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Blu-ray Review: Enchanted

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While a cliché ridden romance is the basis of Enchanted’s story, the movie as a whole is a wildly fun, imaginative, colorful romp. Amy Adams shines as a would be cartoon princess tossed into the real world without a clue as to how things work. Her campy send up performance is simply perfect, and the heart of Enchanted.

The opening scenes are presented with a perfect Disney flair, mimicking the classic animation from the studio and mocking their lesser qualities. Following that, the film heads to Times Square where the live action takes over. Patrick Dempsey plays Robert, the kind hearted guy who takes Adams's Giselle in and tries to deal with her odd outlooks on life.

Enchanted doesn’t always follow its own logic, such as the way in which animals react and suddenly clean up a room as Adams bursts into song, which doesn’t follow the rest of the movie. Of course, in a movie where cartoons come to life logic is obviously not at a premium. The Central Park musical number at least tries to play up how little it all makes sense with Dempsey’s character questioning the entire scenario. Enchanted wavers in and out of the real world as it pleases, though this never takes away from the fun choreography or energetic music.

James Marsden has some fun in his role as the fairy tale prince who follows Adams into New York to rescue her. His encounter with a bus is priceless, and the film could have used more interactions such as that one. As it stands, the cartoon characters adjust to their new life rather easily taking some of the fun from the old one with them.

The finale couldn’t have been set up better, perfectly placing the events in New York, yet doing so in a fairy tale setting. The finale takes something of a dark turn, which is at odds with the otherwise harmless laughs that come before it, but it never gets so dark that the kids will be terrified. The special effects are impressive to watch, and the energetic action puts a fine cap on the story (even if everyone in the audience knows where it’s going).

Enchanted is owned by Amy Adams's performance. That doesn’t take away from the rest of the cast, but her role is critical in selling the concept and she performs with flair. This is simply a fun take off on the countless “princess” movies that have come from Disney, and its wide ranging appeal is undeniable.

The movie comes alive in HD, bursting with bold colors and lack of any source flaws. Grain is practically non-existent, giving the film a clean look and no artifacting is noticeable. Contrast is strong, and rich black levels give Enchanted some impressive depth. The transfer does waver slightly at times, looking soft and lacking focus in certain scenes (the restaurant date for example). Detail is retained though, and this is always an immense improvement over an SD presentation.

Next to an all-out action movie, this is amongst the best audio presentations you’ll find. There are so many little touches, from rain falling around the viewer, elevated trains moving flawlessly from speaker to speaker, thunder resonating incredibly well, and the crowded streets offering some rear speaker work on a consistent basis. Bass is powerful, especially with the above mentioned thunder, and the animated sequence involving a troll attack. The musical numbers deserve this TrueHD track, and it delivers. It’s amazingly crisp.

Aside from the interactive features, all extras are presented in HD. Fantasy Comes to Life is a collection of three featurettes running between five and six minutes a piece. Each focuses on a particular scene, from the two major song sequences to the finale. Two minutes of bloopers also included are mildly amusing.

Nearly eight minutes of deleted scenes offer minor padding to the main feature. Pip’s Predicament is a nicely done story rendered as a pop-up book that tells the tale of a side character. A music video rounds off the features that are shared with the SD DVD.

A Blu-ray exclusive is D-Files. This interactive pop-up feature is a fun one for movie buffs. When a reference pops up to a Disney classic, the viewer is asked a question about which one it is. Score enough points, and you can access a few more exclusive features. The questions are varied, and the videos that play along with them are also interesting, allowing the audience to see how the production team came up with ways to incorporate them. These extras cannot be accessed outside of the main feature.

Almost all recent Disney princess voice actresses have cameos somewhere in the movie. Jodie Benson is the most noticeable as the secretary for Dempsey’s character and Julie Andrews is also present as the narrator of the story.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.