Enchanted was by far my favorite film of 2010. This is funny for many reasons, but mostly because Enchanted came out in 2007. Being the Disney movie buff that I am, I can not fathom why I did not see this sooner. I was on my way home one day listening to the Alan Menken station on my internet radio and suddenly I’m practically dancing down the sidewalk. The Enchanted Suite by the brilliant Mr. Alan Menken is bursting into my ears and I can’t help but smile.
Just days later, Enchanted was sitting in my mailbox in a bright red envelope. I popped it in the old dvd player expecting more of what I love in Disney movies: A beautiful princess faced with a problem and lots and lots of cheese. Musical numbers, lovely dovey stuff… the whole nine yards.
What I got was so much more. The movie begins in classic Disney style with a voice over and a shot of a castle window. The camera takes us through the window to a giant storybook sitting on a pedestal. The pages magically flip by themselves and we are entertained briefly by a pop-up book illustrating an evil queen who doesn’t want her son to marry, because she will lose her crown. We are then introduced to Giselle (Amy Adams). She is pretty and dressed in pink. She is chilling with her forest-dwelling friends and creating the prince that she saw in her dreams. The song “True Love’s Kiss” is fun and sweet and describes Giselle’s desire to meet the one and share true love’s kiss. It’s the most powerful thing in the world. As if it were magic – which is something one might find a lot of in a Disney movie – Mr. Perfect, Prince Edward (James Marsden) happens to be slaying trolls not too far from Giselle’s place. He hears her singing and he and his white horse Destiny are off to find this fair maiden. He finds her and they decide to be married in the morning. His mother has other plans.
In an act of divine intervention, the evil queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) finds Giselle before she can marry Prince Edward, and sends her far away.
In a somewhat rapid turn of events, Giselle finds herself crawling up through a manhole cover onto the streets of New York City. Thrust into a world she does not know, she searches for her perfect prince. Alone in New York City in the rain, she quite literally falls into the arms of the hunky Robert played by Patrick Dempsey. As Giselle spends her days searching for Prince Edward, she manages to initiate a flash dance in Central Park to the song “That’s How You Know”, summon the rats, pigeons, and roaches of NYC to dance and hum to a “Happy Working Song”, make three new dresses out of curtains and carpet, max out Robert’s credit card, and bond with Robert’s daughter played by the adorable Rachel Covey.
Amy Adams was a perfect choice in the casting of Giselle. Her whole demeanor just screams real-life Disney princess. James Marsden as the dimwitted but lovable Prince Edward is a stitch. Susan Sarandon is phenomenal, as usual, as Queen Narissa. Also as usual, Patrick Dempsey plays the hunk. Duh.
Enchanted tickled my fancy so much because it was original and fun and the original music was done by Alan Menken. He also happened to do the score for the best movie ever according to yours truly, The Little Mermaid. This movie has so many references to The Little Mermaid. For instance, Robert’s assistant Sam is played by Jodi Benson. The same Jodi Benson who voiced Ariel in The Little Mermaid.
I’ve collected some comparison photos of Enchanted paying homage to the classics. Here they are:
Watch Enchanted and invite your 6-year-old self to come out and play. This movie is sweet and funny. Particularly enjoy Pip, the chipmunk, as he is in New York City. I happily give this movie two thumbs up and five stars.
I’ll leave you with this clip from the film. This is the part of the movie when Giselle and Robert dance and I tell you this from the most honest place: this is the most romantic scene I’ve ever witnessed on film. I swooned all over the place. Enjoy.