Written by Pollo Misterioso
Everyone has a favorite Disney film. From Beauty and the Beast to Sleeping Beauty there is something familiar and inherently pleasurable from the “happily ever after” that comes from these fairy tales on screen. Disney’s latest picture Enchanted brings back the magic of these fairy tales without all animation in a way that is appealing to everyone.
The journey begins in the animated land of Andalasia in a cottage that is reminiscent of all the forest huts that we have seen in Disney films. Giselle, played by Amy Adams, who was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress in this film, sings of finding her true love’s kiss and her Prince Charming.
It is then that she meets Prince Edward (James Marsden) and they are to be married, but his evil stepmother Narissa, played by Susan Sarandon, does not want to give up her crown and sends Giselle to New York, to never find her happily ever after. Here we move from animation to the real world, as Giselle must find her way around town and her Prince. She is found by Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and his daughter Morgan (Rachel Covey) who help her adjust as Prince Edward comes to New York to save her.
Giselle believes that true love can be found in a day, in one encounter and sealed with a kiss. Robert, being that he is a divorce lawyer, finds it hard to think that love can be more than a business merger. But the fairy tale seems very much present in our daily lives when Giselle gets all of the people in Central Park to sing and dance about love. Even in the city Giselle can manage to gather all of the neighborhood creatures to clean the apartment, including the cockroaches, pigeons, and sewer rats. But like she says, “It’s always nice to meet new friends.”
Enchanted is careful in its mockery of all that is Disney. The apartment scene comes straight from Snow White and is heartwarming, but also fresh in its “realistic” fantasy. How can you not think that pulling hairballs from the bathtub is disgusting, but also so friendly in a nice song about tidying up. There are many other deliberate scenes and scenarios that are taken directly from other Disney classics, so much so that the film becomes a nostalgic guessing game for viewers. Robert and Giselle float across the river in Central Park like Ariel in The Little Mermaid and her best friend Pip, a friendly chipmunk, is representative of all creatures that befriend our fair maidens.
Amy Adams’ performance is incredible, being that she simply must act as a fairy princess in New York City. From the way she can light up her face, even down to the way she holds her hands she brings life to every familiar scene in a way that lets us discover our favorite fairy tales all over again. It should be said that Sarandon plays a wonderful evil Queen, if only we got to see more of her throughout the film.
By playing upon the very tropes that made Disney films so popular, the characters become more than just their stereotypes, the situations become more than cliché and the theme becomes fresh again: everyone can live happily ever after. Enchanted is a real world fairy tale with new songs that we will love to sing along to and new characters that we will never tire of. This fresh take on our favorite fairy tales brings Disney to life again and it is so much fun.
The DVD extras of Enchanted are worth taking a look at to see just how much fun everyone had while making this film. The “Bloopers” extra and the “Fantasy Comes to Life” are the two worth viewing. Besides the funny outtakes, in “Fantasy” it explains how they created three of the major scenes within the film, including the song and dance in Central Park. There is an extra animated sequence called “Pip’s Predicament” which is an add-on to the story that kids might enjoy, for it explains how Pip got Prince Edward out of Andalasia to save Giselle.