12 Princesses

Creator: Rob Gardner
Age rating: Everyone
A young farmboy tries to discover the secret of how 12 beautiful princesses escape each night from the imprisonment of their mad father.
Synopsis: "12 Princesses" is based on the Grimms' Fairytale "The 12 Dancing Princesses".

A widowed king with 12 daughters has gone somewhat mad in his grief. His daughters, on the other hand, deal with it by going out dancing in local clubs each night. On one night, Yannick, a young farmboy happens to be at the same tavern as the princesses and dances with the youngest princess, December. He is instantly smitten.

But that same night, the mad king gets a very forboding fortune in his fortune cookie and, fearing for the safety of his dozen daughters, has them brought home and locked in their bedroom each night. Yannick, in the meantime, decides to go after his princess and makes his way to the palace.

On the way, he runs into Franc, a novice fairy who gives him his own forboding fortune. He then runs into Bob, chief gardener at the palace who gives him a job preparing bouquets for the princesses.

At the palace, all of the princesses mistreat Yannick except December, who is always kind to him.

Soon, it comes to light that the princesses, though seemingly locked in their bedroom, are somehow wearing through a pair of shoes each night. The king declares that any man who can discover their secret will be given his princess of choice in marriage and become heir to the throne. But every suitor who attempts it vanishes without a trace.

Yannick wants to try for the challenge, but is discouraged by another suitor who reminds him he's just a flower boy. But Bob comes up with a plan to discover the secret without going to the king: by borrowing Franc's invisibility cloak and following the princesses without them knowing it.

Yannick discovers (while wearing the cloak) that the princesses escape each night through a secret door in the floor of their bedchamber into an enchanted underground dance party. There, they have each suitor drink a toast filled from the enchanted lake, which places them in a zombie-like trance, doomed to dance forever.

Yannick follows the princesses for several nights, falling more and more for December (who hates what her sisters are doing, but feeling trapped, goes along with it). She senses that Yannick is somehow following them. Unfortunately, so does the oldest sister, January.

January, scared that Yannick will reveal the secret to the king, locks December up and convinces Yannick to come to the party with the rest of them, where she plans to have him drink from the lake as well, trapping him as a zombie with the other suitors.

Latest Work

  • Video 9 - A New Trailer of 12 Princesses
    02/03/12
    Creative Notes:
    A New Much Explanatory Trailer
  • Test Movie 2 - Storyboard Animation
    12/20/11
    Creative Notes:
    This is an entirely new storyboard. The new script version, being essentially a page-one rewrite, necessitated a completely new storyboard, including new characters, new locales, and a new color-scheme. Based on Amazon Studios' notes and audience feedback, I also decided to shoot for the animated-feature route, so the new storyboard reflects that decision as well.
  • Script 2 - Rob's 2nd Draft
    11/30/11
    Creative Notes:
    This is a page-one rewrite based on Amazon Studios' notes and audience feedback. I've added a villain (and her sidekick), made the main character more proactive and added a few action set pieces.

All Work

  • Video 8
    01/30/12
    Creative Notes:
    Followed a very traditional "family animated film" template in creating this trailer, complete with voice over narration and bits from three of the original songs.
  • Video 7 - comedy, musical, family, romance
    01/27/12
    Creative Notes:
    It's a story of mystery and romance. With original music!
  • Video 6 - Cortney Matz
    01/27/12
    Creative Notes:
    A boy looking for adventure... a girl hoping for love... and a terrible secret that puts them both in danger. The classic fairy tale re-imagined: 12 Princesses.
  • Video 5 - Rob's Trailer
    01/26/12
    Creative Notes:
    Focus on Yannick.
  • Video 4 - Love Trailer
    01/22/12
    Creative Notes:
    Shows the connection between Yannick and December while also showing off some the beautiful music
  • Video 2 - Movie #1 trailer
    11/27/11
    Creative Notes:
    from Test Movie #1
  • Video 1
    11/17/11
    Creative Notes:
    I edited the trailer and uploaded it
  • Test Movie 1 - Storyboard
    06/28/11
    Creative Notes:
    The images for this storyboard were created using 3d animation software. That doesn't necessarily mean this is intended as an animated film. I'm still of the mind that the film would be really effective in live action, augmented by visual and CG effects, similar to Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge" or Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland". Though animation also adds a certain charm...Thoughts?
  • Script 1 - Rob's Original Draft
    06/28/11
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    Creative Notes:
    This project is a film musical based on the Grimms' Fairytale "The 12 Dancing Princesses". It was originally conceived as a live action film, similar in style (and quirkiness) to Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" or Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge". However, it could also work excellently as an animated film.