By order of decree, Prince Orestes banishes laughter from Terramafiusa in an act of rebellion against the rowdiness of his grandmother's rule. Gloom and dejection permeate the kingdom -even the birds fly away- and soon Orestes realizes the importance of smiling. With the help of Lucien, Grandmother's parrot living in exile, and Camillo, a wise Prime Minister, Orestes finds his way to the Pavilion of Special Joys where he is taught three different smiles. He does not master the Courageous and Mysterious smiles, but since the Loving Smile is exhibited by Violante, a shy lady-in-waiting who has harbored a great passion for the Prince all these lonely years, he proves an adept student, and the kingdom is saved. For those too sophisticated to re-read childhood fables and legends, this may fill the bill during more regressive moments. Do not probe too deeply in search of allegorical meanings -- it's really all child's play.