This weekend’s review is of a relatively recent home video release.

Cast and Crew Information

Amy Adams as Giselle
Patrick Dempsey as Robert Philip
James Marsden as Prince Edward
Susan Sarandon as Queen Narissa
Timothy Spall as Nathaniel
Rachel Covey as Morgan Philip
Idina Menzel as Nancy Tremaine
Julie Andrews as the Narrator

Written by Bill Kelly
Directed by Kevin Lima

Availability Information

Enchanted is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Premise

The archetypal Disney prince and princess have to deal with an evil stepmother who will stop at nothing to prevent their wedding. This includes surviving in the real world with their fantasy kingdom outlook on life.

High Point

“How Does She Know?” Between Robert’s reluctant attitude, Giselle’s total obliviousness and the interactions with the people around them, this just plain delivered. It also seems to mark the point where the satire can step aside and leave room for this particular story to take centre stage.

Low Point

The fact that the satire didn’t actually step aside when it was time to do so.

The Review

It’s not every day a major corporation with a distinctive look and feel produces a major spoof of itself. Apart from that style, however, there’s not much original content here. We’ve got the standard romantic comedy trope of “people involved in other relationships quickly fall in love with complete stranger” going on, mixed together with typical fish out of water jokes and some classic Disney themes. Originality does not abound here. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects were quite good, with some impressive moments of animal action, transitions from traditionally animated to physical apples, and so forth. This end really held up well. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story hit the major plot points. I also have to give them credit for avoiding the typical infidelity in a romantic comedy by waiting for permission from both current significant others before really launching the new relationship. The Easter Eggs fans of classic Disney will find are also well integrated into the movie. It doesn’t have terrible depth or layering, but it wasn’t pretending to, either. There are two kinds of low thought movies. Some are those which entertain when you don’t think about them, but which collapse the moment you do. For the most part, this falls into the second category, in which deep thought is not required, but internal logic and consistency will hold up when such thought is applied. The only real logical breakdown here is, unfortunately, a big one. Why, exactly, does a queen lose her crown when a prince gets married? Doesn’t a new wife only gain a crown when she marries a king, and not a prince? I would think that the Queen’s crown would stay safe until her natural passing anyway. I give the story 4 out of 6.

The acting is well done. Marsden and Adams play their roles well, capturing a certain level of innocence. Adams did a great job of her breakthrough moment, in which she makes the shift from her home world to this one. Dempsey and Sarandon also deliver, though their roles were not quite as demanding. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is the main failing point here. Satire needs to move rapidly from one scene to another, but that pacing wasn’t here. Copying the pacing of early, poorly paced animated films doesn’t work when spoofing those same films. The spoof has to move much more quickly. I give it 3 out of 6.

The emotional response was fairly good. The amusement from the spoofs and discovery of Easter Eggs is good, but not enough to keep everything propelled through the draggy parts. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s an entertaining film, particularly for fans of classic animated Disney, but there’d be no point in rewatching it aside from locating all of those little references. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Enchanted receives 28 out of 42.