|“||I’m not finished with you yet, Willy. Someday, I’ll get my power back. And when I do, everything you own, everything you love, will be mine.||„|
|~ Rothbart vowing revenge on King William.|
Sir Rothbart, also known as Lord Rothbart or simply Rothbart for short, is the central antagonist of The Swan Princess film series, serving as the main antagonist of the 1994 animated fantasy film The Swan Princess and the 2012 computer-animated fantasy film The Swan Princess Christmas and a posthumous antagonist in The Swan Princess 2 and The Swan Princess 3 (he appears in the latter via flashback). He is a despicable enchanter who kidnapped and changed Princess Odette into a swan. In Tchaikovsky's ballet, Swan Lake, he is based on the sorcerer Von Rothbart who transformed the actual princess into a swan whilst also planning to have his own daughter marry the prince. He is Princess Odette and Prince Derek's arch-nemesis.
In the first film, he was voiced by the late Jack Palance, who also played Voltan in Hawk the Slayer, Carl Grissom in Tim Burton's Batman, and Yves Perret in Tango & Cash. In the second sequel and the animated computer-animated third sequel, he was voiced by Sean Wright.
Sir Rothbart and another dark magician named Sir Clavius mastered the sinister dark magic power known as the Forbidden Arts together, but Rothbart betrayed Clavius and drove him underground, as revealed in The Swan Princess II.
Being a little concerned about Odette's christening birth, Rothbart planned to take King William's kingdom with his magic power, but as he was about to attack, William's men attacked him and took away his power. Despite calls for his death, William banished his former chancellor instead. Rothbart left, swearing that he would get his power back and take over the kingdom.
Many years later, Rothbart returned, having gotten his power back in The Swan Princess 3. It is revealed that his other ally named Zelda helped him regain his power and he betrayed her afterward, in a similar manner as he did with Clavius. Now an enchanter again, Rothbart transformed himself into a chimeric monstrosity known only as the "Great Animal" and killed King William before kidnapping and placing his daughter, Princess Odette, under a spell, turning her into a swan every day, and she can only turn back into a human if she is on the lake when the moonlight touches it. Every night, Rothbart asked Odette to marry him, so he can be king legally, but she refused.
When Prince Derek finally found her, he resolved to break the spell, which could only be broken by making a vow of everlasting love and proving it to the world. To prevent this, Sir Rothbart transformed his servant, Bridget the Hag, into Odette, so that Derek would make his vow to her instead, as this would kill Odette. Also, there was no moon at the night of the ball in which Derek intended to make this vow. His plan succeeded, but Derek furiously told him to not let her die and forcibly demanded that Rothbart brings her back, and so he transformed into the Great Animal and fought Derek, crushing his sword in his mouth and nearly killed him. Jean-Bob the frog gave Derek his bow, and Bromley (who escaped from the dungeon after being captured by Rothbart early) shot an arrow to him. Being a pro at "Catch and Fire", he caught the arrow and shot Rothbart in the heart, which kills him and sending him falling into the lake, exploding in a flash of magic lights.
Rothbart returns as the main antagonist of the 2012 computer-animated sequel The Swan Princess Christmas. Princess Odette and Prince Derek are on their way to Queen Uberta's castle to celebrate their first Christmas together. Unbeknownst to them, the evil enchanter has put in a motion a plan to return from the dead, enlisting a black cat named Number 9 to help by promising him extra lives.
Number 9 succeeds in luring Derek to the cellar of Uberta's castle, where he opens a chest with the initial R on it. At first, there is nothing inside, but once Derek leaves, Rothbart emerges from the chest as a ghost. From here Rothbart moves to the next portion of his plan, which is to destroy the Christmas spirit of the kingdom, the only thing more powerful than the Forbidden Arts, which will give him the power to be revived in physical form. Rothbart is able to cast small spells that cause people to fight; he does this to Queen Uberta and Lord Rogers, and later to the villagers until almost the entire town is in disharmony.
Derek and Odette learn of Rothbart's return when windchimes playing "Far Longer than Forever" make him visible and hold him. They set up chimes all around the castle, but Rothbart eventually re-enlists the help of Bridget, his henchwoman from the first film who had turned good, and she helps remove the wind chimes for him.
As part of the Christmas festivities, Uberta and Rogers are staging musical performances, but because of Rothbart's spell have become extremely aggressive and competitive with each other. Odette, who has been invited to stage her own song, invites orphans to perform "Christmas is the Reason", which momentarily weakens Rothbart's power over Uberta and Rogers. Odette follows up on this by inviting Uberta and Rogers to give gifts and food to the poor. This time, the goodwill breaks the spell on the whole kingdom, and Rothbart is rendered nearly powerless.
Rothbart's last chance to ruin Christmas spirit is to sabotage the royal Christmas tree. He sends Number 9 to steal one of the Christmas lights, and Rothbart casts a spell on it that will destroy the tree. Derek learns of this plan thanks to Bridget, who has double-crossed Rothbart and traps him inside a giant chime.
Derek rushes back to the Christmas Eve party to stop the tree from being lit, but they are too late. The enchanted light bulb bursts the tree and its ornaments into flames. Rothbart becomes fully physical, takes Uberta's crown, and kidnaps Odette, taking her back to Swan Lake. Rothbart defeats General Puffin by turning him into a gold statue.
At Swan Lake, Rothbart turns Odette into a swan and traps her inside a cage made of roots. He then casts a spell on the moonlight, so that when it touches Odette's wings, she will turn into a golden, swan-shaped Christmas ornament forever. Derek arrives to rescue Odette and battles Rothbart, who has assumed the form of the Great Animal again. At first, Derek is overpowered, but then Odette starts singing "Seasons of Love" which weakens Rothbart until he eventually bursts into flames and was no more. With Rothbart gone again, Odette changes back into a human and a redeemed Puffin is back to normal. Derek dies in her arms due to his injuries, but when Odette sings again, the spirit of Christmas magically returns him to life and restores the royal Christmas Tree. At the Christmas Eve party, the kingdom puts up a new Christmas ornament on the tree, honoring both Prince Derek and Princess Odette.
In the animated film loosely adapted from the ballet, Rothbart is a stingy, vile, deceptive, conniving, and egomaniacal court sorcerer who plots to steal the kingdom of Princess Odette's father, King William. While being a cruel, insensitive, ungenerous, cocky, and vindictive trickster, he is also shown to be relaxed, even-tempered, well-mannered, sociable, optimistic, and rational; as he merely loses his patience only once in the film.
Rothbart is a slender man with red eyes, fair skin, and he has balding orange hair, sideburns growing from each orange side of his face, thick orange eyebrows, and a big orange horseshoe mustache. He wears a black cowl hooded cloak cape with a plum satin lining, mustard yellow dagged neck collar with all the yellow pearls, a blue long-sleeved kurta tunic shirt, dark tan long arm cuffed gauntlet gloves, a black padded belt with a golden buckle on a black padded belt, dark gray pants and black boots with all the dark beige dagger folded cuffs and all the mustard pearls over black boots. Sometimes, he wears a golden crown on his head.
Powers and Abilities
As a powerful sorcerer, Rothbart possesses immense mystical powers where his signature power is the power to change (transformation) that came from Forbidden Arts.
Rothbart's monster form known as the Great Animal takes the appearance of a monstrous large hybrid monster with the head of a wolf, the body of a bat, the talons of an eagle, and the tail of a lizard, giving a vaguely dragon/wyvern-like appearance. In this form, he can fly at high speed, razor-sharp talons, and sharp teeth.
- Terence Stamp, Jeffrey Tambor, Alec Baldwin, J.K. Simmons, Chris O'Dowd, Jeff Bridges, Tim Curry, Kelsey Grammer, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, John Goodman, Ian McKellen, Jim Carrey, Willem Dafoe, John Lithgow, Terrence Mann, and Michael Keaton were all considered for the role of Rothbart before the late Jack Palance was cast.
- Jim Cummings (who voiced Peg Leg Pete, Kaa, and Steele) was chosen to voice Rothbart in The Swan Princess Christmas. Cummings uses his Tigger voice to record his lines in the film. When he turned Puffin into a gold statue, he lets out a distinctive "Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" (which is Tigger's catchphrase). But when his recording are finished, Richard Rich finds that Rothbart wouldn't sound cheerful and decides that Sean Wright will voice him in the film and replaces the word "decoration" with the word "ornament" and the "Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" is cut.
- Though the Forbidden Arts is the main antagonist of the film series, Rothbart is the central antagonist because, even though he didn't appear in the second and third films, his magic orb and magic notes are what inspired the main antagonists of those films (Clavius and Zelda, respectively) to seek revenge on Derek and Odette.
The Swan Princess
The Swan Princess III: The Mystery of the Enchanted Treasure
The Swan Princess: Christmas
The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today!
The Swan Princess: Royally Undercover
The Swan Princess: A Royal MyZtery
The Swan Princess: Kingdom of Music
The Swan Princess: A Royal Wedding