Directed by Kevin Lima
Starring Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Susan Sarandon
Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment
Release date: March 18, 2008
The first ten minutes of Enchanted gives the impression that this is yet another addition to the classic Disney animation catalogue, as the pretty young Giselle sings of how she’s dreaming of the day her true love will come find her, much like Disney’s Snow White did. Within minutes, that man — a handsome prince named Edward — arrives, they fall instantly in love, and plan to marry the next day. Unfortunately for the naive Giselle, Edward’s stepmother Queen Narissa has no intention of letting the couple wed. On the wedding day, Narissa pushes the animated would-be princess down a well and into another dimension — the busy real-world streets of New York City.
By chance, the lost and exhausted Giselle (Amy Adams) meets Robert (Patrick Dempsey), a divorce attorney, and his 6-year-old daughter Morgan (Rachel Covey), who take her in for the night. While she’s no longer in the fairy-tale land of Andalasia, Giselle still retains her naive charm and even manages to call upon the critters of New York City — rats, pigeons, and bugs — to help her clean up Robert’s apartment as she sings a “Whistle While You Work”-type song, “Happy Working Song.”
All the while, Prince Edward (James Marsden) too has made it to into the real world to rescue his true love. The prince might be good-looking and brave, but he’s far from smart, and doesn’t notice that his sidekick Nathaniel (Timothy Spall) is there with him to prevent him from finding Giselle. Nathaniel is enamored with the wicked Narissa and plans to kill Giselle to win the Queen’s favor.
Enchanted is a delightful, funny adventure. Amy Adams really makes her mark with this film and I can’t imagine anyone else who could have brought Giselle to life as she did. She was sweet and adorable, and there’s not one minute that goes by that you are not rooting for her. Whether she’s calling on rats for housework help, or leading a crowd of people in song in Central Park (probably the best scene in the movie), you can’t help but just love her. Luckily, Adams has a beautiful voice and does justice to Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz‘s catchy tunes.
I’m a big fan of Disney movies, so this film was definitely my thing and I’m really hoping they add an Enchanted attraction at Disney World or even add Giselle and her songs to one of their parades. I liked how the filmmakers kept that Disney feel, while simultaneously managing to poke fun AND play homage to classic Disney films. I really loved this movie when I saw it in the theater, and then even more so when I saw it on DVD. I watched it once more with my cousins this weekend (16-year-old girl, 8-year-old boy) and they both loved it. They laughed a lot, enjoyed the songs, and were absolutely highly entertained. So, even if Disney is just too sweet for your tastes, know at least the kids will dig it.
DVD Bonus Features
The DVD’s bonus features were enjoyable, if not a little too short in length. A feature-length director and/or writer commentary would have been a wonderful edition to this one-disc package. What little bit of behind-the-scenes features we’re shown really emphasize how much thought went into this movie.
Fantasy Comes To Life
This is three separate behind-the-scenes featurettes, running about six minutes each. The first two highlight the Menchen/Schwartz songs — “Happy Working Song” and “That’s How You Know” — and detail how CGI and other elements were incorporated. The last featurette is all about the finale at the ballroom.
- “Happy Working Song” – This is the tune Giselle sings while she cleans Robert’s apartment, while wearing the elaborate white wedding dress. While most of the creatures Giselle beckons for assistance were CGI, the pigeons and rats were real. The was great to see how they were able to film the scenes with real animals.
- “That’s How You Know” – In what was probably the most fun, enjoyable scene of the movie, Giselle sings to Robert about how you know you’re in love, while the two walk through the diverse Central Park in New York City. In this featurette, we see what the choreography went through to make all of the people in the scene do their part. Old-time Broadway actors and dancers were used, along with hordes of other actors, dancers, musicians, skaters, and much more.
- “A Blast At The Ball” – This is the scene in the ballroom where Queen Narissa shows up to finish off Giselle. This featurette is mainly about the special effects used, and we also get to see Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey on real sets performing the action scenes behind a green screen.
- Musical Bonus: Click on the musical note in this section and you’ll get to see the Carrie Underwood video for “Ever Ever After,” the movie’s end-credits song. Just like the feature film, this video has animated and live-action sequences, which are interspersed with scenes from the film.
Each scene has an introduction from director Kevin Lima.
- A Lock Of Prince Edward’s Hair
An alternate opening of the film, which they realized went on a little too long, so they condensed it to the theatrical version. This isn’t fully rendered and is shown in storyboard sketches. It opens with a scene with Pip the chipmunk stealing a lock of Prince Edward’s hair to bring back to Giselle.
- Leaving Karate
This was the original introduction to Robert’s character, when Robert and Morgan meet Giselle on the street. Robert is seen leaving karate class with Morgan and getting into the cab and he gives her the book about famous women.
- I Am Not Waiting For My Prince
This scene was cut because of pacing. It takes place at Robert’s girlfriend Nancy’s design studio and she’s getting text message apologies from Robert after they have an argument. Nancy tells one of her workers that she’s not waiting her prince to come.
- Hotdogs On The Bridge
This was a setup scene that was cut of Giselle and Edward on the Brooklyn Bridge where she talks about what their plans would be after they get married.
- Nathaniel’s Revelation
Another scene that was cut because of pacing. Nathaniel is in a cab outside the ball talking to Pip, who’s trapped in a hamster ball and Nathaniel is talking about his relationship with Narissa.
- Exit With A Twist
This is two deleted shots: one in the ballroom with the dragon; the other is of the two old ladies at the ball commenting on the events.
Bloopers – [2:10]
This is the standard blooper reel. Not on the hilarious side, but there are a few cute scenes here.
Pip’s Predicament: A Pop-Up Adventure – [5:37]
This is geared towards younger children. It’s the chipmunk Pip’s story as an animated, narrated, moveable pop-up tale that takes place back in the land of Andelasia. Here where he tries to save the prince from a spell Narissa cast on him.
Hidden Bonus – [1:19] There’s a Mickey icon, if you click on it, it’s a promotion for the Blu-Ray version of the DVD, tells about the special features on it. The feature details all of the homages to Disney’s classic movies, and shows some of these scenes.
Previews for other Disney products: The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning; Minute Men (live-action Disney Channel original movie); Hannah Montana: One In A Million; Tinkerbell; The Jungle Book 2 Special Edition; The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Sleeping Beauty; Disney Blu-Ray promo; Disney Movie Rewards promo; Disney Parks promo.