Enchanted Review
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As far as movies are concerned, if there’s one thing I take seriously—one thing that I truly hold dear—it’s my Disney fairy tales. So when I heard that Disney was making a live-action spoof of its animated classics, I was a little bit worried that it would end up being a humorless disaster—like Happily N’Ever After. But leave it to Disney—makers of the best fairy tales around—to make a laugh-out-loud spoof that still has all the charm of your favorite fairy tale.

Enchanted begins in classic Disney fairy tale style: both musical and magical—not to mention beautifully animated, complete with a lovable, doe-eyed princess-in-waiting. Giselle (Amy Adams) is a fair young maiden who lives alone in the forest, attended by woodland creatures, waiting for her prince to come. When the charming Prince Edward (James Marsden) arrives to save her from a menacing troll, they instantly fall in love. Edward declares that they’ll be married in the morning, and Giselle prepares for her Happily Ever After.

  
 
But Edward’s stepmother, Narissa (Susan Sarandon), has no intention of letting Giselle take away her crown—so before the wedding, Narissa (dressed as an old hag) pushes Giselle into a magical well that sends her to a very strange land: New York City.

Enchanted shows that the people at Disney are perfectly capable of laughing at themselves and making fun of their own fairy tales’ naiveté—without resorting to cheap cynicism. They acknowledge that, in Fairy Tale Land, princesses are always beautiful. They love to sing. They have woodland creatures to do their dirty work. And they always fall in love with a handsome (but not always smart) prince and live happily ever after. But that’s not how it works in the Real World.

Sure, Giselle’s still gorgeous—and sweet, doe-eyed Adams (who’s perky and naïve without being irritating) couldn’t have been more perfect for the role. Her handsome prince is every bit as dim as he is handsome (even the chipmunk, Pip, who can no longer speak, is more perceptive). She still loves to sing—but the lyrics have an amusing real-world twist to them (I’m pretty sure Cinderella never sang about vermin). And, speaking of which, she still has creatures to help her—but, in New York, they’re definitely not bunnies. But when she breaks out in song in the middle of Central Park, everyone still joins in for a Little Mermaid-style musical number. As for True Love, though, once Giselle meets cynical divorce lawyer, Robert (Patrick Dempsey), all of her romantic notions are put into question.

Though it could have easily become either dim-witted and sarcastic or obnoxiously cutesy, Enchanted, as Goldilocks would say, is just right. It’s cute and funny without being overdone. The characters are perfectly cast, and Disney musical favorite Alan Menken provides the perfect real world version of a classic Disney score. So if you’re a fan of Disney’s fairy tales, don’t worry—Enchanted treads lightly. And the result is a delightful real-world fairy tale that’s all kinds of fun for the whole family.


DVD Review:
In addition to a delightful fairy tale, the Enchanted DVD offers a handful of extra features. You’ll find the standard stuff—like a half-dozen deleted scenes and a fun blooper reel—but you’ll also find three making-of featurettes. These featurettes take a closer look at three different scenes: the “Happy Working Song” scene with its animated action as well as real rats and pigeons, the “That’s How You Know” scene that used hundreds of extras dancing in Central Park, and the complex ball scene. All three are pretty fascinating—and they’ll give you a new appreciation for all that went into making this new Disney favorite.

Also included on the DVD are Pip’s Predicament, a silly little animated pop-up story, and a not-so-hidden Easter Egg of Carrie Underwood’s video for “Ever Ever After” (to find it, just click on the music note that appears below the “Fantasy Comes to Life” selection on the features menu).

Disney’s new part-animated, part-live feature is must-have DVD for parents and Disney fans alike. Like all those animated Disney fairy tales in your collection, it’s a movie that you’re sure to reach for time and time again.

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