The Princess and the Lips is a 2008 fairy tale inspired by the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale The Frog Prince. The book was released on 12 April, 2008, and released in wide on 11 December, 2008. It is the fourth book D. Isaac Thomas ever created, and the first to be poorly received. Dorothy, the main character, is also notable as Thomas’ first princess ever introduced.
The book is notorious for being a major box office disaster for D. Isaac Thomas and being considered one of the worst books he ever created (along with The Case of the Missing Kids and Party Pressure).
Hardworking and ambitious, Dorothy only wants to live up to her family legacy. Her dream takes a slight detour when she meets Prince Jake, who has been turned into a walking pair of lips by evil Miranda. Not realizing the power of the spell on him, Jake plants a kiss on poor Dorothy — thereby turning her into lips as well. With the help of the dwarf Ewan and the python Will, the pair race along on an adventure through the woods to seek the help of a powerful overlord.
Meeting with the Witch Edit
After a stressful day followed by an uneventful lesson from her personal tutor, Dorothy goes on a walk across town. While she was there, she soon stumbles across a stagecoach carrying a large lady. The woman climbs off and introduces herself as Miranda, the Mistress of Magic. After inviting her to sit and talk with her, and conjuring her food and drink, the witch confides in Dorothy that she can make her dream come true if only she would visit her. Dorothy is immediately enthralled by her new friend, and her admiration soon grows into fierce loyalty. Over the course of their chat, Dorothy tells her a great deal about her parents, and that she is the heir to the throne. Miranda tells her she could not stay around any longer, and tells her where her castle is before imploring Dorothy to come and visit her soon. Dorothy obliges and bids farewell to the witch.
Prince Jake’s Kidnapping Edit
Miranda then continues on with her plan. Immediately after meeting Dorothy, Miranda kidnaps Prince Jake, leaving behind an empty, locked up bedroom and no signs of a struggle. It is believed that the last lesson he was given was about the law. Jake is held prisoner at Miranda’s castle, where he is forced to keep Miranda company.
The next day, Miranda comes to Jake’s cell and tells him to accept his new life. Overcome with hatred, Jake lashes out at Miranda. The two of them begin to duel outside Jake’s cell, seemingly evenly matched. After a time, Jake kicks Miranda down a flight of stairs to land in a heap on the floor below. Seeing the power of Jake’s anger, Miranda approvingly tells Jake to continue drawing on it as she regains her feet. The temptress’ words break through Jake’s anger and he puts away his sword, refusing to play Miranda’s game. Subsequently, Miranda invites him to the high tower, where he learns about her powers. However, Miranda first throws out Zaren, her sidekick. Jealous of the fortune of Jake’s parents, Miranda takes advantage of the Prince’s gullibility to help in her plot to take over Malodidd. She turns Jake into a pair of lips, but the latter is able to escape capture.
The Kiss Edit
Meanwhile, Dorothy learns that she has been accused of swindling a peasant (which she didn’t) and if she doesn’t make the money to pay him back in three days, then she will be banished in disgrace. Feeling hopeless, Dorothy goes out onto the balcony and makes a wish upon the evening star. It is here, under the stars, that she runs into a talking pair of lips, who turns out to be Prince Jake.
Jake tells her that, if she kisses him, he will turn back into a human and give anything she wants in return. Thinking of her position as princess, Dorothy reluctantly kisses Jake, only to have the spell backfire. She becomes a pair of lips herself! Furious, she and Jake begin to argue when they fall off the balcony and onto the elevator. There, Jake is able to reason with her and explain how to find Miranda, who was responsible for the curse. Together, they begin their journey to the haunted forest surrounding Miranda’s castle.
Dorothy and Jake have a rough first night as lips, as they are nearly killed by a group of alligators and forced into hiding in an old tree trunk (arguing the entire time, of course). Her hardworking, no-nonsense personality and his lazy and carefree nature do not connect well. The next day, Dorothy builds a tiny raft, telling Jake that they’re going to go back to Malodidd, track down Miranda, and get the spell reversed. Jake, however, insists Miranda is not the nice woman she had appeared to Dorothy as.
Meeting Will and Ewan Edit
On the way, they run into another enormous python. At first they fear he will eat them, but soon learn that Will is a gentle giant who loves rock music and dreams of playing the drums in a rock band, but it’s never worked out for him (cue hysterical flashback of Will jumping onto a paddle boat and joining in the band before being screamed and shot at by the terrified humans). When they explain their situation to Will, he tells them they should go visit the Lightmaker, the wise and mysterious overlord of the realm. At first, he’s reluctant to show them the way, but Jake cleverly convinces him to come, implying that the Lightmaker may be able to turn Will human and help his dreams come true.
As they journey through the woods, the three meet up with Ewan, a dwarf, who helps save Jake and Dorothy when they are captured by a group of scientists looking for space aliens. As they eat some “swamp gumbo” whipped up by Dorothy and celebrate their escape from the humans, Ewan reveals that he is in love with a beautiful woman named Angeline, whose shadow can be seen in the sky every night. The others quickly realize that Angeline is actually not a woman at all, but is really the symbol of a beacon call. None of them have the heart to tell Ewan the truth as he sings a beautiful love song for his Angeline. As Ewan serenades the icon, Jake asks Dorothy to dance and it quickly becomes clear that the two are falling for one another.
Back in Malodidd, the impostor Jake (Zaren) has finally proposed to Bonnie (Dorothy’s mother), who is positively delighted. She proclaims that the two will be married that night at the big Marley Grande parade and runs off to make wedding plans. While she is gone, Zaren realizes that he has lost the crystal ball. Miranda, however, is able to recover it, and through it she learns that Jake is on a quest to kill her. To this end, Miranda calls on her winged goats, sending them out into the city to find Jake and bring him back alive.
The Lightmaker Edit
Early that morning, back in the city, Jake, Dorothy, Ewan, and Will finally find the very old Lightmaker. Though he seems to be somewhat senile at first, he gives them all good advice — they must “explore beyond the veil” to find out what’s really important. They explain that they want to be human again, but he insists that it’s not what they want, it’s what they need that matters. Jake sees that what he needs is to be with Dorothy. Dorothy, however, says nothing. The Lightmaker explains to the quartet that the only way for the two of them to become human again is for Jake to kill Miranda, who had created the curse in the first place. Jake knows the task will be difficult, but he believes it will be possible. Dorothy, on the other hand, does not want Miranda dead.
Thanking the Lightmaker profusely, the four friends head out to the river to find their way back to Malodidd. They hitch a ride aboard a paddle boat (everyone thinks Will is wearing a very realistic snake costume for Marley Grande and invite him to join the band) and Jake quickly confides in Ewan his plan to propose to Dorothy that very night, before the Marley Grande parade. He proudly proclaims that he’ll give up his lazy lifestyle and get “two jobs, maybe three” to help keep his promise to Dorothy and pay her debt. He sets up a beautiful candle-lit dinner (one really big candle, since they’re still lip-sized) and makes several feeble attempts to express his feelings for her, but is clearly nervous and flustered. Before he can get the words out, the boat encounters a series of thorns Miranda has set up to the end of preventing them from reaching the castle. Fortunately, Will is able to bite through the thorns, allowing them to cross.
Zaren’s Endgame Edit
Before they arrive in Malodidd, Jake is captured by Miranda’s goats, unbeknownst to his companions. After he is gone, when they finally arrive at Marley Grande, Ewan reveals to Dorothy that Jake truly loves her and was planning on proposing. Dorothy realizes that this is what she truly wants as well and rushes off into the crowd to find him. When she reaches the parade however, she sees Zaren hiding among the people in the parade. Dorothy misunderstands, thinking Jake has already killed Miranda and become human, and is being celebrated for his victory, and runs off to the graveyard, alone.
Ewan follows her and tries to console her, but Dorothy angrily replies by telling Ewan the truth about Angeline and that he needs to open his eyes to the truth before he gets hurt like she did. Still not convinced, Ewan rushes back to the parade and frees lip-Jake, who stops the parade by jumping onto the imposter and knocking him off the float. Zaren loses the crystal ball and is returned to his true form. Now that he has been revealed as a fraud, the bumbling Zaren is quickly carted away by the police. Realizing its significance, Ewan steals the crystal ball and runs away with it. In the meantime, Jake runs away from the chaos. Furious, Miranda chases Ewan all the way to the graveyard.
The Death of Ewan Edit
Ewan finally meets up with Dorothy and gives her the globe, making her promise to keep it out of Miranda’s possession. She runs away with it, while Ewan stays behind to destroy as many goats as possible. With his sword, he kills a few of them. Miranda knocks Ewan to the ground and coldly bashes him in the head without a second thought before wearing a disgusted expression and causally walks off. A few seconds later, Will comes running, calling for Ewan, but finds the dwarf lying on the ground and makes off for Dorothy.
In the meantime, Dorothy is able to find Jake. They realize they are already in the haunted forest, and they make for Miranda’s castle. When Dorothy sees a threatening sign, she attempts to turn back, but Jake forces her back to the road and shakes his head. Dorothy also shows fear when she thinks they will be attacked by vultures, although they pass right by. Soon after, Jake was hurled into the air via Miranda’s magic and slammed into the ground, causing Dorothy to panic.
Witch’s Castle Edit
Through a magically enhanced TV, Miranda saw that Jake is in the haunted forest outside her castle, and had Princess Dorothy with him. She made for the window, where the commander of her flying goats (who was a goat himself) lies in wait, and orders him to bring her the two visitors. She warns it to be kind toward Dorothy. She watches as the goats fly to fetch the victims, then steps back to her TV camera. Moments later, the army of flying goats bear down on Jake and Dorothy. They both put up a fertile defense, but are ultimately seized and abducted.
When they arrive, Miranda taunts them until Jake demanded to know what Miranda planned to do with them. Miranda does not answer directly, and offered to bring them something to eat. Although Dorothy accepts the offer, Jake seems skeptical of the witch’s motives. Miranda flies out the window. While she was away, Jake suggests throwing the food in Miranda’s face, and Dorothy agreed, on the condition it was not Marshmallow Delight. When Miranda returns with a plate of tomato Sushi, the resilient lips took the food and throw it in her face. Miranda, who is even more frightened than Dorothy over the imminent battle, pinpoints a tunnel.
Jake immediately navigates Dorothy through the vent. Finally, they came across a toy car in the middle of the tunnel. Dorothy realized that she could ignite it by winding it up and manages to blast away from the entrance and Miranda. However, when the windup car stops, Miranda immediately bears down on them.
She gently told Dorothy she had been deceived, while confronting Prince Jake. She then knocks Jake into a pit and chases him. After cornering him, Miranda attacks, setting the room on fire. After a brief fight, Jake escaped the pit, and Dorothy sees the destruction of his “Villain Killer” with a wandless spell from Miranda. Miranda rounds on Jake, angrily brandishing a sword and chasing him, concurrently destroying the windup car. Terrified, Jake ran away and up a ramp as Dorothy looks on in horror. Miranda Apparates up the ramp, but teleports too far and falls out a window, unlike Jake, who survived. Miranda careened into a tower outside and falls several stories to her death, eliciting celebration from Jake and the guards.
Upon seeing this, Dorothy is infuriated. Jake immediately asks the guards how they can become human again, though they do not know. Dorothy, though distressed about Miranda’s death, says she will be content to remain a pair of lips as long as she can stay with Jake. The guards help them find their way out. Dorothy, however, is still upset about Miranda’s demise. On the way out, Jake tells her the full story of Miranda’s past.
Return to Marley Grande Edit
Concerned about Will and Ewan, both of them rush back to the parade, where they see Will speaking to Dorothy’s mother, Bonnie. He explains to her what has happened and that, if she kisses Jake by midnight (which is mere minutes away), he will become human again and he will marry her. Jake’s only condition is that Bonnie promise to give Dorothy the money she needs for her debt (which she only has two hours to pay). “She is my Angeline,” he explains. However, Bonnie reveals that Dorothy has been proven innocent, and the true culprit has been identified. Deeply touched, Dorothy hops out of the shadows and confesses her love for Jake in front of her young mother, telling him once again that she loved him more than life itself. Jake confesses that he loves her too and the two embrace. Before anything else can be said, Will rushes in, gently holding a dying Ewan in his coils. They lay Ewan on the ground, and Jake and Dorothy tearfully tell him that everything is alright and the two of them will be together, thanks, in part, to him. Ewan gives a weak smile, saying that makes him happy, and it makes Angeline happy too. His eyes close and he’s gone.
His three friends tearfully bring him back to the river for a funeral with the rest of his dwarf family. As they place his body in a coffin and push it out across the water, they suddenly see the real Angeline enter. She offers to take his corpse, before leaving and promising to see what she could do to bring him back. Everyone sees that Ewan finally got his wish to be with Angeline at last.
The funeral then fades away to a celebration as the entire kingdom gathers together to see the Lightmaker perform Jake and Dorothy’s wedding ceremony. As he pronounces them “lip and wife”, they share a kiss and they are turned back into humans. The Lightmaker laughs as the two figure out that Miranda’s spell is broken, now that she is dead. In kissing Dorothy, who is still a princess, the spell was broken! The two are back in Malodidd where they celebrate their victory over Miranda. In the meantime, Will the python entertains the guests onstage with his new drum set. Dorothy and Jake go up to the roof of their castle where they dance together and share a kiss beneath the stars. Dorothy explains in narrative text how it all worked out, and with that, the book ends.
Behind the Scenes Edit
The book began production as The Princess Who Turned Into Lips. It is not clear how much Thomas’ age contributed to the book’s lack of critical success. (He was born in 1999, and he published the book when he was nine years old).
A novelization is to be published on Movellas, a storytelling website, soon.
Critical Response Edit
- "On some occasions, you’ll be famous as can be, and everyone will be reading your work. Except, on other occasions, they won’t. You will be undermined and you will lose. [...] No sweat. It’s the way life works."
- ―D. Isaac Thomas was a good sport regarding the book’s lack of success
The Princess and the Lips was released in North America on 12 August, 2008. It cost $4,400 to produce, which D. Isaac Thomas drew from the profits of The Rescuers Save the World and The Haunted House. But it grossed only $1,100 from sold North American copies and it is considered one of the worst books from D. Isaac Thomas. It was so poorly received that it still has not distributed for a hardcover release. To make matters worse, the book was beaten out of its success by other graphic novels adults had created that were released that year. It is not clear how much Thomas’ age contributed to this. In addition to becoming a failure at the box office, The Princess and the Lips also received mixed reviews, with some critics blaming the book’s lack of appeal on the lack of development. It has earned a neutral score of 2.3 at Goodreads, with the consensus “Ambitious but flawed, The Princess and the Lips is technically brilliant as Thomas’ last two works, but lacks the compelling characters of other comics. In truth, I don’t think he should quit.” The Time magazine deemed it “a major disappointment”, adding that “the charm, characterization and sheer good humor” found in previous D.I.T. efforts “are sadly absent from this catastrophe”.
D. Isaac Thomas, the author of the book, had a more positive reaction to the hate the book received. Indeed, the preteen author was not as miserable as people expected:
- “On some occasions, you’ll be famous as can be, and everyone will be reading your work. Except, on other occasions, they won’t. You will be undermined and [you] will lose. [A] thousand dollars, from one country alone, is still a lot to go on. No sweat. It’s the way life works.”
External Links Edit
The Princess and the Lips - Movellas