Enchanted (2007)


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Who would have thought that a film originally intended to be a racy R-rated parody of Disney’s beloved classics would end up being what many people would consider a modern-day classic? That’s a fairy tale in and of itself! Today, we take a look at that film that reminded us of what we loved about Disney classic films in the first place, Enchanted!

And remember, SPOILERS AHEAD!

The film opens up to basically every classic animated Disney trope that you can think of: a narrator narrating the story to us via the use of a storybook, a kingdom named Andalasia ruled by an evil queen named Narissa, a traditional “Prince Charming” type of character named Edward who is Queen Narissa’s stepson, and a lovely maiden named Giselle who dreams of finding her true love.

Prince Edward happens to meet Giselle one day and both fall in love with each other. They decide to get married which of course angers Queen Narissa because she’ll lose her claim to the throne then.

Before we get any further, let’s talk about these first few minutes for a bit. Firstly, these scenes are all animated and I simply LOVE the animation! It is extremely colorful and surprisingly sharp! I can honestly say that this quality is better than some of Disney’s own animated canon films! Heck, had this movie been 100% animated in this style, I would have been in picture-perfect heaven!





Secondly, these first few scenes are paying homage to as well as parodying the Disney classics of yore. And I personally feel that they’ve done this flawlessly and with utmost respect! It manages to have the laughs that a parody should have while also keeping the respect that an homage should have. They could have gone an entirely different route by making fun of these old films and criticizing them for not having “new, modern, progressive ideas, etc.”. I’m so glad that they didn’t do that!

Thirdly, the music of this film is being done by Disney legends Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. And it’s just a delight hearing these songs that are so reminiscent of classic Disney and the Disney Renaissance while also being entirely their own compositions! My favorite song in the film is a duet that Giselle and Prince Edward sing in the beginning of the film entitled, True Love’s Kiss.

So far, I have nothing bad to say about this movie. Let’s go back to the plot. Queen Narissa decides to do away with Giselle by transforming herself into an old hag and convincing Giselle to look down a magical wishing well. As Giselle peers into the well, Queen Narissa pushes her. Giselle falls down into the well and lands in a live-action place devoid of “happily-ever-afters”, New York.

There must be something about animated films and villains banishing heroes and heroines to New York.
There must be something about animated films and villains banishing heroes and heroines to New York.

Giselle, played by Amy Adams, is instantly confused about where she is and why the people there lack the kindness and sincerity that her fairy tale friends have. Nevertheless, her naïveté and good-naturedness keeps her spirits up as she tries to find her way back to Prince Edward’s castle. When she doesn’t succeed in this, she’s still hopeful that Prince Edward will come to her rescue.

"Someday, my prince will come!" "Can't use that one. It's been done already." "Oh...I'm wishing for the one I love to find me today." "Can't use that one either." "Oh...Someday I'm wishing that my prince  whom I love will come today." "Eh...ok."
“Someday, my prince will come!”
“Can’t use that one. It’s been done already.”
“Oh…I’m wishing for the one I love to find me today.”
“Can’t use that one either.”
“Oh…Someday I’m wishing that my prince whom I love will come today.”

Before that happens, Giselle comes into contact with a divorce attorney named Robert, played by Patrick “I’m-not-too-sure-why-women-go-nuts-over-you” Dempsey.

"Do you really want hundreds of Grey's Anatomy fangirls to kill you, Mark?"
“Do you really want hundreds of Grey’s Anatomy fangirls to kill you, Mark?”

Robert is a single father of a young girl named Morgan, played by Rachel Covey. Morgan’s mother left them and ever since then, Robert has been a stickler to believing in rationale and logic and giving up ideas of fantasy, fairy tales, true love, etc. He has tried to instill these ideas into his daughter, but of course being six, Morgan wants a life that’s a bit more interesting.

Morgan gets her wish when they bump into Giselle who is all dressed up in princess clothes and babbling on about fairy tale life. And of course, Robert isn’t too sure that Giselle has all her screws intact, if you know what I mean. He lets Giselle come home with them so that she can freshen up and catch her bearings, but she ends up falling asleep on the couch. Seeing her sleeping peacefully, he doesn’t bother her and allows her to spend the night there.

"A most likely nuts woman is sleeping in my apartment where my six year-old girl is, what's the worst that can happen?"
“A most likely nuts woman is sleeping in my apartment where my six year-old girl is present…eh, what’s the worst that can happen?”

The next morning, Prince Edward finds his way to New York via the help of Giselle’s chipmunk friend who witnessed her falling down the wishing well, Pip. When they arrive in New York, Prince Edward, played by James Marsden, and the once loquacious Pip who can barely utter a sound in the real world as a CGI chipmunk, set out to find Giselle.

"Dear sir, would you kindly direct us to the set of Alvin and the Chipmunks? My friend here would like to audition."
“Dear sir, would you kindly direct us to the set of Alvin and the Chipmunks? My friend here would like to audition.”

When Giselle awakes in Robert’s apartment, she realizes that it’s quite messy and calls for her animal friends to come help her clean. Instead of getting the aid of beautiful, animated forest creatures like she would in Andalasia, she instead gets the help of rats, pigeons, cockroaches, and what appear to be, flies.

Eh, it's New York. If you can't make it there, you can't make it anywhere.
Eh, it’s New York. If you can’t make it there, you can’t make it anywhere.

As they all clean, Giselle sings Happy Working Song, which is reminiscent of past Disney songs such as Whistle While You Work and Sing Sweet Nightingale.

Later that day, Robert’s fiancée, Nancy, played by Idina Menzel, comes over to spend some bonding time with her soon-to-be stepdaughter, Morgan.


I'm with her, lady. Kick what?
I’m with her, lady. Kick what?

But Nancy ain’t too pleased to see Giselle hanging around Robert’s place.

"And that, Giselle, is how you wrestle a wild hippo into submission."
“And that, Giselle, is how you tame a hippo.”

This causes a fight between Nancy and Robert resulting in Nancy leaving.

Meanwhile, in Andalasia, Queen Narissa is worried that Prince Edward might actually be able to find Giselle after all. To combat this, she feigns affection for her stooge, Nathaniel, and persuades him to go to New York to prevent Prince Edward from finding Giselle. In return, Queen Narissa will be his. And like all guys do when a girl we like promises to like us back, Nathaniel immediately accepts and heads to New York.

Timothy Spall really does an excellent job playing the lovable stooge, Nathaniel. He’s not really evil; he’s just willing to do whatever the woman he loves wants him to do. What does she want him to do in this case? She wants him to find Giselle and get her to eat a poisoned apple.

"If Giselle doesn't even like fruits, I feel we may have a flaw in our plan."
“If Giselle doesn’t even like fruits, I feel we may have a flaw in our plan.”

Nathaniel does his best to accomplish this task, but time after time fails. As this goes on, we see more of Robert and Giselle hanging out together with Robert trying to get Giselle off his hands and Giselle annoying him with her constant cheeriness, positivity, and singing. This is evident when she bursts out into a song entitled, That’s How You Know.

Soon after, Edward manages to find Giselle and Giselle’s excited to see him, but after being exposed to New York culture, she has a strange request. Instead of rushing to get married, she would like her and Edward to go out on a date. Edward is a bit baffled as to what a date is, but goes along with it to make Giselle happy. They even go to a ball that is taking place in the area. Funnily enough, Robert is also going to that ball with Nancy.

At the ball, Queen Narissa, played by Susan Sarandon, shows up. She’s gotten tired of Nathaniel being unable to do the task, so she’s decided to come to New York herself. She poses as the old hag again and gets Giselle to take a bite of it causing her to go into a coma-like state. Both Robert and Edward are alarmed when they find out about this and realize that only true love’s kiss can save Giselle. Edward kisses Giselle, but…nothing seems to happen.

"My kiss can't awaken the dead? The rules of this realm are quite complicated."
“My kiss can’t awaken the dead? The rules of this realm are quite complicated.”

Robert realizes then that the kiss didn’t work because the one who is truly in love with Giselle and she with him is Robert himself. With Nancy’s permission, he kisses Giselle and Giselle wakes up. This infuriates Queen Narissa causing her to transform into a dragon a la Maleficent and have one final battle against Giselle, Robert, Edward, and Nathaniel (who’s since joined the good guys once he realized that the Queen is just using him).

The movie ends with Queen Narissa’s demise,

And that's how the legends of King Kong and Godzilla came about in the first place.
And that’s how the legends of King Kong and Godzilla came about in the first place.

Giselle staying in New York with Robert and Morgan,

"Are you really from another dimension?" "Are you a ghost?" "Are you a witch?" "Are you a fairy?"
“Are you really from another dimension?”
“Are you a ghost?”
“Are you a witch?”
“Are you a fairy?”

Nancy and Edward finding solace in each other, heading back to Andalasia, and getting married,

"Wow, Idina, you're gorgeous as an animated character!" "Thank you! I've always wanted to voice an animated character." "Disney's working on this project about the Snow Queen that I think you should check out." "Hmm...maybe I'll give it a shot. What's the worst that could happen?"
“Wow, Idina, you’re gorgeous as an animated character!”
“Thank you! I’ve always wanted to voice an animated character.”
“Disney’s working on this project about the Snow Queen that I think you should check out.”
“Hmm…maybe I’ll give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen?”

Nathaniel staying in New York to become a best-selling author,

"I knew the world would love my book about all the fairy tale characters and how they're all related. Maybe there's a TV audience for this as well?"
“I knew the world would love my book about all the fairy tale characters and how they’re all related. Maybe there’s a TV audience for this as well?”

and Pip going back to Andalasia, getting his voice back, and becoming a best-selling author as well.

Well, if you're that annoying girl in the Shutterfly ads, then I'd say silence is definitely golden!
Well, if you’re that annoying girl in the Shutterfly ads, then I’d say silence is definitely golden!

And that was Enchanted. What is there to say except it was a really great film?

I can’t say that it’s a favorite of mine, but honestly, it’s really hard to find problems with it. Almost all the actors portrayed their characters incredibly believable with the only exception being Idina Menzel. I personally found her not trying hard enough. The irony of the situation is that she was happy to be cast in a film where she wouldn’t be singing, i.e. she was being cast for her acting abilities only.

Yeah...sorry lady. I think it'd have been better had you sung.
Yeah…sorry lady. I think it’d have been better had you sung.

The storyline was perfect as I’ve said before paying just the right amount of parody and homage to make the film respectful of the films it was trying to pay tribute to. It was especially awesome to see a few Disney Princess voices in the film!

Jodi Benson: voice of Ariel
Jodi Benson: voice of Ariel
Paige O'Hara: voice of Belle
Paige O’Hara: voice of Belle
Judy Kuhn: Singing voice of Pocahontas
Judy Kuhn: Singing voice of Pocahontas
Woman trying to kill three birds with one stone by paying tribute to the voice actresses of Aurora, Cinderella, and Snow White, respectively
Woman trying to kill three birds with one stone by paying tribute to the voice actresses of Aurora, Cinderella, and Snow White, respectively

The music was overall really good and I still think the animation was the best part of the film!

If I could make two tiny nitpicks about this movie: One, I wasn’t too fond of Queen Narissa’s design because she looked like a mashup of The Evil Queen and Maleficent, but maybe that was the intention.

I wonder if she was the one who inspired Disney to make a film all about Maleficent?
I wonder if she was the one who inspired Disney to make a film all about Maleficent!

And two, I was a bit amazed that when these fairy tale characters arrived in the real world, it didn’t really take them long to learn about how to use the various technologies that our world has. You’d think that would have taken them forever to understand, but nope.

Hey, if the rats can understand it, I guess it makes sense that the fairy tale characters can too.
Hey, if the rats can understand it, I guess it makes sense that the fairy tale characters can too.

A sequel is currently being planned for this film. I personally don’t think it needs a sequel, but it’ll be interesting to see how that will turn out.

(You can click on the image below for an enlarged version of my rating sheet.)


So, the final score for this film is 32/35 = 91.43% (A-) !

The next review will be posted on June 29th.

25 thoughts on “Enchanted (2007)

  1. Loved your comparison of Narissa’s demise with King Kong and Godzilla! 🙂 I didn’t realize that this was originally going to be an R rated parody. What happened that it became so family friendly? I’m glad they did it, though…it’s such a fun new take on fairy tales that still is, as you say, a respectful homage.

    I know what you mean about Ida Menzel; it always seems like such a shame to have someone not do what they are best known for…especially since it was actually a musical and it wouldn’t have seemed weird to give her a song. It would be a bit like putting Bing Crosby in an ensemble musical and never giving him a song; it would seem like such a waste.

    1. Yeah when Narissa was climbing the tower, I just thought of King Kong and her being a dragon just reminded me of Godzilla, lol!

      Yeah, the film was supposed to be an R-rated film in which, I think, Giselle would be trapped in the human world and she was a stripper and then found out she was a cartoon character. I guess when the movie went through different producers/directors, then that was how it became family-friendly.

      Well, Bing Crosby was such a good actor that I think he would still be good in a musical without singing. But, Idina Menzel just doesn’t have that acting quality to me.

  2. This one is so much fun! I love the songs and Amy Adams plays it straight which makes it work. She is very convincing. I think Elf and Enchanted are very similar (fairytale creatures in human world New York). They both have actors who go all the way with the part. Both are movies I thought for sure I would hate but they charmed the socks off me! 🙂

    One thing I like about Enchanted is it is the only Disney princess where a character does any mothering of a child. I like that.

  3. This movie is probably one of my favorite Disney films! I LOVED that is was animated at first and then live-action! I also loved the mix of fairytales!

  4. I really love this movie! I think it’s very underrated. The music is fun and Amy Adams is great. I keep meaning to buy this one because I do want to add it to my collection.

  5. I honestly don’t care for this movie at all, I’ve seen it twice I think. It’s fine, and like you said no big problems with it. It just doesn’t do much for me.
    Though I adore James Marsden as Prince Edward, perfect casting.

      1. It’s not as simple as that. Plenty of couples try to commit to each other, but find that maintaining a relationship is not possible.

        I think the point here was to reflect reality as opposed to the fairy tale legend Robert and Giselle live in. In reality, couples don’t live “happily forever after” all the time. Though Robert may be too cynical in claiming it never happens.

        It was necessary, I think, in the case of Giselle and Edward, to show that love was not well-founded. Robert leaving Nancy just showed that even when you know someone for a long time, that still might not be enough. And the fact Robert hadn’t proposed in all that time probably did mean something, regardless of Giselle’s naivete.

        The film basically jump-started Disney’s craze of feminist apologism for the tropes they mostly hadn’t played straight since the 50s that they continued with Frozen and Maleficent (the themes being particularly worn and with nothing substantial added in the latter).

      2. I’m glad though that they showed Edward and Nancy getting together to show that a traditional fairy tale/happily ever after/on the spur wedding is still possible and an acceptable choice too.

  6. I knew this would be a fun movie as soon as I saw the trailers. The opening with the beautiful 2D animation was as you said delightful.

    I’m glad you pointed out some of the cameos and references to old Disney movies, but there are almost too many to count! It’s a very good parody of a fairy tale while also being a good story with interesting characters in its own right, much like The Princess Bride. Which is probably why my father, who loves The Princess Bride, counts this as one of his favorite movies as well.

      1. Oh… MY – GOD. You’re kidding, right? I haven’t seen Back to the Future, Star Wars, Rocky, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, or any of the Indiana Jones films, and even I find that impossible to comprehend. Are you sure you’re currently residing on Planet Earth?

      2. Nope, it’s definitely on my bucket list though.

        Although I have seen Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Indiana Jones, and most of the Star Wars. And the BTTF films are my absolute fave films ever!

  7. It was odd seeing Idina Menzel in a non-singing role.
    I also would have loved to see the whole movie animated. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much. The songs were hilarious.

  8. It’s certainly a good thing that this movie was not the R-rated parody it very nearly was. While I do still like the film quite a bit, I’ve been noticing some serious retroactive criticism, claiming that the film is too on the nose with the comedy (especially the references to past Disney films) and that Giselle is not a proactive heroine like Elsa or Rapunzel. But I think it’s worth remembering that for 2007 this was considered fairly revolutionary, because Disney was still mostly seen in a fairly unpopular light. This probably helped galvanize a reformed interest in Disney from 2007 onwards.

  9. When I first saw this film advertised, I was instantly put off, but a few years ago, I decided to give it a try- and I am so very glad I did!

    As you say here, it equally pays homage to the Disney animated classics and pokes lighthearted fun at Disney’s own cliches, the cast make their characters very believable, and the songs are top-notch (my personal favorites being “So Close” and “That’s How You Know”).

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