interested in Bob Mackie's costumes than in the characters they clothe.
  7. While it's always good to see Burnett, something has gone seriously awry with this new version.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 16
  2. Negative: 9 out of 16
  1. MaryS
    Jan 2, 2006
    FANTASTIC! It was great to see it redone, especially with Carol Burnett as the Queen. The entire production was a joy.
  2. ChrisO
    Dec 30, 2005
    A delightful version of an engaging musical. The cast shined.
  3. DeborahH
    Dec 19, 2005
    Never my favorite musical, but thoroughly enjoyable. Good singing and dancing throughout, great costumes, casting, and sets --- I flipped back and forth between this and "The Simpsons" for 1/2 hour and wished I hadn't missed any of it. Expand
  4. JonF
    Dec 19, 2005
    This production didn't do the original Broadway show justice. They should have left well enough alone and not tried to improve on something that didn't need improving on. They cut the best production numbers and wrote new scenes that were unnecessary. After anticipating the broadcast of this all year long, I was extremely disappointed. Carol Burnett is a legend and I was looking forward to seeing her in the role of the queen. Her costumes were magnificent and she was very comical but the production was too slow and just didn't work. I thought that I would love this and was anticipating the release of the DVD but the DVD has been scratched off of my Christmas list. Expand
  5. mollyh
    Dec 20, 2005
    Am I the only person in America that is disgusted with Disney after the broadcast of this show? With a 7pm air time, is geared for children and families. I was appalled in the 1st 10 min.that the premise of the story was based on athe indescretion of two lovers to engage in pore-marital sex resulting in a pregnancy that the two were determined to keep covered. How about an entire song dedicated to the subject of "The Marital Bed" and "how to perform" on your wedding night? Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty liberal, but I was mortified to be watching this with my 4 & 8 year old kids- boy did they ask alot of questions! Shame on you Disney! This was neither the place, time or forum to unveil such subjects. A "parental warning" at the beginning would have been nice!!!!! Expand
  6. BrentP
    Dec 18, 2005
    Having done the show myself in high school two years ago I was really looking forward to this coming to tv only to find out that it was chopped up and changed to where it turned into Once Upon a Landfill. Though the performers, with the exception of Lady Larken, are good, the original story line has been changed to a point where you barely even recognize it. The Minstrel was cut out entirely, as was his opening song. "Normandy" is a song sung by the Jester and Minstrel when helping Lady Larken run from the kingdom, not a lame story about a honeymoon. Also a hilarious song between the Jester, King, and Minstel was also cut, and a solo song of the Jester's. Carol Burnette's second solo song was a new one, not having been in any version of the show before. For anyone hoping this will bring memories back of the Broadway shows, or the show you saw your children or friends in in school, you're wrong, it's just one big let down. Expand
  7. JohnM
    Dec 23, 2005
    Disney has fallen to an new all-time low. Until I visited this site, I thought my wife and I were the only ones that were appalled at what Disney was pushing as family entertainment. After the opening seen in which two of the main characters discuss their pre-marital pregnancy, my 7 year old turned to us and asked how they could be having a baby if they are not married. This was not the subject I was prepared to discuss with my daughter at that particular time. What is more disturbing is that after looking at the many reviews on this production, I have yet to see any critic mention how inappropriate this was for a show being promoted as a fairy tale for children. I have no problem with this being shown on television, but please, call it what it is, at least include a warning that the subject matter may be inappropriate for younger audiences! Expand

See all 16 User Reviews