Disney Marathon: ‘Enchanted’


Have you seen Enchanted? It’s weirdly absent from Disney+. They announced a sequel, but it’s still not there. This oddball entry is turning into a bit of a cult hit among fans. Let’s take a look…

For those just joining us, this is a movie marathon with a twist. Myself (cranky 40 year old blogger), my son Josh (stoic 10 year old Nintendo obsessive) and my daughter Amelia (drama llama 8 year old princess) are watching Disney movies in a random order and ranking them. We hope to see interesting differences in how we organise our lists.

Film: Enchanted

Released: 2007

Director: Kevin Lima

Cast: Amy Adams, James Marsden, Patrick Dempsey, Susan Sarandon, Timothy Spall, Rachel Covey, Idina Menzel

Plot: A very stereotypical tale princess runs afoul of an evil queen who traps her in real world New York. As she tries to survive this strange world, Giselle has her concept of ‘true love’ challenged by divorce attorney Robert.

Review: Right off the bat, I’m not sure why this movie doesn’t get more attention. The story is by the books and Patrick Dempsey has the charisma of damp cardboard, but the central conceit is so well executed you can look past some of the weaknesses. This isn’t quite a blend of animation and life action like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, rather it features two distinct worlds. We have the real world and we have the animated fairy tale world which is an combination of various classic Disney tropes, and crossing from one world to the other changes your appearance but not nature.

Our story opens in the animated world of Andalasia, where Giselle (Adams) lives in the forest making dresses with the help of forest animals (including Bambi and Thumper). She meets Prince Edward (Marsden), they fall in love and immediately plan their wedding. Evil step-mother queen Narissa (Sarandon) and her besotted henchmen Nathaniel (Spall) wants to avoid this, so she casts Giselle through a portal to real-world New York where she struggles to survive.

Right off the bat this is a fun movie. Disney takes the piss out of their public image with some energetic, nineties style animation. All members of the animated and later their live action counterparts are perfectly cast. Adams, Marsden, Sarandon and Spall through themselves completely into the roles, have a massive amount of fun, make a full commitment to the material and make the film as successful as it is. Patrick Dempsey puts in a damp squib of a performance, but that does suit his damp squib of a character, and only acts as straight man to Adams’ spirited princess routine.

After the set-up, the narrative works hard to fit in every cliche of the era and fish-out-of-water genre. Giselle gets scared by the homeless people of New York, Dempsey is exasperated by her cartoon princess routine and his standard issue child is awed by it so they can deliver a speech at the 11th hour. If you want to some into this film just for the spectacle, you’ll be well served. If you want to see Disney dabbling in subversive humour and poking fun at itself before Frozen and Moana made it a staple you’ll also be well served. It’ll also appeal to Disney fanatics looking for Easter Eggs. But if you want something more groundbreaking, this may not scratch the itch. We’ll look forward to the long delayed sequel.

Best Song: I don’t like the song, but ‘That’s How You Know’ keeps worming itself into by head. It’s a neat sequence.

Coolest Easter Egg: Enchanted literally has an entire Wikipedia article about Disney references…so we’re going to stick with some Princess cameos. Receptionist Sam briefly look after Giselle in an office visit, and is played by Ariel voice actor Jodi Benson. A mother willing to take a displaced prince as a babysitter is singing voice of Pocahontas Judy Kuhn. Paige O’Hara – best known as Belle – appears on TV as a soap actor. May Poppins isn’t a Princess, but Julie Andrew’s narrates the bookends of the story.

Weirdest Trivia: Weirdly enough, one of the few completely non-singing roles of Nancy Tremaine was played by Idina Menzel. This came a year after her debut lead role in Broadway smash hit Wicked and she would soon deliver one of Disney’s biggest selling songs when playing Elsa in Frozen.

Rating: EIGHT out of TEN

THE RANKING

ME

I like it and appreciate what it accomplished…but it couldn’t pushed the boundaries a bit further.

Click those titles if you want to see what we said about the other movies.

  1. Zootopia
  2. Robin Hood
  3. Aladdin
  4. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  5. The Lion King
  6. Wreck-It Ralph
  7. Alice in Wonderland
  8. Beauty and the Beast
  9. Moana
  10. Big Hero 6
  11. Lilo & Stitch
  12. The Great Mouse Detective
  13. The Little Mermaid
  14. Frozen
  15. Tangled
  16. The Sword in the Stone
  17. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  18. Enchanted
  19. Mulan
  20. Cinderella
  21. Emperor’s New Groove
  22. Fantasia
  23. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  24. The Three Caballeros
  25. The Jungle Book
  26. Fun and Fancy Free
  27. Sleeping Beauty
  28. The Princess and the Frog
  29. Hercules
  30. The Rescuers
  31. Oliver & Company
  32. The Aristocats
  33. Saludos Amigos
  34. Home on the Range
  35. Bolt
  36. Dinosaur
  37. The Fox and the Hound
  38. Atlantis: The Lost Empire
  39. Pocahontas
  40. A Goofy Movie
  41. Fantasia 2000
  42. Treasure Planet
  43. The Wild
  44. Chicken Little

AMELIA

Amelia has shown interest in this film before, but the reality is that she like the satirical cartoon world best and wanted it to stay there.

  1. Frozen
  2. Moana
  3. Tangled
  4. The Little Mermaid
  5. The Rescuers
  6. Emperor’s New Groove
  7. Zootopia
  8. Lilo & Stitch
  9. Atlantis: The Lost Empire
  10. The Great Mouse Detective
  11. Home on the Range
  12. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  13. Mulan
  14. Hercules
  15. Alice in Wonderland
  16. Cinderella
  17. Wreck-It Ralph
  18. Bolt
  19. Pocahontas
  20. Enchanted
  21. Dinosaur
  22. The Aristocats
  23. The Princess and the Frog
  24. Robin Hood
  25. The Jungle Book
  26. Fantasia 2000
  27. The Lion King
  28. Beauty and the Beast
  29. The Three Caballeros
  30. The Fox and the Hound
  31. The Sword in the Stone
  32. Saludos Amigos
  33. Oliver & Company
  34. Aladdin
  35. Treasure Planet
  36. Big Hero 6
  37. Fun and Fancy Free
  38. Sleeping Beauty
  39. A Goofy Movie
  40. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  41. Chicken Little
  42. Fantasia

JOSHUA

I was not that into it, but it was funny. Like this for instance:

Brian: I’ll have to call someone.

Giselle: I don’t think they’ll hear you from here.

Ha ha ha. 🤣

  1. Zootopia
  2. Big Hero 6
  3. Aladdin
  4. Emperor’s New Groove
  5. Treasure Planet
  6. Moana
  7. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  8. The Three Caballeros
  9. Saludos Amigos
  10. Wreck-It Ralph
  11. The Rescuers
  12. Frozen
  13. Mulan
  14. The Princess and the Frog
  15. The Lion King
  16. Lilo & Stitch
  17. The Jungle Book
  18. Robin Hood
  19. Bolt
  20. The Sword in the Stone
  21. Beauty and the Beast
  22. Oliver & Company
  23. Sleeping Beauty
  24. Tangled
  25. The Great Mouse Detective
  26. Cinderella
  27. The Little Mermaid
  28. Enchanted
  29. Home on the Range
  30. Pocahontas
  31. A Goofy Movie
  32. The Aristocats
  33. Fantasia
  34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  35. Atlantis: The Lost Empire
  36. Fun and Fancy Free
  37. The Fox and the Hound
  38. Fantasia 2000
  39. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  40. Dinosaur
  41. Hercules
  42. Alice in Wonderland
  43. The Wild
  44. Chicken Little